For Goodness’ Sake, Please Let Us Not Return to Low-Rise Jeans

There is no earthly reason that we need to subject ourselves to pants that cut off right above our underwear.

I don’t usually write about fashion, but I felt a burning need to weigh in on one of the worst trends of my lifetime. You see, a few days ago, the Wall Street Journal’s Off Brand column published an article titled “Farewell, High-Waisted Skinny Jeans. The Low-Rise Returns.” The lede proclaimed that “The low-rise pant, one of the most divisive trends of the early 2000s, is back.” And let’s not discount our own publication’s rigorous reporting on the issue, investigations like “How Low Can These Low-Rise Jeans Go?

The picture that accompanied the Journal’s story was as dystopian as it gets, a photo of Bella Hadid carrying an iced matcha, her abdomen exposed, her face obscured by a mask. Subtract the matcha and the mask, and you could have been looking at a silhouette of Paris Hilton in the early ’90s.

Many of us remember the last time we went down this path with low-rise pants, and we do not remember it fondly. And yes, I’m aware that pointing out that this is not my first rodeo lends my whole critique a curmudgeonly air. Growing up, my mom would take me to big Manhattan department stores, where she would complain that she had worn a trend (animal prints, bell bottoms, gothic) the first time it had come around. The annoying thing was that she had. Our apartment was littered with photos of my mom in miniskirts in the 1960s, denim bell bottoms in the 1970s, and giant chiffon dresses in the 1980s. My mom wore aviators when they were sold for aviation.

Of course, fashion, just like politics and the supply chain, is cyclical. Hemlines rise and fall, colors come in and out of style, sometimes as a response to where we are as a culture, sometimes as a response to women’s changing roles in the world like during World War II. But there is not a fabric shortage; women have not just started riding bikes. There is no earthly reason that we need to subject ourselves to pants that cut off right above our underwear. I implore you: We don’t have to ride this cycle; we can just say no to this trend.

Two C-sections ago, in the early 2000s, I owned a pair of Frankie B low-rise jeans that I bought at a Third Avenue store called Scoop, which played loud music and occupied three storefronts. I paired those skintight jeans with a long C & C California tee shirt so that people couldn’t see my butt. Standing up was a terrifying adventure. I would grab my waistband and tee shirt together in the hope of sparing my fellow New Yorkers. The whole thing was very stressful.

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Molly Jong-Fast

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