Will 2019 be the year low-rise jeans make a comeback?

Will 2019 be the year low-rise jeans make a comeback?

There’s a meme that’s been doing rounds for a while which states: One of my greatest fears in life is that low-rise jeans will make a comeback.

Clearly, there are a lot of people who agree with the sentiment, because Twitter is rife with people wishing, hoping and praying that the super low-slung trousers never become fashionable again.

If you’re one of those people, brace yourself for some very bad news: Low-rise jeans might actually be making a comeback. Yes, really.

That’s right, more than a decade since they fell out of fashion, there are signs that the midriff-revealing jeans are ripe for a renaissance.

It started, as most trends do, on the catwalks. For the last few seasons, waistbands have been creeping lower at brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Roberto Cavalli and, most notably, Alexander McQueen.

Alexander McQueen was the man who invented the controversial ‘bumster’ trousers in 1993 (a style so low one’s ‘bum crack’ was on show).

It wasn’t until the late Nineties that low-rise jeans went mainstream, popularised by pop stars like Girls Aloud, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.

Girls Aloud in their Noughties heyday (Anthony Harvey/PA)
Girls Aloud in their Noughties heyday (Anthony Harvey/PA)

Soon, we were doing away with top buttons all together and boot-cut jeans with a torn-off waistband became known as ‘Britney jeans’ – I remember mine as if it were yesterday.

Britney Speaers performing in 2001 (James Arnold/PA)
Britney Speaers performing in 2001 (James Arnold/PA)

But then, because fashion is fickle like that, in the blink of an eye, they were gone, and by 2005 – around the same time skinny jeans started to replace flared styles – our belly buttons were covered up once more.

High-waisted jeans have dominated since the mid-Noughties, but fast forward to September 2018 and Alexander McQueen is clearly trying to make low-rise trousers happen again, because they featured on its SS19 catwalk.

The style is gaining traction in certain circles, namely with models like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, who’s been pictured wearing insanely low-cut baggy trousers while out walking her dog.

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Laundry day

A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on

On Instagram, search the tag #lowrisejeans and it brings up nearly 3,500 hits – but to be fair, some of those are people hoping they’ll never return.

There are already some so-called low-rise jeans on sale in the shops, but they’re nowhere near as low as the pinnacle reached with the 2001 video for Spears’ I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.

Music Video Britney GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

That’s not to say the uber-low style isn’t on the way, however.

With divisive trends, it always takes a while before people get used to the idea. But generally, where models lead, everyone else follows (see also: Tiny sunglasses; bum bags worn across your chest; and neon everything).

It’s alright for the models of course, with their impossibly-toned abs, personal trainers and nutritionists on speed dial.

What about the rest of us, for whom the thought of revealing even an inch of stomach – let alone several inches below the naval – is a terrifying prospect?

You don’t actually have to partake in the hipster jean renaissance, of course.

There’s something very enjoyable about observing a trend from the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that it’s just not for you, and that those idiots are going to regret it in future anyway.

Me? I’m undecided. But in the meantime, please excuse me, I’m off to book an Absolute Abs class at the gym…

- Press Association

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