Peak denim

Photo by Billy Bui

The acceptance of low-rise?

By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor


Ah, jeans. What other article of clothing can strike fear into the hearts of shoppers more than the dreaded denim? With the right fit, jeans can be as comfortable and relaxing as watching The Devil Wears Prada for the 64th time.

We’ve really seen it all in the past year—wide leg, slim leg, torn knees, torn hems. Lately, as mainstream fashion turns its fickle eye towards the ’70s for inspiration, the previously banned indigo denim has been revived on Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren runways. It feels almost sacrilegious to even think of wearing a dark pair of jeans after what feels like a decade of acid and light wash—and that’s not even the worst news.

“Low-rise jeans are due for a comeback!” exclaim big magazines like GQ and Man Repeller. Their articles are studded with pictures of slim celebrities like Bella Hadid and Keke Palmer, both of whom could wear three garbage bags tied together and look better than I did at my high school prom. Low-rise jeans call to mind horrible fashion mistakes from the early 2000s, such as wallet chains, puffy sneakers, and Baby Phat. On top of looking dated, low-rise jeans seem to only highlight every square inch of excess chub on one’s frame, while exposing the tender midriff to the cruel hands of nature. That’s why my soft body is always firmly encased in stiff, high-waisted denim that is thick enough to stop bullets.

Trend forecaster Ayesha A. Siddiqi has scoffed at the alleged reemergence, saying on Twitter that low-rise coming back is a “false forecast.” In fact, she stated, “We’ve reached peak denim you can wear [whatever] jeans you want and be ok.”

Siddiqi is definitely onto something. Take the Jesse Kamm sailor pant, which I declared “the worst thing I’ve ever seen” when I first saw it on social media. They were the complete opposite of the skinny jeans of my youth and were declared “weird-looking” by almost every cis straight man in my life (of which there are few). After seeing the sailor pant in a couple of Madewell Instagram ads, filtered through some models I follow, and finally seeing it on real-life people, I am now the proud—if not broke—owner of two separate pairs.

Seeing articles of clothing on different platforms, styled different ways, and modelled by people of all different sizes makes almost anything palatable. We’re so oversaturated with clothing of every fabric, shape, and colour that at this point low-rise jeans don’t seem that crazy.

During every fashion cycle, I attach myself to an article of clothing—2010: skinny jeans, 2011: cardigans, 2012: peasant tops—and declare to the world, “This is me now!” But as trends change, my one “thing” often falls to the wayside—and that’s okay! As most fashion-conscious people know, clothing trends are eerily cyclical. While I’m definitely not going to jump on the low-rise jeans this time around, maybe when they come back in in 2031, my slim, robot body will be willing and ready to throw on a pair of Nasty Gal hip-huggers. Here’s hoping!