Since Low-Rise Jeans Are Back, You Might As Well Learn How to Style Them

Professional stylists offer tips on how to wear low-rise jeans (and look good doing it).

<p>Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images</p>

Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Given the very strong re-emergence of ‘90s and Y2K-era trends, the comeback of the low-rise jean was truly inevitable. Back in its original heyday, it was almost a dare to see whose zipper traveled the shortest distance. Today’s variation—which hits right at or just below the hips—doesn’t sit as wildly low, but they are certainly a detour from the high-rise style that’s reigned for so long.

“In the early 2000s, we had the ultra-low rise, which was in hindsight pretty ridiculous and overly revealing (but that was the point),” says professional stylist Christina Stein. “Like anything in fashion, trends come back and Gen Z has become obsessed with what we started taking to Goodwill. Everything from the low rise to scarves around the neck and corset tops—it's more of a larger movement.”

If you’re feeling inspired to give this revived denim a chance, follow these expert pro tips on how to style low-rise jeans.

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Make Sure the Fit is Spot-On

One of the chief complaints of low-rise denim is that it’s unflattering on lots of figures. You can combat this fate by making sure the fit is spot-on. That means choosing a pair that isn’t too tight or too loose, and ensuring you feel comfortable.

“When considering low-rise jeans, size and comfort are paramount,” says professional fashion stylist Catherine Bibeau.“Unlike mid-rise or high-rise options, low-rise jeans sit snugly below your waist, hugging your hips. Remember, these jeans are designed to accentuate your hip line and may not come up as high as your natural waistline.”

She adds that the low-rise jean comeback ushers in a new wave of body positivity, encouraging a celebration of diverse body shapes. “This shift reflects a more inclusive attitude towards fashion that wasn’t as prevalent during their initial reign,” Bibeau says.

Consider the Cut

Low-rise simply refers to where the jeans sit around the waist. That said, you can find them in a range of different silhouettes, such as bootcut, flare, and straight leg. Stein says to choose a cut that flatters your shape best. “You can highlight your figure by looking at the cut of the denim,” she says. For example, “someone curvier might want to try a boot cut.” Meanwhile, cropped jeans can give the look of longer legs, and those with wide hips or juicy thighs look great in a wide-leg straight cut.

Lean into Retro Vibes

When reaching for a pair of low-rise jeans, you can go ahead and lean right into the retro era they come from. Bibeau says she loves to style this denim with a “retro-inspired vibe that nods to their Y2K roots.” For that nostalgic look, she recommends pairing them with a fitted crop top, baby tee, or camisole.

Stick to the Rule of Thirds

Stein says that if you want to feel confident wearing low-rise jeans, sticking to the rule of thirds is key. “You don't want the denim rise to cut your body in half,” she explains. Instead, divide your outfit into three parts to create more visual interest and make the look more flattering. With jeans, this means pairing them with a shorter top versus long one.

Add a Blazer

Whether you feel too exposed with your midriff accented—which naturally happens with a low-rise pair of jeans—or simply want to create a more layered look, Bibeau recommends adding a chic blazer over your jeans and top. This also helps modernize the trend versus making it feel too costume-y retro, she notes.

Keep it Casual

Denim, in general, is best for low-key fits, so think casual when styling. To embrace that super casual aesthetic, Stein suggests styling low-rise jeans with an oversized t-shirt or sweater for an easy, everyday look. Bibeau agrees, adding that a pair of comfortable and trendy sneakers is a great way to complete your outfit.

Have Fun Accessorizing

No outfit is complete without a few accessories. When styling low-rise denim, Bibeau loves to throw on a chunky belt or flashy jewelry for that true “turn of the century” flare. A statement jacket is another way to create some layers and infuse some new textures and colors into the look.

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