8 Reasons We're Not Down With The Low-Rise Revival

This week, Vogue heralded the return of the low-rise jean. Not just low-rise, actually: "ultra low-rise." Writer Kelly Connor credits a recent music-documentary binge for her renewed interest in the trend, citing such legends of classic rock as Jim Morrison and Robert Plant.

This writer certainly sees the allure of the midcentury man-god and his hipbone-revealing pants. It was my teenage glimpse of Mick Jagger rooster-walking and soliciting sympathy for the devil in a pair of mulberry hip-huggers that put me on a years-long quest to find my own pair. Still, I must caution against the revival of the ultra-low-rise pant.

See, we've been through this before. The Vogue article positions low-rise jeans as dovetailing nicely with fashion's current '70s obsession. But, let's not forget the last time our infatuation with the "Me" Decade led to a completely ill-advised revival of the ultra-low-rise: the late '90s and early 2000s. The endgame of low-rise obsession is not cool, sexy, rock 'n' roll pants; it is mangled denim and wanton pubic-bone-baring.

Today, we present scenes from the last low-rise revival — and demand that we never again return to the days of the five-inch rise. 
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Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Mariah Carey
Clothing manufacturers slept on what the people wanted in the early days of this trend, so even superstars like Mariah were forced to cut off the waistband of their pants, leaving themselves with the tattered rags of a shipwreckee. Many of us followed suit, only to learn this DIY was inadvisable with zip-fly jeans.
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Photo: C CONTINO/BEImages.
Beyoncé
So central was the belly in our consciousness that a low-rise jean was not enough. We also needed jackets with fancy, swoopy cutouts, and to put shiny jewelry in our belly buttons, in case your reptilian brain missed all the other cues as to where you should be looking.
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Photo: Nikos/REX Shutterstock.
Victoria Beckham
Evening wear wasn't safe from the barely-closed top and abdomen-airing bottoms combo, either. Kind of impressed with D.Becks' minimalist pixie dream guy outfit, though — very au courant.
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Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.
Britney Spears
At the height of the whale-tail trend, one could actually purchase pants that came with built-in, peekaboo "underwear." And Sisqo sat back, satisfied, surveying all he hath wrought.
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Photo: STEWART COOK/REX Shutterstock.
Keira Knightley
We're pretty sure Knightley, shown here at the Pirates premiere in 2003, just brazenly sliced open the front of a peasant blouse to force the world into grudging admiration of her abs.
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Photo: Barry Roberts/BEImages.
Pink
Pink one-upped Mariah's cut-off waistband by actually removing the entire side of her jeans, leaving her with weird, floating, nonfunctional pockets, and us with yet another indelible fashion memory courtesy of Pink: Where trends go to die.
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Photo: CHARLES SYKES/REX Shutterstock.
Jennifer Lopez
Okay, actually, we're cool with this look, Jen.
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Photo: Charles Sykes/REX Shutterstock.
Christina Aguilera
I don't like taking it here any more than you do. But, we're pretty sure Nostradamus wrote a quatrain about how when three-inch denim scraps become skirts, and scarves become shirts, and you steal a newsie's hat, and your belly chains are longer than your pants, the end is nigh.
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