Written by Natasha Lawrence
Welcome to our newest series, My Fashion Opinion, where our often opinionated editor-in-chief, Natasha Lawrence, shares her thoughts on trends of the moment and what’s going on in the fashion world.
The year was 2002. Britney Spears consistently blared out of the headphones attached to my Walkman, a bandana was my most versatile accessory and Point Zero was the mall brand I begged my parents to buy me on each shopping trip. Every pair of jeans I owned had a crotch size of about 3 inches, and if anyone made them any lower, I would have yearned for them. It was the early 2000s, the Y2K event we all feared never happened, and fashion, in my humble opinion, was at its most outrageous.
Those bandana’s I mentioned earlier? When tied on my head, paired with a Tommy Hilfigure red and white flag crop top, baggy cargo jeans and lime green nail polish, made me feel my absolute coolest. And looking back on family photos, I can truthfully say, I did not look cool. On The Strategy, we always ask our TS Alum what their biggest fashion regret was, and if asked, my answer would be anything and everything I wore in the early 2000s. I was pre-pubescent, my body was gangly and awkward, I didn’t know what to do with my hair, and for some reason, I snarled in almost all pictures taken of me. It was a weird time. Growing out of it was much needed. I remember in the later seasons of my favourite show at the time, The Simple Life, when Nicole Richie met Rachel Zoe and her style changed, my style grew up with her. Putting on my first pair of leggings and black velvet ballet flats (borrowed…er…stolen…from my older sister) paired with gigantic oversized sunglasses, made me feel like I was finally a real, mature woman.
But, I digress back to those days of 2002 and low-rise jeans. Britney Spears was the face of a campaign for a pair of low-riding jeans that could be manipulated to three levels of low – from hitting just below the belly button to skimming just above above the pelvic bone. I hunted for those jeans, but much to my chagrin, and my parents relief, I never found them. Now, looking back on red carpets of the time, I simply don’t get it. Low-riding jeans were one bend away from a full butt-crack flash (if you weren’t already wearing a made-to-be-seen thong, which at the time, I was not) and did not accommodate for one iota of body fat in your middle. You had to be completely flat to wear them. Growing out of them and moving away from the trend was a relief. They weren’t comfortable!
Since 2021, the fashion world has been a flutter with a potential return of the style. Thanks to Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa and the return of Y2K fashion, low-cut jeans keep coming up, and I personally cannot. I don’t want other pre-teen girls to worry about having anything spilling over the waistband of their jeans, and I don’t want to be constantly feeling as though my full ass is on display when sitting in a restaurant. Do we not remember the body image pressure that was put on the young Hollywood at the time? At last years shows, designers like Dion Lee, Missoni and MSGM took a stab at the trend. And, while I must admit these versions were baggier and more forgiving than the versions of my youth, I still can’t encourage or promote anyone wearing them.
So I ask, can we not with the low-rise jeans? Can we leave them in the past and acknowledge how much better a high-rise jean, or even mid-rise, feel and look?