Bad Jeans: Low-Rise, Low Style!

Posted by: Lyra Pappin

For both men and women, the low-rise pant is an ultimate dis-ass-ter.  I used to be of the opinion that once you are out of high school, there is nothing worse than strolling around with a permanent half-moon on display.  I say, “used to” only because I now think it is truly unacceptable no matter what your age is.  I’m pretty sure learning to dress yourself includes pulling pants up to an appropriate level in every household.  If not, take a hint from 90% of the population on this one: underwear are meant to be worn under the clothes you wear.  Hence their name.


These low-riding pants and jeans are a double-edged problem.  First, it seems to be “cool” for young boys to wear their pants halfway down their legs.  While this is bad enough, female fashion victims ranging from young girls to cougar women seem to have missed the memo that low-rise jean days are over.  If celebs like Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsale can’t pull off this look, how could anyone else dream of trying?


There are a group of people who believe that, especially for men, these low riding jeans are part of a broader fashion movement in the hip-hop community.  While I still don’t find the uber-baggy pant flattering to anyone, there is a difference between Jay-Z’s loose pants and your average teenage boy cruising down the street with his belt practically around his knees.  There is also a time and place for everything.  A hip-hop star tends to dress a little differently in his or her videos as opposed to professional attire worn during public appearances or meetings.  Call me crazy, but I would bet that none of these droopy pant-ed kids are heading to film sets or magazines shoots!


The low-rise look has been deemed so offensive that some states have even attempted to have the style banned.  Louisiana legislator Derrick Shepherd tried to have the sagging jeans outlawed in 2004, claiming the blatant display of underwear to be obscene and disrespectful.  He wanted anyone seen with undergarments showing to be fined and to do community service. The Louisiana House of Representatives rejected the bill, but later in 2005, a similar bill was introduced in Virginia looking to fine people deliberately showing their underwear $50.  This bill was also rejected.  In spite of this, other smaller towns like Opelousas, LA are locally fining people up to $500 for their flesh baring style choices.


While it is totally absurd to try to legislate what people can and can’t wear, imagine my disappointment that actual fashion police won’t materialize!  Although low hanging jeans are an obvious fashion crime, clothing choices are still an individual’s prerogative.   The hope is that people will make wiser choices in the future.  It also doesn’t hurt to encourage people in a positive direction.


Besides the obvious lack of visual appeal to the hanging jeans, there are also some terribly unflattering terms associated with the look.  The phrase “whale-tail” refers to a girl whose low riding jeans have left her thong visible, roughly looking like a whale’s tail.  Some people even make a habit of taking pictures of women seen sporting this unattractive side of themselves.


When jeans with a higher, more appropriate waistline came back into fashion a few years ago, most women rejoiced.  If you weren’t one of them, please head to your nearest store and ask for a pair of medium rise jeans.  At least put some effort into weaning yourself off of the plumber-pant-potential that the low-rise jeans provide.


As for men, please realize that the overwhelming majority of women don’t find droopy pants and on-display boxers to be very appealing.  Even if it is part of your crowd’s image, take a chance and choose something that is more appropriate for your age and body.  If anything, at least your individuality will be noted.


For any men and women left out there with an illogical attachment to the underpants-parade: let’s leave a little more to the imagination, shall we?



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  • Category:
  • Fashion & Style
  • Tags:
  • fashion
  • fashion trends
  • bad style
  • fashionable
  • jeans
  • fashion nightmares
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Lyra Pappin
Toronto, ON, Canada

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