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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but low-rise jeans are officially back. Yes, you read that right. My social media feeds have been full of midriff-baring denim recently with not a high-waisted mom jean in sight—and I have to say that all of the OOTD pics are convincing me to try some out for myself.
Divisive trends have reigned supreme in 2021 and teens on TikTok and Instagram are often leading the charge. Sweater vests, early-aughts-inspired baby tees and rainbow-brite enamel jewelry have all become massively popular this year thanks to Gen Z and celebs like Dua Lipa and Devon Lee Carlson, so I really should have been more prepared for the low-rise jean trend to, well, rise (Sorry—had to).
When it comes to denim, I usually prefer styles that rest comfortably at or just below my ribcage, but no lower. I’m a petite girl, so I always thought that jeans that sat on my hips would make me look shorter, something I am definitely trying to avoid. I’m also not exaggerating when I say that almost all of my wardrobe fails in middle school had to do with low-rise jeans in some capacity, so it’s safe to say that I’ve been avidly avoiding the silhouette for years so as to not relive any tween drama.
Still, there’s just something about the newest takes on this trend that pulls me right back in. It just feels so fresh! Tons of cool-girl brands like The Ragged Priest, Agolde, Free People and DL1961 are selling options that feel very 2021, and suddenly my awkward middle school style seems lightyears away. The new version are so much better! We’re talking flared styles with embroidery, plenty of distressing and tons of cropped legs that make me want to throw my high-rise go-tos to the back of my closet once and for all.
Read on for 12 of the best pairs of low-rise jeans to shop right now—and if you’re feeling nostalgic, don’t forget to wear your cropped cardis and mini baguette for a very 2000s-inspired look. Why not go all out, right?
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Medium Low-Rise Jean
I love distressed denim because it always looks so cool, you know? This pair from PacSun is priced at under $60 and is slightly cropped at the leg, so even petite gals like me can try them out.
ZW The Alma Wide Leg Jeans
Of course, Zara would design a great pair of low-rise jeans—they’re known for bringing the top trends to the people. This wide-leg white pair should be your go-to denim staple come spring and summer.
Emma Low-Rise Skinny Instasculpt Jeans
If you’re looking for the jeans that you can wear everywhere, you’ve found them. This mid-wash pair from DL1961 is great if you’re just dipping a toe into the low-rise trend and don’t want to stray from skinnies.
Straight Crop Jean
I love a good pair of skinny jeans, but a slightly wider-leg style is seriously trending right now. This cropped pair from Mango is a happy medium between wide-leg and ultra-fitted.
Verla Frayed Hem Crop Boyfriend Jean
This pair of distressed jeans from Poetic Justice is available in sizes 14 through 22 and looks perfectly lived-in thanks to the frayed hem and knee rippage. I would wear these with either a pair of heels for date night or a basic sneakers for everyday.
Release Wide Leg Jean
Cool-girl brand The Ragged Priest has become known for its killer denim selection over the years, and these low-rise jeans are no exception. Don’t mind me while I add these to my cart.
Baggy Low-Rise Distressed Jean
These baggy jeans from PrettyLittleThing are blowing up on TikTok and Instagram right now thanks to their relaxed, super-flattering fit. In my early-aughts-loving opinion, a baggy silhouette with a low-rise fit just feels so right.
Good Legs Low-Rise Ankle Skinny Jean
Good American knows how to make a damn good pair of jeans. These skinnies are available to shop in sizes 00 through 15 and are *perfectly* distressed so you’ll never look like you’re trying too hard.
Mid-Rise Flare Jean
Yes, these are technically mid-rise jeans, but they can totally be worn a little lower, too. They also come complete with a belt, so they’re literally the perfect one-and-done piece to style with a plain white tee.
Baggy Low-Rise Distressed Boyfriend Jean
Another pair of jeans from PrettyLittleThing for the win! This faded black pair is priced under $60 and will effectively replace whatever style you’ve been loving recently. Size up for an extra-low fit and you’ll look every bit the TikTok superstar you want to be.
Roll Crop Boyfriend Jeans
Cropped jeans will forever be my favorite and this plus-size pair from Slink Jeans is available in sizes 12 through 24 and has a relaxed low-rise fit that will put your favorite high-rise pairs to shame.
Side Snake Denim Flare Jeans
If you’re looking for jeans with some added edge, why not try a pair with literal snakes embroidered on them? This pair from Salvage is Salvation will definitely help you stand out when the trend takes off and all your friends are rocking low-rise denim, too.