Giving the kiss of death to low-rise jeans

By Debra LoGuercio

©Copyright 2003, Debra LoGuercio, all rights reserved

Just in time for Christmas, here's a present for every woman out there who, like myself, probably shouldn't quit her day job in hopes of embarking on a new career as Britney Spears' body double: I'm ending this low-rise jeans nonsense once and for all.

I thought this unfortunate trend would go away on its own when women discovered that even if they had the figure to wear their jeans just above their pubic bones, doing so is not only uncomfortable but downright dangerous. Raise your arms over your head and the sun might shine where the sun don't shine.

Besides putting your un-sunny side up, there's far more exposed to the world than anyone else wants to see. It's one thing when a young, perky teenager parades around, showing off her ironing-board abs, but when there are big, sloppy rolls of flab oozing out over the tops of those low-risers, call me a traditionalist, but I tend to put that under the heading of "fashion don't."

Are they blind? Do they not own any mirrors? And must they accentuate the problem by squeezing into jeans that are obviously two sizes too small? Didn't their mothers tell them that a handful of hip flopping out over the top of your jeans means you need a larger size? Some of these gals make you hope that burqas will become the next hot fashion trend.

Someone suggested to me that maybe those women parading along with their tummies jiggling over the tops of their jeans like loosely-packaged Jell-O are really expressing self-acceptance. I don't buy it. It's a "safety in numbers" phenomenon: "If we ALL head out to Macy's looking like Buddha in a bikini, that will make it OK."

It doesn't. It's so not OK, I can't even find a word to describe how un-OK it is, and I have two thesauri sitting right next to me.

If low-risers were merely another teenage fashion fad, it wouldn't even be an issue. They'd be as five-minutes-ago as stuffed-animal backpacks. But low-risers have seeped into even the most unhip of places: the misses section at Mervyn's. The only thing I want to see less than a soccer mom in low-risers is a soccer mom's grandma in low-risers.

Since the low-rise trend is proliferating unchecked and shows no sign of disappearing any time soon, I'm taking matters into my own hands. I'm ending it, here and now. I have the power. I alone can single-handedly squelch the latest fashion trend. All I have to do is participate in it. My powers are unparalleled. I alone was responsible for the complete and total elimination of Famolare shoes in the late '70s.

Remember Famolares? They had ripply rubber soles that propelled you forward when you walked. They were so comfortable, my feet requested cigarettes after I took them off. The moment I'd finally purchased every style I could find, the finicky fashion fairies waved their magic wands and transferred every single pair of Famolares straight to the double-clearance rack, where they remained until eventually being recycled into filler for bean bag chairs.

I also take personal credit for the demise of swirl skirts and stretch pants with stirrups, and let's not forget my finest fashion assassination, that of those ghastly, ruffly prairie girl outfits, circa 1981. I deep-sixed those in just one dinner out in a denim and plaid number with white eyelet ruffles along every seam. By morning, every single prairie girl blouse was red-lined at Ross.

I am the Grim Reaper of fashion. And low-risers have just entered the Dead Man Walking phase. I'm wearing them as we speak. They are not long for this world.


This particular pair is relatively conservative: just below the hipbone. But on this old rack, that's flirting with danger. There's nothing below that point to keep my britches where they belong. Let's just say the phrase "Baby got back" will never be uttered in appreciative reference to me. I'm more of a "Baby got front" kinda gal.

To more thoroughly emphasize this unfortunate body shape (which has yet to inspire a really cool rap song), these low-risers settle into just the right spot to allow everything to squish out over the waistband in a big bloop. All I need is a tight flannel shirt, some suspenders and a John Deere hat, and I could fit right in with the farmers down at the corner coffee shop.

Thankfully, I have the sense (as well as the compassion) not to expose my figure flaws to those around me. Unlike my sloppy sisters at the mall, I'm not about to pull on a tiny midriff sweater and parade down the sidewalk like an oversized, rippling amoeba. Not me. I'm hiding deep down inside a bulky hooded sweatshirt that hangs to mid-thigh, and there I'll stay until every single pair of low-risers disappears from every department store rack.

Don't worry, ladies. It won't be long. All I have to do is suffer with these low-rise jeans for a few more weeks, and nice, comfy high-waisters will be flooding the stores by spring. And I'm not stopping there. I'm on a roll. I'm filling my drawers with thong underwear and before you know it, dental floss will once again be used only for its intended purpose.

The line to express your gratitude forms on the right.