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Low-rise (fashion)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Porn star Damien Crosse in low-rise clothing at Folsom Street Fair 2010
Porn star Raven Riley in low-rise clothing at AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2008

Low-rise is a style of clothing designed to sit low on, or below, the hips. The style can also be called lowcut, hipster, or hip-hugger,[1] and can apply to garments worn by males or females. The term can be applied to all garments that cover the wearer's crotch area, including trousers, jeans, shorts, skirts, panties, briefs, bikinis, pantyhose, and tights.[2]



The "rise" of a bottom garment is measured by the distance between the crotch and the waistline or top of the garment and is usually around 12 inches (30 cm) on regular pants. The average rise of a low-rise garment is roughly 8 inches (20 cm) with some as little as 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm). A normal low-rise sits at least 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) below the navel. A "super" or an "ultra low-rise" sits at 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm) below the navel.[3]

Low-rise jeans may be worn to display more skin at the waist, torso, and hips. Accordingly, they are sometimes worn in combination with crop tops, giving a glimpse of skin between the jeans and the top, or (more commonly in the summer or in warmer countries) showing their entire midriff including the navel.[4][5]


Woman in 2001 wearing low-rise jeans exposing her thong, an early 2000s fashion trend referred to as a whale tail

The 1990s revival of low-rise jeans can be credited to British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who first showed low-rise "bumster" trousers in his 1993 Taxi Driver collection. One commentator observed: "The bumster for me is what defined McQueen. For me it was the look that put him on the map because it was controversial. Those little bumsters were in his first shows. It was like 20 people in England were wearing them back then."[6][7] The low-rise fashion expanded in the early 1990s after the March 1993 issue of the British magazine The Face which featured Kate Moss in low-rise jeans.[8]

Clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. introduced low-rise jeans in December 2000, the tops of which were about three inches (7+12 cm) below the navel, with a zipper of a mere 3+14 inches (8.3 cm) long. Backs were also cut low, but not so low that they exposed backside cleavage.[9] It later adopted the style in men's wear.[10][11][12] Gradually the wide acceptance of low-rise pants by men led to low-rise swimwear and underpants.[13][14]

Britney Spears is credited with popularizing the fashion in the US in the early 2000s.[15][16] From 2001 to 2007, the low rise style frequently revealed the thong or G-string underneath, but after 2007 this fell out of favor and thongs began their decline. When the wearer sits down or bends forward, sometimes cleavage is visible. When a thong is exposed above a pair of low-rise jeans on the back, it is commonly referred to as a whale tail, due to its somewhat similar shape. When boxer shorts become visible this is known as "sagging". Because underwear was no longer always hidden, more men and women choose their underwear to function with their low-rise jeans.[17][18]

The trend became so popular that in 2002, a Barbie doll wearing low-rise jeans named "My Scene" Barbie was introduced in stores. The doll was created in an attempt to appeal to older girls in the tween demographic who may find the My Scene Barbie's fashion style to be more realistic and modern.[19][20]

The trend was also in style during the 2020s. Kathryn Newton wore a two piece midriff baring school girl style outfit with a low rise skirt exposing her belly button at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2022.[21]

Indian fashion


The term is applied to saris and Ghagra cholis in India. Due to migration to different countries,[citation needed] many Indian women began to wear the normal sari below the waistline exposing the navel, which is known as low-rise sari.[22] This type of sari is worn such that the petticoat is tied at some inches below the navel and just above the pubic area. Similarly, the lehengas of ghagra cholis are also worn in low-rise. Designer Manish Malhotra's Fashion Week collections regularly highlight low waisted ghaghras accompanied by short cholis.[23][24] This were made popular by the female celebrities of Bollywood industry and other popular regional film industries like Tamil cinema and Telugu cinema. These are mainly worn by the rich, educated upper-class women who consider navel exposure as a fashion.[25][26] However, sometimes, the navel is covered with the pallu in a low-rise non-transparent sari, as well.

Dress codes


Vitruvio Pollione Scientific High School, Avezzano, central Italy, asked students to stop wearing low-slung trousers that expose navels, underwear etc., Deputy Principal Nazzareno Desiderio elaborated in a phone interview: "It's a piece of advice, for their educational reflection." Inspired by the decision in Avezzano, the principal of Rome's Visconti High School Antonino Grasso had suggested that students show less skin and proposed a debate on the matter. In an interview he commented, "Today, boys are less tickled by such visions (of skin), because there's no more big effect in seeing a girl's legs or shoulders, lower back and navel".[27][28]

In some corporations in India, saris are required to be worn in an elegant manner, avoiding navel exposure.[29] Anita Gupta, senior vice-president at JWT Chennai commented, "Formal wear for women definitely covers saris without plunging necklines or glimpses of the belly button".[30]

Low-rise clothing is completely forbidden in certain countries around the world, including Iran, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.[31] [32]

See also



  1. ^ Nunn, Joan (1984). Fashion in Costume, 1200–1980. Herbert Press. ISBN 9780906969373. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  2. ^ Hill, Daniel Delis (1 September 2007). As Seen in Vogue: A Century of American Fashion in Advertising. Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 9780896726161. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  3. ^ Braendel, Shari (2010). Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Woman. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0-310-32601-4. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  4. ^ Janelle Brown, "Here come the buns", Salon.com, May 28, 2002.
  5. ^ Jennifer D'Angelo, "Cleavage Fashion Flips Upside Down", FOXNews.com, December 5, 2001.
  6. ^ Rajini Vaidyanathan (12 February 2010). "Six ways Alexander McQueen changed fashion". BBC News Magazine. BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Alexander McQueen Fashion Designer (1969 - 2010)". Design Museum: London. British Council. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Navel Maneuvers". New York Magazine. 10 May 1993. p. 26. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  9. ^ SUSAN PHINNEY. "Navel maneuvers: Hip-huggers and short tops are hot this season". Seattlepi. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  10. ^ Lakeland Ledger - Jul 29, 2002
  11. ^ The Sunday Gazette - Sep 3, 2002
  12. ^ PULSE - Sling Low, Swing High - The New York Times
  13. ^ The Southeast Missourian - Aug 4, 2002
  14. ^ Boy culture - an encyclopedia, Volume 1 - Shirley R. Steinberg, Michael Kehler, Lindsay Cornish
  15. ^ "Jeans Rising". The Daily Beast. Newsweek Magazine. 26 March 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  16. ^ "GilroyDispatch.com | Low-rise Jeans Unflattering to Moms - Thanks a Lot, Britney Spears". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2008-10-25.The Gilroy Dispatch - Low-rise Jeans Unflattering to Moms - Thanks a Lot, Britney Spears
  17. ^ Janelle Brown, "Here come the buns", Salon.com, May 28, 2002.
  18. ^ Jennifer D'Angelo, "Cleavage Fashion Flips Upside Down", FOXNews.com, December 5, 2001.
  19. ^ "A sexier, hipper Barbie hits shelves". Times Daily. Nov 28, 2002. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  20. ^ "HIP, NEW BARBIE HITS STORE SHELVES, JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS WISH LISTS". Dayton Daily News. November 28, 2002. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Kathryn Newton's Latest Look is Prada's Answer to the Miu Miu Mini". 26 July 2022.
  22. ^ Aging and menopause among Indian South African women – Brian M. Du Toit.
  23. ^ "Rise of the Navel 'Bollywood navel fashion has led to re-emergence of sari'". India Today
  24. ^ Datta-Ray, Sunanda K. (28 April 2005) Meanwhile: Unraveling the sari. The New York Times.
  25. ^ Dress and gender: making and meaning in cultural contexts – Ruth Barnes.
  26. ^ The cultures of economic migration: international perspectives – Suman Gupta, Tope Omoniyi.
  27. ^ "Italian school says 'enough' over low-rise pants". USA TODAY. 2004-10-19. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  28. ^ Angela Dondald (October 19, 2004). "Low-rise pants cause minor uprising in Italy". iOL News. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  29. ^ Dr Saurabh Bhatia. Indian Corporate Etiquette. Saurabh Bhatia. ISBN 978-81-906964-0-1. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  30. ^ Nina Varghese, Raja Simhan T.E. (October 27, 2006). "The workplace look". The Business Line. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  31. ^ Fashion & Dress Code Around the World
  32. ^ Retro Damebutikk for 1950 Tallet