Low rise jeans, how low can they go?

Senior Tonatzin Rodriguez prefers wearing low-rise jeans. Freshman Heather Johnson said she had a hard time finding her choice - women's traditional fit jeans. / photo by Amy Babin
Senior Tonatzin Rodriguez prefers wearing low-rise jeans. Freshman Heather Johnson said she had a hard time finding her choice – women’s traditional fit jeans. / photo by Amy Babin

by Alejandra Molina
LV Life Editor

The ’80s were the decade of spandex. While the ’90s, well, were a mix of everything. Now as we enter the millennium, low-rise jeans have become the must have in every young woman’s closet.

These jeans are invading department stores everywhere.

“Everything is low-rise now,” said Zorahida Preciado, a sales associate for the junior department in JC Penney’s Montclair store

Low-rise jeans make up half of the merchandise displayed in the junior department of JC Penney. Jeans like Levi’s, Arizona, Lei, Mudd and Paris Blues are all low-rise.

Bongo jeans seem to be the only exception, and Arizona jeans are not as low.

Levi’s 518 and 522 appear to be the top seller in the store. “Levi’s sell more,” said Brandy Dobbins, JC Penney sales associate for the juniors department.

The Levi’s Superlow Boot Cut 518 are made with a lower rise than the 517 and are designed to ride low on the hips. They sit below the waist with a slim seat and thigh. The leg has a 18 1/2″ opening.

“Teenagers buy them, but you’d be surprised by the older ones who buy them too,” Preciado said.

Preciado said that Levi’s should make jeans suitable for all women’s sizes. Preciado commented on how popular brand jeans have somewhat stopped making jeans for the regular sized woman. Low-rise jeans are mostly designed to fit those women who have flat abs, she said.

“Low-rise jeans look cute depending on how they (fit),” she said. “They’re not suitable for everybody.”

GAS jeans and Paris Blues are Amy Townsend’s favorite brands to wear.

“I like to show my tattoo, and they’re comfortable,” said Townsend, a freshman at ULV. “They’re more expensive, but they last a really long time,” she said.

Lucky Magazine, which focuses on clothing and accessories, featured an ad displaying the new Gasoline “Down to there” adjustable low-rise jeans.

The ad contained an instruction manual with seven steps as to how to lower the jeans to the desired fit. The ad also warned customers not to attempt lowering the jeans anywhere outside the house because there could be a “risk of nudity.”

Women with the adjustable jeans are supposed wear them in a full upright position and then unhook the bungee loop from the snap. Then they can slowly pull on the bungee cord and continue until the fabric begins to bunch down. They can pull down the jeans to the desired level.

“I think the adjustable jeans are cute; I could put them as low as I want to,” Townsend said.

These jeans can be purchased at Charlotte Russe, Rich’s, and Gadzooks clothing stores.

But a warning to the trendy: showing too much skin is not the only danger to wearing these jeans.

Wearing low-rise jeans can be a health risk. The waistband, which sits on the hipbone, can actually pinch a sensory nerve under the hipbone and cause a tingling or burning sensation.

This tingling sensation is known as meralgia paresthetica and can occur as a result of pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, and constricting clothing, such as low-rise jeans, according to a recent report by a Canadian doctor.

Meralgia paresthetica also known as “lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment,” is a disorder of the outer side of the hip and thigh. It results from pressure or constriction on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh. Meralgia paresthetica is often seen in patients who wear tight corsets or undergarments , or heavy tool belts.

“I’ve never heard of that, its never happened to me,” said sophomore Esmeralda Escudero. “I’d still wear them; I just have to be more cautious.”

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