In the '90s, low-rise jeans were typically accompanied by abbreviated tops, resulting in a provocative combination favored by pop stars and party girls alike. But to our sartorial satisfaction, the trend has evolved over time from sexy and skin-baring to sophisticated and stylish! Paired with sleek jackets and long, tucked-in shirts that effectively cover up exposed skin, low-slung skinnies are now de rigueur for a chic, throw-on-and-go uniform. The jeans sit just below your natural waistline and hug your hips in the most flattering way, which explains why some of the coolest girls we know, like Kate Moss and Rihanna, sport these skinnies as part of their everyday ensembles. Now that it's 2012, we think it's high time to incorporate the revamped trend into our wardrobes as well!
Thankfully, one designer celebrated for her particular brand of insouciant style provided us with plenty of inspiration. Isabel Marant's patchwork low-rise jeans from her S/S 12 collection immediately caught our eye on the runway; the pale yellow version, paired with a tucked-in plaid button-down and cozy knit cardigan, offers an easy, breezy way to wear the trend this season. Featuring rolled-up cuffs (the better to display a pair of sleek metallic heels) and a brown belt, Marant's skinnies clearly influenced an array of celebrities and fashion insiders hoping to emulate that coveted devil-may-care look.
We recently noticed a handful of low-maintenance fashionistas, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emmanuelle Alt, and model/blogger Elin Kling, wearing the trend to achieve a nonchalant yet high-impact style. Both Huntington-Whiteley and Alt often rely on low-slung skinny jeans to complete their trademark ensembles and nailed both their signature looks. When the former landed at LAX on Valentine's Day, she paired hers with basic elements like a striped t-shirt and black blazer, but added a number of subtle accents for a boost of downtown attitude. Huntington-Whiteley clearly understands how a few accessories, from a Jimmy Choo purse to a slim belt, worn-in Jimmy Choo boots, and JewelMint Serpentine Necklace ($30), which is sadly sold out, go a long way in glamorizing her casual getup. Alt, on the other hand, aimed for slightly dressier attire when she was snapped on the go in Paris last September. The Paris Vogue editor-in-chief chose similarly simple pieces-white blazer, loose black t-shirt, cropped black skinnies-but elevated the look with pointy-toe heels and Balmain's gold-embellished belt from the F/W 10 collection. The result is a fine example of Alt's sartorial smarts; the way she tosses together black and white basics to create an effortlessly chic outfit is enviable! Kling is also a fan of the monochrome, minimalistic look. The style blogger skimps on accessories (aside from a skinny belt), looking low-key and modern in a long Ralph Lauren Collection Alexandria Coat ($5998) from Pre-Fall 12, Zara Crepe T-Shirt ($20) in White, Zara Super Stretch Cropped Denim Jeans ($60), Lanvin heels, and Celine bag.
For outfits with a little more panache, look no further than Kate Moss, Dree Hemingway, and Rihanna. Arriving back at her hotel in Paris last October, Moss expertly fused her bohemian flair and edgier style sensibilities by pairing a vintage floral jacket with Isabel Marant's white leather jeans and t-shirt, and Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain's High-Heeled Satin Boots With Buttons ($640) in Black. Her red Louis Vuitton Sofia Coppola Bag Calf Leather ($4650) lends a burst of rich color to the overall look. Fellow model Hemingway also opted for white low-slung skinnies while celebrating Sandro's U.S. boutique opening in New York in early February, but her ensemble gave off an even earthier, more colorful vibe. Naturally, she wore pieces from her Dree Hemingway for Sandro collection, like the vivid pink Two-Tone Linen Tee Shirt ($150, 646.438.9335) loosely tucked into the White Denim Jeans With Beige Ikat Embroidery ($295, 646.438.9335). Hemingway grounded the outfit with brown leather accents, like a slim belt and strappy platform sandals, and allowed the main centerpiece-DANNIJO's stunning Oahu Necklace ($695) crafted from a medley of colorful beads-to pop against her shirt. We also can't neglect to mention Rihanna's denim-on-denim ensemble during the singer's trip to Milan last December. She slipped a blue button-down into slightly faded, low-rise J44 Jeans ($295) from the Rihanna for Armani F/W 11 capsule collection. Never one to stray far from her sassy, tough-girl look, Rihanna also threw on a Leather Jacket ($995) from her collection, and as a finishing touch, knotted a black kerchief around her neck!
If you've tired of your regular-rise jeans and are keen to try this flattering low-slung trend, we rounded up a plethora of fantastic options for you! For basic black renditions, try Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren's Skinny Moto Legging-Fit Jean ($50) in Milan Black or, if you're willing to spend more of your hard-earned cash, ACNE's Kex Low-Rise Skinny Jeans ($230) or J Brand's 912 Low Rise Pencil Jeans ($367) in Shadow. These pants look stylish paired with a belt, as so many of our tastemakers demonstrated, and a longer t-shirt or button-down blouse. If you feel inspired by Alt's cropped version, however, Katharine Hamnett's Amy Low-Rise Skinny Jeans ($72) or J Brand's 912 Shadow Skinny Jeans ($185) are a better bet, as both pairs offer a cropped silhouette ideal for dressing up with pointy-toe heels. For a slightly faded look a la Rihanna or Kling, check out Buffalo Jeans' Gisele Skinny Jeans ($89) in Black Vintage Wash and Guess Jeans' Denim Pants ($85). Not only are these selections chic, they're also very affordable! Should you hanker after a pair of white jeans thanks to Moss or Hemingway, we've got you covered with a variety of price points. The stretchy material of Express' Zelda Jean Legging ($80) in True White and BLANKNYC's Skinny Jeans ($90) in White Lines hugs curves perfectly, while Denim & Supply By Ralph Lauren's White Skinny Jeans ($170) are crafted from stiffer, more rough-and-tumble cotton. Finally, if you're prepared to truly indulge, we suggest Alexander McQueen's Skinny Jeans ($750). The pricey pair will certainly make a dent in your wallet, but its slimming silhouette and chic ankle zippers are undeniably fabulous!--Tiffany Tse
Isabel Marant S/S 12 photo, courtesy of Isabel Marant; Photo of Kate Moss, courtesy of Bauer Griffin; Photo of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, courtesy of INF; Photos of Rihanna and Emmanuelle Alt, courtesy of Getty.