15 Historic Photos of Celebs Wearing Low-Rise Jeans During the Early 2000s

In order to understand the return of low-rise jeans, it's important to understand their origin. The time was the early 2000s. Enthusiasm for all the new millennium would bring was high, but the waistbands were low. While the low-rise jeans of 2022 are baggy and not typically thong-exposing, the early 2000s iterations were tight and very low. They were often paired with crop tops or fitted tops that exposed the depths of the waistband—and it wasn't just the usual suspects that wore them. We all know that Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus embraced the trend, but celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, and Reese Witherspoon were also in the low-rise club.

Below, you'll find 15 historic photos of the aforementioned celebs and more proudly posing in their low-rise jeans. (Fun fact: Many of them were taken on red carpets or while they were guests on MTV's TRL.) If these throwback Y2K outfits leave you inspired to readopt low-rise jeans yourself, we also found some of the best current pairs, all of which are decidedly easier to wear than their early 2000s counterparts.


Angelina Jolie, 2004
(Image credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Yes, even Angelina Jolie wore low-rise jeans, but she managed to make them look as elegant as possible by pairing her jeans and tank top with a gold shrug and matching heels.


(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Halle Berry combined low-rise boot-cut jeans, a Von Dutch T-shirt, snakeskin bag, and colored sunglasses for perhaps the most early 2000s outfit possible.


Paris Hilton, 2000
(Image credit: Frederick M. Brown/Newsmakers)

Paris Hilton was rarely pictured without a low-rise waistband in the early 2000s. Jeans this low made every top look like a crop top, her cowl-neck top included.


Anne Hathaway, 2004
(Image credit: Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

Anne Hathaway was also a low-rise fan during her The Princess Diaries days. In this instance, she gave them a preppy twist with a polo shirt.


Jennifer Lopez, 2001
(Image credit: KMazur/WireImage)

Given that she's been quick to wear low-rise styles again this time around, it's no surprise that Jennifer Lopez was one of the original adopters of the trend (which she always made look glamorous).


Lucy Liu, 2006
(Image credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

Lucy Liu's proved that low-rise jeans weren't only meant to be paired with crop tops and flip-flops.


Britney Spears, 2001
(Image credit: KMazur/WireImage)

When you think of low-rise jeans and the early 2000s, you probably think of Britney Spears. This is why.


Blake Lively, 2010
(Image credit: Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

Blake Lively on the set of Gossip Girl gave an Upper East Side twist to low-rise skinny jeans.


Beyoncé, 2001
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Beyoncé, seen here in her Destiny's Child days, wore low-rise jeans often—even on stage with her fellow group members.


Reese Witherspoon, 2005
(Image credit: James Devaney/WireImage)

Here, Reese Witherspoon proved that low-rise jeans could even work with her signature classic style.


Cameron Diaz, 2003
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Cameron Diaz's low-rise jean outfit plus a slew of Y2K accessories made for an outfit that defined the times.


Mariah Carey, 2002
(Image credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage)

We wouldn't be opposed to wearing this Mariah Carey outfit today.


Mandy Moore, 2001
(Image credit: SGranitz/WireImage)

Mandy Moore's denim-on-denim look made the red-carpet cut.


Lindsay Lohan, 2003
(Image credit: SGranitz/WireImage)

Lindsay Lohan loved low-rise jeans so much that she wore them on the red carpet and to events often. We wouldn't be surprised to see Bella Hadid in this exact outfit today.


Mila Kunis, 2002
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Mila Kunis' super-low-rise jeans, baby tee, and wide belt were peak Y2K style.

Shop Chic Low-Rise Jeans

Next up, the minimalist's guide to Y2K style for summer.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.