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The best low rise jeans that celebrate the revival of Y2K denim

From denim cargos to vintage-inspired flares, Noughties style is here to stay

<p>We scoured high street favourites and independent stores to find our edit  </p>

We scoured high street favourites and independent stores to find our edit

The resurgence of Noughties style is something none of us truly expected, but Gen Z has brought back Y2K style with a bang. From rhinestone-studded vest tops to Juicy Couture tracksuits, it’s a trend that’s here to stay.

When it comes to jeans, the era of high-waisted skinnies and mom jeans is over – the low-rise pairs are back, and honestly, we’re here for it. Gone are the days where low-rise meant you undoubtedly had to show off your toned torso, now the trend comes in every design and cut, made for all shapes and sizes.

From high street favourites and online boutiques to independent and high-end retailers, you can grab a pair of low-rise jeans pretty much anywhere, suiting a range of budgets.

If you’re channeling your favourite TikTok star’s Y2K style, or are looking to recreate some of Paris Hilton’s infamous outfits from the early-2000s, then you might be looking for casual cargo fit, or even some bold flares. Perhaps you’re simply on the hunt for an up-to-date fashion injection to your wardrobe, either way, we’ve come across plenty of classic pairs which can be worn with pretty much any outfit.

We’ve searched the whole of the high street and the internet to find the best low-rise jeans and rounded them up for you to take your pick.

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How we tested

Testing the jeans was fairly straightforward – the tester wore each pair for a day, and judged them on not only their look, but how comfortable they were, the material quality and general sizing. It was important to find jeans which could be worn repeatedly and didn’t stretch after one use too.

The best low rise jeans for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Lee Jeans Carol in worn iris: £95, Lee.com
  • Best for super-low rise – Oh Polly the down low in grey: £45, Ohpolly.com
  • Best summer jeans – Object Marina sandshell twill jeans: £55, Atterley.com
  • Best flare jeans – BDG Vintage black low rise two-button flares: £40, Urbanoutfitters.com
  • Best colourful jeans – Missguided red loose fit straight leg jeans: £28, Missguided.co.uk
  • Best denim cargos – Nasty Gal tie dye denim low rise utility jeans: £36.75, Nastygal.com
  • Best casual fit – V by Very wide leg jean: £26, Very.co.uk
  • Best budget jeans – I Saw It First mid wash stretch low rise wide leg jeans: £15.75, Isawitfirst.com

Lee Jeans Carol in worn iris

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

This Kansas-born brand has been an industry leader for jeans since 1889, and it’s evident why that is when trying on a pair. The Lee Jeans were a firm favourite from the get go. The quality, fit and overall comfort of these jeans was second to none, and it was immediately clear that they are made to last. With a range expanding over 12 waist sizes and three different length options, you’re sure to find a pair which fits like a glove.

At £95, they are on the slightly pricier end – more of an investment pair as opposed to an impulse buy, but they’re definitely worth the cash. The fabric has enough stretch for them to feel comfortable when you’re sitting down and still look fitted when you’re standing up too.

Oh Polly the down low in grey

Best: Super low-rise

Rating: 8/10

We tested these as we felt it was only fair to have a very low-rise pair in the mix, and we were pleasantly surprised. As a size 16, our tester was wary of this style not being flattering for someone with curves, but these gems from Oh Polly somehow worked. Although the fabric didn’t have much give, the jeans were quite oversized, making it easy for them to sit low on the waist. The baggy fit was flattering and they really gave off effortless off-duty model vibes. This pair also has a wide range of sizes, running from UK size 4 up to 18, and coming in petite, regular and tall lengths.

Object Marina sandshell twill jeans

Best: Summer jeans

Rating: 9/10

Jeans don’t always mean denim, and this pair is the perfect example of that. Switching out heavy denim for light-coloured twill makes this pair from Object an absolute dream to wear during the hotter months. They’re definitely not the boldest jeans in our round-up, but they’re a great staple piece to have to take you through spring and summer. The lightweight material is soft and stretchy, despite the straight-leg look, and they hug in all the right places. These will last you year after year, and can be dressed both up and down.

BDG Vintage black low rise two-button flares

Best: Flare jeans

Rating: 7/10

These are possibly the most authentically Noughties jeans we tested – the skinny flare leg and incredibly low-rise waist is so Y2K it hurts. Urban Outfitters is always the place to hit up for vintage-inspired clothing, and this one really did fulfill the brief in that regard. They’re very well-made, very stylish and the colour makes them very versatile, but for our size 16 tester they just missed the mark. Still, they are a great pair of jeans, but it’s worth trying these on before you commit.

Missguided red loose fit straight leg jeans

Best: Colourful jeans

Rating: 8/10

This wouldn’t truly be a round-up without a few wild-cards, and this Missguided pair is certainly a bold choice. The bright red denim makes it a stand-out piece which will add some spice to any wardrobe. As always, Missguided is always at the forefront of fashion trends, and the loose boyfriend-style fit makes these a comfortable pair that isn’t just “safe”. The £28 price tag means they won’t break the bank either, and they also come in purple if that’s more your colour. With sizes ranging from 4 to 18, we recommend sizing up for that true low-rise fit, as they fit a little snug.

Nasty Gal tie dye denim low rise utility jeans

Best: Denim cargos

Rating: 7.5/10

If anyone knows how to do a trend, it’s Nasty Gal, and the vintage-inspired online store has an endless supply of low-rise jeans on its site. These green tie dye jeans really caught our eye, purely down to the tie dye trend being so strongly affiliated with Y2K. While they were very fashionable and looked good on, the sizing was disappointing. They’re sold as a loose, low-rise fit, but sizing up one, if not twice would be recommended for these bad boys. They’re also on the pricier side, which is shocking for a non-premium brand. However, Nasty Gal always has a sale on.

V by Very wide leg jean

Best: Casual fit

Rating: 7/10

If a simple, everyday pair is what you’re after, these wide-leg jeans from Very might be your match. For £28 you get a quality pair of denim jeans which will slot straight into your wardrobe. They’re nothing wild, but for a pair of reliable jeans that you will re-wear time and time again for years to come you really can’t go wrong.

While the waist comes up true to size, this particular pair only comes in one “regular” length, which is longer than expected. Our tester is 5ft 4in and these had a few inches dragging on the floor, so be prepared to hem them if you’re on the shorter side.

I Saw It First mid wash stretch low rise wide leg jeans

Best: Budget jeans

Rating: 9/10

I Saw It First is best known as Love Island 2021’s clothing sponsor, so might not initially be where you think to pick up a pair of jeans. However, we were incredibly impressed with not only the bargain price of these jeans, but the quality and overall fit. They offer some much-needed stretch, which is perfect for a pair as low-rise as these, but offer a great lift to the bum. The entire website has a brilliant selection of jeans, with the majority under £30 and all come in a wide range of colours, sizes and even lengths.

The verdict: Low rise jeans

Lee Jeans took the crown in this battle, with the brand’s years of expertise making the high-end price tag worth it. However, I Saw It First’s bargain £15.75 jeans follow closely behind as they’re a perfect introductory pair for anyone keen to try out a new style.

Object’s lightweight twill jeans are also a great investment for this coming summer, as are Missguided’s loose fit jeans, which add a bright pop of colour.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on jeans and other fashion offers, try the links below:

We’ve also tested the best women’s high-waisted jeans, from skinny to mom styles

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