While designers have tweaked washes,fabrics and details for a year,the low rise has remained a com- mon element across most new jeans tyles.

The trend,which tarted on the West Coast two years ago with plunging styles that forced some wearers to find new underwear or go without,has now become common curren- cy in the jeans business.Jeans vendors are producing low- rise tyles targeted at everyone from East Coast teens to Midwestern matrons —though the 8 1/2-to 9-inch rises tar- geted at the latter leave lots more to the imagination than the 5-inch rises aimed at the young and trend-conscious et.

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