Just when you thought they has left us, flared jeans are back with a vengeance and it looks like they are here to stay. Previously associated with some of the eyesore outfits of the early millennium (I’m thinking Britney Spears circa 2003), you can understand why we were a little tentative to adopt them back into our wardrobes. If worn right, flares elongate and slim the leg giving you a tall, streamlined silhouette. If worn wrong, they can have the opposite effect. Take heed and follow our 5 flare commandments to avoid looking like an Avril Lavigne throwback.
1. Thou shall:
Have your flares tailored! This is an often forgotten but hugely important part of pulling off flares. A too short hem gives you the wrong proportions and shortens your legs, but too long and you look scruffy with them dragging along the ground. The sweet spot is two inches above the ground when wearing your shoe of choice.
2. Thou shall:
Choose a rise to suit your height. For the petite girls out there, opt for a high-rise that sits at the top of your waist to really make the most of the flares elongating powers. Nicole Richie is a pro at this, and often looks a lot taller than her 5”2 frame with this simple trick. If you’ve already got the height thing down pat, stick to low or mid-rise styles to avoid looking like your walking on stilts.
3. Thou shall:
Pick your colors with caution. If you’ve got some curves going on, opt for dark blue and black washes, avoiding distressed or faded washes where possible. Distressing along the thighs and butt pulls the eye to those areas instead of giving an overall sleek silhouette, which negates the effect of the flares.
4. Thou shall:
Think about the little things. Small differences in the cut of the pants can make a huge difference to how they work for you. Pockets or pleating through the front of flares are great additions for girls who want to add a volume to their bottom half and can really help balance you out if you are a bit top heavy. If you want to disguise a curvier mid section go for minimal detailing at the front and go for a classic zip up style.
5. Thou shall:
Style it right. Once you’ve found the perfect pair it’s all about choosing the right pieces so you don’t undo your hard work. You can go a multitude of directions with flares this season. We are loving flares styled with a floppy hat, layers and a pair of platform sandals for a laidback 70’s vibe, or alternatively with a basic tee, leather biker jacket and sneakers for an edgier look. Keeping things crisp and clean is the easiest way to avoid a disaster; a sloppy tee that may look great with skinnies could fail with flares. Be careful to avoid tops that expose too much midsection and chunky belts or boots, as they tend to disrupt the effect of the pants.
Most importantly, have fun with it! Making flares work for you is all about playing with proportion. Take a step out of the skinny jean comfort zone and check out our top picks for flares this season. Let us know how you style yours.