Maybe it’s The Serpent effect, maybe it’s Y2K fashion fever, or perhaps it’s because we spotted some on the Bottega Veneta catwalk… Whatever weird synchronicity aligned to herald the return of the flared jean, it worked. Flared jeans are firmly back on the fashion packs’ radar.
The much derided denim style has had peaks of fashionability, most notably in the Seventies and in Britney Spears’ wardrobe circa 2002 but they can become one of the hardest working items in your wardrobe and will always make your legs look longer with their slim at the thigh / wide at the ankle silhouette. This shape works like an optical illusion and we are here for it!
You will need to adopt a few tweaks to ensure flared jeans work in a 2021 wardrobe and the key, this time around, is to back away from anything hipster and choose a high rise style. In recent seasons some edgier designers have bought back the ultra low-rise (*shudder*) but in reality it just looks too retro. A waistband that finishes on your actual waist looks neat and sleek. Likewise, the way we wore flares in the early ‘Aughts was with pools of fabric drooping around our ankles, crop tops above and pointy toe courts peeking out from the hemline. For the flare’s reincarnation, look for denim that finishes at your ankle or just brushes your instep. Again, this makes the jeans feel slicker and smarter.
To future-proof your flares, your best plan is to look for a pair that feel like vintage jeans, with creases down the front like & Other Stories organic cotton style, or stitching, as with Chloe’s luxurious pair. Neat patch pockets on the hips – as with Maje’s jeans (which also use less water in their production) also have a suitably old-school vibe and who doesn’t love pockets? A twisted seam on the front – check out Free People’s vintage-inspired style – also have quirky charm. Wear with loafers and a French tucked shirt and you’ll be keeping them in circulation for seasons to come, regardless of whether the flare is in fashion again.
Want more denim content? Head this way for our edit of the best jeans for women – ever – and this way for the best high-waisted jeans. We’ve got boyfriend jeans over here, mom jeans in this direction and plenty of denim jumpsuits for your return to normality.