I am sure you have heard by now – the 70’s are back! Well, sort of.
It was the decade that everybody claimed would never see a revival – an era deemed far too unflattering and largely hinging on brown as a colour way. But, despite the odds, it’s made a return, and several times at that. Contrary to popular belief, flares CAN be flattering and not just if you are rail thin and not-so-well-endowed. I have got the low down on the flare styles and how to hone it.
First thing you need to know is, not all flares are created equally. Just like not all skinnies are alike. Confused? I thought so.
There are several types of Flares you should get acquainted with;
High waist: good if you want to hide those pesky muffin tops or want to create an hourglass figure as it accentuates the waist.
Wide Leg: this type of pants is cut wide from the thighs down and do not taper in on the knee. The hem widths are normally also wide. Short women beware!
Palazzo: almost similar to the wide legged ones, palazzo pants are also cut wide, but loose and extremely wide from thighs to the hem. Oh, how the raving day memories are crashing back!
Bell Bottom: resembling the shape of a bell on the lower part of the leg, this type of pants is cut narrow from hip to thigh and flare out from knee to hem. These pants were huge in the 70’s.
Bootcut: as the name suggests this type of pants – mostly are jeans – are flared just enough to fit a pair of boots underneath the lower part of the leg. The pants taper in at the knee and are usually the least flared at the hem of all flared style pants. Some bootcuts are even barely flared at all, whereas other styles are more flared.
Trouser: these pants are a combination of wide leg and bell bottom styles – fitted on top and flare out at the bottom – But the cut is subtler and simpler that does not too taper at the knee like bell bottoms, or too wide on the thigh like wide legs.
First of all, keep in mind that the biggest (and most common) mistake with this look is wearing flare pants that are too short or too long. The hem should skim the ground but not sweeping your entire neighbourhood, so make sure when you go shopping you take a pair of shoes with you. This way you can work out exactly the right length for your height. This is especially for the ladies on the shorter side, when hemming your flares can result to straight legs because so much of it had to be cut off! (Personal true story of mine, haha)
Secondly, because flare pants are generally bulkier (more material), you must pay attention to the width of the pants. Remember that the general rule for balancing an outfit is to have one flowing element and keeping the rest fitted. So when wearing flared pants, even if the flare starts just above the knee, the flowing element of the outfit will be the pants while the top will need to be more closely fitted. The kinds of flowing and wide tops that are worn with skinny jeans will not look as good.
Furthermore, I say, go all out or not at all, I know people get scared off and want to avoid looking like they are headed to a retro–themed Halloween party. But whatever, flares are back in style, so go all-out retro! After all, this was the all-time peace vibe era, so make love and peace with this look!
And finally, it’s not a must-follow rule, but flare pants need to be worn with high heels. They just do. These pants are designed to be worn with higher shoes that leave room for them to flow. The silhouette looks best with height and it allows them to hang correctly. There’s a reason why platforms co-existed at the same era, not just for the hustle and the bump moves at Studio54.
I know I mentioned that slim fitting top is the easiest and most flattering way to wear flared pants, but I also like to combine them with smocks or other shape shifting tops. It’s a tougher look to pull of, but I personally like the silhouette it creates. Bell bottoms and sleeves to go with it was my look for the day!
This flirty bell sleeve top from The F Dept, their “Adrianna Victoria top” danced and matched the flares swaying side to side of my bell bottoms just perfectly.
What are your thoughts on the flared pants creeping its way back in style? How would you wear them?
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Thanks for reading!
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