Monday, 28 March 2011

Scared of the Flare

What? People are wearing SLIM FIT jeans now? Are you sure?

I was never a jeans person until skinnies came around. Yes I had a mild flirtation with skater-style wide legs back in the day after watching 10 Things I Hate About You but I see no need to dwell on that period in my life.  When you're relatively munchkin size with proportionally long legs, the flare does you no favours.  If I'd been around in the 70s, I like to think that I would have ignored the flares and maxi trend and stuck with my hot-pants and mini-skirts from the previous decade but now in 2011 people, they're back!

Let me describe your new jeans, so you can prepare for the challenge. They are over-long and over-wide, and, most crucially, they feature a high waist – certainly high enough to hide a belly button, and almost high enough to be on talking terms with your bra. Your body is about to enter a whole new era, my friends, and it may not be a comfy ride.
Derek Lam SS 2011
 High-waist trousers have been gnawing away at the periphery of fashion for years. Marc Jacobs was trying to get us to wear them in 2004, paired with cropped jackets and pussy-bow blouses. We gave them a sniff, and carried on wearing our low-down jeans, at least I did.  High-waists have kept on coming at us, but they’ve never caught on.  This time around, though, there are signs that they’re gaining momentum. The wide-leg, high-rise Marrakesh jeans by MiH have been stealing space in the magazines for a good few months now; at London Fashion Week last month, the high waist was very much in evidence. Kate Moss, Gemma Arterton and Diane Kruger have been giving them a go.And now, even Gap have got in on the act and are pushing them as a big seller for Spring.
The new Gap flare
 Back in the day, when Charlie had Angels and men had perms, high-waist jeans were worn tight enough to show your ovaries, I'm just not up for that. I don't have time to wriggle around on my shag pile carpet, listening to Abba and trying to pull the zip up before spraying my Farrah flicks into place.  The problem is though, that because this new style are slightly looser, on me, they are even more unflattering.  I went and tried on the new ones from Gap. They look huge, like I’m about to wear a pair of denim curtains. Once on, my belly looks as if it’s smuggling contraband. There is nowhere to hide. You can virtually see the cheese and ham croissant I had for breakfast. It’s all rather intimate, with a strong risk of camel toe and – jackpot – my bum looks big. On the practical front, if you tuck in your shirt, as Derek Lam suggests, you will look like you’re housing ferrets. Knickers become a big conundrum too. VPL is very Seventies, isn’t it? Another rarely raised concern that mitigates against the wearing of high-waisters is the appearance of Thigh Crack – that curious crease in the fabric which develops precisely where your legs meet your torso. Nice

J Brand Martini

High-waist trousers are the kind of garment that make you constantly aware of their presence. “Look at me!” they announce as they stride into a room. “Aren’t I clever to have captured the zeitgeist? I’ll just stand here and pose awkwardly for a bit.”

There may well be a middle ground but I haven't found it quite yet.  No matter how you cut it, these trousers are a trial. My advice is to split the difference: go for a flare, but opt for a mid-rise waist. I’ve got my eye on a pair of Flaunts by Citizens of Humanity. Or perhaps J Brand’s Martini cut with its kicky flare and a waistband that sits in just the right, 2011 sort of place. Or think, life's too short and one of the joys of fashion is there are plenty of other trends to choose out there folks, just remember, beware of the flare.

This may well be the only suitable way to wear the flare but please remember to adopt this position at ALL times. 


  1. I keep it very simple when it comes to jeans. I won't be doing the high waist wide leg flared jeans. I do have a pair of flares already, low rise, slim in the thigh, and then flared. To me it is a classic shape.

  2. I think you're quite right, there is probably a shape for everyone. Personlly because of my height and build, I have always found skinnies the most flattering but the classic shape you mention sounds good too. Jeans are such a personal thing after all!

  3. I don't do skinny jeans (you can't bend your knees) and have worn flares for years. Embrace the flare, Emily! But maybe not the high waist (we're too dinky for them).

  4. I bought a pair of APC high waisted raw denim flares a couple of years ago. My cleaner asked me if I'd put on weight.

    I'll be treating this trend with caution...


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