The skinny on flares - Styled By Sally

The skinny on flares


Is this the death of the skinny jean? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were swapping our bootcuts for skinnies and trust me, this was quite the transition for many of my clients! Now that I’ve put in all the hard years to get many of you into a slimmer leg jean, is it time for me to convince you to go back to your old ways?

The fashion cycle likes to keep us guessing (and purchasing) and this season the wide leg jean is back. And when I say wide, I mean wide! Designed slim through the thighs and high on the hips, this seasons wide leg denim is a throwback to the 70s and not for the faint hearted. It’s much wider than a bootcut, and it’s proportions are more exaggerated and ‘fashion focused’. Hence while I like it, I’m not suggesting it’s the go-to jean for everyone.

Unlike the skinny jean, a flared jean can be flattering on most body shapes. It helps to balance out a heavier thigh, a wider hip and larger bum. It can elongate a short leg and disguise a cankles.

But my guidelines to enable all of the above, is to team your wide jean jeans with heels- and quite a considerable one at that. A petite woman will look overwhelmed by this season’s flares because all of the volume points to the floor causing the eye to look downward. Petites always want to draw the eye up, away from the floor and towards their waist. Add a heel and even a petite woman (that’s anyone under 5’5′) can rock a flare and create the impression of a long (well longer) leg.

Another key in making this style work for you, is to show off the high waist to draw the eye upwards, not down. Most of this season’s styles have a high waist which means the distance from waist to hem is L-O-N-G, again creating the illusion of longer legs.

To balance the volume downstairs, its important to team a flared jean with something more fitted up top, especially if you’re petite. A slim fitted knit, a soft blouse or tee tucked in or a cropped jacket or cardy are your best options.


Wide leg denim jean with casual tee and leather jacket
*Style Note: notice how the jeans fall all the way to the ground, covering the shoes. This is how you should wear any wide leg jean or pant. So choose your length wisely and stick the same or similar height heel!


Casual v-neck tee tucked in to high waisted flared jean
*Style Tip: tucking your top into the high waist helps create a slimmer silhouette and again draws the eye to your narrowest point, your waist. Adding a belt helps to draw the eye to this point even more so.


Fitted cropped jacket with flared denim
*Style Tip: The fitted style of the jacket helps to balance out the jeans. This can also work with a cropped blazer or cardigan.


Double denim, if you dare
*Style Tip: one of my favourite looks channelling a little 70s Jane Birkin, the chambray shirt tucked in to the dark denim flare. The key to this look is again, tucking in the shirt.

Celeb Flared Style – one style, 3 ways


Sophia Vergara teams her flared denim with a simple black scoop hem tee and platforms. The scoop hem is key here for showing off Sophia’s curvy hips rather than a straight hem which would create a square up top.

Olivia Palermo encapsulates a 70s look by teaming her vintage style flares with a fringed vest and fitted knit. Again you can see she’e wearing a high heel, probably an ankle bootie.

Cindy Crawford keep things simple and classic (very Jennifer Aniston, who we know also loves a wider cut jean) This is a great outfit option for those of you wanting to test the waters with a flared jean. Scoop neck white tee, tucked in to a dark denim, narrow waist belt and a classic blazer and black pointed pumps. Done.

The common theme here between Sophia, Olivia and Cindy’s style is length- all jeans fall to the ground where they should be.

The simplest way to look your best.

Online Stylist