Sometimes, in the process of researching a post for the blog (yes, sometimes I do actual research!), I come across an actual gem on the internet. Such was the case with this blog post, when I decided to find out where the heck flares came from. Enter this amazing Guardian round up, which certainly broadened my understanding of flares. It features the kind of sass-laden commentary that I can only hope to achieve, including the line “look on your works and despair” next to a photo of a boy band that made me involuntarily cringe. It’s amazing. Please click that link and have a read, then come back to me!
If you’ve read this month’s Capital Magazine, you will recognise these as the flares that I bought and wore in my ongoing nefarious plan to copy all of my Mum’s best looks. I picked these up via Trade Me for the princely sum of $40, and they’ve rapidly become one of my most beloved pair of trou. They have everything I need to look about a foot taller – the high waist, and the long leg (worn here with serious platforms) creates the pleasing illusion that I’m leggy. I am many things, but leggy, I am not. After years of skinny jeans and, latterly, boyfriend denim, I was READY for flares. Long may wide-legged pants reign.
I still have a pair of Levis I bought in 2002, which a friend at the time described as making me look like a cowboy. They’re wide, alright, even wider than these, but I hemmed them way back then so that I could wear them with sneakers that were designed for skateboarders (it was the look, okay?). Unfortunately, this means that although they are also reasonably high-waisted, they do not give me the leggy effect of these jeans.
As high-waisted, wide-legged trousers come back into style I think more and more women will remember how glorious they are. You know what’s great? Taking off your jeans and not having marks down your legs from the seams. Being able to pull up your trouser leg to the knee (very handy for impromptu beach visits). Having fun wearing outfits inspired by the 70s, a time where you could do a lot with a pair of flares and a simple ribbed tshirt. Check out this look in New Zealand's very own Fashion Museum.
If skinny jeans are the most boring pants I can possibly imagine, short of a pair of black Lululemon leggings, then flares are here to say “I may be simple but do I ever know how to make an impression”. Nobody is wearing these with a black puffer jacket and a pair of Nikes – but nor do they require massive amounts of styling know-how. Flares are amazing things, which make a simple white tee and a leather jacket look very, very cool. Obviously, I didn’t go with simple, I wore a red stripey tee with a sequinned pineapple pin because sometimes it’s a rainy day and that’s where your fancy takes you. That, however, is the beauty of these pants – I can wear them with almost any top I own and they just look…right.
Flares have had a long and storied history, and no doubt they will come in and out of style several more times. For now, though, I encourage you to consider a pair of wide-legged denim next time you’re out on a second hand hunt. Apart from anything else, they’re much easier to wriggle in and out of in a fitting room!
Jeans are Karen Walker, purchased second hand on Trade Me - there are tons of options, including these, these and these. Tshirt is thrifted, but striped tshirts abound (how about this one?). Pineapple pin is from Topshop about 18 months ago, sorry, but again, fun pins and iron on patches are everywhere – I love buying them from Matchbox Studios here in Wellington. Invisible platforms are from Farmers years ago (I’ve had them mended several times, I love them). Flares do look amazing with platforms, so perhaps have a gander at these.