8 best flares that will flatter all body shapes
As balmy weather looms and the lure of sunshine-appropriate seventies clothes beckons, we’ve found our favourite flares for the season ahead to keep you feeling groovy all summer long
Flattering clothing can be hard to find. As women, we’re forced to grapple with all sorts of strange trends under the promise that they will make us look ‘cool’.
So we buy the cycling shorts that squeeze our thighs and we wear the teeny tiny sunglasses that do nothing to shade our eyes. But do they suit us? Do they make us look like our best and most fabulous selves? Perhaps, if you’re Kendall Jenner.
But for many of us fashion trends can be unflattering, which is unsurprising given they’ve been created with the lithe-limbed Jenners of the world in mind.
Thank goodness then, for flares: the sartorial wunderkind of 1970’s clothing that has been rising on the trend circuit in recent months. High-waisted cuts flatter a waist of any size and bell-bottom cuts have an instantly elongating effect.
Thanks to stretchy and soft fabrics, most flares also happen to be incredibly comfortable.
As balmy weather looms and the lure of sunshine-appropriate seventies clothes beckons, we’ve rounded up our favourite flares for the season ahead to keep you feeling groovy all summer long.
La Llama whirligig gypsy trousers: £395, La Llama
Nothing screams summer sass quite like these tiered flared trousers from fledgling British label, La Llama. They are the ultimate statement trouser, complete with an artistic bug print, black ruffles and a silhouette like no other. The extent of the flare also means they’re incredibly flattering and will suit all body shapes. Wear with a simple white T-shirt and some box-fresh kicks for a playful sunshine-appropriate look. But be sure not to stick these beauties in the washing machine. They’re hand-crafted, which means this is very much a dry clean only situation.
Alexa Chung checked woven bootcut pant: £330, Net a Porter
These checked trousers might’ve been designed to wear as a suit with a matching blazer, but they certainly pack enough of a style punch on their own. We love the high-rise fit and bootcut hem, the waist isn’t too tight either, for a summer outing to a beer garden or a BBQ. Wear with a logo T-shirt for the ultimate Alexa Chung look, who is renowned for her playful millennial aesthetic. Dry clean only.
Jackie Holliday layla paint: £181, Wolf and Badger
We know what you’re thinking. Leather trousers are unforgiving and therefore not easy to wear. But don’t let that dissuade you from investing in this soft, stretchy faux leather pair, which comes with a multi-coloured trim at the bottom. Unlike most flared trousers, these are low-rise, which means they’re best worn with an oversized white collared shirt, or a baggy band T-shirt to maximise the rock’n’roll aesthetic. Again, these babies are dry clean only. Be careful.
L’Agence solana high-rise flared jeans: £280, Net a Porter
It would be wrong not to include a pair of white flares here, given that summer is on the horizon and they’re pretty much the easiest thing to wear. Anything goes with white. Literally anything. Except, perhaps, for white itself. Then you might just look like a walking Tipex pot. To avoid that, we suggest wearing this stretchy pair of optic-white jeans with the most colourful top in your wardrobe. Rainbow T-shirt? Why not. Fluffy pink crop top? Sure, these are high-waisted. Consider these flares your gateway to a multi-coloured sartorial paradise, one that is on the top half of your outfit, at least. The flare of these jeans is particularly flared, so feel free to wear them with a chunky boot or wedge shoe. There’s plenty of room down there.
SAS original SAS pants: £38, SAS
These might just be the most flattering pair of flares in all the land. High-waist? Tick. Stretchy fit that will accommodate a bloated belly? Tick. Leg length that you can change to suit you? Tick. There are plenty of different styles available from this much-hyped British brand, but if you’re just beginning on your flares journey, we advise choosing the original SAS pants in black velvet. You can wear them with anything and look slamming, but feel like you’re wearing pyjamas. It’s a dreamy combination.
Rag & Bone bella velvet bootcut pants: £265, Net a Porter
Every woman needs a pair of statement coloured trousers. And they also need a pair of flares. Why not combine the two with this bright scarlet pair of jeans from US label Rag & Bone, which specialises in casual, cool-girl clothing with a cosmopolitan edge. These jeans are super comfy but note that they do stretch after several wears, so you may want to purchase a size smaller than you normally would. Wear with a sleeveless white top and some heavy duty boots for an “I’m an off-duty model” look.
Topshop striped velvet flares: £8, Topshop
These striped flares will make the most petite of women look far beyond their height, if that’s what you’re after. Yes, they’re velvet, but don’t let that dissuade you from making them one of your summer wardrobe staples. Pair with a strapless white broderie anglaise crop top to show off your waist or channel a slouchier look by wearing them underneath your favourite sweatshirt. They’re very comfortable and have a surprisingly loose fit, so you might want to choose the size down if you’re looking to be cinched-in.
FRAME le high flare high-rise jeans: £225, Net A Porter
If anyone knows how to do denim flares, it’s FRAME, the cult denim brand that is loved by everyone from Sienna Miller to Kate Moss. These ones have a particularly 1970s feel to them and are mega stretchy thanks to the brand’s unique cotton and denim blend. Given the high price tag, we suggest going for black for a timeless piece that you can wear all-year round.
The verdict: Flares
While all of these flares have different styles to suit different moods and occasions, it’s La Llama for the win on this occasion thanks to their unique hand-painted print and pastel, sunshine-ready hue. You can’t go wrong.
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