Flare jeans are having a major moment! After years of only skinny jeans being on-trend, flares are finally making a comeback in women’s fashion. These wide-legged, bell-bottomed jeans may conjure up 70s vibes, but they are suddenly feeling fashion forward again.
So what exactly are flare jeans? Flare jeans are jeans that have a wide, flared leg that flares out dramatically from the knee down towards the hem. The opposite of skinny jeans, flares add volume and flow to your bottom half. While they’ve gone in and out of style over decades, flare jeans are having a huge resurgence right now. Brands like Levi’s, Madewell and Wit & Wisdom have all released new modern takes on the flare silhouette.
While dramatic flared hems give these jeans plenty of flair, they are actually quite flattering for many figures too. The fitted hips combined with the flared legs help balance curvy hips and create an hourglass shape. Flares can also add length to shorter frames. For petite girls, a high waisted style helps elongate the legs, while taller girls can pull off a major flare.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the hottest flare jeans right now. From the top styles to invest in to how to wear flares and what pairs best with them, consider this your primer on mastering this retro denim style. Time to embrace the flare!
The Top 5 Flare Jeans Worth Investing In
Here are my picks for the top 5 pairs of flares worth splurging on right now:
1. Levi’s 721 High Rise Flare Jeans
You can’t go wrong with an iconic pair of Levi’s, and their 721 flare jeans are a classic style made modern. Constructed from Levi’s sculpting denim that lifts and shapes, these high rise flares are super flattering. The waist hits right at your natural waist, while the fitted hips and thighs balance the dramatic flare leg. This sculpting keeps the rear tucked in and lifted too.
The 721s use Levi’s Tango Form technology for great recovery and shape retention. While many flares can stretch out, these keep their structure from first wear to last. They also utilize Power Stretch denim, so you get an added boost of flexibility and comfort while still maintaining the look of rigid denim. Compared to traditional 100% cotton, the 4-way Power Stretch fabric allows for greater ease of movement.
You can choose from a range of versatile washes from light to dark. At around $98, they deliver quality you’d expect from a premium denim brand. This investment piece will never go out of style.
2. Madewell The Perfect Vintage Flare Jeans
For that coveted vintage denim look, Madewell’s flares are a fabulous option. With their broken-in appearance and feel, these embody a throwback 70s vibe. Constructed from the brand’s dense premium denim with just the right amount of stretch, they deliver both authentic character and amazing comfort. The material has a slight heavyweight feel without being rigid or restricting.
In terms of fit, these sit at your natural waist and slim through the hip and thighs before kicking out into a flared silhouette below the knees. The result is a leg-elongating, balanced shape that flatters.
Subtle details like the signature back patch pockets and contrast topstitching add to the vintage appeal. While the Perfect Vintage Flares come in versatile hues like classic medium wash denim, they also offer more unique colors like faded black, white and dark indigo rinse. The raw hems emphasize that modeled-over-time look. At around $135, these are pricier but crafted from top-notch denim.
3. American Eagle High Waisted Flare Jeans
American Eagle’s Ne(x)t Level Stretch Flare Jeans have been trending hard among teens and young women. The super high waist is ultra flattering, sitting just under the ribs to define your shape and highlight your curves. Rather than bunching or gaping at the back waistband, these keep everything smoothed and held in.
The Next Level Stretch material contains a high percentage of Lycra fibers, so you get amazing recovery and flexibility. The fabric molds perfectly to your body. While the denim feels like a second skin, it still maintains structure in the flare shape without stretching out.
You can score these flares in a spectrum of versatile washes from light faded blue to crisp dark denim. Subtle distressing and whiskering finishes the vintage vibe. Signature details like the embroidered eagle on the back pockets add flair. At just around $50, these are very affordable too!
4. Re/Done The 70’s Flare Jeans
If you love denim with authentic character, Re/Done is known for making vintage-look jeans feel modern. By upcycling actual vintage Levi’s from iconic eras, their reworking process gives real broken-in appeal. The 70’s Flare Jeans take you back to the disco decade with dramatic flared legs and retro high rise.
Constructed from upcycled vintage Levi’s built in the 1970s, these jeans have irreversible fading, wear patterns and imperfections that add to the worn-in vibe. The button fly closure, embroidered back pockets and patch details are true to their era. While clearly vintage-inspired, small design tweaks make these feel current.
These start with a super high rise at the waist and fit slimly through the hips and thighs before flaring dramatically from the knees down. The leg opening is wider than your typical flare for a statement silhouette. You can choose a vintage light wash or rich darker wash – both equally chic. At $240, these are the priciest on our list but the upcycled vintage denim is one-of-a-kind.
5. Wit & Wisdom Ab-solution High Waist Flare Jeans
If you want your flare jeans to secretly smooth and slim your figure, Wit & Wisdom’s Ab-solution jeans are amazing. Featuring built-in tummy control and a contouring waistband, these flares will help accentuate your curves. Inside the jeans, a slimming tummy panel with herbal actives flattens the stomach area.
The contouring waistband hits at a comfortable high rise while elongating your torso. Rather than squeezing too tight, the tummy panel gently sculpts and slims for a flattering effect. The dark vintage rinse wash also helps streamline the silhouette. Signature fading and whiskering gives these a worn-in look.
These flares fit closely through the hip and thigh area to balance the looser legs. They conform to your shape rather than gaping. Below the knees, the legs kick out into a flattering bootcut-style flare. At around $88, these are a very affordable tummy-slimming option!
How to Choose Flares to Flatter Your Figure
Now that you know the top flare jeans available, how do you choose the right pair for your body? Here are some tips for picking flares that will flatter your shape:
Consider your body type. Take an honest assessment of your proportions. Are you more straight shaped, pear shaped, hourglass? This will determine where you want volume and where you want to create curves.
Balance out curvy hips. Flare jeans suit pear and hourglass figures beautifully. The volume of the flared leg helps balance curvy hips. But avoid flares with extremely wide, exaggerated flares if you are already fuller in the hips/bum.
Try a high rise if you are petite. A pair of flares that hits at your natural waist helps give the illusion of longer legs on a shorter frame. The high waist elongates your lower half. Just steer clear of flares that start too high and wide up the leg.
Tall girls can pull off dramatic flares. With a longer frame, you can get away with a bigger, more statement leg flare. Just make sure jeans are long enough – you may need to size up or try tall sizes.
Determine ideal rise for you. Think about the rise you find most comfortable and flattering for your body. For many, a moderate to high rise is ideal. Super low rise flares can look unflattering on some body types.
Ensure hips/thighs aren’t too baggy. The key to balanced flare jeans is making sure the hip and thigh area fits trimly without excess fabric. You don’t want gaping at the hips, seat, or thighs before flaring out.
Dark washes are slimming. Medium to dark denim washes tend to be more slimming than lighter washes, which can add visual weight and emphasized curves. Distress details also add flattering definition.
Raw hem adds vintage vibe. Flares with frayed, raw hems skew vintage and relaxed. Clean finished hems offer a more polished, sophisticated vibe. Consider the look you’re going for.
Try a stretch style for comfort. Opt for a flare made with stretch denim or fabrics that have some lycra/elastane fibers woven in. This allows for maximum comfort and mobility while wearing.
Tips for Styling Flare Jeans
Once you’ve found the perfect pair of flares for your figure, how do you style them for different occasions? Here are some tips:
Add heels or wedges. A moderate to high heel helps balance the visual volume and proportion of flares. Platform shoes also work well.
Tuck in a fitted blouse or bodysuit. Tucking a snug-fitting top into your flares emphasizes your waist. Cropped tops are perfect for showing some skin.
Cinch with a belt. Adding definition at your waist – whether with a chunky belt or thin saddle belt – polishes the look.
Contrast with a blazer or jacket. A tailored blazer balances the looser jeans. A moto or leather jacket also offsets a feminine flare.
Cuff wider hems. If your flares are bunching at the bottom or look too long, simply cuff the hems once or twice to decrease the flare width.
Tuck flares into boots. For a mod 60’s look, tuck your flares into knee high boots or booties. This also gives you warmer coverage for winter.
Roll the waistband. Folding over the waistband slightly changes up the look in a subtle way. It adds visual interest and a casual vibe.
Pair with sneakers or loafers. Simple low-profile shoes like Keds, Vans or menswear-style loafers allow the dramatic hem to take center stage.
Add flare with accessories. Wide brim floppy hats, hoop earrings and printed scarves complement the flare silhouette.
FAQs About Wearing Flare Jeans
Still have some questions about rocking flares? Here I answer some frequently asked questions:
Are flare jeans in style for 2022? Yes, flares are back in a major way! After years dominated by skinny jeans, many brands are releasing new flare silhouettes to keep up with shifting trends.
Who can wear flare jeans? Flare jeans are flattering on so many body types. They especially complement curvy hourglass shapes by balancing the hips. Petite girls should try a high rise flare to elongate the legs.
How do you wear flare jeans casually?
Flare jeans easily pair with t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, or flat sandals for a relaxed daytime look. Cuff the hems if jeans are bunching. Tuck in a simple tee or tank for a polished flair.
What tops pair best with flares? Cropped, fitted and tucked-in tops help balance the looser cut of flares. Avoid excess volume up top – body-skimming tees or crops work well. Structured blazers also create nice proportion.
Are flares hard to walk or move around in? They shouldn’t be if you find the right fit! Make sure flares aren’t too tight at the hips/thighs but also not baggy and gaping. The leg hem will feel dramatic but heels help offset it.
Do flare jeans make you look shorter? Ill-fitting flares can shorten your frame but tricks like sizing up, trying a high waist, and avoiding flares that start too high up the leg will help lengthen you visually.
What shoes look best with flares? Heels, wedges and chunky platform shoes help balance flares. Sneakers also work for casual wear. Avoid any footwear with too much bulk.
Are flares good for big thighs? Yes, flares are amazing for balance if you have bigger hips and thighs. The bootcut shape helps offset curves. Just ensure the hip/thigh area fits trimly with minimal gapping.
It’s Time to Try This Retro Flare Trend
After reviewing the most flattering flare options and how to style them, I hope you’re feeling inspired to embrace this retro denim shape. Flares are back in a major way and can be incredibly chic and figure-flattering when you find the right fit and rise. Go for stretch fabrics, dark washes, and a high waist to keep your flares feeling modern rather than dated.
Balance the volume in the legs by tucking in a fitted top and adding definition at the waist. Heels and wedges complement the looser silhouette. Whether you opt for a vintage Levi’s pair or modern Madewell option, flares are set to dominate denim trends well into 2023. Time to try this throwback style and show off your flared legs!