Retro denim seems to be on a roll these days. Similar to the high-waisted denim trend, flared jeans have also returned to the fashion scene. But these pants aren’t just for hippies (or John Travolta, for that matter). They’re also one of the most flattering styles of jeans for women. The modern flare adds a graceful, curved silhouette that can accentuate your feminine figure. The flare also adds length to your legs because it doesn’t cut off your natural lines by stopping at the ankles as skinny jeans do.
Ready to try flares again but not sure which ones will look best on you? Trial and error in the dressing room is always the best method. But, knowing the general fits that flatter your shape's proportions will save you a ton of time. Below, we're featuring common shapes and fit tidbits to help spark your imagination when it comes to your next pair of jeans.
CURVY or PEAR//
Women who carry their weight mostly in their hips, thighs, and rear look amazing in wider flares or bell-bottoms. Look for fits that are form-fitting in the butt, thighs and all the way down to the middle of your knees. Also aim for a bigger bell that flares out and almost covers your shoes. This will create an hourglass shape as well as smooth and elongate your legs.
NARROW HIPS or APPLE//
Women with this frame tend to look best in bootcut fits because a smaller flare will complement rather than overwhelm narrow hips. A large bell-bottom jean might cause a woman with narrow hips to look more like a triangle. As the name suggests, a bootcut is not a large bell-bottom but a flare that slightly fans out over your boots or shoes. There are two styles of bootcuts that will look great on you if you have narrow hips.
The looser fit
This fit is more relaxed. It’s tighter in the rear and tops of the thighs, but it doesn’t have a large bell. The flare starts before the knees but doesn’t dramatically kick out. These fits also tend to have a higher hip rise for those who dislike low-rise jeans.
The tighter fit
This fit is tight all the way down to the tops of your calves and then slightly flares out. This fit is the closest to a skinny jean.
COLUMN and TALL//
Women who have more of a column shape—meaning the bust and hips are similar in measurement—look fantastic in flares. If you're tall and lean, wide-legged pants or super bell-bottoms look incredible because your legs are long and can carry the volume. If you're shorter though, you'll likely have better luck in a flare that starts at mid-knee but doesn't go out as much as an extreme bell-bottom. Similar to the way a woman with narrow hips looks great in bootcuts because they balance her shape, a smaller flare looks great on a shorter column-shaped woman because it creates harmony with her natural proportions. A large bell-bottom on a shorter column-shaped woman might create an unbalanced silhouette and the triangle shape.
Petite women look best in bootcuts because large flares or bell-bottoms tend to overwhelm smaller frames. The bootcut’s slight flare will also elongate the legs. And, a little bootie or wedge certainly helps give more height!
Remember that jeans and fits vary from store to store and look different from woman to woman. Use this as a guide, but always wear what makes you feel beautiful.