Bell bottoms: the return of flared jeans
Read on to find out more about the return of flares.
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Flared jeans at Derek Lam SS11
Are flares and bell bottoms back in?The simple answer is yes, flared jeans and bell bottoms (as well as wide-leg pants to an extent, but we'll save those for another day) are back in. The reason why is almost as simple: skinny jeans have become so common, such a staple in most everyone's wardrobe, that people are seeking an alternative. At the same time you have the rise re-rise of 1970s fashion as a major influencer of trends across 2011.
Flares at Topshop Unique SS11
Acne have nailed the men's look as a part of their spring / summer 2011 collection, with two interpretations of men's flared jeans pictured below. The first is a look perfect for early autumn / fall 2011 trends while the second is more suited to spring / summer and, being hatted, has something of a beachwear overtone to it.
What it isn't, however, is overt. Cast your mind back to 2007 and you might remember the last time the issue of flares and bell bottoms faced us was courtesy of the baggy jeans trend. And I loathed it. As you can see on the right, people were actually opting to look anything but good. Given my strong distaste of the style, it goes without saying that the return of flares pants and jeans in 2011 is not to be interpreted as a return to baggy jeans. Anything but.
It's also not a return to the boyfriend jeans style that was popular throughout 2008 and 2009.
Instead bell bottoms and flared jeans for women in 2011 are all about a neo-1970s style that has the following elements:
- a hem that is at least as wide as your foot - the men's hem that you can see on the pictures above doesn't apply to the women's interpretation of the trend
- loose at the knee - I've already see some takes on the trend where the jeans are cut very slim down the thigh and the knee and then flare out from below the knee cap. This is a 1990s interpretation of flares and not the style that's on trend in 2011
There is also one other style elements you might consider: a high waisted cut, which is desirable for the full 1970s vibe though, if you're pairing the jeans / trousers with a more modern look, a low cut waist will work just as well.
Derek Lam SS11
Derek Lam SS11
High-waist and subtle flared leg at ADAM SS11