By: Angie Cox
Flared jeans and trousers are finally coming back into the fashion rotation with skinny and straight legs, which means that there is truly something for everyone.
Flared legs can range from a simple boot cut or bellbottom to roomier silhouettes like wide legs and palazzos. The difference between these looks is found in two aspects of the design: the width of the hem of the flare and the position on the leg where the flare begins. Boot cuts and bellbottoms are tight to the knee and flare out farther down the leg. Wide legs flare out all the way from the thigh down to the ankle.
Leg flares and hem widths vary, but they all have one thing in common: volume. When you wear volume at the bottom, it’s best to keep the top fitted, tailored or waist defining. That way, you won’t look like your flares are wearing you.
A simple rule: The more flare on the bottom, the more fitted the top. Here are four great tops to help you pull off the look.
1. A Tucked–in Top
Soft blouses and lightweight button-downs work well when tucked in because they aren’t bulky, so they create a smooth effect across the midriff area. It’s a good idea to add a belt if there are belt loops on the bottoms. Belt loops scream for belts, which always add the right finishing touch to an outfit.
2. An Untucked Tailored Top
If tucking in is not your thing because it makes you feel exposed and restricted, opt for an un-tucked tailored top that defines the waist. Keep the length a few inches above the crotch point for a flattering line.
3. A Voluminous Top with a Waist-cinching Belt
In this case, you’re going against the rules. But as soon as you define the waist by adding a waist-cinching belt, you're safe. It’s that easy!
4. A Crop Top
Crop tops aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re comfortable exposing your midriff, they work really well with high-waisted flared jeans and trousers. Crop tops can be either fitted or boxy, since you’re already showcasing a defined waist by wearing the bottoms uncovered. The softer the top, the better the drape and overall effect of the outfit.
In addition to selecting the right top, think about creating a long, lean line. Heels are not essential, but they definitely help balance out the volume on the hem widths. Finally, sport the flares at the correct length — no more than half an inch above the surface of the ground.
Angie is a Seattle-based fashion stylist with almost two decades of experience in fashion as a designer, a specialist ladieswear buyer and a trend consultant. In 2006, Angie co-founded YouLookFab, which allows her to reach a much wider audience with practical advice on personal style.