Ten Tips on Wearing Flares Like It’s 1973
Like queuing up some Earth, Wind, and Fire tunes on a sun-drenched afternoon, we always come back to them. Flares – snug along the thigh and billowing under the knee, they have as much history as they do style, one we just can’t seem to get enough of. Of course, there are some who are still on the fence, but they’ll come around soon. Because once you’re find the right pair, it’s hard to go back. They’ve got character, down to the name. In appreciation of a flare, we stand in defence of the (in)famous cut and round up our favourite options shoppable now.
The cut can be traced back to the early 20th century, when sailors in the U.S. Navy took to them for practical reasons: they were easy to roll up on a wet deck and didn’t threaten to constrict the wearer when duty called. Then the 1960s happened and flares, also known as bell-bottoms, were brought to the forefront of pop-culture by the likes of Twiggy and music duo Cher and Sonny. With generous hemlines, they suited perfectly with the stacked platforms hitting the disco-lit dance floors.
Flares became an international hit throughout the 1970s, expanding beyond the glam celeb crowd and entering the ready-to-wear market thanks to the fashion pioneers taking over the scene. Legendary English-designer Mary Quant not only put mini-skirts and waterproof mascara on the map, she also dressed her modern ladies in pin-striped flared trousers that accentuated the curves of a woman on the go. If you’re interested in seeing some of Quant’s most iconic pieces, you can catch the recently opened exhibition dedicated to the designer now on at the V&A.
Over the years to follow, we would see the cut slightly modified and adapted – bootcut and wide legs – all variations of a tried and true design. As part of latest comeback, it was Gucci and Alessandro Michele that had us craving the real thing, and the appeal has yet to let up, being mixed in throughout the latest AW19 season. We can all agree that this cut still manages to look hip regardless of the decade, so we put together a list of some of our favourite flares that will keep you moving from summer to winter, dusk ’til dawn. And who knows, maybe boot cut next?