Trend How To: Flares

Caroline Leaper
Caroline Leaper

For devotees
 to the skinny, this one isn’t going to be easy. Your transition into SS15 starts here, with one key trouser shape: flares.

The haute hippie vibe ruled the runways when the spring collections were shown back in September, with Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and more putting the Seventies silhouette du jour back on the radar. Sick of the streamlined, normcore dress code we’ve favoured for some time now, designers reached peak nostalgia as established houses mined their heyday archives for covetable ‘new’ cuts and younger labels became infatuated with the decade's icons: Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Pattie Boyd et al.

‘There had to be flares,’ says designer Henry Holland of his SS15 offering, an ode to Seventies rock groupies. ‘That was my woman, she rocks a flare. They were lower cut because I didn’t want to do mum flares – this girl is way cooler. She’s getting out that midriff and she ain’t afraid to show it.’

Below L-R: flares at the Tommy Hilfiger, House Of Holland and Tom Ford spring 2015 fashion shows

For those (very rare) occasions when dressing like a Woodstock throwback just isn’t an option, you'll be pleased to hear that a pair of mega-flares can be worked into real life too. 
See Céline’s wide-leg trousers – fluted from the knee down, but kept under control by a slick tunic – for a fishtail-like silhouette that's smart enough for work. Elsewhere, Antonio Berardi did breezy palazzo pants in evening satin, while Balmain offered the Martini glass cut (skinny stem, wide hem) in a range of wearable prints and colours for resort.

Below L-R: Céline spring 2015, Balmain resort shop here and Antonio Berardi spring 2015 fashion shows

And who would we be to talk flared trousers without mentioning the easiest way to tap the trend – jeans? Gucci revisited its Seventies archives with an entire collection of bellbottom jeans in vintage look washes. Topshop, meanwhile, has come first in the race to the high street, unveiling Cara Delevingne as the face of its spring campaign, clad in a pair of 'MOTO Clean Cut Flare Jeans' and glam rock platforms.

Below: Topshop's £40 MOTO Clean Cut Flares, shop here

‘Since the new year our flares have been flying,’ Chloe Lonsdale, founder and chief creative officer at MiH Jeans tells us. ‘In our classic Marrakesh fit we've added a really great faded blue, a clean indigo wash and a Seventies blue with a braided waistband. Teamed with a loosely tucked shirt [cotton, silk or denim], this always looks incredible.’

Below L-R: Gucci spring 2015 fashion show, MiH Marrakesh jeans shop here and Kenzo spring 2015 fashion show

Ah yes, what to actually wear with your flares. Proportion is everything, a tricky balancing act between cool and costume, fashion-forward and frumpy. Three tops to try: the structured tee (in leather, denim, or, if you're feeling up to it, suede), the sporty bralet and the elongated tunic. We’ve seen the skimming and slimming capabilities of the latter in action at Céline. We know that a sleek crop top will look sharp teamed with even the most flamboyant flares (hello, Balmain’s snazzy chevrons). So what are you waiting for? This is the one SS15 trend that you don't even need nice weather for...

Take note of a few of our favourites:
And if you still need some gentle persuasion to jump aboard and dare to flare, then definitely make the high street your starting point, as literally every one of your favourite stores has tapped into the trend (a good indication these trousers are set to run and run). Most have opted for the aforementioned fabric of choice, failsafe denim. So for minimum risk but maximum style points, don't delay your purchase – no one wants to hear the dreaded words 'sold out'!

Zara's loose and slouchy number in lightweight chambray is a great option if the hip huggers are not for you.



These Karen Millen dark indigo wash are an office-friendly chic option when teamed with a blazer and white shirt.



Mango's attention to Seventies detail with this flat, front pocket, super-highwaisted style are a retro girl's dream.



River Island's slick offering would be our go-to for after dark dancing and cocktails, teamed with a silk blouse and sexy heels.



For a little flirty festival outfit inspo, look no further than this midrise Warehouse pair worn here with an off-the-shoulder number.



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