I’m sure that all you fashionable gents will know all to well the complex relationship that exists between fashion and debate. We here at FashionBeans are big fans of a good debate, it broadens the mind; encourages deeper consideration and affords the opportunity for some good old fashioned internet arguing, whilst still maintaining that gentlemanly air of dignity. No ‘your mum’ jokes thank you very much. With this in mind let’s go ahead and get stuck right into our next hot topic, the return of the flare.
We’ve had skinny jeans, chinos, combat/cargo trousers, carrot cuts and drop crotches from the last few seasons so it was only a matter of time before someone had another crack at this style, given the fashion world’s obsession with vintage and reviving old trends it was simply a natural progression. But to really appreciate and view objectively we must first cast aside our prejudgements; any horrible flashbacks of the 70s and the image of those ghastly Bolt jeans that graced our streets with their huge, floppy disgusting-ness during the early naughties so that we can look at this iconic style in a new light, with fresh eyes and without stereotypes. Just don’t go rummaging through your Dads wardrobe for the classic numbers he sported back in the day, that’s another look entirely.
So how have designers tried to reinvent the style? Below are a few of the styles from some of the S/S11 collections:
As you might imagine, this new take isn’t just a straight revival of the flare as we know it. The emphasis for the men’s style is a much more refined and tailored look, with a hem slightly wider than a boot cut, a slimmer thigh and tighter waist creating a much sharper silhouette, with more defined lines. This distinctive shape could well help to create a whole new range of styles and looks as we move through S/S and onwards. Perhaps it biggest asset is the fact that it reaches a middle ground between a new wider legged design and a full blown flair, which in this day of slim shapes and skinny jeans is arguably a step too far – not too big, not too small. They also offer some much needed variation, giving us the opportunity – should we be brave enough – to push our boundaries and try something different.
The next question of course, is how we should wear them? For starters, leave those platforms and big collared shirts in the dressing up box, you’re life probably isn’t a fancy dress party everyday, so this look needs to be modern and bang on trend. Given our slow move towards the summer and warmer weather (although it doesn’t seem like it), the thing to do is keep it light and make good use of soft tailoring, pairing plain t-shirts with blazers or mixing in some fine knitwear. Personally I would avoid thicker jumpers or cardigans for fear of making yourself look puffy and undefined.
If you’re feeling really niche and want to recreate the true catwalk style, go all out with sheer items and crop tops, pushing home black as the new summer colour theme. Otherwise keep the top colours fairly light and simple, the jeans will more than likely be the eye catching part of the outfit so there is no need for bolder shades.
To maintain very clean and subtle image stick to darker coloured jeans, preferably in raw denim. The lighter you go the more you risk looking like Richard Hammond. As for footwear, the principle is the same as with other styles of jeans, the wider the hem, the bigger the shoe; wearing plimsolls or very slim line shoes is a big no because the hem will swamp them. The best thing to do is stick to boots – as the name suggests – but not cowboy boots (again – big risk of looking like Hammond) stick to the chunky walking style boots or take a leaf from the biker trend and pick yourself up some of biker boots. Obviously tucking in is also a no as that defeats the visual aspect of flared jeans. As we start reaching the lofty temperature heights of mild spring, and you feel brave enough to expose your feet, go for some gladiator sandals, with a slight turn up just to show exactly what you’re wearing, don’t roll up too far though as again, you risk loosing the defining aspect of flared or bootcut jeans.
Of course, this style isn’t for everyone. Personally I have never liked the bootcut style, so any flared or more drastic interpretations aren’t exactly going to float my boat, but as the title of the article suggests, this is a debate topic, so we need your opinion.
Get your thinking caps on and let us know in the comments below.
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