So. Here we are again. About to delve into the depths of one of the trickest denim trends ever: The Mom Jean aka Cropped Flares.
Looong zipper? Yup. High-water hemlines? Oooohhhh yeah. Giant-Bum potential? That, too.
But if there’s one thing fashtory has shown (that’s fashion-history, babes), it’s that trends, when they reappear, often reappear differently. So while haters of this trend will be quick to dismiss them as ‘mom jeans’, they are a far cry from the jeans the SNL crew made fun of so long ago. And unlike the era of true mom jeans, these jeans aren’t being worn with kitten sweaters and ‘World’s Greatest Mom!’ tshirts. This is the denim of choice for the millennials. This is where – and maybe you’d better sit down – this is where denim is heading.
So like ’em or not, I predict that cropped flares will be soon be as ubiquitous as skinny jeans. And I’ve been blogging long enough to remember the screaming, the outcry against skinny jeans. You swore you’d never give up your bootcut Sevens, NEVER.
I don’t believe in chasing trends for trends sake, but there’s something to be said for staying somewhat modern. And like most trends, there are many ways to interpret. Hate the high waist? Even a lower-rise looks current with a cropped flare. And even the word “flare” is relative. Some cropped flares are barely more than a glorified skinny jean, while others bell out dramatically.
Here’s The Story
I mentioned last month (in our Fall Trends article) that I had been really struggling with denim this year. There are so many iterations of cropped flares, and since they’re a new silhouette, I haven’t quite figured out how they work. One pair I was drawn to was Current / Elliott’s ‘The Original’ Crop. They looked like the right mix of nerdy and cool. So I ordered them. Aaaannd….well. It was terrible. So I started all over, only to end up with the same pair of jeans in my shopping cart. Huh. So I ordered them again (fate?) – maybe I missed something the first time around?
Make the Twenty-Something Try Them On
So the jeans show up, and I ask Gwen, my assistant, try them on. Gwen is a tall, gorgeous, 20-something, and if she can’t pull these jeans off, they’re officially dead to me.
WHOA. Gwen can pull them off.
“AHA!” I said. “But how do they look…with flats??” Gwen, in a Raines-like moment, could only find one flat. (My house is a disaster.) But it was enough:
Okokok….even with flats, Gwen looks seriously cute in these jeans.
Now Let’s Have Fun With The Forty Year Old
OBVIOUSLY I was missing something the first time around! I mean…not only does Gwen look cute, she looks downright….hot. “I love these!” says Gwen. So….FINE. We swap jeans, I put on some sexy heels and walk back into the studio. There is a minute of shocked silence. “How….is….this…possible?” Gwen muses. “Your shoes are cute enough to save almost anything….”
Yeah – almost anything but these jeans.
DEAR GOD WHAT
What am I doing with my life, what am I doing in these jeans, how does one end up here??? (Also, ignore my shirt – it looked better in person.)
We tried the obvious thing, rolling up the cuffs:
What Went Wrong?
First of all, they’re too big. I ordered YET ANOTHER FREAKING PAIR OF THESE JEANS, one size smaller. Tried them on and….nope. They looked only marginally different.
Gwen and I and the rest of the TME team (who were DYING with laughter over on our slack channel) were baffled. But one thing was clear, I was either too short or too old for these jeans.
Ruling Out ‘Too Old’
To solve this denim dilemma, I recruited one of my besties, A. She’s roughly my age, but happens to be a six foot tall stunning blonde (who hates having her picture taken but loves me enough to do it anyway).
So. I ordered more jeans in A’s size, then gave her a call when they came in. True to form, the day of the shoot, A shows up at my door in her running clothes with no makeup and a sweaty ponytail.
AND STILL ROCKS THESE EFFING JEANS.
I had to put her in Mike’s shoes, for crying out loud.
Ruling Out ‘Too Short’
Ok, now that we figured out that age wasn’t the barrier here, I put the damn jeans back on. And instead of comparing where her hemline hit to mine, we compared the overall difference of our leg measurements. The difference was huge, roughly 6-7 inches. So that’s how much we rolled the jeans.
Current / Elliott Original Crop (size 24 on me, 25 on Gwen, and 27 on A)
Success!! All these jeans needed was a smaller size, and a very aggressive crop!
It’s Cropped Flares Week!!
I promised, back in September, that we’d dedicate some time to figuring out this tricky trend. So we’re kicking off Cropped Flares Week! For the next week, at least once per day, one of the TME staff will weigh in with their take on cropped flares. I challenged each of them to find their favorite pair of cropped flares and come up with a few styling ideas (understanding that epic fails are also OK). The catch? At least one of their cropped flare outfits must be with flats. Good or bad, the gang will be dishing up some ideas to help with #croppedjeanproblems.
And if you guys have any specific styling questions, upload a pic to Instagram and tag me (@shanachristine) and use the hashtag #croppedjeanproblems and we’ll try to address it on Instagram stories or Snapchat or something.
I haven’t yet returned these jeans…but neither have I worn them out yet either. What to do, what to do? I already own a few pairs of cropped jeans….pairs that I do love – and I’ll be sharing those pics with you next week sometime (you may have seen this one already on Insta – mod ankle boots seem to make #croppedjeanproblems go away). In the meantime, here are my very favorites:
Happy Cropped Flares Week!
ps. Found a pair you love? Let us know in the comments!!