Remember hip-huggers?? Those were my favorites back in the day. They’re pretty much the exact opposite of the mom jean: super low waist, tight to the knee, big flare at the bottom. They’re coming back, people!! I can feel it. OK, maybe not hip-huggers . . . aaaand maybe not super low-rise, but flares? Flares are coming back. And that is good news, people.
Flares are just a universally flattering cut of jean. They balance out wider hips, lengthen legs and give the appearance of a longer, slimmer silhouette. A higher rise (no muffin top or butt cracks this time!) makes them much more comfortable, too. For those of us who are pear-shaped, they’re like a dream come true. So what’s the difference between a flare and wide-leg jean? Pretty much where they start to flare on your leg: a flare typically fits closer to your body and flares out below the knee, while the wide-leg slowly flares the entire length of the leg. (I personally find flares a bit more flattering.)
High-Rise Flare Jeans At-Home Try-On Session
The biggest problem I had with my search for wide-leg jeans was the same problem I had with my search for the perfect flares: the length. The lengths of these jeans were all over the place — and not just on me, but on the models as well. From floor-grazing to cropped to below the ankle to just above it, it was way too confusing. So I called the expert: Shana. She basically said that back in the 2000s it was a pain to find the right length because your flares had to touch the floor. You couldn’t really wear heels and flats with the same pair of jeans. But then cropped flares became a thing, and it pretty much threw that rule out the door. Jeans are kind of all over the place now, so it’s really more of a matter of personal preference. (And just to keep things consistent, I tried each pair of jeans on with the same boots —and top — for that matter).
1. The Winners: Free People Penny Pull-On Flare Jeans
Even after trying on all of the new pairs, my favorites remain the ones I already had in my closet. I posted about them back in January, and my high opinion of them hasn’t changed. They’re a bit too long on me (I had sized up because of baby weight, and got a 29 in the regular length) so I think the short inseam would have been best. I kind of like the raw hem, though, so I’ll just cut off a bit more. They come in three different inseams and a TON of colors. I like these jeans because they’re comfortable, and there’s no extra bulk around the top (they’re pull-ons), but my favorite thing about them is the shape: they’re skinny to the knee and then flare out. Exactly how flares should fit, in my opinion.
Featured: Free People Penny Pull-On Flares, Size 29 Regular
These were just a bit too long with high heels. If I cut off the hemline they’d probably be perfect — with heels, at least. I loved that they had a definite flare after the knee, but they were more relaxed in the thigh than the Free People flares. The rise, rinse and flare were all great. (They’re currently on sale, so I really liked the price!)
featured: Ella Moss High Waist Flare Jeans, size 28
I loved the way these fit, but wasn’t sure about the length until I talked to Shana. Back in the 2000s I would have considered these too short, but apparently they’re OK now. I kind of like the fact that I’ll be able to wear them with both heels and flats. The flare is a little less pronounced than the first two, (perfect if you aren’t into that much of a bell-bottom look), and I loved the wash and stretchy fabric.
Featured: Kut from the Kloth Stella Raw Hem Flare Jeans, Size 6
These ran at least one size too big. They’re supposed to be cropped, but they weren’t short enough on me (maybe because I should have sized down?) so they just looked kind of off. I loved the chewed hem, though, so the length needs to be right — otherwise you’ll just end up cutting off that cool detail. They come in a HUGE range of sizes: from 23-37. If you’re 5’5″ or taller, order 1-2 sizes down and they’ll be super cute.
Featured: Madewell Cali Chewed Hem Demi Boocut Jeans, size 28
These ran a tad small and were surprisingly short on me (30″ inseam). I LOVE the lighter wash, but they gave me a bit of a muffin top, so I wish the rise was higher. As they are, maybe sizing up to a 29 would do the trick, because the raw hem makes them easy to cut!
Featured: Mother Frayed Flare Jeans, Size 28
Did I miss your favorites?? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for flattering flares!