Bye Bye Skinny Jeans?

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Stylist Team
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Olivia McLearon, a freelance writer from south east London, tells us why she couldn't be happier that flared jeans are making a comeback.

Finally, skinny jeans face a credible pretender to the fashion throne and I for one am delighted. No more convincing myself that my thighs don’t look like Wall’s sausages squeezed into denim. Now shops are full of dark flared jeans and, having slipped these beauties on, my thighs — though never likely to earn the epithet 'gazelle-like' — are no longer of the thunder variety.

But, what’s this? Fashion editors are complaining that they don’t look right and refusing to banish their skinnies to the off-limits area of the wardrobe. Fine, ladies, keep your skinny jeans — but please, please, please don’t use your considerable influence to let this pear-shaped mortal feel like they’re the only option. And don't utter the word 'bootcut' either; it just feels a bit too Rachel Stevens (although fair play to her, she knew it was a style that suited her and stuck to it).

Skinnies can’t rule the roost forever — an alternative can live beside them in beautifully stitched harmony. Bootcuts were cruelly shoved to the sidelines when Kate Moss and the like adopted skinny jeans in the early to mid noughties. They trickled their way down the fashion food chain so that now even my friend’s seven year old twins both wear them. The boyfriend jean tried to topple the skinny, but completely failed to capture the public’s imagination. Can the flare do it?

Skinnies can’t rule the roost forever—an alternative can live beside them in beautifully stitched harmony

I too had been blinded into accepting skinny jeans (or, in my case, more of a straight-leg — my attempts at skinny jeans usually resulted in me lying on the dressing room floor, desperately trying to zip them up) as my own personal saviour. I didn’t think I could go back to anything with the slightest hint of flare-age. But when I tried on my new jeans in a Topshop changing room two weeks ago, my figure was transformed. My bottom looked smaller and the flares balanced out my shape, hence the slimmer thighs. I hadn’t felt this good in a pair of jeans since… well, since I last wore flares. It’s not rocket science: I could have stuck with a flare and felt better about my figure, but it would have felt like I’d ridden a time machine back to 1999.

Admittedly, the flared look only really work with heels or wedges, unless you want to look like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo or like you have no feet. And herein lies the rub. The flared jean is perhaps a bit limited compared to the skinny (which you can tuck into knee-high, over-the-knee or ankle boots, team with brogues or ballet pumps, or give a rock-chick edge with heels). But you should all give flared jeans a chance, especially if you’re a pear or hourglass shape. And if they don’t suit you, wear them for a few years as penance for the amount of time I’ve spent wearing the wrong jean shape for me.

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Picture credit: Rex Features