Style Trial | The Cropped Flares Trend

cropped flares


Zara cropped flares


Free People Cropped flare jeans

Free People

If you’re even a little bit interested in fashion, you’ve probably noticed the cropped flares trend that’s pretty much everywhere right now.

Actually, flares in general (the regular, non-cropped version) have been a trend for quite some time now, and it doesn’t really seem to be showing signs of slowing down. Sure, there are still plenty of other denim styles around, with skinny jeans still leading the pack, but I can’t help but wonder if the increasingly-frequent appearance of flares and boyfriend jeans is perhaps a sign of people finally getting tired of super-skintight styles, and looking for something a little… well, looser?

As for me, I’m NOT done with skinnies quite yet. I still love slim-cut denim, and find it the most flattering cut for my figure (I love the look of boyfriend jeans, but on me, they look like I’m LITERALLY wearing my boyfriend’s jeans… and that the ‘boyfriend’ in question is about 7 foot tall and twice as wide as me: not a great look.). What I DON’T love, however, is the fact that most of the pairs I try these days seem to fall into the super-skinny bracket: so they look more like leggings than jeans.

Well, no one could accuse cropped flares of looking like leggings, that’s for sure. There are a few different styles of cropped flares available at the moment –  some are cut loose on the thigh, while some are tighter, and some have a much smaller flare than the ones pictured here – but they all have the same elements in common: they’re basically flares…. but cropped.

What do you think of these cropped flares, then?

In my case, I’m not convinced. I’m a huge fan of cropped trousers and jeans (as a shortie, they’re basically the only kind that ever fit me), but I’ve never been particularly keen on flares, and I have to admit that when I see some of the current cropped versions, my first thought is often that they just look like they’re too short – as if the wearer has struggled into their child’s jeans by mistake. As always, however, there’s an adjustment of the eye involved in any new fashion trend, and a lot of the time something that starts off looking really strange to me will end up being the very thing I love: that’s certainly what happened with skinny jeans (When they first became popular, I thought they looked ridiculous and swore I’d ALWAYS stick to my bootcuts, no matter how ‘unfashionable’ they became. Yeah, that worked out well, didn’t it?), so there’s no reason to assume it won’t happen with cropped flares, too.


This is purely theoretical advice, obviously, as I’ve yet to even try a pair of these, but my thinking is that length is going to be really important with these, and that you’re going to have to make sure you’re chosen flares are cropped enough to make it clear that it’s intentional, and that you’re not just wearing jeans that are too short for you. I’m having horrible flashbacks to high school here, where someone whose trousers were too short would be ruthlessly mocked (“Did you cat just die?” was the favoured insult here – the insinuation being that the person was wearing their trousers at “half mast” in mourning…). A few inches above the ankle seems to be the safest bet here, although you obviously don’t want to go TOO short, either, or you’ll just end up looking like you’re wearing capris…

In terms of styling, cropped flares are a pretty casual style, and the whole appeal is that easy, breazy, laid-back look. You can, of course, style them however you want, but my inclination would be to not even bother trying to “dress them up”, and instead go for something similarly casual. You’ll notice that in all of the shots above, the models are wearing tops that are at least semi-fitted and/or tucked into the waistbands of the jeans. My own rule of thumb is that if I’m wearing something loose or flowy on the bottom half, Ill try to balance it out with something fitted


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