Death to Skinny Jeans: Why You Need a Pair of Flares
Written by Audrey Pierson on October 21, 2021
If you take just a short walk down the esplanade on any given day, you can see one form of pants coming back in full swing: flare jeans. While this type of pant leg is most definitely not the most popular style at the moment, anyone could agree that their popularity is growing once again. For most of Gen Z’s childhood, this has not been the case. Let’s take a look at the history of this pants style and predict if this style is back here to stay.
The first instance of these wide-legged pants are found in early 20th century militia. Sailors adopted these pants for practical reasons; they made it easier to grab a stumbling man and they could be taken off easier when wet. Even though the infancy of flared pants began in the early 1900s, they did not become a commonality for the regular consumer until the late 1960s.
With the rise of the hippie movement and celebrity icons like Twiggy, Jimi Hendrix, and Sonny and Cher, flared pants grabbed the attention of everyday people during the late 1960s. With varying degrees of bell-bottoms and different severities of patterns, these pants varied from statement pieces to everyday wear. By the mid 1970s, these pants became a staple item in most young people’s wardrobes.
Like many trends, this type of pants fell out of popularity during the 1990s. From this point until fairly recently, skinny jeans have gripped the thighs and calves of most consumers. While the low-rise waistband grew higher and higher throughout the two decades, people clung on to the snug silhouette that this style offers.
As of recently, many Gen Z-ers have begun to embrace any aspect of personal style that goes against the older Millennial generation; among these include a middle part and of course, no skinny jeans. Many students now opt for a baggier look as skater and street-style wear is becoming increasingly popular on platforms like TikTok and Pinterest. For those who still prefer a tighter fit around the upper leg, flared yoga pants (as seen on many influencers, most notably Emma Chamberlain) offer this tightness while still having a looser bottom.
While I am sure some people are not fond of this new trend, I am a personal fan and I think it is here to stay. With flare and wide-legged pants, there are so many different options to choose from that skinny jeans simply cannot offer. Even a plain, light-wash flare jeans can add a boldness to your outfit that skinny jeans of the same wash could not add. As many trends from the 70s and 80s are coming back, flare jeans are just one of many ways to update your fall 2021 wardrobe and unleash your inner dancing queen.