The 1970s are well and truly back on the fashion map, which means skinny jeans are out and flares are in. But if you haven't touched a pair since the early noughties, InStyle's contributing fashion writer Antonia O'Brien shows how you can make them look modern.
Whether your wardrobe likes it or not, 1970s styling is back. Suede, fringing and platforms are all part of the story, but if you want to nail the trend in one simple move all you really need is a pair of flares.
I am a long-standing believer in how flattering flares are and have hung onto a pair of J Brand Love Stories I bought 2008. But how to update them for SS15 without looking too dated? From tailored white to off-duty denim, I've road-tested some different styles to show how you can make a very retro trouser look modern.
First and foremost, don’t channel the 1970s too literally, you don’t want to look like a tragic throwback, or Britney Spears in the early noughties (remember when she and Justin did that double, double denim?) Flares for 2015 are all about looking sleek and modern so look to Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss for inspiration.
The key to perfecting the kick-out-from-the-knee shape of flares is in balancing your silhouette. Whether you choose a skinny fit or a more relaxed wide leg flare, keep your top half structured by choosing a simple tucked-in tee, fitted knit, shirt or jacket and avoid anything too loose and baggy.
The easiest way to work flares into your current wardrobe is via a classic, high-waisted denim flare, the iconic style that is both leg-lengthening and universally flattering. My style advice on finding that perfect pair is as follows:
1) Black or indigo washes are the most slimming and leg-lengthening
2) Make sure they have good stretch and fit snugly on the waist, bottom and thigh and then kick out into a sharp flare
3) When shopping for flares take the shoes you plan to wear with them, so you can test the leg length and get it right (if they are too long you can easily alter them at your local dry cleaner)
4) Make sure the hem sits just on the ground, you don’t want it to be swinging or dragging along the street
Why not bring two spring trends together and wear tailored white flares as part of an all-white look? Mix-and-match fabrics and finishes for an expensive look. Teaming sharp tailored or denim flares with a sheer blouse, tuxedo jacket and fierce heels will make a sleek and sophisticated evening ensemble. NB: even if it's not necessarily very pratical, it's probably best to avoid red wine and public transport...
For a more rock ‘n’ roll option, black flares are an easy go-to because they will work with so many pieces in your existing wardrobe: stripes, military khaki, printed silk blouses, blazers and of course your leather jacket. Another great choice for the evening, style them up with a cropped structured top, red lipstick and statement platform heels. Like so...
And finally: shoes. Don’t be shy about throwing in platforms that add to the Seventies vibe; if you style them right you won't look like you're in a Bee Gees tribute band. Avoid pointy pumps worn under bootcut trousers - this look had its style heyday in the 1990s and should probably stay there.
Want more inspiration? Check out my styling video below...
Read more from Antonia O'Brien here or follow her on twitter and instagram (@antoniaobrien)