The staple skinny jeans has a challenger this fall. With '70s-inspired fringe, A-line skirts and peasant blouses back on and off the runway, the flare is following closely behind. This trend is offering women a fresh way to wear denim.
Flare is a fun alternative to shake up the traditional pants wardrobe. It can be a dressier choice because the fit goes better with heels or platforms instead of flats. But styling outfits with flare jeans can also require more thought than a classic skinny that goes with almost anything.
"Skinny jeans are not a fashion item. They are eternal, a staple like a sweater or a skirt, whereas flares are a fashion right-now trend," Lisette Geller, managing editor of Denimology, told Mic. "These always go and come back."
For women looking to break out of their standard fashion pattern, flares are an adventurous alternative. The styles being released this fall have been upgraded from the ones worn decades ago.
"Vintage flares tend to have nonstretch [materials], and that presents problems because they don't accommodate different body types," J Brand's Mary Bruno told Refinery29. "The reinvention of flares now is really about the strength of the fabrics."
Fashion blogger Olivia McLearon agrees flare jeans can be a better fit for pear and hourglass body types. "Skinnies can't rule the roost forever," she wrote for Stylist, "an alternative can live beside them in beautifully stitched harmony."
Whether that alternative will last past this '70s-inspired fall remains to be seen.
"It'll be another four to five years before we see skinny jeans really rattled by new competitors," Katie Smith, a senior fashion and retail market analyst at Edited, told Business of Fashion. "It's a functional shape that's suitable for work and leisure, which makes it difficult to abandon."
But it doesn't have to be either or. While flares are a fun trend right now, skinnies will always be a staple, and Geller believes expanding your options can't hurt.
"I don't think people choose skinny over flares. It's more like adding another style of jeans to your wardrobe," Geller told Business of Fashion. "You can have a little black dress and also a maxi red dress — no choice here, just an addition."