J Brand 722 Love Story JeansThis ensemble was inspired by my own recent purchase of J Brand’s Love Story flared jeans. As I mentioned in the must haves list for Spring and Summer 2014, there is life beyond skinnies and straight leg jeans. Pants and jeans are getting wider. So I added a pair of flared jeans to my denim capsule in a fairly light wash as another alternative to boyfriends and straight legs. 

Flared leg jeans are snug on the thigh and kick out at the knee, widening quite dramatically at the hem. The hems are wider than bootcuts, but the thigh fit is tighter than a trouser cut or wide leg style. Rises can be low, mid or high. They definitely have a ‘70s vibe, and can look quite bohemian. 

Flared jeans work really well when styled with a bohemian sensibility or a hard edge, and I’ll be helping some of my clients put together their flares with those style personas in mind. But in order for flared jeans to work for my own style, I had to create a look that was crisp and simple, yet soft and dressy. That’s what this ensemble is all about. The version on the extreme left with shocking pink man coat is almost an exact copy — item for item — of how I wore my new flares over the weekend. The version in the middle with the blue and white shirt and belt is how I will wear my flares when I don’t need a topper. And the version on the right is a combination of blouse and moto that I can see working equally well for a crisp and simple style sensibility. 

Here are the components of the ensemble:

Flared Jeans: The wide hem of flared jeans makes them work extremely well with heels when you wear them at the right length because they glide over shoes instead of creating an odd looking break line. Baby bootcuts don’t glide as well over heels, but bootcuts with wider hems might work. The tighter fit on the thighs adds structure to the outfit. Choose any denim wash or white jeans. 

Tops: I’ve chosen three tops. The first is a fluid untucked pullover, which doesn’t look fluid in the picture, but I have that exact pullover and it’s roomy. Although this pullover has a straight welted hem, a fitted high low hemline is another way to go. The second option is tucking or partially tucking a fluid button-down shirt and adding a belt. The third option is a draped or crossover blouse, which is the least structured of the tops.  

Topper: A topper is not essential, and adding one does downplay the drama of the flares. I found that I like my flares best with either a cropped jacket or a long coat. I didn’t like them quite as much when paired with in-between lengths, like a modern classic regular hip bone length Theory blazer, or a peacoat. I liked my short boxy jackets, motos, cropped tuxedo jacket, knee-length trench coats and long wool coat combinations much better with the line of the flares. 

Footwear: I vote pointy toe or almond toe heeled pumps or booties because the tips of the toe boxes peek through from under the dramatic drape of the flare. Round toes, peep-toes and sandals tend to get a little lost, unless you have long feet. 

Accessories: Finish off the look with a clutch, satchel or bowling bag. I vote leave off the scarf. Add a belt when wearing tops tucked or partially tucked. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired. 

Check out my pinterest board on flared jeans and trousers for further inspiration. 

These jeans are reserved for dry weather because you’ll get very soggy hems wearing floor sweeping lengths in the rain. Our Summers aren’t hot, so I’ll be wearing these jeans during our Summers sans topper. I’m excited to have a new silhouette in my denim capsule.

Flared Jeans with a Crisp Touch