For thirteen years, skinnies, jeggings, boyfriend jeans, wide legs, straight legs, culottes, and just about any silhouette cropped to above the ankle has reigned supreme in the bottoms department. Cropped flares are bootcuts at a deliberately shrunken length, but that’s it. The FULL-LENGTH bootcut just about disappeared after 2005. But it’s back on trend in 2018 as a nod to the ‘90s influence in fashion right now. I greatly appreciate that fashion is making a point of giving back all sorts of by-gone silhouettes their fashionable moment. It’s one way to celebrate diversity of style.

To be clear, bootcuts are fitted on the waist, hips, bottom, thighs and upper knee. They flare out from the lower knee to the hem giving the calves, ankles and feet some volume. They are not to be confused with wide leg pants that are worn wide from the hips and thighs down.

Of course, despite disappearing from the trend radar, bootcuts never went out of style. A handful of my clients continued wearing mid-rise bootcuts with cowboy boots and the like and they looked classic and fabulous. Bootcuts are especially popular with my curvy hourglass and pear-shaped clients, who feel that the wider hems balance out proportions. When they wear heels with extra long bootcut hems so that you can only see the tips of the feet and shoes, the long lean line is accentuated and flattering to their eye.

I do find low-rise bootcuts that were all the rage with premium California denim houses at the beginning of the ’00’s a little dated now. It’s subtle, but the length of the rise makes quite the difference in fashion. Mid-rise bootcuts look current, and high-rise bootcuts even more so.

I loved bootcuts, and wore them for years as the dominant denim silhouette for my style. I wore them with heels and made sure the hems almost swept the surface of the ground. I like full-length bootcuts and bell-bottoms VERY long because it looks luxurious and elegant. I have poison eye for bootcut hems that are shorter unless they’re intentionally cropped above the ankle and worn as cropped pants. Here are bootcuts worn with heels, and most of the hems are sufficiently long for my taste.

For 2018, wearing full-length bootcuts with flats is all the rage, and with sneakers and tucked or semi-tucked tops in particular. Showcasing the hips and waist by tucking the top or wearing a shorter top increases the length of the leg from the hips upward, which offsets the short-legged or dumpy feeling you might get when wearing full-length wide hems with flats. This collection showcases the point.

For the moment, I’m conflicted about full-length bootcuts for my own style. I’m enjoying how fresh they look amidst a sea of skinnies and cropped everything, but they have their disadvantages. I LOVE my two pairs of bell-bottom jeans that are wider at the hems than regular jeans. They swoosh and make me feel fab and Modern Retro. They require a higher heel than I wear daily, which is doable since I wear them for short periods of time. Dry weather is another prerequisite, but dodgy in Seattle where soggy hems are a reality. Wearing bootcuts with flats appeals to me but again, I need dry weather.

Since I spend quite a bit of time in dry Salt Lake City these days, full-length bootcuts might be practical. But the type of dressy, pretty and dainty footwear I like to wear is better suited to a tapered leg. I didn’t want to add back in the Tomboy vibe I wore five years ago, and I didn’t want to look overly casual.

Then I saw these bootcut chino pants worn with white sneakers and thought – super cute. As I said, conflicted!

Sanctuary Chino Pants

I need to try on some bootcuts with the type of flat footwear that suits my feet and lifestyle. I need to be able to wear the bootcuts with flats daily and feel fab doing so if I’m going to add them to my wardrobe. No more full-length flares to be worn with heels for special occasions because I have those already. That requirement is clear in my mind.

Over to you. How do you feel about full-length bootcuts? Did you wear them, and will you wear them again?