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From ultra-glam disco to effortless boho and punk rock, the ’70s remain one of the most eclectic, boundary-breaking and sought-after fashion decades of all time. So, it’s no surprise that style influences from that era keep coming back in fashion— including in 2022. Sky-high platforms, crochet pieces, mini skirts and yes, even flared jeans are everywhere — from the runways to the red carpet to TikTok — bringing on a slight ‘70s resurgence from head to toe.
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After countless seasons of straight-leg and skinny jeans, the return of flared denim is a welcome change. From Balenciaga to Saint Laurent, Celine, Michael Kors and Gucci, designers have been favoring the return of wide-leg and flared jeans on recent runways — indicating the trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And with celebrities like Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna recently giving wide-leg flared jeans the seal of approval, it’s officially time to get on board.
What are flared jeans?
If you’re confused about the difference between flared, bootcut and wide-leg jeans, you’re not alone — especially because some jeans can veer between different cuts. However, a few key design elements distinguish flared jeans from the other styles. “A flared jean typically fits snug around the waist, hips and legs and then flares or widens towards the bottom,” explains Sarah Ahmed, co-Founder and chief creative officer at DL1961. “A relaxed fit or wide-leg might fit looser beginning around the lower thighs and knees, and can be long or cropped.”
The tighter fit across the hip and thighs paired with the flared-out leg makes flared jeans a flattering bottom that elongates the legs — even more so when paired with a heeled shoe or boot. As for today’s flared jean trends, Ahmed notes they differ slightly from those OG looks from the ’70s. “Current trends are a little more modernized than ‘70s flares,” she says. “For example, raw hems and split hems are everywhere. Also, back then, you would most likely wear a chunky heel or heeled boot, but today a lot of people are wearing their flares with sneakers or flat shoes.”
How to wear flared jeans
If you’re used to wearing mostly straight-leg or skinny jeans, coming up with flared jeans outfits may seem daunting at first — but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, flared jeans are such a statement piece that most times they pair best with basics. “Flared jeans look great with classic, almost preppy basics like slim cardigans and men’s style button-downs,” says New York-based stylist Rachael Wang. “A simple white tee or tank tucked into flared jeans is also an effortless outfit formula you can dress up with a blazer and heels. Or, keep the look casual with sneakers or slides.
To play up the flare, fellow New York-based stylist Andrew Gelwicks recommends topping off flared jeans outfits with heeled shoes or boots. “Whenever I am styling a flared jean, my go-to instinct is to pair it with some type of elevation, whether it’s a heel or even a platform sneaker,” he says. “I like to accentuate the leg — and the flare — as much as possible, and I find adding as much length as possible is really helpful.”
The different types of flared jeans
High-Rise Flared Jeans: The most ‘70s-inspired way to rock flared jeans, a high-rise style will hit slightly above or right at the belly button to cover most of the stomach. This style is ideal if you plan to tuck shirts into your jeans, or if you want to pair them with crop tops.
Mid-Rise Flared Jeans: Mid-rise flared jeans typically hit just below the belly button, making them a versatile option for either tucking in shirts or leaving them out.
Low-Rise Flared Jeans: A low-rise waist typically sits around the hip bones, a couple of inches lower than the belly button, and does not cover the stomach at all. Also hugely popular in the early 2000s, this cut can be worn with slightly oversized tops or sweaters — or crop tops to play up the Y2K look.
Cropped Flared Jeans: For a more subtle take on the look, cropped flare jeans give the shape and elongating cut of a flare but feature a mid-calf or ankle-cropped length. This style is especially good for wearing during spring and summer and pairing with sandals or sneakers.
Not only are flared jeans a fun way to freshen up your denim collection for spring, they’re also incredibly flattering to dress up or down for any occasion. But if you’ve spent one too many seasons living in your skinny jeans and aren’t sure how to approach flares — we’ve got you covered. Ahead are the 20 best flared jeans to shop now, as recommended by our experts and customer reviews. We’ve even included one of our personal favorite styles.
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Top Flared Jeans
DL1961 Ultra-High Rise Rachel Flared Jeans
Best High-Rise Flared Jeans
Utilizes Instasculpt technology and a contour waistband for a smooth, sculpted fit
Available in sizes 23-34
Available in a mid-wash indigo, white and dark wash
If you’re looking for a true modern day take on the ‘70s flared jeans, DL1961’s high-rise Rachel flares check all the boxes. The ultra-high rise waist and classic flare with a contrast inseam panel and subtly frayed hemline offer those retro design elements that are easy to style with tucked-in shirting and heeled boots or sandals. But it’s the fit that really stands out. These jeans are made using a contoured waistband and Instasculpt technology, a high-retention elastane technology that smooths, lifts and conforms to your body through the waist, bottom and thighs for a better fit that still gets that vintage look right.
Tu Es Mon Tresor Mid-Rise Flared Jeans
Best Mid-Rise Flared Jeans
Made from stretch denim
Available in sizes 24-30
Wang calls Tu Es Mon Tresor’s mid-rise flares the “perfect easy-to-wear bootcut jeans” and loves them because they’re sustainably made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. As part of Net-A-Porter’s Net Sustain program, which is committed to sustainable luxury, these jeans are made locally in Japan from blue stretch denim with a mid wash that offers a worn-in look. The mid-rise cut features a slim fit with a subtle flare from the knees for a more pared-down take on the flared jeans trend. And, as a bonus, the ankle-grazing crop makes these jeans easy to style with everything from sandals to heeled boots to sneakers for year-round wear.
Levi’s ’70s High Flared Jeans
Best Affordable Flared Jeans
Organic, low-stretch denim
Available in sizes 23-34
Available in four denim washes, ranging from light blue to dark indigo
Levi’s has you covered for an under-$100 pair of flared jeans that doesn’t sacrifice on style or fit. The brand’s ‘70s high-rise flared jeans offer the same non-stretch denim of its best-selling Ribcage jeans (a favorite amongst the fashion set) with a little more flare. Sustainably made from organic cotton, this style features a flattering high-rise waist and a slim fit across the hip and thigh before flaring out at the knee. Whether you want to style these with sneakers or heels, these flares get that vintage-inspired look just right for everyday wear.
Madewell Hi-Ris Flared Jeans
Best Black Flared Jeans
Made of premium vintage-y stretch denim
Available in petite, standard, and tall sizes from sizes 23-31
Available in light, medium, and dark washes
“I’m a big fan of Madewell’s denim, especially its flare,” Gelwicks says. “This silhouette, in particular, feels clean, chic and easy to style. The flare is definitely there but not quite as exaggerated as some other styles. It’s the perfect flare for beginners.” This vintage-inspired fit is made of stretch denim that molds to the body without getting too baggy or stretched out. The dark black wash makes for a sleek, polished take on flared jeans that can easily be styled for the office or a night out. As a bonus, Madewell offers petite, standard and tall sizes to ensure a better fit and eliminate the need for any hemming.
Wrangler Retro High-Rise Trumpet Flared Jeans
Best Exaggerated Flared Jeans
If your attitude towards flared jeans is go big or go home, these Wrangler Retro Trumpet flared jeans are the pair for you. Featuring a dramatic, exaggerated trumpet flare leg, this pair goes full-on ‘70s in the best way possible. Reviewers love them for their ultra-flattering fit that has just a slight bit of stretch. One Amazon buyer wrote, “These jeans hug me, I love them! The trumpet flare bottoms make a statement. They’re Wrangler, and so well made. I didn’t guess on the size before purchasing them on Amazon; I looked them up on the Wrangler website for more helpful information on sizes.” Some reviewers also note that despite the three different length options, they still had to have these hemmed.
Frame Le High Waist Flared Jeans
Best White Flared Jeans
Frame is a denim favorite amongst the fashion set for its classic styles that offer a touch of retro and vintage edge. The brand’s Le high-waisted flared jeans are no exception, with a sleek flared leg that starts at the knee. Made of form-fitting stretch denim, these jeans offer a slim, snug fit up top and a crisp flare at the bottom that’s ideal for dressing up or down. One reviewer writes that the fit is great, but may require hemming for some. “The stretch and fit of these jeans are fantastic,” says the reviewer. “I will be getting them hemmed because they are very long even with high wedges for an average height gal like me. They are probably perfect for a leggy/tall person.” White flare jeans may be perfect for spring and summer, these are versatile enough to wear all year-round, too.
NYDJ Plus-Size White Cropped Flared Jeans
Best Plus-Size Cropped Flared Jeans
Satin elastic-lined waistband for a better fit and Lift Tuck technology to smooth and lift
Available in plus (0x-5x) and regular (XXS-XXL) sizes
Available in blue, white and dark washes
Found: the perfect cropped flares for summer. NYDJ’s Waist-Match relaxed flared jeans give a relaxed cropped silhouette that’s ideal for styling with sandals or sneakers. Available in a range of blue washes and this optic white color, the streamlined shape and subtle flare are a good medium for those who don’t want a full, dramatic flare leg. Made of stretch denim, these jeans feature NYDJ’s Lift Tuck technology to lift and flatter curves, and the Waist-Match smoothing satin elastic waistband offers a comfortable yet snug fit that won’t gap at the waist.
Lee High-Rise Mini Flared Jeans
Best Subtle Flared Jeans
For those who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full-on flare, Lee’s Mini flared jeans offer an easy-to-style segue into the look. A versatile everyday pair of jeans, these flares feature a high-waist with a slim fit across the hips and thighs. The subtle kick flare allows for effortless styling with shoes, from flats to sneakers to heels. And reviewers love this style for its stretch that isn’t too stretchy, with one writing, “I’ve found that I really like the fit. The stretch helps significantly avoid having too baggy or too tight areas, and the material seems to be substantial enough to hold up without being too stiff.”
Eloquii Flared Leg Jeans
Best Plus-Size Flared Jeans
While many denim brands still only offer up to a size 16 or 18, Eloquii offers an extensive range of sizes 14 to 28. Made of a stretch denim, these flared leg jeans feature a contour waistband and high-rise waist for a snug fit through the hip and thighs. One reviewer writes, “Love these jeans. They fit perfect, are amazingly high-waisted and hold in my tummy!” Offering just the right amount of flare, these jeans are ideal for styling with sneakers, sandals or heels for truly versatile wear.
Paige High-Waist Raw Hem Crop Flared Jeans
Best Cropped Flared Jeans
Available in sizes 23-34
There’s no better way to show off spring and summer footwear than with a pair of cropped flared jeans. Perfect for warm weather attire, a cropped flared jean offers a more laidback and subdued take on the ‘70s trend. Paige’s High Waist Crop flared jeans put a modern twist on the look with a subtle ankle crop flare and raw frayed hemline. This pair is made from a stretch denim for more comfortable wear and a body-hugging fit. The light sky-blue denim wash is perfect for pairing with a simple white tee and sandals for a classic, minimal look.
& Other Stories Flared Jeans
Best Retro Flared Jeans
For a fully retro take on flared jeans, & Other Stories‘ flared high-waisted jeans achieve that straight-out-of-the-’70s look. The duo patch pockets on the front and back combined with the ultra-high waist and full flare give these the perfect vintage look that can be styled with everything from a button-down to a plain white tee and beyond. Available in four blue denim washes and a white denim wash, these jeans are made with a stretch denim from organic and recycled cotton. The brand does advise that the sizing runs large, and you should size down if you’re in between sizes.
Good American Good Legs Flared Jeans
Available in sizes 0-24
Dark blue wash
Good American is loved for its size-inclusive denim that offers just the right amount of stretch, and these flares give exactly that. Available in sizes zero to 24, the Good Legs flared jeans are designed with a V-shaped contoured back for a flattering, lifted fit. The advanced stretch recovery fabric allows them to hold shape after wear while still molding to your body. With a high-waist and flared trouser-style hem, these are guaranteed to elongate your legs no matter what shoe you pair them with. As one reviewer raved, “These jeans are the first ever high-waisted style that I’ve been able to wear comfortably. I love the thick hem at the bottom. The deep V makes my butt shape look good and not like a heart like most jeans. They’re easy to sit it as well.”
Grlfrnd Stella Flared Jeans
Best Low-Rise Flared Jeans
Inspired by model Stella Maxwell’s iconic style, these low-rise flared jeans by Grlfrnd are designed to sit low on the hips — so if you’re not down to revisit the early aughts aesthetic, you may want to skip these. For those who love a low-rise silhouette, this style fits slim throughout the hips and thighs before kicking out to flared legs at the knee. The black denim is a mid-weight, non-stretch fabric for a more stiff, vintage-inspired fit. If you’re not sure how to style low-rise jeans, you can pair this with a slightly oversized button-down or sweater or a crop top to fully commit to that 2000s vibe.
Mother Fray Hem Bootcut Jeans
Best Bootcut Jeans with Slight Flare
Available in sizes 23-34
Dark blue wash
One reviewer calls these Mother bootcut jeans “love at first sight,” writing, “I am short-torsoed and have a hard time with high-rise jeans. These are perfect, hitting right at my belly button. I love the thick denim that has just enough stretch to be comfortable without losing shape. The color is slightly more blue than the picture, but has a bit of the vintage coloring that I think will just get better over time. I’m 5’5″ and they hit just above the floor in flat shoes.” Many other shoppers rave about the flattering fit, though some do note these needed to be hemmed on more petite women. The bootcut silhouette has a subtle flare to it that’s easy to style with boots or heeled sandals. These also feature faded thighs and a raw-cut hemline for a worn-in look that still feels polished.
Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra-High Rise Vintage Flared Jeans
Best Flared Jeans With Stretch
Available in sizes 23-37 and four different length options (extra short, short, regular and long)
Available in dark and light washes
This writer has always struggled to find jeans that fit her thighs, but Abercrombie’s Curve Love denim line (which features an additional two inches through the hip and thigh from the brand’s classic fit denim) has become a savior this past year. The brand’s Ultra-High Rise Vintage flared jeans are curve-friendly denim that doesn’t lose its flared effect if you have bigger thighs and offers just enough stretch for comfortable wear. The ultra-high waist is ideal for tucking in bodysuits, T-shirts, and blouses or pairing with a crop top. Plus, the four different length options help you get a better fit, potentially eliminating the need to get them hemmed.
Agolde Vintage Hi-Rise Flared Jeans
Best ‘90s Flared Jeans
Available in sizes 23-32
Agolde has become a wardrobe staple of the fashion crowd for its vintage-inspired denim. And while the ‘70s are typically the decade most synonymous with flared jeans, there’s plenty of inspiration to take from the ‘90s, too. These Vintage High-Rise flares offer a cool, pared-back take on the flared look in a faded vintage wash. The high-waist silhouette hits just above the belly button, making it easy to tuck in or wear shirting out. Unlike many other flared silhouettes, this ‘90s-inspired cut features more of a straight leg with a subtle flare, rather than a tight fit at the thigh that flares out more dramatically at the knee.
Pistola Stevie High Rise Wide Leg Flared Jeans
Best Black Faded Wash Flared Jeans
Complete with a faded black wash, Pistola’s Stevie jeans offer an edgier take on flares. An ankle-grazing, wide-leg hem also creates a more laidback, cool look that can still be dressed up. Featuring a slight stretch, these are made from a blend of cotton, recycled cotton, modal and spandex. As one reviewer on Revolve raved, “Such a great fit, run true to size and loved how soft they were. Great wide ’70s flare.”
Re/Done ’70s Loose Flared Leg Jeans
Best Embellished Flared Jeans
Re/Done’s studded designed flared jeans offer a more playful, retro-inspired take on the look. A rising denim brand favorite in the past years, Re/Done takes worn vintage Levi’s jeans and deconstructs them at the seams to then repurpose them into new jeans. Because of its repurposed denim, the brand really does deliver that true “vintage” fit with no stretch. This pair features an ultra-high waist, laidback silhouette and very subtle cropped flare for versatile styling all year-round.
Levi’s High Loose Flared Jeans
Best Distressed Flared Jeans
Slight stretch denim
Medium blue wash
Available in sizes 24-32
If you prefer ripped jeans for a more casual look, Levi’s high, loose flared jeans are just the right amount of distressed. With some slight whiskering and ripped holes at the knee, these jeans are a little more laidback and undone while still delivering all the polish of flares. Like most of Levi’s styles, the denim offers a very slight stretch. You can keep the look super casual with a tee or cropped top, or dress it up with an oversized blazer and heels.
Rolla Sailor Flared Jeans
Best Retro Cropped Style
Available in sizes 23-32
Medium blue wash
Rolla’s Sailor jeans lend a cropped flare look that’s straight out of the ‘70s and perfect for summer. Made from a low-stretch denim for more of a stiff, vintage fit, these jeans offer a wide-leg silhouette and flare. The patch and back pockets paired with the medium faded blue wash give these a throwback look that still feels fresh and cool in 2022. Pair these with your favorite sandals and tank for warm weather, and you’ve got an instant (yet effortless) outfit.
The best shoes to wear with flared jeans
While the OG flared jeans of the ‘70s were typically paired with platform sandals, wedges or boots, today’s flared jeans have more versatility in terms of footwear stylings. Depending on the cut of the jean, you can wear flares with everything from sneakers to sandals to boots. More people are opting to style their flared jeans with white sneakers for a more laidback look. But as Gelwicks points out, heels will always play up the flare of the jean and elongate legs further.
Wang adds that, “A pointy-toe flat, pump or boot give flares an edge.”
If you plan to wear both heels and sneakers or flats with your flared jeans, it’s important to find a pair that hits you at the right spot. “Traditionally, flared jeans would just hit the floor when worn with heels,” Ahmed says. “Wearing them with sneakers allows the hem to bunch on top of the shoe and drag a bit behind,” Ahmed says.
If you have a pair of jeans that hits just below or at the ankle, it can be easier to style with multiple heel heights.
Meet the Experts
Rachael Wang is a New York-based fashion stylist who’s worked with brands and retailers including Levi’s, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Stella McCartney, Porter and many more. In 2017, she started the Rachael Wang Studio to expand her styling and creative consulting work with brands, focusing on equity and sustainability in fashion. Her work as also appeared in Vogue.
Andrew Gelwicks is a New York-based celebrity stylist who’s worked with stars including Catherine O’Hara, Susan Sarandon, Uzo Aduba and more. Before starting his own celebrity styling business, he held positions at GQ and Teen Vogue.