I had an argument with a friend over flared jeans.

This is probably something that only happens to me, but it happened nevertheless. Fall fashion has a heavy 1970s inspiration, and with it, I expect the flared jean renaissance I've been predicting for years.

This particular friend is a skinny jean enthusiast. But isn't everyone these days? For the better part of a decade, skinny jeans have dominated our denim options. Even the guys are wearing them. The part that nobody seems to remember is that, when they first became popular, skinny jeans were just as feared and despised as flared jeans are now.

I can vividly remember my first pair of skinny jeans. It was 2005, or thereabouts, and I got them at a very aggressive Express sale for $9, probably because the world wasn't really ready for them at the time. Although they were hard to get used to, I'm a firm believer that everyone, no matter their body type, can make a trend work.

However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready to take back control of my denim options. I mean, slightly-too-tight skinny jeans are actually creating circulation issues and subsequent injuries for people. Time for a little denim versatility.

No weird dye jobs

A flattering pair of jeans is a flattering pair of jeans no matter how you slice it, but if this is your first flare rodeo in, say, 10 years, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that make the shopping experience easier.

First and foremost, you are looking for solid denim. No weird dye jobs, whiskers, holes, studs, sequins, or even conspicuous logos. Literally just denim. Embellishments can make the jeans look dated when, in fact, they're very of-the-moment.

Another old-fashioned trademark to avoid: too-wide flares that actually cover your shoes entirely. You always want to be able to see at least the toe, so plan to get them hemmed if you're short. Lots of retailers offer free simple alterations, so check the website and find your new pair from a place where you can get that service.

Speaking of tailoring, it's important to decide whether you're hoping to wear the jeans with heels or flats. (This is one thing we'll all need to re-familiarize ourselves with, since skinny jeans did not present this problem.) Flared jeans with a mid-rise waistline just below your navel, fitted through the hips and thighs and starting to get looser at the knee, are super flattering. I think they're even more flattering worn with heels, so that's what I use as a guideline for tailoring. Whatever your decision, it has to be consistent so the jeans stay at a flattering length.

Styling your flared jeans

This is not very difficult, as long as you steer clear of other trendy pieces. Stick to the classics: neutral sweaters, blazers, button-down silk shirts and pointed-toe pumps. Tops worn are usually best when tucked in with a belt. For sweaters, you can do a half-tuck and leave it untucked in the back to create some shape.

There's one popular type of top that's a lot easier to wear with flared jeans, and that's a cropped top. We're not talking about something incredibly short, but a boxy style with a shorter hem looks so much better with some volume on the bottom. Take this opportunity to style all your cropped sweaters with ease.

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