So if any of you are finding time to pick up a fashion mag these days, you may have noticed lots of chatter about flared jeans. Reader Gretchen posted this question:
...I'd be really curious to read your take on Vogue's assertion that long and lean (especially with regard to somewhat high-waisted and flowing pants) is the new silhouette. In particular, Vogue seems to really have an agenda against the skinny jean/oversize top look (which is so friendly for my never-been-very-flat stomach).
What do you think? Is the skinny jean trend coming to an end?
And then reader Amy sent us an email:
I was at the mall this past weekend and in the window display at GAP, the mannequin was wearing bell bottoms! EEK!! It got me super worried, hot, and bothered that skinny jeans will soon go out of style. I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to my skinny jeans, so I'm not sure what I'll do if this happens.
Any thoughts on if this is down the road sooner that we'd like? Or what to do if/when it does happen???
First things first: Are Flares the "new" silhouette for 2011? You bet. Am I going to invest in a pair? Yup - they'll be perfect on date nights with some sky-high platforms. Flares are fabulous. Does that mean the skinny is over? Hardly.
Let me bring you back to 2007. The wide-leg jean was being touted as "The New Skinny!!" Celebs were rockin' it, denim brands from Hudson's to H&M were churning out various iterations and fashion mags everywhere were declaring the "Death of the Skinny Jean!"
I remember this time vividly, because I was newly pregnant. And a high-waist, wide-leg jean was not something I could even approximate with my growing belly. So I waited, with baited breath, until I too could rock this "new silhouette".
9 months later, R was born....and the trend was all but over. I was able to purchase a pair of high-waisted, wide-legged Sevens on super-clearance. The upside was that these were the perfect post-partum jeans (held in my jelly-belly, didn't irritate my scar)...but they were O-V-E-R.
The skinny, however, came back in full force (although I would argue that it really never left).
So will the Flare silhouette be another flash-in-the-pan? Or should we all abandon our skinny jeans?
This past decade, style-wise, has been a mash-up of style from decades past. 60's mod has been rocked with 80's influences. We've seen sweet 50's housewife dresses paired with 90's grunge combat boots. If this past decade were to have a fashion motto, it's "anything goes"....or really, "everything goes". And all at once.
Despite the proclamations of certain fashion magazines, trends do co-exist. Especially now. Keep in mind that most headlines are geared to sell. Not many of us would pick up a fashion mag with, "Nothing Changes in 2011!!" across the front. And how happy would magazine advertisers be to see headlines that said, "BUY NOTHING! Everything You Own Still Works!"
I find this new fashion philosophy ("everything goes") liberating. And influenced, I think in part, by rise of fashion bloggers. Never before has global fashion been so accessible. It's downright inspiring to see Irina in Poland rocking her mother's old prom dress with the latest Louboutins and a snood. Because of this global influence, I don't see us, as a society, falling back on a solid set of fashion "rules", ie. this is in, that is out. Even fashion mags that do publish their own In/Out stories tend to contradict themselves a few pages later. I think trends, going forward, will have more fluidity than they have in decades past.
That said, I do see the Flare trend coming on hard. And it's really no surprise - the 70's have been coming into the forefront of our fashion consciousness for several years now. And the Spring runways were chock full of 70's influences - crochet, macrame, long slinky dresses - in addition to bell-bottoms. It's fresh, it's fun. But the skinny silhouette was also heavily represented on the Spring 2011 runway: Balmain paired cropped skinnies with punk influences like studs and leather. Burberry had some kind of biker-chick vibe with a whole lotta skinny goin' on. While I would concede that Celine (one of the most influential design houses) showed tons of fluid, wide-leg trousers...my twist on the Celine SS 2011 look would be to pair those boxy tops with a pair of skinny jeans and platforms for a 60's-meet-70's vibe.
Mix and match. Wear what you love.
I suspect, however, that this is the beginning of the end of the skinny-jean-as-super-trend. But before you freak out...I wager that we still have a good 4-5 years of the skinny jean reign, or at least a good 4-5 years of the skinny jean happily co-existing with other trends that will continue to pop up: flares, wide-legs, cropped, etc.
Why 4-5 years? Well...they've been around for about 5 years now...add another 5 and it's just enough time for the current trendsetters to get a bit older....start having kids....and for the next generation of trendsetters to come into their own, declare that "skinny jeans are the new mom jean" and herald in a shocking new era called....the bootcut.
Here we go again.