Think of flare jeans and the 1970s probably come to mind. However, wider leg pants are definitely back in style, meaning flare jeans are once again back on trend. But what to wear with flare jeans?

Take a look below at some of the ways you could bring your flare jeans up to date, with 9 modern flare jeans outfits to inspire you.

The history of flare jeans

Did you wear flare jeans when you were younger? Flares, or bell bottoms, were actually first worn by sailors before becoming iconic. Then the likes of Sonny and Cher, Stevie Nicks, Jane Birkin, ABBA, and Pam Grier wore them in the 1970s.

More recently, they’ve been worn by everyone from models Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss to singer Alicia Keys and actress Dakota Johnson.

Why wear flared jeans?

What to wear with flare jeans - Mel wears flare jeans with boots and a fur coat |

It’s little wonder that this retro style is being embraced again. Flared jeans tend to be universally flattering as they have a leg elongating effect, making them a good option if you are petite.

They hug the hips before flaring out, which can create balance in your silhouette. This style can be wearable for all figures. For the pear shape, you could choose a pair that skims the hips rather than hugging too closely. For the rectangle, flare jeans will help to create curves while for the inverted triangle, a pair of wide jeans can balance your wider shoulders.

Mel @curvycartel above shows off a stylish flare jeans look. Her pointed toe heels add length to her legs while the short jacket keeps her look in proportion.

Steal her look with this similar fur jacket, jeans, booties and sunglasses.

What is the difference between flare jeans and bootcut jeans?

Below, you’ll see jeans options which are flared, or which could be described as bootcut because the flare is less dramatic. Either option can be flattering for all figures. The difference is that bootcuts flare out from lower down the leg, at or just above the ankle, whereas flared jeans flare out from just below the knee.

How wide a flare you choose will depend on whether you want a very trendy look or you prefer something more timeless. Different styles of flare will also suit different body shapes so you may want to try a few on to see what looks good on you.

Elongating your legs with flare jeans

white flare jeans look great with a tucked in blouse |

If you are petite, or you want to look taller and slimmer, a pair of flare jeans can be perfect. Opt for a shorter jacket so your torso looks shorter in comparison to your legs, and you could wear heels under your jeans to make your legs look even longer.

Suzie @suzie.richetti above wears a look that creates a pleasing silhouette. By tucking in her top and wearing heels, her legs look even longer and the wide neckline of her top balances the wide hems of her jeans.

Steal her look with this similar blouse, flared jeans, sandals, belt and earrings.

The best flare jeans

Before discussing how to wear flare jeans and what to wear them with, let’s look at the best flare jeans you could choose to put together your outfits this season, just in case you don’t already have a pair in your closet, or you would like to add a new pair.

1822 denim

The 1822 Denim jeans (below) have a flattering dark denim shade as well as a touch of spandex to help them keep their shape. You can see these have subtle whiskers – the lines across the thighs – which give them a slightly worn-in look.

1822 Denim Flare Jeans |

1822 Denim Flare Jeans


With a uniform dark wash, the Rag & Bone jeans (below) could easily be dressed up or down. They’re made from stretch denim so should comfortably move with you.

Rag & Bone Casey High Waist Flare Leg Jeans |

Rag & Bone Casey High Waist Flare Leg Jeans

PAIGE fLares

This option from PAIGE is a crop flare style which shows off your ankles. They would look good worn with wedges or chunky sandals.

PAIGE Femme High Waist Ankle Flare Jeans |

PAIGE Femme High Waist Ankle Flare Jeans

ankle flares

Another pair of ankle flares for you, but this time in blue. The raw hems and inner seams of the KUT from the Kloth jeans (below) add a modern touch to a retro style.

KUT from the Kloth Kelsey Fab Ab Ankle Flare Jeans |

KUT from the Kloth Kelsey Fab Ab Ankle Flare Jeans

White jeans

You can wear your white jeans any time of year (I’m not one to stick to rules about wearing white after Labor Day). But sometimes when the weather is wet or muddy it can be impractical. As many of you will be heading into spring, or are perhaps lucky enough to head off on vacation soon, a pair of white flared jeans like the KUT from the Kloth pants (below) could be perfect. Wear with your favorite top and wedge shoes.

KUT from the Kloth Stella High Waist Raw Hem Flare Jeans |

KUT from the Kloth Stella High Waist Raw Hem Flare Jeans

Crop flare jeans

With a flattering, flared silhouette, you could wear the crop flare jeans (below) with sneakers and your t-shirt or with a blazer and heels for a dressier look.

L.T.J Sicily Crop Raw Hem Flare Jeans |

L.T.J Sicily Crop Raw Hem Flare Jeans

Ariat flares

The Ariat flared jeans (below) have plenty of positive reviews from wearers who say they are figure flattering, look good on your butt and are comfortable. Most reviewers say they run a little large as they have a lot of stretch so it’s best to size down.

L.T.J Sicily Crop Raw Hem Flare Jeans |

ARIAT Ultra Stretch Perfect Rise Katie Flare Jeans

Wrangler retro flares

The Wrangler flares (below) come in three different shades of blue so you can choose your favorite. Reviewers say they are best for tall women. Jeans with a wider flare are particularly on trend at the moment so you may wish to add a pair to your closet if you have a trendy style personality.

Wrangler Misses Retro Premium High Rise Trumpet Flare Leg Jeans |

Wrangler Misses Retro Premium High Rise Trumpet Flare Leg Jeans

Essential indigo

The AG jeans (below) have a high-rise so should hold everything in without any worries about a ‘muffin top’. You can choose from three shades of blue, including the indigo shown here, or white.

AG Adriano Goldschmied Quinne Flare Jeans |

AG Adriano Goldschmied Quinne Flare Jeans

Pull on flares

While you might tend to think of pull-on jeans in a tighter jeggings style, you can also get an easy pull-on flared style like the Cello jeans (below). Some reviewers say they are a little long, so they may be best worn with heels.

Cello Jeans High Rise Pull On Jegging Comfort Denim Flares |

Cello Jeans High Rise Pull On Jeggings Comfort Denim Flares

what to wear with flare jeans

Now let’s move on to how you can put together your flare jeans outfits.

tops to wear with flare jeans

Greetje wears flare jeans and a striped shirt |

Choose shorter tops or tuck your tops in to get the full leg-lengthening effect of flared jeans. Or, you could choose to tuck in a camisole or vest top and then wear a long shirt or cardigan over the top for an equally flattering look.

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) opts for a striped shirt and heeled booties with her jeans.

Recreate her outfit with this similar shirt (another option here), jeans, booties, handbag and earrings.

Below, I’ve opted for shirts you could tuck in, shorter sweater styles and a bardot style top with a wide neckline that would balance the wide pants. Flared jeans go well in a bohemian wardrobe so you could also think about boho style tops.

Tops and sweaters to wear with flare jeans |

Karen Millen Viscose Satin 70’s Collar Woven ShirtSanctuary Cooler Nights Peasant BlouseEileen Fisher Raglan Sleeve Mock Neck SweaterKaren Millen Rib Knit Bardot Top

coats and jackets

Carela wears flare jeans with her blazer |

You can really go two ways with your flares. Choose a short jacket – that way you get the rule of thirds right. Your jacket is one third, and your pants two thirds, making your legs look longer. Another way is to wear a longer coat with your flares.

The only style that will be hard to wear is a mid length coat that can visually cut you in half. However, if you look for a tailored blazer style this will also keep you in proportion.

Carela @carelia_medich above (read her stye interview here) adds elegance to her flared jeans with a blazer and a pair of pumps.

Check out this similar blazer, flare jeans, pumps, clutch and earrings.

Jackets and coats to wear with flare jeans |

Open Edit Crop BlazerCOS Cropped Clasic Bomber JacketKaren Millen Hammered Satin Woven Trench CoatFollure Clothing Trench Coat 

shoes and boots

Platforms and wedges will give you an authentic look. You could also try block heels and pumps. Sneakers will also go with flare jeans, but think about the length as you don’t want your jeans trailing on the ground. If you love a flared style, you might want two pairs – one that you wear with flats and the other to wear with heels.

Wearing heels and keeping your hem over the top of your shoes will make your legs look longer.

Natalia above chooses block heels with her jeans and opts for a cropped jacket.

Check out this similar top, jacket (another option here), flared jeans, heels, clutch, necklace and sunglasses.

Shoes to wear with flare jeans |

Naturalizer Bank PumpsTOMS Sadie BootCushionaire Sloan Faux Wood SandalKeds Jump Kick Sneaker


What to wear with flare jeans: 9 modern flare jeans outfit ideas you'll love |

You can express your style personality with the accessories you choose to go with your flared jeans. Cathy @themiddlepagblog above (read her style interview here) chooses a classic striped sweater and snake print booties.

Get her look with this similar sweater, jeans, booties, belt, bag and sunglasses.

Accessories to wear with flare jeans |

Thacker Anya Leather ToteMary Frances BagNordstrom Large Textured Teardrop Earrings8 Other Reasons Square Drop EarringsMadewell Twinklelight Set of 3 Necklaces

Your flare jeans outfits

Below, you can see the clothes, shoes and accessories from above together in one capsule. You can switch around the tops, coats, shoes and accessories to create many different outfit options.

Flare jeans capsule wardrobe |

shop some of the items above here:

Continue reading:

  1. How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas
  2. How To Wear Leggings Over 40 – A Complete Guide With The Best Leggings And Tops And Shoes To Wear With Them
  3. A Capsule Wardrobe For The Bohemian Style Personality

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What to wear with flare jeans: 9 modern flare jeans outfit ideas you'll love |

Feature image by Cathy @themiddlepagblog


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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