Let’s start at the beginning. The late 1800s, to be precise, when flares first made their appearance. Created with practicality in mind, US navy sailors (the unlikely style icons we have to thank for our classic Bretons, too) favoured the wide legs of their ‘bell bottom’ trousers, as they could easily be rolled up, or pulled off over their boots.
Fast forward 100 years, and they found their ’70s groove. Now typically made from denim (wearers weren’t at sea that much anymore), they were seen as the uniform of the cool and the chic. Musicians, fashion designers, and stars of the screen – Charlie’s Angels approved, actually – led the trend for these wide-leg denim wonders. There wasn’t a wardrobe they didn’t work in.
These days, they’re just as versatile, as well as mega-flattering. Style our modern, tailored version – note the contrast stitching – with heeled boots (hello, leg-lengthening combo) and tan accessories for a look that’s just ’70s enough, without feeling like fancy dress. They’ll also love a trainers-and-trench situ in the daytime, too.