How to Wear Flare Jeans (even if you are petite)


Skinny jeans have dominated the market for almost six years and they have become a favorite in almost every girl’s closet (we dare say), taking over any other options in store racks.

Don’t get nostalgic skinny lovers, the trend is not entirely gone, nevertheless there’s been some major denim movement this season giving us this “70’s into the 21st century” vibe that obviously brought back a long time gone wide leg cut: The Flare Jean.

Flare jeans can feel like a big style deviation from the classic skinny or boyfriend jeans and can be a tricky cut to master, specially for some petite or curvy figures. But don’t be intimidated, this trend can be actually super easy to style and we’ll give you some infallible tips to make it look amazing on you.


1. It’s All About The Hem

The hem has to be the perfect length, even if it means going to the tailor more than you actually wished for (believe us, it makes a huge difference). A flare jean’s hem needs to cover most of your shoes without going all the way to the floor, so that the piece lengthens your legs properly. If the hem is too long you’ll look sloppy, if the hem is too short you’ll look funny 😉

To master the hem situation: Try the jeans with your “go to” shoes before buying them. If you are re-hemming them after, consider the length of your favorite “go to” shoes too.


via Glamradar
via Glamradar


If you have a petite silhouette we recommend you buy jeans specifically made for petites. Nowadays there are lots of brands that offer petite options such as Anthro, Paige, Loft, Citizens of Humanity, ASOS, and many more. See our favorite styles:


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Re-hemming flare jeans when you are petite tends to mess a little with the overall shape and look because you cut some of the flare off. If you can’t avoid the re-hemming process, first try the jeans on with your “go to” shoes and fold a fake hem to make sure they will look flattering even after you re-hem them.


2. Width and Rise for Perfect Shaping

If you have a petite figure go for high waisted jeans and a narrow flare (at least narrower than your hips). A narrow flare still gives the perfect vibe without shortening your figure too much and a high waisted option defines your waist and elongates your legs compensating for the flare. Another great trick is to choose closely fitted instead of baggy options to create a balancing and slimming effect.

If you are tall you can get away with a wider flare (compensating with high waisted cuts if you wish) and mid rise jeans. A low rise cut will be specially flattering if you have curvy hips. Check out these great picks:


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3. The Flare: How and Where?

via The Fashion Tat
via The Fashion Tat

A flare looks its best when it starts right at the knee (or slightly above it). This is when it can get trickier for petite girls shopping for a non-petite piece. It’s not impossible but it can require a bit more time in the fitting room.



4. Wear the Right Shoes

If you love heels now you’ve got the perfect excuse! Flare jeans were originally meant to be worn with high heels to make your legs look like they can go on and on. So great news for petites because you can seriously use sky high heels under those flares and look amazing. You have tons of options, from pumps and stilettos to wedge sneakers.

Now, high heels are not necessarily an unbreakable rule. Pro-comfort ladies can rock this trend too! If you are tall you can get away with flats or sandals of course, and if you are petite you can opt for more comfy footwear such as wedges or platform sandals and sneakers (which were brought back to life specifically to complement the flare trend). Take a look at these amazing styles:


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5. Details Make a Difference

Camille Dubourdieu via Vanessa Jackman
Camille Dubourdieu via Vanessa Jackman

Flap or big pockets, pleats and gathers give volume to those hips. So if you are pear or hourglass shaped avoid these at all cost. On the contrary if you are busty or have a rectangular figure and need to accentuate your hips (even if you are petite), these will help a bit with the task.



6. Tops, Layer and Accessories

Choosing the right top is important. A good rule of thumb for this trend is to avoid boxy, oversized or long tops because they can disrupt your vertical body flow. Layering can spice your look up when doing this. For example: Use a fitted sweater or top and layer an oversized scarf, cardigan or long vest. You can also use a tucked shirt and button it up all the way to elongate your torso.


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Now, if you feel like you must break the rule and wear a boxy  or oversized top, wide cut sleeves or ruffles, try to balance the whole look by choosing narrow flare jeans, layering with pieces or adding accessories that emphasize your waist and have a slimming effect. For example: You can wear an obi belt over an oversized or long top; you can also wear a long top if you layer it with a short vest or jacket or you can compliment the entire look with a kimono light coat.



7. Color Matters

I feel like there is no need to say this but here it goes: Color matters even for jeans. If you are petite, pear or hourglass shaped; stick with dark denim and discrete denim washes that will lengthen your legs. If on the contrary you are rectangular shaped; light denim or washed denim along your quads and bottom will accentuate those curves.

via GettyImages
via GettyImages



Our Favorite Flare Jean Outfits

Bringing back the 70’s vibe doesn’t mean that you need to go full hippie style. The trick to any classic vintage trend revival is to mix it up with other modern trends, making an overall contemporary look. So now that you know the basics, take a look at our favorite Flare Jean Outfits and inspire yourself:


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Gallery Favorites (From Left to Right): MiH Marrakesh Jeans ($198 usd), Rag & Bone Justine Jeans ($245 usd), Pilcro Superscript Flare Jeans ($138 usd), Frame Denim Le High Jeans ($219 usd), Free People Denim Flare ($178 usd), Mother Cruiser Jeans ($210 usd), MiH Marrakesh Jeans ($195 usd), River Island Brooke Jeans (similar here), Joe’s Samantha Flare Jeans ($179), Topshop Moto Jamie Jeans ($75 usd), Madewell Flea Market Flare ($135 usd), Paige Denim Fiona Jeans ($229)


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*Cover Image Source: via Glamradar


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  1. What’s your opinion on wearing Flared jeans (not high waisted) + Red long sleeve turtleneck sweater, a faux white pearl necklace, and thin red earrings i little bit shorter that the picture here
    + Denim Vest (same blue color as the jeans).

    This is a 70’s inspired look i tried, denim on denim but a vest with a turtleneck instead of a jacket. i have no idea if it’s ok or not because it kinda looks oldfashioned, especially with the earrings and necklace, but i guess that’s what i was trying and i thought it was a good idea. btw i don’t think it matters but I’m 23 years old and i’m petite.

    1. Hi Andreina!

      The 70’s and 90’s are back darling! So first of all, way to go for jumping into the flare trend wagon with style! Your look sounds amazing. You can never go wrong with denim on denim, especially if both pieces are very similar colors. Creating contrast with a red turtleneck is a great idea.
      Some tips to consider:
      1. As mentioned in the post, try creating flattering layers with the vest and turtleneck. Hopefully they are not the same length so you can elongate your legs and compensate for the flare (For example: A fitted turtleneck that falls above your hip line with a vest that falls either at your hip line or a little longer than that – or vice versa – )
      2. The pearl necklace sounds good either as a choker or layered necklace.
      3. The earrings sound ok as long as they aren’t too long or eye catching (so that the turtleneck and necklace are the focus of the look this time). Otherwise there could be too much going on. If you are not sure about them, better skip them all together and go for small stud earrings.
      3. And of course, make sure the flare jeans are the perfect length for the shoes you’ll be wearing 😉

      If you wan’t to try this for other occasions and make the most out of your outfit idea, play with accessories:
      Option a) pearl necklace
      Option b) bandana or silk scarf tied around your handbag (white, blue, gold or nautical combination – depending on the color of your shoes and bag)
      Option c) a waist belt over the turtleneck (either black or brown – depending on the color of your shoes and bag)

      It really doesn’t matter if you are a petite girl! Check out other useful tips for petites we provide in this post and you’ll be rocking the flare trend no doubt!

  2. Hi,
    Love the article. I’ve been wanting someone to break this down for ever. Question, just got an awesome pair of flare jeans from The Gap for $12. The hem is non existent ( just cut and left to tatter). I originally needed them in a short but they only came in regular length. The boots/shoes I would normally wear them with are about 5″-6″ but the jeans are still too long. My question is would you still suggest going to a tailor since it doesn’t have a hem already or could I get a friend to mark them and cut them myself?

    1. Hi Ericka,

      Glad you loved the article.
      Regarding your flares, if it seems they were cut and left to fray then you could just do the same yourself. For a better finish I suggest you cut them at the right length and sew a simple basting stitch 1/4 in above the cut to have more control over the fraying.

    1. Of course you can. Pair them up with a simple half-tucked tee and a leather jacket (or poncho) and you are ready to go.
      Just don’t tuck your flares into your cowboy boots, that may look awkward. 😉