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You probably already know this, but skinny jeans are so last year. Before you rush to buy a pair of wide-leg jeans to replace them, though, consider trying out some flare jeans instead. Don’t be scared of not knowing what shoes to style them with! Think of flares as the slightly-more-fitted version of the ultra-wide-leg styles that are all over Instagram right now. If you’re not sure how to wear this retro look, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite pairs of flares and the perfect shoes to wear them with, from chunky black loafers to bright strappy sandals.
So many of your favorite denim brands are leaning into the flare trend right now. We’re talking nearly endless options at Free People, a super-high-waisted pair at celeb-approved (and Kardashian-owned) Good American and many, many more. My personal go-to denim brand, American Eagle, makes a distressed pair that retails for just under $60 bucks. What’s better than jeans that are both on-trend and affordable? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
That said, don’t be intimidated when it comes to actually styling your new flares—since they’re fitted through the hips and thighs and usually have a super-high rise at the waist, they’re a hella-flattering silhouette on virtually every body type. The actual flared leg doesn’t have to be super exaggerated, so you can really choose your own adventure when it comes to finding your perfect pair. Trust me, you’ve got options!
Now, let’s talk about the most daunting part: what shoes to pair with them. You may not believe me, but your flares go with literally any of the shoes that are currently in your wardrobe. I swear! Sneakers, loafers, block heels and more can all be paired with the right flare jeans for a stylish, flattering look—and if you need to see it to believe it, we’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for five no-fail flare denim and footwear combinations that will have you feeling the ’70s vibes all spring and summer long.
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With Some High-Top Kicks
High-top sneakers instantly make any outfit more approachable for day or night, so start off with something simple if you’re trying out flare jeans for the first time this season. I would wear these AE Super High-Waisted Flare Jeans with a pair of Nike Blazer Mid ’77 SE sneakers for a relaxed, cool-girl approach. The slightly-distressed detailing on the jeans gives the whole look a more lived-in feel.
With Some Comfy Flatforms
Pairing jeans and flatforms together makes for a look that’s the epitome of California-cool dressing. These High Waist Flare Jeans by Lee are a great light-wash option if you’re tired of wearing dark denim all year ’round. Pair with these Cici Sandals in White Stella by Dolce Vita to shows off your pedicure. Talk about a perfect pairing.
With Some Retro Platform Mules
You can look a hell of a lot taller by wearing chunky platform mules with flare jeans. These Senada Red Sandals by Steve Madden are serving some serious Almost Famous vibes, don’t you think? I would pair a bright pair of sandals with denim that comes in a darker wash for contrast, just like these CRVY Super High-Rise Lace-Up Flare Jeans by We The Free. All you need now is a massively shaggy jacket and some round sunglasses for instant stardom.
With Some Colorful, Strappy Heels
Flare jeans actually give you the perfect excuse to show off your cute block-heeled sandals in the summertime—the heel is sometimes all you can see under the wide-leg style, so make it count! I love how these Good Flare Deep V Jeans from Good American compliment this fun pair of pink Betine Strappy Sandals from Schutz. The colorful lucite heel gives the entire outfit a party-ready vibe.
With a Pair of Chunky Loafers
Chunky old-school loafers feel entirely new again when paired with dark-wash flare jeans. These Malvern Loafers by Steve Madden feature a chunky gold chain that adds just enough glam to any OOTD. Pair with the Mia Plus HIgh Rise Flare 29″ Jeans and you’ve got a ’90s-inspired look that feels cool and minimal at the same time.