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Your Stylist: The right amount of '70s-style flare in your spring denim

January 10, 2011 |  8:00 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column.

DereklamJonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter

In this installment of Your Stylist, we address the '70s trend for spring. Now granted, the decade is showing up in all forms, from Marc Jacobs' trippy “Taxi Driver” baby dolls to Derek Lam’s minimal Paige styling with crisp white shirts and neutral-colored platform sandals.

But this being Los Angeles, where denim is part of a daily uniform, plenty of people are bound to put down their skinnies (for a season anyway) and pull on a pair of flare-leg jeans that hint at the bell bottoms of the '70s, but not quite so severe.

Flare leg (and a few bell-bottom styles) will be out in abundance once spring merchandise starts landing in stores, and although the trend may be enticing, remember not to pile on macrame and a big floppy hat with these jeans, or the whole look will be too costume-y.

For a more subtle approach to the flare leg, the Roxley Flare ($179) and the Bentley Wide Leg ($211) from Medflare Paige have a wide leg that also looks sleek and clean like a trouser jean. Getting flare leg jeans in a lighter, sun-faded wash (which is also a huge trend in spring denim) will stay true to the 1970s appeal, as well as look more casual. A deeper, darker wash (like the Roxley shown in Pure wash) will lend itself to a tux jacket, tailored blazer or dressier blouse for evening or an important meeting.

For a fun, weekend jean that’s still got some flare, a lighter shade looks best. Try the Drama jean in the Forever Blue wash from Mother ($220) or the Sugar Hi Rise from Rich & Skinny ($206) for that sun-bleached wash that just screams for a leisurely bike ride along the beach. Both these styles have a high rise that come up all the way to the waist, creating that long shapely silhouette to the body. Although they are authentic in style, they could possibly be a bit uncomfortable at the midsection to anyone who is used to a lower rise.


The most extreme styles out there fall into the bell-bottom category. The Farrah jean from Decades Denim ($130) is a soft and comfy style, with an even wash that works day or night, with flats or a platform sandal. If you want a slightly exaggerated bell, 7 for all Mankind’s bell bottom ($178) and the Angie jean from Citizens of Humanity ($228) have that true, triangular-shaped leg opening that juts out from a fitted thigh and knee area for a more dramatic take on the '70s denim trend.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos, from top: Derek Lam's spring-summer 2011 runway. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter.

Left, Paige Bentley jeans, $211, and Roxley Flare, $179, at Paige, Robertson Boulevard. Credit: Paige.

Left, Rich & Skinny Hi Rise jeans, $206, at Nordstrom. Credit: Rich & Skinny. Mother Drama jeans, $220, at Curve. Credit: Mother.

From left, 7 for All Mankind Bell Bottom jeans, $178, at 7 for All Mankind, Robertson Boulevard. Credit: 7 for All Mankind. Decades Denim Farrah jeans, $130, at Credit: Decades Denim. Citizens of Humanity Angie jeans, $228, at Curve. Credit: Citizens of Humanity.