Flare Jeans Are Back — Here's How To Wear Fall's Must-Have Denim Staple Without Looking Like You're In Costume

Denim trends can be dramatic and polarizing. Thinking back on decades past, there's a signature denim trend that pops out as the cut, whether we like it or not. The past 10 or so years have been clearly dominated by skinny jeans, but the revolt against skintight, ankle-suffocating denim has begun. It turns out that flare jeans are back in style. (Who knew?) We thought flares were over, but after a decade of polished restriction, a dip back into chiller, more retro waters is just what the doctor ordered. That's not to say we're all going full-on bell bottoms with granny glasses and polyester blouses, but we are absolutely revisiting the style.

Now there are distinct emotional stages that you go through when you revisit a trend that you thought you'd blocked out for good. When you think back on the flares of your youth, you probably think of dangerously low cuts paired with questionable graphic tees or weirdly unflattering empire tops and too-thick belts. But just because flares were a part of that deeply unfortunate era does not mean they can't evolve — and they have. Everyone from fashion editors to top style bloggers and celebs have embraced the return of the flare, and the results are surprisingly refreshing. We've partnered with Abercrombie & Fitch to show you that it's all about the perfect fit and pairings. These five looks will have you rethinking your must-have denim for fall.

1. The Retro Boho

Ribbed Knit Cropped Cami, Abercrombie & Fitch, $15; Flare Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch , $39; Ray-Ban Original Aviator, Sunglass Hut, $159.95; MILLY Crossbody Essex Fringe Small Drawstring, Bloomingdales, $275; Crisscross Frida Sandal, Madewell, $109.99

Sometimes simple is best, and a little throwback to the '70s with some fringe, chunky heels, and shades gives you just the right amount of nostalgia — without looking like a Dazed And Confused extra.

2. The Carefree Brunch Look

J Brand Maria High Rise Flare, House Of Fraser, $390.30; Cecile Copenhagen Off-Shoulder Keffiyeh Frill Top, Browns London, $135; Ray-Ban Round Metal Sunglasses, Eye Save, $148.49; Swedish Hasbeens Peep Toe Super High Clogs, Dailylook, $248.99; See By Chloé Mini "Vicki" Crossbody, Dante 5, $391

A breezy off-the-shoulder top balances your flare, while a chunky heel keeps you from looking weighed down by a wider leg.

3. The Denim-On-Denim

Rag & Bone Beckett Bell Bottom Jean, Marissa Collectons, $198; Rivet & Thread Chambray Peplum Tank, Madewell, $69.99; Madewell Open Point Ring, Shopbop, $19.60; Ray-Ban Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses, Net-A-Porter, $150; Carven Bordeaux Calf St Sulpice Bucket Bag, Moda Operandi, $930; Jeffrey Campbell Zaferia Sandal, Revolve, $145

An unexpected chambray worn up top can feel totally contemporary against a dark fitted jean. Neutral accessories and subtle luxe accents dress up denim-on-denim and keep your look grounded.

4. The Minimalist

Stella McCartney '70s Flare Jeans, Farfetch, $434.50; Alexander Wang Ribbed Wool And Cashmere Blend Sweater, Net-A-Porter, $495; Ray-Ban Aviator Mirrored Sunglasses, Neiman Marcus, $170; MARC BY MARC JACOBS Scribble Cuff, Bloomingdales, $198; Lauren Merkin Mega Meg Cross Body Bag, Shopbop, $295; Maison Margiela Strappy Chunky Heel Sandals, Farfetch, $913.39

These are not your mom's flares. Crisp white looks totally fresh against a contemporary knit, bold heels, and blush-tone details.

5. The All-American

Natural Waist Flare Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch , $39; Rachel Comey Boxy Tee, La Garçonne, $136.50; Karen Walker Harvest Sunglasses, Otte NY, $280; Michael Michael Kors Clog, Shoescribe, $123; Alexander Wang Prisma Leather Shoulder Bag, Net-A-Porter, $825

It doesn't get more American than denim, and keeping it classic never goes out of style. A crisp cropped tee balances a high-rise cut, and timeless accessories will take you from work to a weekend getaway.

Images: Dazed And Confused / Gramercy Pictures

This post is sponsored by Abercrombie & Fitch.