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When worn right, flares can elongate your legs

Why you should wear them

An updated version of the 1970s bell-bottom, the flare combines the best of skinny jeans and wide-leg trousers.

It has a more flattering fit - the style hugs the hips and thighs and flares out from the knee. When cut just right and worn with the right shoe, it can give you the illusion of having longer legs.

Stylish celebrities such as Amal Clooney and Jessica Alba have been spotted wearing all forms of flares recently.


-- PHOTOS: EIGHT SLATE, MANGO, KAREN MILLEN, MADEWELL, H&M

How to wear them

To visually lengthen your legs, wear a high-waisted pair and tuck in your top so that your waist is defined.

Get your pants tailored to the right length - the hem should just skim the floor when you are wearing heels. Show a bit of your shoes so that you do not look like you have hooves for feet. Pointy-toed heels are chic and look good when just peeking out from the hem.

If you are tall and can pull off cropped pair of flares - these end about an inch or two above the ankle - pair it with embellished ankle boots, as opposed to leaving your ankles bare as it would look like you have outgrown your pants. You can also style it with loafers and ankle socks.

Avoid wearing tops that end at your hips and flare out as this will make you look wider than you are. Tuck in your top for a slim silhouette.

Here are The Straits Times' picks:

1. Elen Asymmetrical Cropped Flares, $72.50, eightslate.co

These cropped trousers have an asymmetrical hem so they are shorter in the front. Heels are a must.

2. White flare crop trousers, $69, Mango

This pair may look baggy, but it is slim-fitting at the thighs when worn. The flare is minimal, so it goes best with a black ankle boot.

3. Black high-waisted kick flare jean, $258, Karen Millen

The dark wash means you can wear it for both work and play.

4. Flea Market corduroy flared pants, US$182 (S$261), Madewell, from www.net-a-porter.com

Wear this with a shirt tucked in and a pair of wedges.

5. Red slim-fit trousers, $59.90, H&M

Perfect for Chinese New Year, the trouser hem hits just under the ankles so it will not sweep the floor when you are shoe-less.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'Hot pants'. Print Edition | Subscribe