When I decided that for this week's Online IRL we should do flares, based on Stevie, our staff writer's epic enthusiasm for giving them a go because she never has a bloody clue how to wear them, shit got real in The Debrief office. There were a lot of raised eyebrows, which escalated to slight whining, which increased to all-out panic about how crap they were all going to look because none of them are Victoria's Secret models. One of us, naming no names, was an hour late to work because she was stressing out about what to wear with her pair.
So you're not alone. We're all terrified at the notion of wearing flares, we're all dubious that a normal sized human can look good in them, but we are keen to give them a whirl - flares are SUCH a key trend from the SS15 catwalks and they're one of those things that you secretly want to conquer. So we ordered from your fave online only stores and tried a tonne on, so you can check out what they look like IRL before you click 'add to bag.'
**Lena, **Acting Deputy Editor**
Cropped flares, £35, ASOS
**The online dream: *The crop kick flare and someone that has had the nickname 'little legs Lena' for her entire life isn't something you'd perfectly pair together, but the fact that Alexa has been all over my insta feed in this shape trouser made me want them. Also the full length flare still brings back memories of that time at my school disco circa 2001 and Thom dumped me mid slow dance to Atomic Kitten's Whole Again – and I never want to go back to that place. Ever.
**The IRL experience: **The shade of a brown was as satisfying 70s IRL as the picture on the site and on the trousers look more wide leg than flare leg, which is an easier way of doing the trend. There was a nice thickness and weight to the wool, which made me feel classy 70s in a Bianca Jagger way rather than comedy 70s like Ashton Kutcher in er, That 70s Show. Though in retrospect looking at my miserable face and how tiny my legs look compared to everyone else, I'm questioning my enthusiasm.
**The debrief: **9/10
Anna, Creative editor
Flared Jumpsuit, £45 Motel at ASOS
**The online dream: **This looked banging on the model, and all I thought was NO WAY! I thought it would be super tight (and it was) so was a bit worried about wearing it…
**The IRL experience: **I was actually surprised – I think being black this made it naturally way more flattering than anticipated. To make it more office apropro I wore a tee underneath and just added a thin necklace. I felt very 70s meets 90s (a great decade combo I reckon). The legs were a bit too short for me but I kinda liked the whole ankle swinging thang. The neck tie was a bit unpredictable and the top slips down a bit. Otherwise LOVED it. Great intro to flares which I still can’t believe are returning. I thought I’d left that whole nightmare behind with my pink corduroy pair from Kylie circa 1999.
**The debrief: **9/10
Stevie, Staff Writer
Denim flares, £205, MIH at Netaporter.com
**The online dream: **The pic looked so cool, the colour was right up my street and they basically looked like good quality denim trousers. Something I don't get a lot of considering all my jeans cost a tenner or less and are either from charity shops or really, really cheap high street stores that rhyme with Blimark. Was a bit concerned about the size (I went for a 28 waist which I thought would be too small)
**The IRL experience: **They looked really good, although were a bit tight which is weird because I've tried on high street flares with a 26 waist and they were fine (honest!). So sizing is a bit of an issue here and I felt a bit, y'know, thigh-y and big and sad because I couldn’t' fit into them comfortably. But in terms of actual trouser, the denim was soft and the length was perfect and the colour was really rich. They basically looked like good quality jeans. And despite being terrified of what to wear with them, they're surprisingly wearable – although you need heels. Only ever wear heels with these bad boys.
The debrief: 8/10 (They lose a point for being unrealistically small around the waist. And nothing can ever be a 10.)
Natalia, Deputy creative editor
Cream flares, £92 Etoile Isabel Marant at theoutnet.com
**The online dream: *I wanted to look like someone out of the film _Dazed and Confused, so_ *I had high hopes about these, not gonna lie, there was basically a whole Texan dream riding on these trousers. I really love Isabel Marant stuff in general too, so it's awesome to see her Etoile line on The Outnet.
**The IRL experience: **In real life they were even better than I thought! I would need to invest in a lot of heels to pull them off day to day though, as I'm only 5ft 6, and they're SO long. You might need to find an affordable seamstress who can take the hem up for you.
**The debrief: **7/10
Jess, Culture Editor
Printed flares, £79.95, Free People
**The online dream: **That I’d get them and basically become Kate Hudson in Almost Famous and look like I lived in California in the seventies and was dating Duane Allman.
**The IRL experience: **I mean, obviously none of the dream happened because I live in London and don’t have sun kissed skin and flowers in my hair BUT, they did fit SO well and I felt mega sassy while wearing them. I think they might be a bit too much for everyday wear but if they were in a solid colour then I would wear them non-stop all day, every day.
**The debrief: **8/10
**Emma, Social Media Editor **
Printed flares, £20, available soon on Boohoo.com
**The online dream: **I really liked the look of them – the bright colours and the unique pattern really caught my eye whilst browsing online. I thought they’d make a great addition to my wardrobe, matched with a black or white top and platform shoes. I love wearing a statement piece mixed in with basics.
**The IRL experience: **They were quite thin, but the material was soft and REALLY comfortable (being comfortable matters a lot to me) and they were a good length. They weren’t as flared as I’d wanted them to be, but they were a good way to ease myself in as I’ve never worn flares before. Next time I’m thinking I’ll upgrade to a skinnier fit leg and then a bigger flare. Also the print reminded me of a tube seat, which I’ve decided is going to be the next big trend.
The debrief: 8/10
Chemmie, Editorial Assistant
Patterned flares, £28, ASOS
**The online dream: **The ASOS model wearing these looked awesome (read: I so wanted to be her) and I really loved the pattern on them because they were interesting and a bit different, without being over the top.
**The IRL experience: **They're made from a super soft, stretchy material so they were nice and comfy to wear. However, said stretchy material means NOTHING is hidden, which made me feel a little self conscious about my bottom-half. I did love the whole seventies flares and roll-neck vibe though. I probably wouldn't buy these, just because I don't think I'd have the guts to wear them out and about (unless I was at a festival) but if you're looking for a pair, I'd defo give these a go. One thing to bear in mind is that they're very long so you've got to pair them with some major heels so that they're not dragging on the floor.
The debrief: 7/10
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Photographed by Anna Jay
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.