|1. Wishbone necklace by Astrid & Miyu – £29.00 here|
2. Gold initial rings by Astrid & Miyu – £39.00 here
3. Sophie Hulme Bordeaux cross-body bag – £425.00 here
4. Topshop Premium Prowl boots – £120.00 here
5. Topshop cropped shirt – £36.00 here
6. Miss Selfridge skinny flared jeans – £38.00 here
Back to the matter at hand: denim. This season is all about the stuff– be it Alexa Chung for AG's delectable white dungaree dress or Victoria Victoria Beckham's chic flared mini, the workaday fabric is back on the sartorial agenda for SS15, and it's looking rather foxy. Inspired by the changing demands of their ready-to-wear clientele, designers took note, debuting an array of dressed-up denim pieces. Stella McCartney ticked off two trends in one, whipping hers into utilitarian overalls, while Burberry Prorsum took the perennial jean jacket up a notch or two with exquisite tailoring and tactile trimmings. The catwalk has spoken: it's time to take your denim in a new direction.
Easier said than done. This week I have been on a mission, slowly steering myself away from my safety zone. I started by snapping up a pair of Paige's best-in-the-biz Verdugo skinnies (a belated 21st birthday gift) and then made the decision to diversify. Dungarees? Bring it. Mom-style cuffed crops? I'm ready for ya. Swinging 70s bell bottoms? Hold up... That may take some convincing.
Yup, you read it right, flares are back in a big way, emerging as the It silhouette for spring/summer. The key ingredient to the fabulous hippy dippy look we are all dying to nail, swishy bell bottoms are actually not as scary as they seem. In fact, they are actually pretty flattering. Sitting high on the waist, they hug from the hip down before kicking out at the knee, giving the illusion of endless legs to rival Jerry Hall circa Studio 54. She probably didn't wear flares because she was too busy looking hot in Halston, but if she did she'd have rocked them like a pro.
I can testify, having trawled the stores for the perfect pair, that they are technically more forgiving than skinnies– they are just not as socially acceptable. There's something funky about flares that make folk giggle and churn out Austin Powers catchphrases, but if they were cool in the 70s, they are extra cool now. Fashion has gone full-circle and if it ain't got that groove, you may as well push it to the back of your wardrobe.
There's no need to go all-out boho with platforms and peace signs, all it takes is a simple switch from skinny to swishy. If you have the funds, make a beeline for MiH's Marrakesh pair or J Brand's cult Love Story styles– they really are the best – or if, like me, you have to save money to, you know, live and stuff, then look to Topshop, Miss Selfridge and River Island's take on the trend. I like to think of them as applying a warm 70s filter to my smart-casual kit, sort of like a sartorial Valencia.
Sure they seem tricky, but flares are Stayin' Alive for a reason. Why not give it a go? At around £40.00 a pop, it's definitely worth a shot. On the styling front, stick to simple roll necks and shirts for a smarter feel, and never stray from high heels. Here are a few styling ideas– it's time to bring groovy back, baby.