Searching For The Perfect Flare

The quest to find the perfect bootcut or flared jeans amid a wasteland of skinny legs
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The quest to find the perfect bootcut or flared jeans amid a wasteland of skinny legs

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The Happy Mondays said it best: "Don't need no skin tights in my wardrobe today."

Skin tight jeans have never looked good. From the sparrow legged look of The Ramones, through to the sprayed on jeans of 80s hair metal. It's not flattering. With feet anything over a size 6 the look is more golf club that rock 'n' roll. Never mind the potential injury issues. You do want kids at some point don't you?

The late 80s saw a revival of the loose fit look as kids realised baggy jeans were better to dance in. Less sweaty. Less clingy. More room to groove. But fashion being cyclical  the skin tight kecks have stuck back. Possibly due to The Strokes, who spawned a decade of skinny jeaned kids as well as a generation of low fi guitar boredom bands. But that's a different article.

A whole new wave has been raised on the demand for jeans they need to struggle to get into. Supply has followed demand. Or perhaps the demand has followed the supply. Either way for those of us of a bootcut or flare persuasion, the perfect pair of jeans is increasingly hard to get hold of in the shops

I managed to track down the last pair that fit me to a shop in Huddersfield. Like some kind of denim Indiana Jones. Following the clues to the final resting place of  a selvedge artefact

I've been through countless disappointing fitting sessions in changing rooms and been left disheartened on opening a package after taking a chance online.

I'd tried Nudie Flare Glen - discontinued. Armani bootcut - now hard to find in just a solid indigo with a decent sized hem. And various obscure disasters which were slightly too hippy or possibly women's jeans. It was hard to tell.

Then a few years ago I bought 2 pairs of Levis 520 Flare from Selfridges in Manchester. I'd tried the first pair on. They fit a dream. Snug at the top then kicking out at the bottom. Covering the middle stripe on a pair of Adidas Montreal I was wearing. The perfect fit. So I bought the second pair. Around £75 each. Should last me a year or so I thought. And so they did.

Sadly they then disappeared from  sale. I managed to track down the last pair that fit me to a shop in Huddersfield. Like some kind of denim Indiana Jones. Following the clues to the final resting place of  a selvedge artefact.

This got me by for another 6 months or so. Then the time came. I had to buy another pair. And there was nothing out there...

They looked just the job. Unfortunately, and on account of them being 2 years old, they only had odd sizes left. I had to buy a pair an inch too small on the waist

To eBay.

I'd had some disasters with eBay before, I didn't want to look like Charles Manson, just have a hem that covered the appropriate amount of shoe or trainer. The trail led me to a German seller, who had some Lee 120th anniversary bootcut jeans. They looked just the job. Unfortunately, and on account of them being 2 years old, he only had odd sizes left. I had to buy a pair an inch too small on the waist. They'd be OK with a belt worn to cover up the fact the button doesn't fasten I thought. They won't make me look a fat bastard. Well, they weren't and they did. Which is a real shame, as if you can track down a pair in your size the Lee 120th anniversary  jeans are superb. Sadly, I coudn't.

So, it was time to try again. How hard can it be to find a pair of jeans? Whether they were £15, £50 or £150, I just wanted jeans that fit right. That I wanted to wear. Should I just go straight leg? No. One last try.

A mooch round the various Levis outlet stores yielded no results. The 520 Flares were definitely gone. They were ex-jeans. The pair left in my wardrobe now fit for gardening and decorating. And I suspect future results of googling them will now just lead back to this article.

So it was back to eBay.

And then I found them. Perfect fit. Perfect colour, made in Britain and £31.99 plus postage. You see, I don't really want to tell you what they are because I want to keep them for myself, but I will. For those of you struggling in the same way I was, take a look at these from Fuzzdandy. I now have a stockpile a US survivalist in an underground bunker  in the mountains would be proud of. If he stockpiled jeans and not food and weapons that is.

But still, if you do like them reader, please don't buy them all, I'm so tired of searching.

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