Flare-up on the high street: Dowdy old M & S? Come off it. Just look at these bell-bottoms, says Tamsin Blanchard
Saturday 08 May 1993
Marks & Spencer says flares are here to stay and will feature strongly in next winter's range. Called 'the new legging' by Vogue, it looks as though flares are once more being revived in women's wardrobes nationwide.
M & S bell-bottoms come in navy, black and chocolate- brown jersey. They are also sold in white denim, and there is a range of 'wide-leg trousers' in viscose. One young woman, recently seen dancing the night away in her white M & S flares, enthused: 'They're really funky. They're tight around your leg and flare out at just the right place. I've never had so much reaction to a pair of trousers. People can't believe where they are from.'
The 23-year-old in question (M & S does not have quite enough street cred for her to agree to be named) was given her bell-bottoms by her mother 'who virtually lives in M & S'. She admits she would not have bought them herself had she seen them in the shop, although the company has since gone up in her estimation.
The bell-bottoms are aimed at the customer young enough not to remember them first time round. But the company believes the wide-leg trousers will appeal to older women as well.
Nineties flares have been updated since their heyday in the Seventies for now they have the advantage of Lycra. The most popular versions are made of jersey and cling like leggings to the upper part of the leg, flaring out from the knee - which sounds like a nightmare for anyone shorter than 6ft 5in and with anything wider than pencil-thin legs. They are, however, much more fluid than their old, stiff counterparts.
The infiltration of fashion fads from the street or catwalk into the comfort and safety of Marks & Spencer means that it, along with other mainstream retailers, is now responding very quickly to fashion.
Recent press campaign pictures were accessorised with bandannas, hippie sun shades, love beads and leather thongs. (At the moment, M & S has only gone so far as to stock the shades, pounds 9.99.) Last autumn there was the platform shoe. Even the clog is making an appearance this spring.
Flares have long been popular with fashion students, but their introduction at Marks & Spencer really marks their return to the mainstream. Strong sales suggest that they may be around for much longer than anyone thought possible.
26 December 2014 02:32 PM
The coming year is expected to provide opportunities for patient investors
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Simon Read: The point of having protection insurance? The right cover can help reduce your financial concerns at a time of extreme worry
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In May Nicola Groves got a massive shock. The 45-year-old mother of two was told, bluntly, that she had breast cancer. "When I heard the words, 'You do have breast cancer and you are going to lose your breast', I felt as if time stood still," she says.
19 December 2014 07:30 PM
It's that time again when the media looks back over the past year and forward to the next. I am reminded of an old film, The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). Near the end of the film a newspaper prints two headlines – which one it uses will depend on whether the world is saved or doomed.
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The supermarket banks have always excelled at offering simple, no nonsense products, and savings accounts is another area in which they fare well
12 December 2014 06:17 PM
The sun is shining on people who struggle to heat their homes and it’s thanks to a sense of community
12 December 2014 06:23 PM
Struggling people need help, understanding and forbearance, not ill-thought-out pronouncements
12 December 2014 06:20 PM
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12 December 2014 06:02 PM
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice: 'The injustice of shock bills for crime victims must end. The Government must stand up for consumers and cap bills from lost or stolen phones at £50'
12 December 2014 05:57 PM
Stirring the pot: the Indian Government’s reforms of labour rules offer hope of a brighter future for businesses
12 December 2014 05:53 PM
Knight of the road, look out: you’ve got a new rival
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Simon Read: The Chancellor has stamped on an unfair tax. But will the delight of homebuyers mean misery for others?
06 December 2014 12:00 AM
Were you surprised by the sudden reform of the rules for stamp duty on property purchases? I certainly was. I've been calling for ages for a change in the tax to make it more fair – and, at a stroke, George Osborne did just that on Wednesday in his Autumn Statement.
29 November 2014 12:00 AM
21 November 2014 04:33 PM
With some people are weighing up whether they will be better off cashing in their final salary pension next spring, Samantha Downes asks the experts
Pension mortgages: 'The advice I was given was wrong and now I face losing my home'
Minister's pension promise to firefighters challenged
Gold-plated pensions – the key to retirement freedom?
Mark Dampier: Maybe boom, maybe bust, but we'll probably just muddle along
Your money: Let’s hope for a fairer, more honest 2015
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British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
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BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
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