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.
Simon Read: "Pension freedom is months away but if we don't act soon, the freedom may be to make an expensive mistake with our future"
30 January 2015 11:00 PM
The introduction of the new pension freedoms has been "alarmingly chaotic", reckons Nigel Green, chief executive of the financial consultancy deVere Group, He said this week: "The implementation of changes appears to be being rushed in a cynical attempt to woo older voters ahead of May's election."
30 January 2015 09:24 AM
There has been continued criticism of banks' delaying tactics and failure to find those affected by by the UK’s biggest-ever financial mis-selling scandal
26 January 2015 03:29 PM
Companies will be required to ask about health and lifestyle choices or marital status, to protect consumers who do not take up the government’s offer of the Pension Wise guidance guarantee service
23 January 2015 08:00 PM
I had dinner with the pensions minister Steve Webb this week. There was a wide-ranging discussion about the new pensions freedoms starting in April, and changes to the state pension. Crucially, I also got to ask Mr Webb whether he had any plans to have another look at the injustice that is frozen pensions.
23 January 2015 08:00 PM
23 January 2015 08:00 PM
While the health of the economy is not insignificant, Mark Dampier finds it incredibly unpredictable in terms of its impact on the stock market
21 January 2015 12:32 PM
A new free app is aimed at the three-fifths of Brits who have never switched supplier
20 January 2015 09:34 AM
Regulator’s investigation into the market found that around £160bn was held in easy access savings accounts that pay interest lower or equal to BoE base rate
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
Simon Read: Information is power. And it's in the wrong hands when people are cold-called by companies that know they're in debt
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
In debt? You're likely to be targeted by unscrupulous companies that hope to profit from your misfortune. They may try to pretend to be your friend by offering what they call "help" – but almost certainly that help will come with a cost and leave you worse off than you were before they got in touch.
17 January 2015 12:00 AM
In less than three months' time radical changes to pensions will take effect, providing investors with more freedom. Yet for those who prefer to make their own investment decisions, the choice of funds available is overwhelming. And an income drawdown account is also not particularly easy to manage.
15 January 2015 12:23 PM
The minimum amount for which you can be forced into bankruptcy is being raised from £750 to £5,000
Mark Dampier: How to get an income now that savings are past the 'use by' date
Thousands of UK investors could lose out following collapse of Secured Energy Bonds
Bargain Hunter: Fly off for a winter break in France or Portugal for well under £100
Millions in line for compensation after being sold unnecessary credit card cover
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 26-30 January
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign
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