Ever since the ramping down of the skinny jeans trend a few years ago, I feel like trends in pants have been changing at a breakneck pace. In a short period, we’ve seen rises increase, mom jeans become cool, the straight leg, the bootcut, and the wide leg all usher in at a breakneck pace. Considering just how long skinny-leg jeans reigned, which was just about a decade, to have this many trends in pants in such a short amount of time, it’s downright dizzying.

In some respects, I prefer the wide berth we’ve been given to choose from so many pants silhouettes available to us nowadays when compared to a time when we had no choice but to pour ourselves into pants that basically looked like they were painted on, especially when you consider that skinny jeans, which are seen as so yesteryear, are still widely available today. When it comes to pants, we have more choices today than we did just a few years ago.


Not to throw yet another pants silhouette into the mix, but kick-flare pants are very much back for the spring summer, and for good reason. As women started to reembrace the bootcut silhouette, for warmer weather, the kickflare style makes sense. Of course, it’s not the kick-flare’s first go-around. Back when bootcuts were the “it” pants the last time, their shorter sister style, the kick-flare was waiting in the wings to get us through higher temperatures.

I’ve always liked kick-flare pants because when compared to a tapered cropped pant, I look less bulbous in my hips. Kick-flare pants, like bootcuts, have a counterbalancing effect which means adding weight to one end to balance the other end. Imagine it like a scale. In fashion terms, it means adding width or weight to one body area, such as the shoulders or the hems of pants, to compensate for the natural width or fullness of an opposite area, like the hips–  the result is an illusion of balance.

Of course, there is a caveat to this, too much counterbalancing through a bootcut or flare and you wind up creating the opposite effect, so choose the width of your flares accordingly. Also, be mindful of the fact that when you shorten the visual length of a body part it has a widening effect. Essentially, kick-flares that are too short and too full can backfire badly. Less is more. You don’t need a lot of flare to make a big impact. If you want more on how optical illusion can balance your body, you can read this post.


Because this blog is particularly for women in the workplace, I have styled kick-flare pants professionally, but be sure to check out the end of the post with more styles that can be styled for work and weekends.


Spanx makes incredibly popular pants among our clients with a large percentage who are fans. They offer this kick-flare style that I used for this work look with a printed blouse from Reiss, a pair of loafer slides from Ted Baker, and square hoops from Anthropologie.


My client, Mrs. Wonderous, bought these pants from MM. Lafleur during a shopping trip we recently took together. Being very petite, these pants were the perfect bootcut length for her. The worst thing about most model photos is that they are all 6’eleventy inches tall and it’s hard to tell how long they will be on a regular-sized human. Always look for inseam lengths in the pants descriptions. I styled these pants with a bright green sleeveless ruffled blouse from The Fold, a navy cardigan, brown heeled sandals from M.Gemi, and hammered hoops from Monica Vinader.


I styled these black and white gingham kick-flare pants from Veronica Beard for a business casual workplace. I layered this workwear tee in black under an easy ivory blazer and finished the look with geometric patterned sneakers from Dolce Vita, and sterling silver huggie hoops.


In this soft look, I styled these camel kick-flare pants from ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo with a cotton wrap shirt from Lauren Ralph Lauren. I finished the outfit with petal pink loafers from Stuart Weitzman and a beaded necklace from Lizzie Fortunato.


In this last look, I styled this black and ivory cotton striped sweater from Everlane with red kick-flare pants from J.Crew. I am reminded of an old post I wrote about how two color prints that have a white or ivory background can be treated like solid colors, as is the case here with this black and white sweater paired with red. I finished the look with black Mary Jane flats from Margaux and black stud earrings from James Allen.