Subliminal Style
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Catching Rae

Testing the High Waters

Occasion: Flea market, walk along the LA River hiking trail
Dress Code: Casual
Outdoor Temps: 62°F
Activity Level: Moderate-High
Wearing: Cut-off Topshop Moto Flares, Valette tunic sweater, United Hatters cap from Evereve, B. Makowsky bag

I've been seeing this high-water/cropped flare trend everywhere lately - Bazaar, Vogue, Free People, Alexa Chung, Madewell, Zara... enough to pique my interest in a pants cut that feels supremely awkward to me. 

On one hand, the cropped flare seems like it should be easier to wear than its baggier cousin the culotte; models seem to be happy to wear these with mid-thigh tunics and blazers, while shorter gals pair high rises with crop tops and heels.

But where the culotte leaves a lot of your legs to the imagination, the cropped flare exposes all curves without the added lengthening effect of a full-leg flare. For me - a gal with a short waist, bubble booty, and short legs in proportion to my torso - I find myself torn between lengthening my middle and lengthening my legs. 

In an effort to solve both problems, I chose to keep a dark line throughout the outfit, matching the black wash jeans to black shoes with an ample wedge heel and topping everything off with a deep purple tunic. 


  • Trendy, current, modern, youthful
  • A break from the usual, novelty
  • Shows off cool shoes


  • Leg shortening
  • Limiting to me re: top length
  • Limiting to me re: heel height

All in all, I liked the outfit... but I didn't love it. The benefits of feeling trendy and spunky simply didn't outweigh the limitations they set on my other garments due to my short waist and legs. I tried to style these crops with all kinds of different things in my closet - not many outfits emerged, and I am not enamored enough to hit the shopping trail.

The verdict? These babies are in the donation bin. Although I do love these photos and liked this particular outfit, it did not make me happy to wear the cropped flares. I'll pass for now - and wait for a trend I really do love before compromising on ease, flattery, or versatility.