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The Return of Flares

Fashion is indeed cyclical: meaning it always returns. You might have asked yourself why the 90’s trend has bounced back into this age. Peradventure you have seen some Genz’s style themselves in flares. The Fashion community has drastically gravitated towards flare and every fashion styles seems to feature flares. Designer collections are now coming out with new styles and trends for flares. Especially in Ghana’s Music industry, a lot of the mainstream artistes are branding themselves in flares which some years ago was seen as the fashion of the oldies. At the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Award ‘24, we witnessed lots of the Artistes styled in flare and they looked confident in them. Artiste of the Year Black sheriff styles himself in flares, Kidi has also adopted flares for his brand and the likes of Niashun and other artistes.

Do the stylists of the fashion world know how it fits for some combinations? Here are some facts about flares you need to write in your brain:

Origin

Flares or bell bottom as others call it is any trousers that fits the thighs and right from the knee to the foot is a wide and loose volume. In Ghana the colloquial term for this dress is “Hold my thighs and leave my leg”. It dates back to the 19th Century where it was mostly worn by American Sailors. It wasn’t for fashion sake but served as a working gear. The purpose of the flares worn by the sailors was mainly for them to hold on to anyone who mistakenly falls off the ship. Since it has a bigger volume at the feet, they can hold on to it when someone falls. Also, it made it easier for them to put on their boots and also remove the trousers when wet as well as roll them up when working in muddy places.

The guardian.com

The surge

In the early 1960’s, the youth in the United States of America started wearing flares which they usually bought from the Army’s surplus store. Though the flares from the Army stores were cheaper, the youth purchased them for other purposes than fashion. The youth in that era were wearing flares to protest against wars that were prevalent in that era. They will embroil flowers and peace signs on the trousers they had bought and this sent the signals of the youth calling for peace and an end to war.

arts and culture.com

The Popula era

The element that flares owe thanks to is music. Music really exploded flares around the world. It was no longer a working gear worn by sailors, neither was it an anti-war message. It was embraced by musician in the 70s. A lot of Music bands and Artistes appeared on stage in flares and it became the ish of the time. In America, musicians like Dave Hill, the Abba band, Rock Band Slade and others wore . Also in Ghana one Musician that wa really popular for wearing flares was Terry Boncchaka, the Pulele hitmaker. He was always styled in his flares and an Afro comb in his hair.

Flares later became the fashion which everyone embraced. Almost everybody wore flare in the 70s.Flares however saw a decline in the 80s in other parts of the world but in Ghana, they reigned even in the 90s. As fashion is cyclical, there is a season a particular fashion dies off. Tight jeans took over the scene and flares were relegated to the background. It was no more the ish of fashion and only people who were seen as archaic and outmoded wore flares. Infact you would be a laughing stock and really trend on social media if you were to wear flares some years ago.

Now the trend has been reborn. It has surfaced again especially in our music industry. Ladies wear more of the flares as compared to men. One of the reasons is that, flares reveals your curves. When worn by ladies, the curves are undoubtedly shown. It also lengthens the feet and makes them look longer and they are also comfortable to wear. Don’t ignorantly bash people wearing flares the next time you see any. It might just be a display of your ignorance of fashion

Richmond Ampofo Fordjour
Richmond Ampofo Fordjour
Richmond Ampofo Fordjour is a Student Journalist at the University of Media, Arts, and Communication, Uni-MAC GIJ. He is a Research enthusiast and an avid reader.
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