Keep your skinnies, but wide-legs put flare in your jeans

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      There's a rising tide that lifts all boats, or rather a rising wide–wide-leg jeans are hot, baby. Christina Yeung, a designer for the successful Vancouver denim brand Dish, definitely agrees. She sidled up to the bar at the Five Point (3124 Main Street) in a pair with a nice dark wash and, over a pint, described a world where wide-legs can live alongside their narrower cousins: "I'm reluctant to say women shouldn't try on skinny jeans, because the right skinnies won't make you look stubby and a skinny silhouette can be quite flattering, if women give it a chance."

      Thin has its place, Yeung insists, but she also recognizes that wide-leg jeans make for a kinder and gentler trend: "Wider legs suit more body types. It's a look that's trending up, and even flares are looking fresh again. It's just fresh to see a wider leg. And if you get the right fit, it'll make your legs look a mile long."

      The movement toward bellish bottoms started in late 2006 when fashion icons such as Kate Moss were spotted wearing them, and by fall, chic women may feel the urge to break the skinny routine with a pair of wide ones.

      Dish will be coming out with the Deseray, which has a moderately swishy 21-inch bottom. "They're really flattering when paired with stilettos, and make for a really long line," Yeung says. The trick, then, is how long. "The tips of your shoes should be peeking out, and [the hems should hang] just off the ground at the heel," the designer suggests.

      Wide-leg flares, like Hudson’s Deluxe pair, will make legs look miles long.

      For the more adventurous, Dish will also have the Marilou, with 24 inches at the cuff, a jaunty pocket, and flaplike details on the front. "It's a great look for the weekend where she [a woman] wears them with Chucks and turns the hem up. She can look really cute. And we have a five-pocket-version Marilou with simpler detailing."

      If a gal needs denim sailor pants, a visit to Dutil–the single-minded jeans emporium at 303 West Cordova Street–may do the trick. Manager Jo Ha pulls two pairs of Hudson's Deluxe pants out–one dark, one bleach wash.

      "I personally have a pair of each," she says. They have a standard front and pocket flaps at the back. The dark ones have a lovely light weight, making for a perfect summer pair. The bleach-finish pair portends autumn, and as Ha recommends, begs "a knotty sweater or a turtleneck for the winter".

      Regardless of whether one chooses 24-inch Hudsons, the more trouserlike The Dream by Fidelity (another Vancouver designer), or J Brand's Joplin, Ha advises keeping an eye on the shoes and the top.

      "These [extremely wide-legged jeans] you would wear with flip-flops, ballerina flats, or wedges, so you'll probably want to have two pairs with different hem lengths. Both these pants should just skim the floor and [the shoe should] only show when the leg flows. And if you go with flip-flops, wear it with something on top that's tight, but if you go with the wedge, you can wear a looser, more flowing top."

      Sounds like time to ice the skinnies. "No," Ha insists. "Skinnies are still hot."