While wide-leg denim styles have dominated fashion coverage for several seasons now, flare and bell-bottom jeans are on the sale racks at stores across the country.
At Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores, the markdowns on '70s-style merchandise are a sign that parent company Urban Outfitters Inc. has lost touch with its customers, Crain's New York Business contends in a story published this week.
Michael Londrigan, chairman of the fashion merchandising department at LIM College, said that mainstream shoppers typically need a season or two to get accustomed to a style and that the stores could have introduced the novelty more gradually.
"People who buy [at Urban] are not trendsetters; they're more of the fashion followers," Mr. Londrigan said.
To see whether the argument made by Crain's holds true in Miami, we stopped by trendy Coconut Grove boutique Butter, where a store employee told us that wide-leg styles are definitely outselling skinnies. She also noted that there is much greater demand for light-wash denim than for darker hues (not a shocker, since we have months of 800-degree days to look forward to).
At Coconut Grove boutique Butter, flared cuts like the one on the left are most popular. When it comes to color, shoppers want to keep it light, with soft hues like the baby pink of these skinny-leg pairs on the right.
Besides checking in with the boutique, we also took to Twitter to survey Miamians on whether they prefer skinnies or wide legs. "wide legs! Love them. Especially when they are super skinny all they way down and then big flare," stylist and fashion blogger @RiaMichelle responded.
So is Crain's wrong, or is Miami just trendier than the rest of the country? We'd certainly like to believe that the former is true — but there may be another reason why this city has embraced the trend.
"I think the summer is the time to wear wide-leg or a flare because you wear heels and wedges with them. We haven't really been able to wear that shoe yet," Alison Barnard, owner of Boston denim emporium In-Jean-Ius, told our sister site The Feast Boston/Shop, which also investigated the trend.
Barnard's weather theory would seem to be in line with the popularity of light-wash denim at Butter — and it's one we'll remember come fall when we're bemoaning all the cold-weather-dressing fun in which we can't partake.
LIST: Where to Buy Denim
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Achieve Authentic '70s Style at Fox House Vintage
Gap Creative Director Patrick Robinson Talks Spring Flares
Lovers + Friends Puts a Soft Spin on '70s Power Dressing
Miami Boutique Owner Designs Collection for Genetic Denim