Denim is a very personal matter. You find a style you love, a brand that has that almost-tailor-made fit, and you stick to it. They're the real staple in your closet — tried and true, season after season, they are the foundation for you to play with other cursory trends. Yet, every so often, an old silhouette comes back from the fashion annals, making you question your loyalty to the shape you've been wearing for years. For us (and many others), it's been the flare — and the wide-legged revolution that has followed suit. For those who never stopped wearing flares, the ankle-freeing wonders of the design are old news. For the rest of us, they're a revelation: Flares are classic, while still statement-making; they're retro, but timeless; they create or highlight curves, and are flattering on all. But they're a big jump for someone who's clung to their skinny jeans for dear life. So if we're going to take the wide-legged plunge, we're doing it right. Luckily, the number-crunching experts at Rank & Style have identified the crème de la crème of the flares world, so that leap of faith is more like a tiny, well-researched hop. R&S's top honor goes to the J Brand Maria high-rise flared jean, thanks to its best-seller status — which isn't surprising, given everything it has going for it. The five-pocket design has a skinny fit all the way down, so that the leg opening feels more subtle. (Also, a less dramatic, more measured flare is easier to tailor, if you need to trim a bit off of the 35" inseam.) That, paired with the high waist, has a lengthening effect all over. The $200+ price tag puts it in investment denim territory, but you can count on J Brand's quality to make this jean a new classic in your closet. And just like that, we have the first item in our fall rotation. But before we get too caught up in planning for the cool-off, we need to bask in what's left of the summertime. There are cut-outs to don, shoulders to bare, and toes to point here and there.