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Introducing the FlareMax: This summer’s defining feature of the cool girl group

She’s the real life Groovy Chick


Close your eyes and picture the last house party you went to. The loud music thumps in the background as you snake your way through the intoxicated crowd. You bump into a few of the usual suspects – the Strongbow Dark Fruits boys still talking how much they love Oasis, the sad girl wondering why she came out when she hates socialising and the bedroom DJ who's finally had his chance to shine.

But everything comes to a halt when you lay your eyes on the most beautiful girl you have ever seen. She's there, sidestepping to the beat of her own drum in her Air Max 95s. Her flares swish gently from side to side. And you're stood there wondering, how can someone look so disheveled and unbelievably cool at the same time?

Meet the Flaremax girl: the husky voiced Urban Outfitters queen who everyone wants to be.

She's called something like Willow or Taffy and is from a public school background. She does an Arts degree, never having to worry about her future prospects because her parents will sort her out a prestigious internship in the city. She sounds like she has an everlasting cold and exclusively smokes rollies.

Her style icon is Groovy Chick and she's "into" techno. She doesn't brush her hair, wears minimal amounts of make up and her skin looks clear at all times. Basically, she's the summer version of the girl who owns that red UO puffa jacket.

And now two students at Bristol have set up an Instagram, documenting the girls wearing Air Max and flares. The account, called “ratemyflaremax”, already has over 200 followers and has posted 15 pictures of girls wearing the trend.

Classic captions include: "THIS kitty kat is GUILTY AS CHARGED, offence: outrageous flares, NO license #coopsfinest #catgotyourtongue #trustfundmedaddy"

Although the account originated from Bristol, with pictures taken around the campus and city, it's now expanding to other areas as ratemyflaremax is looking for submissions all over the country.

The account isn’t specifically for girls who wear Air Max trainers. Other shoes like the Fila Disrupter also make an appearance.

The Tab spoke to the owners of the account, who wish to remain anonymous.

Can you define what "Flaremax" is?

It's a trend that was noticed at The University of Bristol, which involves combining flare trousers and Air Max shoes, particularly Air Max 95s. There is a wide variety of combinations one can get with flares and Air Maxes.

What kind of person wears Flaremax?

The trend is almost exclusive to girls. I have actually never seen a boy wear Flaremax. At the University of Bristol there's a very high percentage of private school students and I think if something is a trend that was popular amongst private school girls, it's this.

They're the kind of girls you see at an underground music club. They most likely do an Arts degree. In their day to day, they wear those sheep skin vests and patterened headwraps. They also wear long sleeve t-shirts underneath a baggy short sleeve t-shirt. Or maybe some kind of mesh top.

Do they put a lot of effort into how they look?

Yeah a hundred per cent, they try to make it look like they haven't, but they do. They probably wear this look a few times a week, if not every day of the week.

Where did you first notice this trend?

We first noticed it at the library when everyone was revising during the exam period, but then we started noticing it at festivals and on nights out.

How did you get your followers?

Around 50 of them are our friends. The account got a lot of followers when we posted a picture of a girl from a festival called Love Saves The Day and she found it. She is semi-Instagram famous with 12k followers, so when she posted about us baiting her on her Instagram, we got an influx of followers.

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