I discovered this yesterday, when, about twelve years after the fad hit the streets, I finally, finally, finally broke down and bought a pair. I took them home, put them on, and was surveying myself proudly in front of the mirror when I began to notice that, actually, I wasn't sure I liked what I saw. I turned round and round, craning to see how they hugged my bum, stood model-like and tried to pretend that I looked like Kate Moss. Then my love, bless him, came out into the hallway. "Nice skinny jeans," he said, not sarcastic but mildly surprised. "My brothers," he then added, "would be very jealous."
I considered this. I decided that perhaps, after all, I didn't particularly hope to inspire jealousy in the minds of a pair of lovely, infinitely stylish 16 year old boys. If I kept the pants, I would be lying to myself every time I put them on.
So I took them back to the store, where they can now be found hanging on a rack with lots of other fashionable trousers, waiting for a bolder girl than I to take them home, and exchanged them for a very nice pair of good-old-fashioned-bootcut-jeans. When I came home this time, legs encased in dark denim, I was greeted with great bemusement. "I just decided they're more me," I said, to justify myself and my shopping-bulimia moment. Thankfully, he agreed. "You look," he added, "very nice."
So it's back to jeans with flares for me. My foray into the world of tapered trousers was disastrous, a bit. But also very illuminating.
(am writing this in the QI bookshop, as an aside. facing the shelves with "eaten", "drunk", and "misfits", AKA elegant bottles of red wine. the world is as it should be, and despite the fact that I may or may not be coming down with a mild but irritating cold, I am very, very, very happy.)