I think the 'kick flare' started with the return of the 'mom jean.' which in turn seemed to segue into fashion from the trend of the 'boyfriend jean' a couple years back. All of a sudden, there was an incursion of the good old Levi 501, the holy grail of mom jeans, as the new staple denim.
I think the return of the true blue Levi was a welcome change. Skinny jeans seem to have been moving towards a point of it being questionable whether they can really be considered 'pants' given that they have the same lycra content as your average yoga-wear. However, a lot of people seem pretty sold on the whole pants-that-feel-like-leggings idea; the rigidity of the 501's just aren't gonna work for those folks.
I would identify with the group that needs a prolonged reprieve from the skinny jean. However, I still have a pretty strong affinity for the fact my skinny jeans are genuinely more comfortable than my Lululemon leggings. There now seems to be the perfect answer: the kick flare.
I'd been living in a pair of vintage 501's, and they've now been replaced by a newly acquired pair of kick flare jeans. Most premium denim brands seem to be offering some incarnation of the kick flare now, whether it is Mother, Citizen's etc. Raw hem, finished hem, level hem, or high-low (also known as the 'step flare') - there are so many options to choose from. Mine are a Mother pair I purchased on sale; they were a bit too short, so I let the hem down for an unfinished edge. They're as comfortable as all my skinny jeans, and feel far less fussy. They can be a DIY project by finding a pair of early 2000's flared jeans and updating them. Tina's, pictured below, are by Mother and she scored them here at Mine & Yours! How amazing does she look?!