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CSS flex: stretch items in one-column mode

If you build a display: flex layout, to fit items in a responsive two-column layout (flex: 0 0 50%), you will probably recognize a stretching-issue on an odd number of items.

2-column mode – container: display: flex, items: flex: 0 0 50%
1-column mode: the space is not filled by items

One cannot use flex: 1 50%, because this always stretches the last item over 2 columns, whereas the one-column mode looks well.

2-column-mode – items: flex: 1 50%
1-column-mode – the space is filled now (due to flex-grow 1)

How to get both?

The solution is a trick, done with calc and playing around with potentially negative flex-basis. In this case the min-width comes into play (2-column means 50%). In one-column mode, the flex-basis is very large, whereas the max-width fits it to a maximum of 100%.

.container {
    display: flex;
    flex-wrap: wrap;
    // breakpoint for single column: 568px
    --multiplier: calc(568px - 100%);
.item {
    min-width: 50%;
    max-width: 100%;
    flex: 0 0 calc(var(--multiplier) * 999);


2-column mode
1-column mode