Whether you build your capsule wardrobe or you are a trouser stan looking for yet another pair for your collection, wide-leg trousers are certainly worth your attention. With inherent femininity and classy chic, wide-legged trousers can make you look sophisticated, refined, and very attractive. Meanwhile, it’s a type of trousers that can be effortlessly dressed up and down to fit a variety of occasions and styles from evening affairs to workdays. So, any gal should have this bottom piece in her closet. And our fashion guide will give you ideas on how to wear wide-leg trousers in many interesting ways.
Wide-Leg Trousers Are Back in Style
Wide-leg trousers are a fashion staple that will never go out of style. The design originates back to the 1920s with silky lounge trousers of the jazz age inspired by Asian clothes and much loved by fashion stars of that time. In the late 20s, it was Coco Chanel who introduced this clothing item to beach fashion and made it a popular piece of leisurewear. Since then, wide-leg trousers have evolved from glamorous flowy models favoured by Ginger Rogers to masculine-style trousers spotted on Katherine Hepburn and Viviene Lee to extravagant printed palazzos of Emeli Pucci to bell-bottom jeans and skirt-shaped trousers that hit the fashion trends in the 70s.
Overall, wide-legged trousers have faced a whole number of transformations but have never left the fashion scene. And in this season, they have a new rise and quickly gain ground, confidently forcing out skinnies that have been dominating the runways for more than a decade. Movie stars always were trendsetters and they still are. Wearing wide-legged trousers every now and then, Milla Jovovich, Meghan Markle, Victoria Beckham, and Kate Middleton (once an avid fan of skinnies) pushed looser trouser shapes back on the fashion track.
Benefits of Wide-Leg Trousers
With some sort of vintage flair and masculinity to them, wide-leg trousers ooze elegance and timeless chic. Looking natural and a bit casual, relaxed trouser silhouettes are effortlessly flattering to all body shapes and have something to offer to any woman. So, let’s take a closer look at the main advantages of wide-legged trousers.
Seek to add some length to your legs and make a whole silhouette taller? Wide-leg trousers will perfectly cope with both tasks. Normally distinguished by high-rise fit, they flow from the waist straight down hiding all knee and leg flaws and stretching your legs in length. To maximise the lengthening effect, tuck your top inside and wear your flared trousers with high heels. Victoria Beckham managed to mix that outfit in the best way.
Have some extra on your belly or hips? Wide-leg trousers will do an excellent job to visually correct them. Hitting at your waist or higher, loose trousers cinch the waistline and make it more defined. A more relaxed fit will help camouflage the belly while darker colours and thicker fabrics work miracles to narrow your hips and make bottom lines softer.
Though Dita von Teese is a happy owner of a perfect hourglass body, by teaming black wide-leg trousers with a puffy-sleeved lace blouse, she shows how to offset a curvy bottom and mix a gorgeous look with a dash of evening flair.
Along with slimming and elongating effects, flared trouser designs boast a shaping and balancing potential. In other words, they can not only hide some flaws and body irregularities but also accentuate or even add some shape where you lack it. Thus, a rectangle-shaped figure of Eva Longoria looks well-shaped and stunningly chic in an all-black outfit made up by a snug-fitting turtleneck and classy wide-leg trousers with a high waist.
One more obvious reason why wide-legged trousers stay on the top of fashion trends and fashionistas are so crazy about them is that they are expressly comfortable. Looking irresistibly cool, voluminous flared trousers provide full freedom of movements and give some air around your legs, which is a big plus for summer. Embracing the trend, Kae Middleton even gave it a stamp of approval for the royal style and showed up on some of the informal summer events in beige linen flared trousers and trainers.
Types of Wide-Leg Trousers
Though overall, wide-leg trouser designs are commonly flared and loose and come tailored at the waist, they come in many different styles and cuts. So, let’s see what are the latest on-trend types of wide-leg trousers you can choose from to find the most flattering one for your body shape.
If you are a short gal or have shorter legs, high-waist flares are your saviour. Adding height, these trousers are particularly good in balancing a longer torso. Thus, hitting a sweet spot between the waist and bosom, white wide-leg trousers coupled with a flirty ruffled crop top create an hourglass silhouette and give a slim and sporty body of Kate Beckinsale a strong feminine touch. Meanwhile, the bottom in darker shades will steer away attention from heavy thighs if you look for a slimming effect.
High-rise cropped trousers or culottes are the latest clothing hit no fashion savvy will miss. Ideal for taller gals, they can match pretty much any lady when properly styled. The rule of thumb is not to cover the waistline. Therefore, it is best to either tuck your top in or go for cropped top versions, which can work wonders combined with cropped flared trousers. And fitted with a matching tailored jacket, wide-leg culottes can be easily integrated into office wear.
A flashback from the 60s, palazzos are reigning the catwalks again. They look awesome and posh while providing a relaxed fit. Good both for more formal and for street styles, palazzo trousers are a definite "yes" for this season. Just take a glimpse of Priyanka Chopra who teamed lavender-colour palazzos with a matching top and a classy white blazer in an amazing summer outfit.
Cropped palazzos are something you might want for leisurely chic street style ideal for a warmer season. Just remember to keep your waist slim and well-defined. And Cloe Moretz showcases the best of her figure in dark-grey cropped wide-leg trousers and a bright blue knitted top. While a crop top makes the whole silhouette perfectly balanced (see how to wear crop tops), masculine lace-up shoes keep it expressly casual.
Linen palazzo trousers are an absolute must-have for hot summer days. A natural fabric will keep sweat at bay and loose fit will keep you comfy. At the same time, you’ll look extremely fashion-forward in these very wide trousers. And a modern trench atop will make them appropriate for the early autumn as well.
Many petite gals fear of being swallowed by voluminous trousers. Worry not! Petite cuties are given a thumbs up on wearing flared trouser designs. A few tricks here are either to opt for high heels (as Kourtney Kardashian did) or choose ankle-length models if you want to wear some more casual shoe styles.
Plus-size women are in no way bound to baggy clothing. Wide-leg trousers are a choice for any size. To offset some body “bumps” and gauge a more vertically lined stature, heavy bottoms should pick high waists and floor-grazing length. As for the colour palette, bright shades are allowed, just stick to solids.
Think flared designs in prints are too much? Not at all! All prints exude special vibes and will give your style a unique touch or some sort of mood. Thus, checked trousers can bring you throughout the seasons while floral prints will give your outfit a boho spin. Stripes are good in all senses, they are lengthening and narrowing while staying on the fashionable side. While most of us would stick to classy colours in stripes, a style icon Sarah Jessica Parker dared to mix bright stripes with a vivid floral print and catchy purse-and-shoes ensemble in vibrant pink.
What to Wear With Wide-Leg Trousers
Building your outfit around wide-legged trousers, you’ll have to add tops, shoes, or some outerwear to make your look complete and season-appropriate. Let’s see what are the best ways to play around wide-leg trouser outfits using different garments.
Working both for formal and off-duty outfits, wide-leg pants make best friends with a whole number of jackets. You can mix a perfect office-worthy coord teaming your voluminous trousers with a matching tailored blazer. Notably, you are free to go both for long hems and for shorter length ending at your waist or hipline. However, high-fashion looks call for slouchiness this season. With that, nothing is as good for a pair of slacks as an on-trend boxy blazer. And a blazer guru Rosie Huntington Whitely shines here again by mixing a bright pink blazer with neutral beige wide-legs grazing the ground to set up an image which is casual and extremely elegant at the same time.
If you look for a more polished and business-like touch, you’ll never go wrong by teaming a classic camel coat with satin trousers in pink (to follow Priyanka Chopra) or any other solid colour.
Wide bottoms show their best with short tops. That’s a sort of basic rule that is true for wide-legged trousers as well. Make sure your top either hits your waist or is tucked in. In this concern, crop tops are real winners, especially when it comes to a warmer season. Tucked button-ups add some masculine touch and keep you office-appropriate and comfy. Meanwhile, close-fitting long-sleeves and tees will do the trick for palazzos or waist wide-leg trousers, thus, setting up a contrast of snug and loose fits and making your waist look even slimmer.
Though some are very careful about styling slacks with oversized and chunky knits, this is the hottest hit for the colder season that you should try, full stop. It will make you look undeniably cool while keeping you warm and cosy. Steel doubt? Get inspired by Jessica Biel showing in wide-leg trousers and a roll-neck jumper. To give the outfit more structure and balance, she tucked her sweater in the front.
Ashlee Simpson in her turn demonstrates a stunning statement-making look by wearing floor-long sequin trousers with a matching fitted top in sequins. It will keep you sparkling on the dance floor and make you a party centrepiece.
When it comes to shoes, your choice is not limited; all the latest footwear trends can work with wide-legged trousers. The key here is to make the shoe toe visible. Hence, anything from patent courts and killer heels to casual Chelseas and classy Oxfords to comfy trainers and flats or even sandals will do. While pointed-toe courts with a chunky sweater will lend a dash of leisure elegance, while still being good for less formal work style, sandals and trainers will dress you down and keep you on the comfy side. In fact, super wide-leg trousers with flat-sole shoes are really trending right now.
Wonder what accessories have to do with trousers? Well, never underestimate belts when it comes to loose trousers. Though a chic burgundy coord on Jessica Alba is perfectly bundled with and balanced by a white top and white court shoes, a belt makes the whole image complete and sets a proper accent on the waist.
More than that, a belt is an extremely functional detail that can help you break down the cumbersome look and define the waistline when wearing slouchy and loose tops or baggy knits. It will add the lacking structure to an oversized outfit and give your outfit a touch of femininity.
At this point, we think you have more than enough helpful tips and ideas on how to wear wide-leg trousers. So, take a pair of your favourite slacks and make it your closet workhorse by pulling together a whole number of outfits around it. Don’t have wide-leg trousers yet? Then it’s high time to hurry up and get them!