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Trouser trend: How to pull off wide-leg pants

Woman wearing tweed gauchos and jacket

While skinny jeans have dominated the fashion market for decades, palazzos or wide-leg dress pants continue to swish and swoosh their way onto the runway and into magazines. They provide a classic look and silhouette that will make any passerby do a double take. High-waisted or low-slung, this trouser trend will take you back to the ’70s, but with a little more drama and style this time around.

Women's Wide Leg Printed Trouser
Drama Trouser from Monroe and Main

We know what you’re thinking: How does wearing a massive amount of fabric look flattering on anyone? To pull off this look with confidence, here are five general guidelines fashion blog 40 + Style recommends to follow when choosing your pants:

  1. Buy them long to accentuate the length of your legs. If you’re on the shorter side, just make sure they are more fitted at the top and that the bottom of the pants don’t drag on the floor too much. If you want your legs to look even longer, go for a pant with vertical pinstripes. Length is key here, ladies. Too short, you’ll look chunky. Too long, you’ll look sloppy. Your pants should sway as you walk but you shouldn’t be tripping over them.
  2. Avoid side pockets. Gauchos are wide as it is, and adding pockets to the mix will increase the bulk and flare.
  3. If you’re worried the extra fabric will make you look heavier, balance out the bagginess and throw on a slim-fitted blouse that highlights your figure. You can also add definition to your waistline with a thin belt.
  4. Another way to decrease the bulk is to create a more form-fitted look by choosing a pant with a flat front as opposed to a pleated one.
  5. Heels, heels, heels! The fabric from the bottom of your pant leg will lightly graze the top of your shoe and create a chic look. If you still feel as though you’re a tad too short for longer pants, try a wide-leg pant that’s cropped with a high ankle boot. If there’s only one thing you take away from these suggestions just remember: It’s all about the shoes.

The styles

There are many tailored styles of the dramatic wide-legged pant: cropped, long, pleated, cuffed. It is important you chose a pant that fits your body type and highlights your shape to create a more elegant look.

A high-waist, full-flare pant defines the waist, so this looks best on women with an hourglass figure. This type of pant is also great if you want to hide any extra skin around your waist. To flaunt those skinny legs, go for a pant that is tight on top that flares out a bit toward the bottom. Are you self-conscious about your thighs? A standard leg with a wide flare can help hide those for you. Your standard wide-legged pant is full all around, so this looks best on taller women. Ladies who are short or heavy set should be cautious when wearing a full, wide-legged pant because the extra material may not flatter their silhouettes.

Now that you’ve got a better handle on which pants are best suited for your body type, it’s time to get creative and put an outfit together. Here are some sample outfits to transition you into the gaucho pant:

For the office

Give your basic office look a little personality by pairing wide-legged trousers with a fitted ruffle blouse, women’s tailored vest and a leather belt. A simple camisole with a boyfriend blazer that hits the top of your waist or a loose top that falls below the hips is another great way to enhance a bleak office look. Finish your look by slipping on a pair of stilettos. This will elongate your legs, especially for a petite woman. Avoid bold colors and stick with more neutral tones such as black, navy, white or cream.

Tweed Dream Gaucho Set from Monroe and Main
Tweed Dream Gaucho Set from Monroe and Main

For a night out

Show off your waistline and minimize excess bulk with a pair of high-wasted trouser pants and a simple top that is tucked in. Replace your subtle daytime jewelry with a statement necklace or chandelier earrings. Long, loose and dangly jewelry also fits in well with the flow of the pant. Slip on a pair of strappy heels and you’re ready to rock!

For comfort

If you can get away with the oversized look, opt for a a wide, full-flared pant with a loose silky blouse. Throw on an oversized cardigan sweater for extra comfort, or consider a loose drawstring pant with a fitted camisole or flowy blouse. Finish this casual look with a sharp-looking pair of sneakers, flats or moccasins.

Women's Gaucho Pants
Crepe Gaucho from Monroe and Main

2 thoughts on “Trouser trend: How to pull off wide-leg pants

  1. Love them

    1. Thanks for commenting, Brenda!

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