Take a Walk on the Wide Side: The Complete Guide to Wide Leg Pants
Girls Gone Wide: Not a new trend

Coco Chanel wearing wide leg pants in 1930 & 1938, courtesy of chanel.com.

Luckily, women now have the freedom to wear whatever bottoms they please.

If you choose to take part in the wide-leg trend you can elongate your legs, get more freedom of movement, and keep a little cooler in the summer. Plus, the fact that they’re not so form-fitting can gives you some more styling freedom as well.  

What Are Wide Leg Pants? 

They can be hard to define. After the near ubiquity of skinny jeans, almost any non-slim pant can start looking wide-legged to the undiscerning eye. Generally, they’re bottoms with legs that widen starting at the waist or low hip. Sometime straight fits can also be called wide legged. 

They typically feature a higher rise, sitting at or above the waist, and can be made from various fabrics such as linen, cotton, denim, or silk. The width of the legs can vary, ranging from moderately wide to extremely voluminous, depending on the specific design. 

These aren’t hard and fast rules though. Some online sources say that any pant with a hem that’s 20” in circumference or bigger qualifies as a member of the wide leg family. By this definition, even pants with slimmer thigh fits like flared jeans, bell bottoms, and even bootcuts could be considered wide leg. 

For the sake of this blog, we’ll be talking about any pant that offers a roomier look, including relaxed and straight fit styles.  

Types and Styles of Wide Leg Pants: 

Wide leg pants come in a variety of styles that can complement your existing wardrobe while adding a fresh and fashionable twist. Here are some popular types to consider: 

1.Palazzo Pants

Known for their billowing wide legs, palazzo pants offer a flowy, dramatic, and glamorous look. They’re usually made from breezier, lightweight fabric that can keep you looking great and feeling cool in the heat.

2. Sailor Pants

Inspired by old-fashioned nautical uniforms, sailor pants usually feature high waistlines, wide straight legs, and buttons along the side pockets. It’s a vintage staple that’s making a comeback.

3. Relaxed Fit and Straight Leg Jeans

When it comes to jeans, these might not necessarily get categorized with wide pants, but they’re definitely roomier. These can range from a straight drape to a baggier fit.

4. Trousers or Slacks

From more standard looks to pleats, creases, and cuffs, these are suitable for office settings or when you want to add a touch of tailored sophistication to a casual look. They also come in cropped styles, offering elegance that still works with summer outfits.

5. Cargo Pants

They’re not just for GI Janes. Embracing utility and comfort, cargo pants often come in loose-fitting styles. These pocketed pants are a re-emerging trend that merges fashion with functionality.

6. Carpenter Pants

Hop on the workwear trend, whether or not you’re actually doing wood work! Along with other popular workwear essentials like chore jackets and plaids, they generally come in straight and loose-fitting styles, giving you a relaxed, timeless, and down-to-earth look.  

7. Gaucho

This cropped, baggy style is inspired by the attire of South American cowhands. Visually, they could be described as a combination of culottes and palazzos with a bohemian flair. These wide-legged, calf-length pants usually come with an elasticized waist band, draw string, or sash.

8. Tulip

A twist on traditional trousers, tulip pants are characterized by distinctive overlapping panels on each leg that are reminiscent of the eponymous garden flower. They offer a roomy fit in both tapered and wide legged openings.   

9. Flared Pants:

Flared pants usually have a fitted waist and thigh then gradually widen from the knee downward. They can be made of denim or other fabrics, creating a statement silhouette that can add a touch of retro “flair” to your look.

There are combinations of all the above plus many more variations. You can explore the wide world of pants at Ricki’s or your other favourite brands.  

Choosing the Right Fit for your Shape: 

Because wide leg pants are looser and more forgiving, they can offer more versatile styling options than their form-fitting counterparts. Different fits can help accentuate the features of any body type so you can achieve the most flattering silhouette.


Remember, while these suggestions can serve as general guidelines, your personal style, unique body shape, and individual preferences should always take priority. Ultimately, the most important thing is to feel confident and comfortable in whatever you choose to wear.   

Accentuate your hips:  

If you have narrower hips, wide leg pants can help you balance your proportions by adding volume to your lower limbs. Slacks and trousers with darted pleats front pleats can add to that effect and are great for professional ensembles. For more casual situations, try cargos or relaxed fit jeans. Palazzo pants can be a good in-between, adding a touch of elegance to either casual or professional outfits.

Complement your curves: 

Don’t want to add any more volume to your hips? Straight leg pants without a loose drape can complement your natural curves. Try slacks, tulip pants, trousers, or culottes that hug your hips for polished outfits. For informal looks, try straight leg jeans, sailor pants, or loose cargos.

Elongate your legs: 

Lengthen those limbs with flowy billowing palazzos, front pleat trousers, or sailor pants, depending on the situation. Pair longer pants with high heels to get even more of an elegant and flowing look.

Styling Wide Leg Pants 

Variety and versatility. That’s what wide leg pants offer. From cool and casual to polished and professional, they’ve got you covered. Spending time at the cabin or a resort? Rock billowy and breezy palazzos. Summertime at the office? Try cropped trousers. Casual lunch date? Rock relaxed jeans.  

When styling wide leg pants, consider the balance of proportions. If the pants are voluminous, opt for a more fitted top. If you go with a looser top, consider tucking it in or adding a belt to define your waist. Experiment with different shoe styles, such as heels, flats, or sneakers to create different looks. 

Baggy is back, and the choices are only limited by your imagination. Let’s explore the wide range of possibilities. 

Casual Occasions:  

For a laid-back and chic look, pair your wide relaxed jeans or cargos with a fitted graphic tee, simple tank, or a breezy blouse. Complete the ensemble with sneakers, sandals, or ankle boots – whatever the occasion calls for. Accessorize with a crossbody bag, a statement belt, or layered necklaces. 

Work Appropriate:  

To create a sophisticated office ensemble, try high-waisted wide legs in a draping fabric. Cropped trousers in a structured material can also get the job done. Pair these with a tucked-in blouse or a tailored blazer for a smart and professional vibe. Try pointed-toe heels to elongate the legs and maintain a refined aesthetic. Or you can opt for more comfort with a pair of classy loafers. Keep accessories minimal: a simple necklace, sleek handbag, or a classic watch can complete the outfit. 

Night Out:  

Make a statement with pants in a luxurious fabric like silk or satin. Pair that with a fitted or cropped top or funky blouse to balance the extra volume in your legs. Add even more height and glamour with strappy heels or statement boots. Accessorize with bold jewelry, a clutch, and a swipe of red lipstick. 

Conclusion: Take wide strides in your style 

We hope this article can help you embrace the flow and flair of wide leg pants. This trend is a wide open opportunity to explore new looks, evolving your personal style and elevating your wardrobe.

Let loose and explore everything the wide world has to offer. 


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