Spring/Summer
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Spring Trend to Try: Wide Leg Pants

Wide leg pants are on trend in all lengths this spring. I never imagined I was going to like this silhouette, but I’ve actually found myself embracing it, and today I’m sharing a few ways I’m wearing wide leg pants and jeans this season.

I’m seeing wide leg jeans in everything from floor-grazing lengths to crop styles, and ankle-lengths are out there as well. I’m also liking the new shorter full length where the hems skim the vamp of the foot without a breakline.

Everything goes; it’s just a matter of figuring out what you like, and how to style them in a way that looks intentionally chic instead of sloppy.

For today’s post, I’m styling a cropped pair and a pair in that “shorter full length” style. Then I rounded up some pictures of more wide leg denim I’ve tried at the end of the post.

My first look features the PAIGE Anessa Raw Hem Jeans in Rock Show Distressed, which are currently on sale at Bloomingdale’s.

PAIGE denim 25% off (28) (similar for less here and here) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // Caslon tee (S) // denim jacket (S) // YSL belt (option) // straw clutch // earrings // necklace // bracelet

These wide leg jeans have a 11.5″ high rise, with a 27″ crop/ankle-length inseam, depending on your height. The raw hem along with the whiskering and fading on the thighs and just a touch of distressing on the rear pockets gives them an effortlessly casual style that you can easily dress up or down.

For this look, I wore chunky heeled sandals to balance the volume in the pants, in a color that comes close to matching my skin tone. Matching your skin tone helps to visually elongate the line of the leg and makes you look taller.

I topped them off with a white t-shirt and a cropped denim jacket in a gorgeous shade of green they call Cactus. I did a mix of gold and silver toned jewelry, since the hardware on the jacket is silver and the purse and belt have gold.

For my second look, I styled a pair of raw hem wide leg jeans in a versatile shade of off-white, which is another big denim trend this season.

Yes, you probably saw this outfit yesterday, but these pants are the perfect example of that shorter full length that I was talking about above.

Gap Factory wide leg jeans (28) // denim jacket (S) // henley tee (S) // Kork-Ease sandals (8) // DIFF sunnies // Madewell earrings // Kendra Scott necklace

They have a 30″ inseam, so they’re longer than ankle length, but they don’t break on top of the foot the way full-length pants and jeans traditionally do. It makes for a cleaner look, and you don’t have to worry about getting the hem of your pants dirty, if you should step in a puddle.

Plus, it shows off your cute shoes without visually cutting off your leg, as the cropped styles tend to do. Suffice it to say, I’m a fan!

These jeans run true to size, or you can size down if in between. They’re 100% cotton, but they aren’t super stiff, and they loosened up quickly as I wore them. They also come in short and tall sizes.

I topped them off with a pink henley style top and a classic trucker style denim jacket. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, denim jackets are a workhorse in my spring wardrobe because they go with almost everything. They tone down dressier looks and make your casual outfits look complete, plus they offer a light layer of warmth when you need it.

The key to wearing wide leg pants without looking dumpy is to define the waist, and wearing a fitted top or a structured jacket (or in this case, both) is a great way to do that without having to tuck in your top.

FYI, all Gap Factory pieces are 50% off right now, plus you can save an extra 15% off your order with my code JOLYNNE15.

I also really like the more moderate cut of these Joe’s wide leg jeans I scored for a song at Saks OFF 5TH. They have an 18″ leg opening, as opposed to the 22″ that a lot of wide leg jeans I’ve tried, so it’s a nice way to dip your toe into this trend (pun totally intended!) without going all in. They’re also a great price right now. These jeans are TTS, or size down if in between.

Gestuz sweater (M) //Joe’s Jeans High Rise Wide Leg Jeans (28) (option) // Steven New York sandals (8) // orYANY Iguana Embossed Leather Top Handle Bag // hoops // Gucci sunglasses

Those are just a couple examples of the wide leg denim trend that I’ve styled this spring; I’ve tried on a lot more. Some are winners that just haven’t made it to a photo shoot yet, and others have gone back because they weren’t quite what I wanted, but I’ll share the ones I kept.

Faherty Stretch Terry Wide Leg Pants (29) // Faherty gauze top (S) // Kork-Ease clogs (8)

These Faherty Stretch Terry Wide Leg Pants are nice for a more streamlined wide leg pant, and I really like the color. I’m also warming up to those front patch pockets. The rise is really high, though, so be aware of that.

These dark wash wide leg jeans from Talbots have a bit of a nautical flare, with the decorative sailor buttons at the pockets, and the wide hem makes them a little more polished than your usual denim.

Talbots wide leg jeans (6) // crewneck tee (S) //  heels (7.5) // similar necklace // earrings

The MOTHER Roller in a light blue wash with whiskering and fading and at the knees exudes a much more casual, lived-in vibe. These have a versatile 31″ inseam, which allows me to wear them with sneakers or heels.

MOTHER The Roller 30% off (28) // Everlane sweater (S) // P448 sneakers (39)

Here’s how they look with a heel; they will also work well with the Kork-Ease Hutton when I need a more comfortable heel for walking.

MOTHER The Roller 30% off (28) // gauze button-up (M) // sandals (7.5)

Old Navy does a pair with a similar vibe at a much lower price point. I actually like these quite a bit, and they’re a little bit lighter weight than the MOTHER Roller.

Old Navy Wow Wide Leg Jeans (8) // similar sweater (S) // sneakers (39)

The KUT from the Kloth Meg has a similar fit to the PAIGE Anessa, but at a much more accessible price point. I really like this sand washed color for spring; it’s a nice alternative to white and blue jeans, and it looks great with these espadrille slides. The inseam on these is 27 1/2″, so more of an ankle length on me.

KUT from the Kloth Meg (6) // t-shirt (S) // slides (8) // necklace // earrings

The KUT from the Kloth Meg also comes in a blue jean version, which I like a lot.

KUT from the Kloth Meg (6) // similar sweater // sneakers (39)

These Old Navy High-Waisted Crop Wide Leg Chinos have a similar silhouette to the KUT from the Kloth pair above, but with a 26″ cropped inseam. They also come in petite (24″ inseam) and tall (30″ inseam) sizes, plus there are lots of colors to choose from – this green, as well as black, brown, beige, light pink, and light blue! So many good choices.

Old Navy High-Waisted Crop Wide Leg Chinos (6) // white tee (S) // denim jacket (S) // clogs (8) // necklace // earrings

Whereas the KUT from the Kloth Meg is a thicker, more denim-like fabric, these are more of a chino fabric. They’re nice and light, so perfect for warmer climates.

I also recently added these Everlane Organic Wide Leg Pants to my closet, and I’ve worn them a couple times. They’re definitely a cropped length on me, which makes shoe pairings really easy. They look as good with sneakers as they do with clogs, and I’ll be wearing them with sandals once our weather warms up.

Everlane Organic Wide Leg Pants (8) //sweater (6) // clogs (8) // bag

I hope this post gives you some inspiration for styling wide leg jeans this spring!

Even if you don’t think you’ll like them, I encourage you to give them a try. You may be surprised! Then spend some time playing around with top and shoe pairings until you find a look that feels authentic to you.

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photos: Mary Catherine Echols

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41 thoughts on “Spring Trend to Try: Wide Leg Pants

    1. agreed. They swallow people up. I have not seen it look good on anyone yet. This trend I will be passing as I feel its really just a fashion industry grab at sales and we are going to see them disappear quickly.

    2. I do think the style is cute … on other people. I carry all my weight in the hips and thighs, and I do not feel good in the cropped length. A full-length bootcut or flare is great, but the proportions look really wrong (on me) when the hem is cropped. But I’ve struggled with finding flattering ankle pants for the same reason; I think I’m just a person who will always prefer a longer silhouette.

    3. I dont agree I have an hourglass shape with back and bootcut or wide leg are unilatererally much more flattering on me. I dont think you can make such generalizations as I completely think they are flattering on me and have been told so by people. Just yesterday in fact LOL, but even if they didn’t Im comfortable in them and like them, so thats whats most important to me!!

  1. I didn’t think I would like the wide leg jeans/pants, but I do. I really like the denim Kut Meg jeans…so I may be buying those. I bought the Old Navy green ones and can’t wait for slightly warmer weather so I can wear them.

  2. I love this trend!! and happy to see there are more out there. I think you can find one that works for your body type. Being more hourglass they help balance me out and have always preferred a bootcut. I like the really wide more ankle length or shorter personally. Also i know i cant’ be the only one that denim jackets just dont work for as I have a really long torso, so a utility jacket is my spring jacket of choice. Thanks for showing us whats out there!!

  3. I am loving the new silhouettes, including the wide-leg pants! Do you see yourself wearing more wide-leg than other leg styles or are you just adding them to the mix?
    Are your Everlane pants pictured above bone rather than white? I’m looking for this style in white.
    Question on Mother jeans. I finally found some styles that fit me and I love them. I ordered the Mother Tripper and Hustler with patch pockets. How much do they grow? I tend to buy jeans too big, fearing they will be too tight and then later wish I’d bought smaller ones.

    1. I feel like you gotta go one size down in Mother. They have a lot of stretch and after wearing them a whole day I find myself having to pull them up constantly as they ride down and bag out and that bugs me (especially for the price point $$$). But everyone seems to love them and they feel comfortable when you first put them on. I think I mentioned the bagging out issue to JoLynne before and she doesn’t have that problem, so maybe it’s just me.

      1. I wonder if it’s because I buy mine smaller than you do? I have seen a lot of people in other forums say they don’t really stretch out much. I have learned that if I just try on the 29, I will feel it fits and buy it, but if for some reason I compare to the 28, I am usually surprised that they fit as well or better. In general, I buy my jeans as small as possible, but I know a lot of women err on the side of going bigger. That’s all I can figure! 🙂

  4. I love all of these looks! And the 4th picture- the closer up one of you in the green jacket- is STUNNING! You look so beautiful! I am a sucker for jean jackets and I’m going to have to look for some in colors other than blue jean, black, and white. Funny, I used to have a coral one years ago that I never wore so I passed it on. I’m embracing wide legs even though I’m not tall (5’5″) and have short legs. I know they’re not the most flattering on me but life is so much more than critically picking out each clothing piece to flatter.

    1. Thank you, I love that photo too, thinking I might use it in my sidebar with my intro instead of the one in the stripe shirt.

      And I totally agree with this: “life is so much more than critically picking out each clothing piece to flatter.”

      I mean, I like clothing that flatters, and I try a lot of things that go back, but sometimes I like a look that isn’t the most traditionally flattering because it has nice lines or it’s interesting or just different than everything else in my closet. Also, flattering isn’t necessarily the same as “slimming” – although we use those terms interchangeably.

  5. Great post, and very timely since I received two pairs of wide legged jeans this week. I love this look! You look great in all of the jeans that you show. Thanks!

  6. Love the look! Why are there never any petite or short sizes? They are so hard to find. And to have them hemmed is pricey and they never look the same. It’s frustrating.

    1. Love the look! Why are there never any petite or short sizes? They are so hard to find. And to have them hemmed is pricey and they never look the same. It’s frustrating.
      I will add that I have the Old Navy green chinos and they are so cute. I’ve had no luck with anything else.

  7. Give me aaaaall the 70s vibes! 🙂 I was lucky to snag the Mother Rollers while they were on sale at Nordstrom– they are SO comfortable, but the flare is more extreme than I expected so I’ll have to play around with them. I hope I can catch those green Faherty pants on a markdown before my size sells out– I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled. Question about the Everlane pants: Is the rise super high & would you recommend sizing up? I struggle with that. Have you tried the Rag & Bone Peyton? I ordered them in a few different washes and LOVE them. They are bootcut rather than wide, but they are not as slim-cut as some and I think you might like them. They’re currently marked down at Nordstrom if you want to share a link. Size down if you give them a try!

  8. You’ve really learned the way to style this trend. I’m shorter and don’t have long legs and I don’t want to wear heels all the time so I probably won’t do this trend. I found a pair of Wit n Wisdom jeans last year that is a tad wider crop than a straight and works for me. I cut them off some. Want to find more in that look. I have white ones on order that Cyndi shared. This brand tend to fit me well. Could you style some from Wit n Wisfom? The price is great too? The style to me that is the hardest to style is straight jeans. I just can’t seem to get the right shoe for them and they feel like mom jeans to me. To you get that? I’d almost rather wear a skinny than straight. You look great in all the pictures.

  9. You have encouraged us to try these wide leg pants until we can say we don’t like them. Since I want to stay current and not set in my ways, I went ahead and tried a pair. Oh, my goodness! I love them! I have an hourglass figure and am only 5’1”, but almost every pair I have tried, have worked for me. I have always loved the bootcut and flare, so I am so happy. Skinny jeans? I can certainly live without them! I have ordered the Anessa and Gap Factory off-white. And I bought the Old Navy in baby blue. Love! Will probably order another color. Thank you for keeping us current!

    1. Haha…give me all the jeans! I’m short too, 5’0. There are some cropped jeans I love, but so far I haven’t found a pair of wide leg cropped that I like on me. On the other hand, I have several pairs of regular wide leg jeans that I LOVE. Even though I’m short, I guess wide leg jeans look good on me because I get tons of compliments when I’ve worn them.

      And that green jacket is amazing! Just beautiful!

  10. I think it’s a tricky trend to pull off. I think I prefer wide leg pants to jeans because of the way the fabric falls. For me, I find all that Jean fabric too heavy for my frame. I remember years ago Banana would do a ‘trouser Jean’ which seemed to have the right tailoring.

  11. I love the wide leg trend. I was a teenager in the 70s so maybe that’s why. I have the Old Navy crop wide leg chinos. I can’t wait to wear them. I’m so glad you and Cyndi got them so I could see them on a body type like mine. I have the camel color Cyndi styled. I think I would like the Kut from the Kloth sand crops. How wide are they at the bottom? I don’t want the wide leg to be over the top.

    For those who need petite, Old Navy, Gap and Loft carry petite sizes. I’ve been happy with all the jeans and pants I have ordered from all three companies. Petite women can wear wide leg if they are proportioned right.

    Thank you for the great styling ideas.

  12. When the wide leg styles first started coming out, I just assumed it wasn’t for me since I’m 5’4″. However, ever since you showed us those Everlane pants, I wanted to try some. Finally ended up in a city last week with a brick and mortar store and came home with a pair in black. I love them! I went with my usual size, even though I tried them on right after lunch (ha!) and that is definitely the correct size for me. What works on these, for me, is that the leg is a little wider than straight leg styles, but not “too” wide (if that makes sense?). So, yeah, sometimes, it’s good to get out of our comfort zones. Thanks!

  13. I bought Paige Anessa ankle length jeans in petite through the Paige website, and I like the look when worn with the Kork-Ease sandals and a fitted sweater. I have short legs so they probably wouldn’t look as good with flats, but with heels I like them!

  14. I’m glad to see these currently trending, because I’ve been wearing wide-leg dress pants/chinos for awhile now. I live in Arizona, and for office wear in 115+ degrees, wide-leg pants are a much cooler, more comfortable option. Love them with a simple navy or black tee and flat sandals. I steer clear of jeans in the summer so not sure I’ll get on board with wide-leg full-length jeans, though I love a good crop flare until the summer heat kicks in.

  15. I think the look looks great on Jo-Lynne. I am not sure the look is for me. I am only 5 feet tall and I am afraid they would not be flattering..

  16. You look amazing in every outfit, and I absolutely love the Paige Anessas on you!! In your opinion, do you think raw hems will go out of style soon, or do you think we’re safe cutting our jeans (I’m very petite)?

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