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What to Wear with Wide Leg Jeans for Fall 2023

Wide leg jeans and more relaxed silhouettes have been making a comeback this season, and they’re the most prominent denim trend in stores right now.

While some ladies have embraced the trend wholeheartedly, others are intimidated by this tricky silhouette, so I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what to wear with wide leg jeans for fall.

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // Kork-Ease clogs // KUT from the Kloth Jacket // The Reset tank // Coach bag

I was a slow adopter to this trend, but now that I’ve figured out how to wear them, I’m totally on board. Wide leg jeans have a timeless appeal that I appreciate, and while it may not seem so at first, they’re actually quite versatile and surprisingly flattering. The relaxed fit and wide leg openings allow for easy movement, and they can be dressed up or down.

The Basics of Wide Leg Jeans

Wide leg jeans have roomy fit through the hips and thighs, and they gradually widen from knee to hem. They can be high-waisted or sit at the hips, depending on your preference.

You’ll find wide leg jeans in a variety of washes, from light and distressed to dark and polished, with either raw and finished hems. Wide leg jeans are also available in black, bold and neutral colors, and even white. Dark washes tend to be more dressy and versatile, while lighter washes lend a casual, boho vibe to your look.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different washes to find the ones that best match your personal style and the mood of the day.

Finding the Perfect Fit

PAIGE Anessa Raw Hem Wide Leg Ankle Jeans // FRAME tee // sandals

To ensure you look your best in wide leg jeans, finding the right fit is crucial. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Length: You’ll find wide leg jeans in everything from floor-grazing lengths to crop styles, and ankle lengths are out there as well. I actually prefer the new shorter full-length style where the hems skim the vamp of the foot without a breakline. Pretty much anything 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.
  • Waist: Decide whether you want a high-waisted or mid-rise pair based on your body shape and style preferences. High-waisted jeans can elongate your legs and cinch your waist for a flattering silhouette, but some ladies find them uncomfortable. If that’s you, a mid-rise can look just as current. They just might be a little harder to find.
  • Shop Around: Don’t expect to love the first pair you try. You may need to experiment with different brands and different lengths and sizes.
  • Tailoring: If you can’t find the perfect fit off the rack, consider having your wide leg jeans tailored to your measurements. This small investment can make a significant difference in how they look and feel.

How to Style Wide Leg Jeans

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // Kork-Ease clogs // KUT from the Kloth Jacket // The Reset tank // Coach bag

Wide leg jeans can be casual chic, office ready, or date night glam. It’s entirely up to you! I tend to stick to more casual looks, but sometimes I like to dress up my wide leg jeans for date nights or dinner out with friends.

Shoes to Wear with Wide Leg Jeans

Choosing the right shoes to complement your wide leg jeans is the first hurdle. Since these jeans are all about drama and volume, you’ll want to select footwear that balances the look.

Here are some shoes to pair with wide leg jeans for fall:

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // Kork-Ease clogs // KUT from the Kloth Jacket // The Reset tank // Coach bag

#1. Clogs: I’m a huge fan of clogs for transition season, and they provide a nice balance to wide leg silhouettes. The best part if, you can wear them with both full and ankle lengths.

Dolce Vita western style booties // MOTHER wide leg jeans // similar sweater

#2. Ankle Boots: You can’t go wrong with a pair of ankle boots. I prefer boots with a bit of a heel, but they can be flat if you prefer. If wearing a flatter boot, choose a pointed or almond shape toe to extend the line of the leg.

I love these weather-proof lug sole boots or a western style with casual outfits, and when I want to level it up, a pointed toe bootie or slender almond toe works well too.

When I’m wearing ankle boots with wide leg jeans, I prefer the jeans to be long enough to cover the shaft of the boot, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

#3. Fashion Sneakers: For a more laid-back, urban vibe, opt for platform sneakers or field sneakers. They add a playful twist to your outfit while keeping you comfortable and stylish. In this case, full-length wide leg jeans or an ankle-length style will work.

#4. Peep Toe Sandals: During those early fall days when the weather is still warm, pair your wide leg jeans with peep-toe sandals or slingback pumps for the office or date night. Again, these work with both full and ankle lengths.

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // sweater vest // similar sandals

#5. Platform or Wedge Sandals: For a more casual transitional look, a wedge or platform sandal also works well with wide leg jeans. I often opt for cropped or ankle length jeans with my sandals because it seems more seasonally appropriate, but you can certainly wear full-length styles as well.

Read more about What Shoes and Boots are Trending for Fall 2023.

Styling Tips for Tops with Wide Leg Jeans

When pairing tops with wide leg jeans for fall (or any season, really) you have two main goals: balance the volume in the pant silhouette and define the waist. Here are some ways to do that:

#1. Tuck in Your Top: Tucking in your top is probably the easiest way to define your waist with wide leg jeans, and you can do this with tops of various lengths. Try a fitted blouse, a tucked-in t-shirt, or a sleek bodysuit for a polished look.

#2. Cropped Tops: Pairing wide-leg jeans with a shorter top is another great way to show off your waist and create a balanced silhouette, and it can be fitted or a boxy style.

The top doesn’t have to be so short that it exposes any skin; the sweater vest pictured below is a perfect example. I like how it comes down just over the top of the waistband of the jeans, right about to the top of the pockets.

Because the pants are an ankle-length, this pairing creates that beautiful golden ratio we’re always striving for. (Read more about the Rule of Thirds, as it relates to fashion.)

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // sweater vest // slingbacks

#3. Fitted Jackets: Adding a fitted blazer or jacket to your wide-leg jeans outfit can create a more structured and polished appearance. It’s an excellent choice for a business-casual or date night look.

#4. Belt It: Adding a belt cinches your waist, and it also serves as a statement accessory. I like to choose a belt that coordinates with the color of my shoes and/or handbag so it looks intentional.

PAIGE Leenah Ankle Wide Leg Jeans // similar slides // KUT from the Kloth Jacket // The Reset tank // Coach bag

#5. Knot It: For a more relaxed vibe, try tying a knot at the front (or even the back) of your top. This adds a playful touch to your outfit and shows off your waist.

#6. Play with Proportions: Experiment with different proportions in your outfit. For example, pair super-wide-leg jeans with a more fitted or cropped top, or choose slightly flared wide-leg jeans for a more subtle look.

#7. Monochromatic Outfits: Wearing a top and wide-leg jeans in the same color can create a sleek and elongated appearance. It’s an easy way to look put together without much effort.

Of course, you’ll want to experiment with different tops, footwear, and accessories to flatter your unique body and showcase your personal style; but I hope these tips help you style your wide leg jeans for fall.

And if you don’t like wide leg jeans, or you like to have a variety of options, here are all the top Denim Trends for Fall 2023!

Shop Wide Leg Jeans

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photos: Alison Cornell

Join the Conversation

38 thoughts on “What to Wear with Wide Leg Jeans for Fall 2023

  1. I like these wide leg jeans on you but I am still hunting for the perfect fit. Most look my short frame look shorter and heavy. But I do love the silhouette! Do t want to break the bank either on a trend! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I love the wide leg jeans, which may be surprising to some people since I’m 5’2”. I was even so bold as to buy a white pair during the summer and wore them frequently with cropped and boxy T shirts and sneakers. I have my denim pair, ready for fall! I hope this is a style that will last a while. What do you think?

    1. Hi, Anne,
      May I ask what brand did you buy? As am 5’3 I might be able to wear the same brand, mid rise or high? Thanks

      1. I’m 5’2 also. The brands for wide legs that work for me are Old Navy and Loft. I prefer high waisted. I noticed that Gap has a lot of mid rise jeans for those who don’t like high rise. I also have wide leg jeans from Talbot that I bought at a consignment shop.

  3. Awesome post! Answered so many of my questions. I love the styles that you have of the wide leg jeans but from my first pair I want to try some thing a little less expensive to fly out.

    Thank you for the explanations.!!!

  4. Love the wide leg denim styles. Thank you for reminding me that I have a beautiful pair of dark brown suede platform peep-toe shoes/sandals that would look wonderful this time of year!! Must.dig.them.out!!! 🙂 Also found a great pair of high-waisted wide-legs from DL1961 at TJ Maxx yesterday. That place can be a treasure trove or a bust. You never know!!!! I also love wearing cropped jackets and zip-up hoodies when the weather cools.

  5. Great tips! I found a pair that actually fit so am experimenting. I noticed that one pair you showed has a ironed crease down the front of the leg. Is that to help elongate the leg too?

  6. Those Paige Anessa jeans you styled with the olive top are perfection! That’s my favorite outfit of this post. Thanks for such helpful tips! I’m getting on board the wide leg jeans trend; I just bought a pair of full-length ones and may get a shorter pair as well.

  7. I own a pair of these, but am not grabbing for them. I still prefer a flare leg over an all over wide leg. I just don’t feel it’s flattering unless you are wearing heels, and I’m not wearing heels for everyday, walkabout wear. The flat sandal outfit I may try, but it won’t get me too far into fall. This is a trend that I don’t see sticking around for very long fortunately. I think only younger ladies can rock the crop top that typically accompanies them on the sales racks.

    1. Agreed! I like the trouser cut type with heels for a dressy look. But the really wide leg with flats looks sloppy to me. I think it’s because visually it makes the leg look shorter, in addition to wider. Some very slim and/or tall ladies can pull that off but anything that makes me look shorter and wider is not the look I’m going for! I guess the added height of heels is what makes that look work imo. The height elongates the leg which somewhat offsets widening it. I still prefer a straight, flare, or even a boyfriend over wide leg if I’m wearing flats or sneakers. But that’s just my personal preference.

      1. I agree that they are harder to wear with flats. I think that’s when you really have to be particular about the top. I prefer more form fitting tops, with an open neckline when I wear them with flat sandals. And I’m still not sure if I like them or will wear them with sneakers, but I think that works well for certain women.

  8. Love all the looks and purchased a few wide leg jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. Can’t wait to give them a go. What do you think of the Sam Edelman sling back heels? Just got mine in the mail today. The back strap keeps slipped down on my heel and I have them at the last hole on the strap. They squeak when I walk as well. Have you worn yours much? Wonder if the squeak will go away with wear? Thank you in advance!

    1. I only wore them once and they weren’t as easy to walk in as I expected. The heel is kind of heavy. But they are worn on the bottom now so I’m going to keep them and try to wear them occasionally. I do really like them.

  9. Totally agree about balancing the choice of top with something fitted-styled like a bodysuit (with, for me: ankle boots and a moto for October – December). Maybe because I went to high school in the ’90s when the bodysuit/jeans combo was EVERYWHERE and it makes me feel “young-er again”(?) lol, but I think it’s (still) a cute way of doing an “edgy”/date night look at fortysomething which doesn’t seem like you’re wearing clothes meant for a 17 y.o.

  10. I hope this trend is short lived! I live in Denver and I don’t see anybody wearing wide leg denim except a few tall skinny teens. I went along with the wide leg linen crops and they are ok, but they don’t do my figure any favors at all. Boot cut jeans are so forgiving and I can still wear regular tops that don’t advertise the fact that my rear is flat and my middle is round!.

  11. I’m 5′. My fav jeans are Levi’s booty jeans. They’re fashionable. Not really wide because that would eat up my short frame. Also, they will make your butt look great!

  12. Very good advice. I follow it. I love wide leg pants and jeans. I can see that it may not work for all body types. I don’t think height makes a difference. I’m 5’2, hourglass and slim so they work for me. I also buy petite styles which are not cut so big. I like wearing them with a heel. I get it why women are reluctant to pants that look better with heels. It’s more comfortable to wear flats and sneakers.

  13. I love the suggestion you made the other day about wearing navy with brown accents. I wore that combo today, and it is one of my favorites. It feels very fall-like to me even though it is still 100 degrees where I live.

  14. I am a 77 yr. old spry and young-at-heart lady. But I’m only 5 ft. 1 in. I always thought wide legged pants would make me look like a stump😉 So perhaps they aren’t meant for shorties and oldies like me. Better left for the younger set. I believe. What are your thoughts?

    1. It’s all about playing around with proportions and figuring out how to look balanced on your body. We are all different, so there are no hard and fast rules. It takes some trial and error, for sure. 🙂

  15. Can a slim hip, skinny leg gal pull off the wide leg jean look, or is it better to go with slim fit jeans and jeggings?

  16. I’m struggling too with tops for the wide leg. I bought some wide leg flare for a doctor appt for my knee cortisone shot, ha! They can be pushed up easily since so wide – came from Gap.They have a side slit. I am very petite also. 4ft 11. This is why I don’t have any in my closet but the itty bitty boot cut kind But have got to style this for Thursday morning. I have recently bought an Old Navy shirt the has the johnny collar and ruched button up style in a soft ribbed knit. I am thinking that maybe my best option but the jeans are at the tailor being shortened right now. I didn’t want to fall and break my neck since dragging the ground. I have a new cobalt sweater from Kohl’s that is Draper James with short sleeves also and the cognac soft jacket from Lauren Conrad that is moto inspired. Please give me your thoughts on looking pulled together. I don’t want to look frumpy or like I’m too young , just trying to stay current . Thanks for your helps! Bonnie

    1. I think you just have to try on the various combinations and see what looks good to you. Take pictures in the mirror and look at those – that will give you better clarity.

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