Let’s Talk About Wide-Leg Trousers

Every season, we see wide-leg trousers styled a million different ways, and they almost always give us super-trendy vibes. So, considering how comfortable and versatile they are, let’s dive a little deeper into our knowledge and understanding of wide-leg trousers.

Historically Speaking

We first began seeing wide-leg trousers in the 1920s, where they were often worn with matching Asian-inspired tops. At this time, the entire ensemble was pretty leisurely, and by today’s standards, they would be considered pajamas.

By the 1930s, wide-leg trousers were still mostly being worn for leisure, but they made their way to the beach and were known as “beach pajamas.” They did not skimp on material. In the 1940s, more women were wearing pants, meaning wide-leg trousers were no longer just for lounging. The width decreased, giving the pants a more “ready-to-wear” feel.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, pant styles slimmed way down, and the world said bon voyage to wide-leg trousers for a couple of decades until the hippies of the 1970s brought wide-leg bell-bottoms and trousers back into the mix.

Today, we’re seeing the revival of bell-bottoms and 1930s-inspired wide-leg trousers, and we love it! But we can see where wide-leg trousers may be a little intimidating. Here’s a handy pros and cons list to consider if you’re on the fence about trying wide-leg pants.

Pros of Wide-Leg Trousers

  1. They are wearable year-round: They come in breathable linen for the summer months and heavier fabrics for the fall and winter.
  2. They are versatile in how you dress them: You can pair them with a T-shirt or sweater or even layer them with a denim jacket or blazer.
  3. They are an easy addition to your wardrobe that will always have you looking stylish.
  4. They are comfy. These pants move with you and often come with an elastic waistband.

Cons of Wide-Leg Trousers

  1. You can’t tuck or roll up these pants, so length matters. Luckily, you have flexibility with the length. For instance, if they’re supposed to hit mid-calf but they go to your ankle, odds are, no one will notice.
  2. Summer wide-leg trousers tend to be made out of linen or chambray, meaning they can wrinkle easily.

Our Picks

If we’ve fully convinced you that you’re ready to try wide-leg trousers, here are some of our favorites.

If you’re new to wide-leg trousers or prefer a neutral look, you’ll love these High-Waisted Pleated Pants from Lattelier ($68, shop here). Keep it simple and pair them with a basic white tee, pointed-toe loafers, and some delicate gold jewelry. Bonus: You can easily transition this look into fall by adding a blazer or switching out your T-shirt for a sweater.

If you prefer garments that are a little brighter and bolder, check out these Maeve Sunshine Wide-Leg Pants from Anthropologie ($128, shop here). Keep the pants the star of your outfit by pairing them with a simple top, strappy sandals, and vintage sunnies.


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