By now you’ve probably heard that skinny jeans are dead and we should all be returning to wider legs and flares. While you couldn’t pay us enough to revisit the super low-rise bootcut trend of the late nineties and early aughts, we are kind of loving the wide leg pants that are hitting the racks this summer and for fall. Our legs need to breathe and it’s time for a change!
Plus, playing with proportions is always fun. And there is something to be said for the easy-breezy nature of wide leg pants during the hottest months of the year. Here are some of our favorite ways to rock summer 2022’s newest popular silhouette right now…and into the fall and probably next year.
Linen Wide Pants
A summer classic for a reason, linen wide leg pants never really go out of style, just wax and wane in popularity. We like white or light colored linen pants for an especially summery look. But any color can be perfect for a hot day especially if you want more coverage than shorts or many skirts have to offer.
Patterned Wide Leg Pants
Many of us tend to prefer to wear our patterns on top. But a patterned pant, whether it’s a plaid, floral, abstract, or some other look, can be fun. It’s flattering too, since the pattern isn’t tight to the body and the flowing fabric lets the print, not your figure, be the star. For example, these botanical print pants from LOFT are perfect for summer. Besides, you probably already own flat sandals, a straw bag, and a fitted black or white top (or both) to pair with them.
Belted Wide Leg Pants
Wide leg pants with a self-belt might seem like an eighties throwback, but the versions we are seeing now are far from those slouchy trousers. These bold colored Banana Republic wide-leg paperbag pants would be fun to dress up with a silk tee or blouse and mules. Or dress them down with a more casual top and flats or maybe even chunky sneakers and big necklace.
Cropped Wide Leg Pants
We don’t mean those hideous gaucho pants that had their thankfully brief moment a while back, but tailored wide leg pants like these from Apiece Apart are perfect for showing off a great pair of shoes. And most of us still have slim ankles and lower calves after 50 to boot.
Keep It Fitted On Top
With wide pants or any kind of bottoms with volume, for that matter, it is nearly always a good idea to keep the top half more fitted. A slim tee or tank like these higher v-necks from Amazon Essentials make the most sense for summer casual looks with wide legs, and for more dressed-up times you can do an embellished top with cutout details or a halter – something with high drama. Tying a button-down blouse at the waist for a retro look can be fun as well, just keep the rest of the look modern to avoid the costume-y aspect unless you are leaning into that!
Or Go Sheer
Want a little more coverage? A sheer, crochet, or open weave draped scarf, kimono, or duster jacket over a fitted top might fit the bill with wide leg pants since you can still see that you have a body under all that fabric. We’re fans of this open knit body skimming cardigan from Begonia K. via Amazon since it is cut narrow and comes in a range of neutrals, making it an excellent warm weather topper in general.
Monochrome Looks With Wide Leg Pants
Is there anything as flattering as one long, lean column of color, any color? We think not. That’s why pairing wide leg pants with a matching top can be a fabulous choice, especially in luxe colors like ivory or crisp white. Or try something candy-hued for a luscious pop of fun. Or maybe try a neutral, like this already put together two-piece pant set from Light In The Box that comes in many other muted colors. Editors note: Size up for this inexpensive set. A size 8 is equal to an XL!
Formal Wide Leg Pants
Wide leg pants (or a jumpsuit with wider legs) can be a great alternative to a skirt or dress for fancier occasions. Just keep the fabric to something that’s more sophisticated and avoid wearing the super pointy shoes we all used to wear – you know which ones. We’re big fans of the Ramy Brook Athena pants with their side slits for summer events combined with a white top and amazing jewelry or perhaps something in a more vibrant hue for a pool party or similar occasion. These Ann Taylor wide leg pull on pants are a classic.
Casual Wide Leg Pants
These might feel like one step up from sweat pants, but they can look much more put together, even with a tee and sneakers. The key is to keep the rest of the outfit simple and clean, like the Nolita Wide Leg from Athleta that would both be ideal mixed with sleek low profile sneakers and a basic tee tucked in. Or maybe with a great floppy hat or some interesting jewelry like big cuff bracelets or rings.
Sometimes referred to as harem pants, cover-up pants, chiffon pants, side split pants, or other terms, these flowy wide leg pants are versatile. They can work for everything form a swimsuit cover-up to beach side or boardwalk, or to wear to slightly more dressed up occasions like strolling through a city or park, depending on the print, fabric, and what you pair them with. The Palazzo Pant with ties from SummerSalt is a great option. Or pick up something cheap and cheerful from SySea on Amazon if you just want some inexpensive palazzos to take on vacation.
Shop Wide Leg Pants
LOFT Fluid Wide Leg Pants in Botanical, now $59.99
Banana Republic Wide-Leg Paperbag Pant, now $64.97
Ramy Brook Athena Pants, $225
Do you change things up with your pants silhouette? Or will we have to pry your skinny pants and jeans out of your wardrobe with a crowbar? Does the season or occasion matter? Do you prefer wider legs or skinny legs or something else on your figure in general? Let us know in the comments or on our Growing Younger Facebook Group!
You may like to read more summer styling tips like Must-Have Summer Outfits for Those Super Hot and Humid Days and How To Wear Summer Tops for Women Over 50.
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