If you’re not already wearing wide-leg pants, you’ve probably at least thought about it. The trend started on the runways a few years ago and at this point has trickled down to pretty much everywhere; they’re in Zara and H&M, in all the indie boutiques, in Everlane, even in Target. Despite the style’s ubiquity, we’ll still get questions about what to wear with them or where to find a good pair for certain body types — short, tall, plus, etc. — suggesting that many people still don’t feel like the silhouette will work for them right off the
But! I’ve seen people of all shapes, sizes, and ages pull off wide-leg pants of all rises and lengths. My middle-aged neighbor looks just as cute in high-waisted wide-leg denim as my teenage cousin does in her pleated satin wide-leg lounge pants. And I at least feel like I look as good in my own DIY-cropped chinos as my most stylish friend does in her perfectly tailored wide-leg work trousers.
In my own orbit, it seems like the only person who hasn’t totally come around to the trend is my mom, who (not unlike many moms) is a pretty good barometer for when things have been fully embraced by the wider culture. She’s got impeccable taste but tends to play it pretty safe. I stopped letting her pick out my outfits when I was about 3 years old, but she was in town the other day when I got a pair of wide-leg pants delivered in the mail from a designer consignment store, so I tried them on and had her be the judge. They were a size too big and I’m really short, so they ended up being comically huge on me. My mom beat around no bushes and told me I looked like a clown in balloon pants. (I did.)
But when I made her try them on, we were both surprised by how good they looked — especially after she tucked in her white T-shirt and added a long-line cashmere vest, which she told me she bought forever ago and is happy that they’re now back in style. She hung out in her new outfit for a solid hour and reported back that they’re the most comfortable pants she’s worn in a long time.
Even though she looked awesome, I couldn’t convince her to wear them to her work meetings the next day. But I’m betting that our latest shopping story on the very best wide-leg pants out right now can convince her to try another pair, maybe one that’s more suited to her own look. Who knows: If you’re skeptical about “pulling them off,” maybe we can convince you, too.
(Psst — if you’re a shortie like me, check out this helpful post we ran earlier in the year on all the things you can do to make the pants work for a petite frame.) —Cory Baldwin, shopping editor