The number one fall trend this season: wide leg pants. You’re sure to find the roomier counterpart to fitted pants and skinny jeans at every store you’re shopping this season and for good reason. Not only are wide leg pants slimming, but they work for a number of occasions from causal to more dressy events on your calendar. Here, celebrity stylists break down how to style wide leg pants and how they flatter women over 50.
Why are wide leg pants trending?
You may be wondering why this style of pants is making a big resurgence. “In a word: comfort,” explains celebrity fashion stylist Eric Himel. That’s because in recent years “women have put comfort at the top of their list of requirements for dressing” notes Himel. Wide leg pants provide peak flexibility and mobility, on top of comfort, making them the perfect pants for on the go — whether that be for going to work, running errands or even just lounging at home.
Wide leg pants as seen on Amanda Holden above come in a variety of fabrics from corduroy to denim, satin and more.
Trends also just naturally change overtime. As they say, everything that’s old is new again, and we have seen this with countless fashion trends, like the resurgence of styles from the 90s. “Another reason [why wide leg pants are trending] is that skinny jeans had dominated the jean scene forever, so it is natural in the ebb and flow of fashion that it went 180 degrees in the other direction,” says Himel.
Why wide leg pants are flattering for women over 50
Wide leg pants are the type of fashion trend that was made for women over 50. It’s one of the chicest ways to look stylish and put together, while still feeling comfortable. Additionally wide leg pants are drastically more forgiving than skinny pants or other form-fitting trousers. Instead of worrying about your clothing clinging to your skin and emphasizing trouble spots, you’re able to move around with ease and feel confident.
“Women’s bodies naturally change after 50,” says Himel. “A wide leg pant is a more forgiving silhouette.” Plus, wide leg pants can do wonders when it comes to accentuating your shape, even showing off an hourglass figure. Whereas skinny pants can sometimes make your shape look straight and boxy, wide leg pants can do the opposite.
Cropped, denim wide leg pants like the ones Christie Brinkley is wearing makes gorgeous legs a focal point.
“A wide leg style pant can be very flattering as it elongates the legs and nips in the waistline,” explains Samantha Brown, celebrity fashion stylist. “Women of all ages can wear this trend as there is such a wide variety that will flatter different body types.”
How to style wide leg pants: 7 different options
Keep reading for stylists’ favorite ways to style wide leg pants from head to toe.
1. How to style wide leg pants for a casual lunch
The most versatile type of pants you can own? A good pair of denim, especially on a wide leg silhouette. These wide leg jeans (Buy from Express, $58.80) are the perfect medium blue wash, which allows them to easily be dressed up or down. When heading to lunch with family or friends, pair it with a simple white tee (Buy from Banana Republic, $25), sneakers and some gold and black accessories, like earrings and a necklace, for an effortless yet chic look. The key to giving this outfit some shape and definition? Tucking in the top and adding a belt. “Wide leg pants are comfortable and easy, and look best when belted or with a tucked top to define the waistline,” says Brown.
Shop the look:
Wide leg jeans: Buy from Express, $58.80
White T-shirt: Buy from Banana Republic, $25 (on sale now for $15!)
Sneakers: Buy from Nordstrom, $74.95
Belt: Buy from DSW, $32
Earrings: Buy from Amazon, $14.99
Necklace: Buy from T.J. Maxx, $19.99
Naomi Watts is proof of how chic a pair of wide leg pants and a solid tee can be for daytime.
2. How to style wide leg pants for work
Take the guesswork out of putting together a work-appropriate look by sticking to neutrals. Shades of tan and black are best for work because they can go with most tops, shoes and other accessories, making them a staple in your closet. With the often hefty price of work clothes, a pair of dress pants that you can wear with anything is key here. These wide leg dress pants (Buy from Lane Bryant, $89.95) not only are extremely flattering with pleats in front, they also provide lots of leg room so you won’t feel confined when sitting or standing.
Add even more comfort to the look by wearing with black mini heels that feature a padded sole (Buy from LifeStride, on sale now for $49). And finishing it off with a black purse, gold hoops, and a swipe of a bold lipstick will leave you looking extra polished.
Shop the look:
Wide leg dress pants: Buy from Lane Bryant, $89.95
Silk blouse: Buy from Express, $58 (on sale now for $34.99)
Black purse: Buy from Amazon, $26.99
Earrings: Buy from Amazon, $15.95
Lipstick: Buy from Walmart, $6.48
3. How to style wide legs pants for running errands
Comfortable, flattering sweats that look fashionable? Yes please! These wide leg sweatpants (Buy from H&M, $24.99) have a cinched waistband, which nip the waist to give you shape while still feeling as comfy as a pair of pajama bottoms. Just add a few pieces you already have in your closet — like a jean jacket, solid T-shirt and a pair of sneakers to create a fuss-free look when on the go. Tip: a more snug jean jacket and top is best as Himel notes it creates balance to the figure. And we love a pop of jewel tones like rich emerald for fall with our accessories like stud earrings and a handbag.
Shop the look:
Wide leg sweatpants: Buy from H&M, $24.99
Grey T-shirt: Buy from Banana Republic, $25 (on sale now for $15!)
Denim jacket: Buy from Old Navy, $39.99
Green purse: Buy from Amazon, $29.99
Green earrings: Buy from Amazon, $16.99
Sneakers: Buy from DSW, $74.99
4. How to style wide leg pants for date night
For a special night out with your significant other, dress to impress by throwing on pleated wide leg pants with a satin blouse recommends Brown. The above cream pair of pants (Buy from Zara, $59.90) feature a tie belt to define the waist and pleats that go down the leg, which help visually elongate the lower half. And a light pink satin top bounces light onto the face to leave you looking radiant. To finish off the ensemble, add a few simple and coordinating accessories like pearl earrings, a crossbody bag, a dainty gold necklace and neutral flats, which create a feminine and romantic look. A silk or satin blouse is also one of Brown’s recommendations for tops that look ultra-flattering with wide leg pants.
Shop the look:
Cream wide leg pants: Buy from Zara, $59.90
Satin blouse: Buy from Zara, $35.90
Flats: Buy from Shein, $11
Crossbody bag: Buy from Kate Spade, $57.36
Earrings: Buy from Amazon, $13.96
Necklace: Buy from Amazon, $16.99
Don’t have a pink top— don’t fret! An all-white look can be equally as stunning as showcased on Cindy Crawford.
5. How to style wide leg pants for a cocktail hour
These magenta, satin wide leg pants (Buy from Maurices, on sale now for $31.43) are perfect for adding a pop of color into your wardrobe and help you stand out when drinking and mingling with friends or coworkers at a happy hour. They look and feel luxe and cost less than $50. Plus, the shine from the satin blurs imperfections on the lower half. A short, puff sleeve sweater adds a layer of warmth and balances the flare of wide leg pants. Top of the look with a pair of matching pink earrings to draw attention to gorgeous facial features and a color block clutch to tote your essentials in a stylish way. As for shoes, Brown loves a comfortable, pointed flat, which is flattering as “a pointed toe will add additional length to your frame.”
Shop the look:
Magenta satin wide leg pants: Buy from Maurices, on sale now for $31.43!
Black sweater: Buy from Amazon, $38.99
Clutch: Buy from Amazon, $22.99
Flats: Buy from DSW, $39.99
6. How to style wide leg pants for a walk or the gym
Sometimes, a brisk walk after a long day is just what you need to feel rejuvenated. However, with the colder months approaching, it’s important to stay warm. Pairing wide leg yoga pants (Buy from Amazon, $30.99) with a fleece quarter-zip sweater (the one above has zipper pockets to hold headphones, keys or any other necessities) will keep you from shivering when getting your steps in. And a neutral pair of sneakers won’t compete with the pants.
And if you’re headed to the gym, pair the look with a chic matching duffel and sweep hair up with creaseless and snag-free hair ties. Or, this look is also great if you’re playing pickleball. (Click through this story for the best pickleball shoes for women over 50.)
Shop the look:
Wide leg yoga pants: Buy from Amazon, $30.99
Cropped zip-up: Buy from Old Navy, $49.99
Running shoes: Buy from Amazon, $59.95
Duffel bag: Buy from Amazon, $37.99
Hair ties: Buy from Alo, $15
7. How to style wide leg pants for dinner with girlfriends
Making time to catch up with your girlfriends is the perfect pick me up after a long work week. And although it’s often best to pair wide leg pants with a shorter top as to not add too much bulk, a longer jacket creates a column-like slimming effect that’s equally as flattering. The above long, belted leather jacket pairs beautifully with dark wash wide leg jeans (Buy from Nordstrom, $54) and can be worn open untied or closed and tied depending on your dinner location. Add the finishing touches in shades of red like a lacy cami, clutch, earrings and lipstick help brighten up a look made up of a dark jacket, jeans and boots.
Shop the look:
Dark wash wide leg jeans: Buy from Nordstrom, $54
Leather jacket: Buy from Windsor, $52.90
Earrings: Buy from Amazon, $9.99
Clutch: Buy from Amazon, $37.95
Booties: Buy from Zara, $49.90
For more fashion tips and affordable clothing, click through these stories: