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Wide Leg Nostalgia: Rescuing Your Closet With The Wide Leg Pant


Wide legged pants from the 90s

Wide leg pants are a nostalgic 90s staple from my greasy and awkward teenage years that have made a surprising comeback. And for a little while, I balked, resisted and told myself it was meant for a younger generation of 20 somethings to wear – albeit ironically.


But I can only resist nostalgia for so long! Since I’ve given in, I’ve discovered that wide leg pants are the unlikely peacemakers in your closet and are just what you might need for tops that have never historically played nice in with other items in your closet.


As you might expect from the name, wide-leg pants are loose-fitting bottoms that give your legs some generous breathing room. They're often fitted around the waist and flare out at the hips, remaining straight and wide all the way down the leg.


You might expect a wide legged, high volume pant to add unwanted weight to your frame, but the wide legged pant is a counter intuitive style staple. In reality, the fitted waist and pronounced flare can enhance your waistline and create a flattering silhouette. Even more surprising, the volume can also dramatically elongate your legline while hiding any wobbly bits.

Kat Depner in wide leg pants with bodysuit

For that body suit that just doesn’t sit right…



Bodysuits are a godsend for those who cannot be bothered to brush their teeth and comb their hair before noon. Yes, it is the lazy human’s weapon of choice and it creates instant polish by giving you a tucked-in look, with very little effort. No tucking or re-tucking, wiggling and jiggling to get that perfect tuck.


The downside of bodysuits is that they are designed to be high compression, holding you in, and if you are anything like me, sometimes they squish you out. In this respect, bodysuits have always been a bit aspirational for me. I could not deal with the squish so my beloved bodysuits hung in all their glory without a proper style companion. These high-waisted wide leg pants have become the perfect solution. Pairing a body contour, high compression bodysuit with a pair of voluminous wide legs creates contrast, balance and visual interest.

Kat Depner in wide leg pants with crop

For that aspirational crop you purchased but never quite had the courage to wear…



Crop tops show a bit of healthy daytime skin and often expose the belly button or midriff. The beauty of crop tops is that they can be of varying sizes for different body shapes.


There are two main crop top lengths - just below the bust line and just above the navel. I prefer the length that sits above the navel as longer lengths cover any wobbly bits along the belly line and leave the smallest peek of skin showing for just a hint of sexiness without looking like a woman of the night. The crop top that hits just above your waistline is also the most flattering as it will draw the eyes towards the narrowest part of your waist.


Take it to the next level by pairing high-waisted wide legged jeans with a crop top that hits at your waist and shows the slightest bit of skin for the ultimate win. The high-waisted pants will provide a bit of coverage and class to the look while highlighting a tiny waistline, and the crop top itself gives the illusion of a leg line that goes on for days.

Kat Depner in wide leg pants with tank


For that boring and basic tank you keep around...



The sleepy and functional crew cut tank might very well be the soul mate of the wide-legged pant. The cutaway of the tank shows off a bit of collar bone and healthy springtime shoulders, and pairing it with the exaggerated volume of a wide-legged pant will create a slimming effect and a faux hourglass. This showcases a tiny waist followed by some curvaceous hips – yes, please!


For this look I’ve paired a striped yellow wide-legged pant with a timeless black cutaway tank. To wrap it all up and continue with bringing on some exaggerated waist definition, I’ve added a belt and pulled it up to the narrowest part of my waist, just above the navel. Wrap this look up with a pair of neutral slingbacks, and you will have mastered ’90s nostalgia like a pro.


Wide Leg Pants To The Rescue


Women's wide-leg pants have landed in 2023 with such flair that they've left skinny jeans feeling a little... well, jealous. These pants have proven that there's more to life than tight-fitting pants and have given our legs the freedom they've always longed for.


With their billowing fabric and generous design, wide-leg pants have become the ultimate style wingmen, allowing us to camouflage a multitude of sins (like my second dinner) while still looking fierce.


6 comments

6 Comments


katdepner
katdepner
Jul 10, 2023

Ahoygabby!

Sigh. The crop top has over promised and under delivered in my life but I'm so glad you appreciate this easy fix!

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ahoygabby
Jul 06, 2023

I have too many aspirational crops tops that are piling up in my closet. This is a great workaround. I can't tell you why I bought so many, but this is a great way to finally wear them!

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allisonmakrell482
Jul 02, 2023

I'm still undecided about wide legs but I like these styles. I didn't know it could give the benefit of a taller frame.

I tend to think since I'm on the shorter side I won't be able to pull them off?

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katdepner
katdepner
Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

Hi Allison,

Short humans unite! We can wear anything we set our minds and hearts on especially since there is the promise of taller frame in these wide leggers.

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valerieguss
Jun 27, 2023

This gives me major 16 year old flashbacks! Haha there’s no way wide leg pants were thaaaat wide. These looks are wearable and much more chic than the pants I remember.

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katdepner
katdepner
Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

Hi Valerie!


Unfortunately, I do believe that wide leg pants were in fact THAAAAAAAT wide. Excited that these options are an alternative you might consider.

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