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How to Wear Wide Leg Jeans Like a Pro

If you have been slow to give up your skinny jeans, then wide-leg jeans have been quite a culture shock for you. They are at the complete other end of the spectrum of denim trends and may be quite a challenge for you. Like them or not, they have been on the scene in a big way since last spring, and they continue to grow in popularity.

We have gone from straight leg jeans, to loose fit, to flares, and now to full on wide leg jeans. Like most trends, they aren’t new, just making a comeback. Wide leg pants were popular in the mid-70s and loose fit jeans were popular in the 1990s. 

I’ve always loved clothes but started paying the most attention to fashion in the 90s during my last two years of high school, so the looser fits are nothing new to me. When skinny jeans took over, I thought “What the heck?” While I’m happy to revisit looser fitting jeans, you may be thinking the same thing I first thought about skinny jeans. If these trouser-like wide leg jeans intimidate you, keep reading for tips and tricks on how to wear wide leg jeans with confidence.

What Body Type Should Wear Wide Leg Jeans

Wide leg jeans can be embraced by most all body types, with some pros and cons for each.

Wide leg jeans can help provide some balance for those with wide hips (the pear shape.) A wider leg can also add volume to create balance between the upper and lower body for inverted triangles and apples. They can add volume and curves for the rectangle and highlight an hourglass body shapes curves. The disadvantage is that petites may look shorter in a wide leg style. The extra fabric of wide-leg pants and jeans may may overwhelm a petite frame.  The high rise of many pairs won’t work for someone with a short waisted torso. Pairing wide leg jeans with heels and wedges helps those with a petite stature.

Different Style of Wide Leg Jeans

They come in various styles and cuts, and different washes, each offering its own unique twist on this timeless silhouette. You can find a pair that fits your personal style. Let’s explore some of the most popular options available:

 1. High-Waisted Wide Leg Jeans:

High-waisted wide leg jeans are perfect for creating a flattering hourglass shape while adding a touch of retro flair to your outfit. The high rise elongates your legs and cinches in your waist, providing an ultra-flattering look. Pair them with a tucked-in blouse or crop top to accentuate your waistline further. 

2. Cropped Wide Leg Jeans:

Cropped wide leg jeans hit above the ankle, making them ideal for showing off your favorite pair of shoes or sandals. This style is great for warmer months when you want to keep cool without compromising style. Experiment with different lengths to find one that flatters your height – ankle-length crops work well for petites while mid-calf crops suit taller individuals. 

3. Flared Wide Leg Jeans:

Flared wide leg jeans take inspiration from bell-bottoms but offer a more subtle flare throughout the entire length of the pant leg. They provide balance to curvier body types by adding volume at the bottom, creating an elegant and bohemian look that pairs beautifully with flowy blouses or fitted tops.

How to Wear Wide Leg Jeans Over 50: Wide Leg Jeans Outfits

There is no reason to forgo this trend because of age. Wide leg jeans are just as suitable for a woman over 50 as they are for a 25-year-old. While you might want to skip pairing them with a cropped top, there are several stylish ways to wear wide leg jeans over 50. My suggestion is to keep the looks classic and tailored.

Wide Leg Jeans and A Pretty Blouse

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Jeans- Gap- similar; shoes- similar

Pair them with a pretty blouse. Choose one that makes a bit of a statement, like a tie neck top in leopard print.  Its tie-neck detail brings a sophisticated and playful element to the outfit. Tuck the top into your wide-leg jeans. Tucking your top helps to provide balance, highlights your waist, and provides for a more polished look.

To complete the look, slip into vibrant red ballet flats. The pop of red adds a bold and eye-catching contrast to the leopard print, creating a harmonious balance between edgy and classic. Red is currently on trend and also adds a modern vibe. I chose a ballet flat style shoe with just a bit of a heel, but if you are taller, go ahead and rock a flat ballet shoe.

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Consider accessorizing with subtle jewelry, like hoop earrings or sleek chunky studs, or a delicate bracelet, to complement the overall chic aesthetic.

This is a perfect fall outfit for a dressy casual event, but if you need another layer, add a trench coat.

Cropped Cardigan Jacket with Wide Leg Jeans

Top a pretty blouse with a cropped cardigan jacket. Wide legged jeans call for jackets and cardigan in a shorter length to maintain good proportions. 

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Finish the look with pointed toe boots and simple jewelry.

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Cropped Cardigan + Plaid Button Up Shirt + Wide Leg Jeans

While a darker wash can be slimming, wide leg denim in a light wash can make a great outfit. Start with a pair of light wash wide-leg jeans that offer a relaxed and laid-back vibe. The light color adds a casual and refreshing touch to the ensemble, perfect for various occasions.

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Cardigan- Old Navy; jeans- Old Navy; shirt- Old Navy-similar; boots- Amazon

Pair a classic plaid button-up shirt with the jeans. The plaid pattern introduces a timeless and versatile element, creating visual interest and a hint of preppy style.

For the top layer, don a cropped button-front sweater. The cropped length adds a modern and trendy twist to the outfit while keeping you warm and comfortable. Choose a color that complements the plaid shirt and creates a cohesive look. Complete the look with a pair of neutral pointed toe ankle boots.

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Light wash jeans + moto jacket + velvet t-shirt

Pair your moto jacket with wide leg jeans. Choose one in a neutral color like black or brown for a timeless and versatile look. The moto jacket adds a touch of edginess and can instantly elevate the overall aesthetic. The wide-leg jeans and moto jacket create a balanced silhouette. If the jacket is more fitted, the provides a sense of proportion and keeps the look well-balanced.

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Jeans- Old Navy; tee- Amazon; boots-DSW

Pair the jeans and jacket with a luxe touch by adding a velvet T-shirt. The velvet fabric adds texture and a touch of sophistication to the ensemble.

The combination of velvet, leather (moto jacket), and denim (wide-leg jeans) introduces a mix of textures, making the outfit visually interesting. Embrace texture to add depth to your look.

Consider tucking in the velvet T-shirt either fully or in a half-tuck to define your waist and create a more polished appearance. This adds structure to the ensemble.

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This outfit is perfect for a night out, a concert, or any occasion where you want to showcase a blend of comfort, style, and a hint of rebellious attitude. Adjust the details based on your personal style preferences for a customized and confident look.

Cozy Sweater and Tall Boots

A cozy sweater goes perfectly with your wide leg jeans or pants. Choose a sweater that is cropped or falls just past the waist. A long tunic sweater is difficult to pull off with wide leg jeans.

The extra room in wide leg jeans also allows you to wear tall boots underneath for extra warmth.

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Boots- DSW

This sweater is a drop shoulder sweater which can make the shoulders look wider. It helps provide balance for someone who has a wider bottom half, but if your top half is already the widest part, you will want to look for a sweater with normal shoulder seams.

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Cardigan + Scarf

Pair light wash wide leg jeans with a cream or ivory top and a longer grey cardigan. Add a coordinating scarf in creams and blues. The cream, grey, and denim color palette creates a neutral and sophisticated look.

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Cardigan- Old Navy; scarf- JCrew Factory

While it’s generally recommended that you keep tops and jackets on the shorter side when wearing wide leg jeans, this longer cardigan works because it’s above the knee and it’s not oversized. Keep the layer underneath tucked and fitted to balance the proportions and define your waist.

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Black Turtleneck +Poncho

Pair wide leg jeans with a black turtleneck and layer a chic and oversized poncho in a neutral color or a pattern that complements your style. The oversized nature of the poncho is balanced by the fitted silhouette of the turtleneck. The poncho also balances out the width of the jeans.

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Poncho- Amazon

This look has boho vibes but might not be for everyone. The amount of volume and fabric can be overwhelming for a really small person, and if you are an inverted triangle or apple with a larger top half, this might not be the look for you. It’s all about personal preference and your comfort zone. Sometimes you want to ignore the rules and have fun.

Oversized Blazer 

An oversized blazer works with this wider style of denim. Keep the top underneath fitted and don’t go too oversized with the blazer. Make sure the blazer has some structure to it to keep the proportions balanced. Finish with pointed toe booties.

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Blazer- Old Navy

Blazer and Graphic Tee

Another great option for wearing a blazer with wide leg jeans is to pair a graphic t-shirt with your ensemble. Pointed to booties keep the look lean. Other shoes styles work but might add visual weight to the overall look if the shoe is chunky.

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Sweatshirt + Sneakers

For a fun casual look, opt for a sweatshirt and sneakers. Again, make sure the top isn’t too long or too oversized. A cropped sweatshirt is a great option.

Field sneakers are sleek and make a good choice when wearing sneakers with wide leg jeans.

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Sneakers- DSW

Top and Espadrilles

For spring, tuck in a pretty top and add some espadrilles or wedges. This type of shoe makes it easy to add some height and a heel without sacrifing comfort.

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If you aren’t convinced that wide leg jeans are for you, make an easy transition from skinny or straight leg jeans to flare leg jeans. It’s a good option to adjust to the extra volume. 

In conclusion, wide leg jeans are a versatile and trendy wardrobe staple that can be easily incorporated into any personal style. With the right pairing of tops, shoes, and accessories, you can create various looks ranging from casual to chic. Remember to consider your body shape when selecting the fit and length of wide leg jeans to ensure a flattering silhouette. Whether you opt for a classic denim style or experiment with bold prints and vibrant colors, embrace your individuality and have fun exploring different outfit combinations. So go ahead, step out in confidence and rock those wide leg jeans!

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