7 New Trouser Trends: Wide Leg Pants, Flared Bell Bottoms, Palazzos, Culottes & More (for Women)
by Tina Boomerina,
It looks like trends for trousers are steering towards wider legs, but that doesn’t mean all us have to ditch our beloved skinny jeans, straight-legged pants, and leggings. It just means we have more choices. Here are 7 hot ways to wear the wide-leg trouser trend this year.
You can wear wide legs for daytime or evening. You can go casual or tailored or boho… it just depends on what you like and what looks good on you.
1. 70s-Style High-Waist Wide-Leg Trousers: This article is written for women of all ages, but if you’re a baby boomer chick, you may remember the high-waisted trousers and pantsuits worn by Farrah Fawcett and her pals on Charlie’s Angels. Well, there’s good news for all of you pear-shaped gals who’ve been mourning the death of wide-legged jeans and pants… they’re coming back. And, I want to point out that wide-legged trousers can be used to balance all kinds of “flaws” other than big hips. Flares and palazzos are also good for balancing wide shoulders, big tummies, broad backs, and big butts. It just takes a little practice and creativity to get the proportions right.
Note: Apple-shaped women are going to need to look for elastic or drawstring waists. Don’t be shy about trying maternity jeans if nothing else fits. You’re going to be covering your tummy with a long tunic, anyway, and no one will know. (I haven’t tried maternity pants myself, but most high-wasted trousers are way, way too tight in the tummy, so I may give this a try if I’m ordering the pants online.)
2. Bell Bottoms: If you’re under 30 or 40, you may not know the difference between bell-bottoms and other wide-leg pants. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap in styles, but I’ll try to give you a general idea of the different cuts from my perspective… although I’m just an American consumer, not a fashion designer.
- Wide Leg: Wide-legged pants include any style that is not skinny (tight all the way down) or straight-legged. Different brands use this designation for pants and jeans that are wide from the waist down, palazzo pants, flares, boot-cuts, bellbottoms, culottes, and more.
- Bell Bottoms: Traditional bellbottoms are pants or jeans that are tight to the knee and flare out from the knee down. So, bellbottoms are a specific type of wide-legged pant.
3. Wide Pajama Pants: Pajama bottoms are wide pants with a loose fit all the way from the waistband to the hemline. Other people may have a different name for these, but that's what I call them. These pants often have a drawstring or elastic waist and are made of casual ethnic-print, cotton fabric… making them perfect for boho outfits. (These are the type of wide-leg pants I wear.)
4. Palazzo Pants: Palazzo pants (palace pants) are very similar to pajama pants, but palazzos look a little more like a long maxi when you’re standing still. Then when you start walking, people can see that you're actually wearing something like harem pants. Palazzos are extremely wide, often made of lightweight dressy fabric, and are usually worn for evenings in place of a long skirt.
5. Culottes: Culottes are like cropped palazzo pants in shape, but they are worn in place of daytime skirts. Culottes usually have a tailored or sporty feel. This is one style I cannot wear. If you have short legs, try one of the other wide-leg styles. Or, at the very least, make sure you crop your culottes to the right length.
6. Wide Sweatpant-Style Trousers: Loose-fitting sweatpants trousers are a bit like pajama pants, but they are narrow at the bottom, often with a tie or an elastic cuff at the hem. Most sweatpants can be worn in the evening, with a change of accessories.
7. Wide-Leg Jumpsuits: Wide-legged jumpsuits can have any type of leg described above. I only mention jumpsuits because they seem to be everywhere. Jumpsuits are a lot of fun, but they can be harder to fit than regular pants and a top… and jumpsuits can be impossible to fit if you’re apple shaped. I think most jumpsuits are made for traditional, hourglass-shaped women, but they can be altered to fit if you go up a size (or more).
If you're a younger chickadee, you may not know the best thing about wide-leg flared pants. You can make yourself look taller (and thinner) by wearing longer lengths over platform (or high heel) shoes. Try it.
Well, the main thing I want you to know is that if you’re looking for pants with wider legs, they will probably be easier to find than they were last year. And, if you hate skinny jeans, you’ll have a lot more options to choose from. As for me, I have one pair of pajama pants, but most of the time I wear skirts or leggings because they look good on me and they’re more comfortable than regular jeans and trousers. But, the good thing about online shopping is that whatever you want, it’s probably out there.
More Fashion Articles for Hip Boomer Women & Younger Friends:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com Spring 2015.
- Main Photo: Dorothy Perkins.
- 70s Wide Leg Pants for Women: Long Tall Sally, AsosUS, MatalanUK.
- Bell Bottom Pants & Flared Jeans: Dorothy Perkins, AsosUS, Dorothy Perkins.
- Women's Wide Leg Pajama Pants for Daytime: AsosUS, New Look, AsosUS.
- Palazzo Pants for Evenings: MissSelfridgeUK, AsosUS (2).
- Sporty Culottes for Women: VeryUK, PrimarkUK (2).
- Sweatpants-Style Trousers for Women: VeryUK, MatalanUK.
- Wide Flare Jumpsuits for Women: AsosUS (2), Wallis.
- Look Taller With Wide Leg Flare Pants for Women: Wallis.
What do you think of this article? Are you going to start wearing wide-leg pants or are you going to stick to skinny jeans and leggings? Leave a message at the bottom of the page. (It won't show up until I approve it.)