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7 New Trouser Trends: Wide Leg Pants, Flared Bell Bottoms, Palazzos, Culottes & More (for Women)

read about wide legs and bellbottoms for 2015

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.

read about new trends in pants and trousers and jeans on boomerinas.com

70s Wide Leg Pants for Women

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.)


read about new bellbottom trend

Bell Bottom Pants & Flared Jeans

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.


Wide Pajama Pants & jeans for daytime

Women's Wide Leg Pajama Pants for Daytime

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.)


read about trendy wide leg pants at boomerinas.com

Palazzo Pants for Evenings

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.


read about the new wide leg pants trend for women

Sporty Culottes for Women

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.


read about new trends for women's pants and jeans

Sweatpants-Style Trousers for Women

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.


trendy jumpsuits with wide flared legs

Wide Flare Jumpsuits for Women

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).


read tips for the wide leg pants trend at boomerinas.com

Look Taller With Wide Leg Flare Pants for Women

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:

New Spring & Summer Bag Trends

Classic Tailored Fashion Over 40: Interview With the Style MD for Women, Jennifer Connolly

Trendy Plus Size Clothing Stores Online: 29 Boutiques & Designers Worldwide With US Delivery

read about latest fashion trends women

Main Photo - Wide Leg Pants Women

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.)

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. kay kerns

    I was so glad to see your article! I like some wide leg pants. I don't love culottes though.

  2. Jet

    I remember when these pants were revolutionary; pleading with my home-ec teacher to let me use the wide-leg pants Simplicity pattern for my sewing project, even though it was against the dress code to wear palazzo pants on campus.

    For most of my life, I barely wore pants, preferring dresses and split skirts, so with my legs together, my gaucho pants could be presentable later at a wine bar in Montevideo, even though I had been dreaming of being horseback on the grasslands of Uruguay, but in reality, just sitting cross-legged on the floor of the library reading racy histories of Montparnasse in the 20's.

    So I don't remember if I ever wore bell bottoms or wide-legged pants when the disco ball glimmered. But history seems to have caught up with me, and I have purchased three of them recently, wearing the wide-legged jeans yesterday, drinking a 1811 Desert Blonde craft beer with my husband and discussing net neutrality, and today, the bell bottoms, while saying good-bye to my neighbor's 1966 Ford Mustang (in cherry condition), off to be auctioned to raise money for his church, that needs a new van; a new life for retro pants, a youthful salute in a boomer's body.

    It is fun to wear the fashion of my teens that was never part of my past. It seems one can live one's life in parallel just by increasing the volume of one's pants.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      That's a cool story. We were not allowed to wear pants to school until I was in college.

      I have been to Montevideo briefly while on a cruise. It is beautiful. I wonder what it was like to live there.


  3. Cher

    I'm wondering about the shoes that my sales person at Nordstroms called "street shoes". In my case I mean a black and white New Balance with white laces. She said they are not for sports, just for wearing regular every day. I was convinced when I bought them ,but now I'm questioning the decision. I am 65, average height and weight and love to dress classic with a little funk.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Can you leave a link or describe the shoes. I'm not sure what they are and I'm on a tiny laptop. I'm in the middle of moving to a new state and it's hard to get online.


  4. Nancy Dahl

    Laughed aloud at the article on wide legged pants. Finally a break from the skinniest that do me no good.

    Also, I say, if you wore the bell bottoms the first time around, pass on them now. Great way to look dumpy and out to lunch. I know, I wore them last week. No, not for me!

    Looking forward to the Newsletter and your wit and laying it on the line for us

    Love your ideas for color, MORE new color COMBOS please!

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I'm glad you tried something new. I have a feeling that there is some kind of wide-leg pants that you will look good in. Try styles that flare less or flare differently... every style will look different on you (and on everyone).

      I wore bells the first time around and I'm fairly sure they still look good on me, but they may be a different type than what I wore during my hippie / disco days. I'm fairly sure that culottes will still look like shizzit on me because they looked awful even in the 60s... so I'm not even going to try those suckers. However, I suppose it depends on the fabric and the length and the flare.

      I'm more a pajama hippie.... maybe soft bellbottoms.



      • Tina-Boomerina

        ps soft bellbottoms that aren't tight above the knee. that's what I can wear. Try different fabrics and brands. I happen to like tight denim jeans and tight denim leggings, but my legs are one of my skinny parts.

        and if you think something looks good on you, don't listen to naysayers unless they are people you really trust (daughters, mothers, granddaughters are usually good sources) because some people just can't handle change of any kind.... and they may be jealous of you... sisters may or may not be good critics. coworkers are the same. sorry this took so long to get to. I'm on the road with limited access to the internet.


  5. Nancy Dahl

    Gee, thanks so much for the replies to me! I am pushing myself to dump all the yucky old pants that fall down on me, my waist is smaller and the pants slip down. It's not a pin the waist together thing, they simply don't work.

    I think if I get one new printed soft cotton pants and add a new color on top it will be the cat's pajamas for me.

    Loved your comments and again laughed out loud. You do a wonderful job with your site and you really encourage me, and my age crowd! Late sixties and where the grown kids take me for granted.

    If I want to talk to them it's on my shoulders. My friends agree that we have to contact them. They are so busy and truly don't know how much it means to us to talk to them. Sp how about an article on refreshing ideas to stay in contact with adult kids. One thing I know, we can't appear NEEDY. I want this thought to get onto your forum.

    Thanks again for your creativity!

  6. Tina-Boomerina


    I have a problem getting my own adult kids to talk to me. My kids contact me for a while and then I say the wrong thing and they get pissed off (or sulky) and they stop talking to me until they need something.

    You have given me a reason to contact my daughters. I'm going to ask them for tips from a grown child's point of view. I don't know if they'll answer the phone or respond to my text... but it's worth a try. I'm going to ask a few grown children and hope I get some answers.

    Congrats on the smaller waist. And, now I'm psyched about doing research for the adult-child article. I don't know if anyone will read it or if it will be helpful, but it's a great idea. Talking to my kids (who live in different states than I) is constantly on my mind... so it's probably on the minds of other women!


  7. Nancy

    When I call my adult children, I make sure I have just exercised and my mood is relaxed and up-beat. Then I stick to asking about what's happening in their life and listen to them Later they may ask about me, but that will happen 5 minutes or more in the conversation. this works well for me

    What doesn't work well in calling them is during cooking, at dinner, or when they have an important project going on such as doing their taxes, friends over etc. etc.

    I had to teach myself to realize I have to initiate and not expect them to call first. It took me awhile to get this

    My best friend told me not to give advice unless asked. I try to shut my mouth when a retort is about to slip out my mouth. So far, these approaches are working!

  8. Tina-Boomerina


    I can handle every part of what you said except for shutting my mouth. I'll try taping your comment on my bathroom mirror and try to memorize the whole thing.


    • Nancy D.

      Hi Tina, my friends said to not give advice to my grown children unless asked. I am working on it. They don't want advice from me. Some of what I say is indeed helpful, but in my family's case, they have to discover the facts for themselves.
      On the flip side, they do help me when I ask.
      I am sixty-eight and my kids live far away. My relationship with them needs improvement. Both are married with kids of their own. Any ideas?

      This thought is for the forum you have started. Will you please connect me to it?

      Thank you . I think it will be a good sharing site!

  9. Nancy D.

    Sorry I sounded preachy about shutting my mouth at my kids house. I got stung many times as they are good at sarcasm back.

  10. Ali

    yeah! as a VERY top heavy apple shape ( well more square really on pins) I look silly in tight pants and leggings, sort of like Gru in Minions films. In wide legged flares my teeny weeny bottom half balances out with my huge top half, you don't see my knobbly knees and I can even pretend I have hips under them.

  11. Ali

    about time, I hate those tight jeans and leggings, I am about the only person in the country I think that will not wear them. For a very boxy shape like me that's 3 sizes bigger on top than the bottom flares balance out my shape, hide my knobby knees and I can even pretend there's some hips and a bottom under them.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I'm doing research for an article on stretchy jeans and jeggings for apple shapes. I'm just waiting for one more jegging to come in through UPS and I think I'll have an article about different fake/stretchy jeans you might be able to wear.


      • Ali

        that will be interesting, I can't wait for winter so I can wear my dresses again but need to find tights or leggins ( must be natural fibre as I am going through the change and get hot flushes) that don't fall down, because I have a barrel shape and no hips or bottom I find they always fall down and I am hoiking them up. I really do have very thin legs in proportion to the rest of me, even thinner as I've hit middle age with bony knees and skinny ankles.

        • Tina-Boomerina


          I don't know if the stretchy jeans and jeggings I've found are natural fiber. However, I feel that natural fiber is more important (to me) on the upper part of my body. That's were I get overheated... but I will check to see if anything I like is cotton.

          And, I'm afraid you're going to have to pull up your jeans or leggings no matter what (if you're shaped anything like me). The only alternatives I can think of would be a long bodysuit... yuck... you'll pee all over yourself by the time you get it unsnapped... or suspenders/braces... which I know from experience look ridiculous on my body and probably on most apple shapes.


  12. Carrie

    You have the monopoly on useful ininomatfrn-areo't monopolies illegal? ;)