One of the hottest fashion trends of 2011 is wide leg jeans. It’s all over the runways and fashion magazines, and many women are heaving a sigh of relief that this finally signals the end of the skinny jeans.
Skinny jeans were an unforgiving style that showed every bump and bulge on your waist and leg. But wide leg jeans may also seem difficult to wear, if you’re not tall and leggy. How do you pull it off without drowning your shape in all that billowing fabric? Here are some tips.
Worn well, wide leg jeans will make you look taller and leaner. The trick, though, is to choose a pair with a higher waistband (especially if you’re not that tall). This will give the illusion of height and length.
Make sure the cut isn’t too wide or drapey! It should still graze your body, so that it doesn’t add unnecessary width and body to your thighs. While the runways have all these billowy styles, those super-wide leg pants can make you look like a very fat, very frumpy Coco the Clown. Choose something that still follows your silhouette. If you are pear-shaped, pick one that flares starting from the knee.
Length is also crucial. Have your wide leg pants tailored so that the hem covers just the top of your shoes. If it falls below that you’ll look like you’re ‘drowning’ in your pants leg. To get the right length, wear the shoes you’re most likely to pair the pants with as you have it ‘trimmed.’
Since wide leg jeans are part of the big 70’s trend, then stick to the look with stacked heels and platforms, espadrilles, and wedges. And your shoes should have a rounded toe, not a pointy toe. Never, ever wear wide leg jeans with flats, unless you’re very tall. If you’re not comfortable wearing heels, consider another big trend: the flatform. These have the shape of flats, but the soles are one or two inches thicker—adding the necessary height to pull off wide leg jeans.
Now what kind of blouse or shirt do you wear with wide leg jeans? Definitely one that also skims your silhouette — if it’s too loose you’ll really look like you’re drowning in fabric! If you have a boyish figure, stay away from too-tight shirts. This will look unproportional with the high waist. Look for a blousier top to add curves to your body, but cinch it at the waist with a belt (read our article on how to pick the best belt for your body type).