High-waisted wide-leg trousers have had many an icon to continue their fame. In fact, there isn’t an era past the 20th century that hasn’t included this classically chic silhouette. More recently, wide-leg pants have morphed the popularity of their skinny denim friends, steadily growing into a category that we a) are thrilled about and b) should talk seriously on the topic. Pants, culottes, wide-leg trousers; they can be intimidating, it isn’t just you. We doubt anybody has lived a life with only flattering shapes to have accompanied them into change rooms. Even supermodels have had these moments of despair. For whatever reason, pants seem to get the anxiety levels up the highest (we’ll ignore bikini season for a moment). This means it’s important to separate fact from fiction and identify why you may avoid a certain shape. Many of us construct complex sets of rules governed by bizarre ideas about our bodies, one bad experience, or a particularly nasty shop assistant. It’s an empowering moment to experiment with something ‘rule free’ and discover a whole new world of things that might suit you. So for the sake of trousers, wide-legged trousers in particular, we will talk about a few myths that might be preventing you from finding this illusive fashion Narnia.
It’s likely you’ve noticed the floor sweeping pant lengths that have waltzed past street style photographers, front rows and editorial photoshoots. There is a good reason this trend has caught on like wildfire, it elongates like a dream. Whether you're Amazonian or more of a Tinkerbell, this shape can work for you. Miroslava Duma, being the petite fashion powerhouse that she is, works with white wide-leg trousers and matching suit jackets, often exposing a dramatic neckline (jacket sans top underneath) and concealing high heels under floor pooling but still crisp wide-leg pants. The slight structure in the fabric insures that her shape is not lost and the matching long pant suit with a deep-v neckline, creates the illusion of length. Ines de la Fressange uses her height to wear softer fabrics that drape from her frame, in both jacket and pant, often pairing with flats or sneakers and lightweight white t-shirts. The overall effect is effortless, the right balance of masculine and feminine. Hips need not be afraid, weighted silk crepe, high waists and sharp front creases all work towards balance. Do as Beyonce does and define the waist by either pairing high-waisted trousers with a midriff or a with a tight turtleneck. Our pick for this category would be the black wide-leg trousers from new season The Row. The fluid fabric, elastic waistband and a almost flared leg, make for a flattering easy-to-wear basic to build a classic outfit upon.
Culotte trousers are relatively new to the scene but are as inclusive as their longer cousins. Even though cropped lengths are a more obvious pick for taller women, culottes can work on petite frames just as well. We recommend trying black culottes that end mid-calf without too much flare. Add a stiletto sandal to really lengthen the leg. Tall women can experiment with the super flare varieties or try the momentum building trend of matching white tennis shoes with white culottes. Or, the lightweight silk varieties, such as the ones from Acne Studios, a tall girl’s alternative to a skirt. If you're worried about curve, fear not! Stella McCartney has a grey cashmere variety that would look wonderful over hips with heels and crisp cotton shirts.
Flared trousers may be on a slower cyclical comeback journey than their friends, but once returned everybody is welcoming. Flares naturally balance body shapes, they are often tighter across the bottom, creating an ultra-feminine silhouette that we love. This season though, we have noticed the emergence of looser-through-the-hip flares (longer length crutches) that can work in the office, or just if you’d prefer a roomier fit. Style these with heavy brogues and longer length shirts for a creative spin on suiting. For the fashion brave try the Texas trend with white flared trousers and vintage micro t-shirts, it’s a lot of fun and right on vogue. Tory Burch have a pair in their new season that would work perfectly. Another era, another reason to enjoy wide-leg pants!