It must be said that wide-leg pants are not for everyone. It’s for that reason that they’ve never been the dominant style to conquer the streets (not in the average fashioniers’ lifetime, anyway) and, while we count them amoung 2011′s fashion trends, we don’t expect their lack of mass popularity change in a hurry. Skinnies have a long life left in them yet; but this is an year in which flares are on-trend, and wide leg pants are there alongside them. But while the wide-leg may not become your new wardrobe staple just yet, don’t overlook it as an elegant, stylish addition to your 2011 repertoire, particularly when styled right.
And to see some examples of just how they can be styled in the coming year, read on.
Wide leg palazzo pants at Organic by John Patrick SS11
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Styles of wide-leg pants
There are three key styles of wide leg pants on trend in spring 2011:
Sophisticated yet relaxed, sharp and tailored with a mid to high waist: that’s how 2011′s wide-leg trouser distinguishes itself. Perfect for masculine-inspired looks, be they very modern or very vintage.
Wide legged trousers at Akris SS11
Jeans that are wide-legged from top of the thigh down can have a tendency to end up looking baggy. In 2011, we’d recommend jeans that are more fitted on the thigh – lean to flared legs or moderately wide legs rather than wide legged jean styles that are too baggy or that lack shape. Be wary of a skinny leg that then widens from the knee, however: that’s too much like the 90′s take on bell bottoms, a look firmly out in 2011.
Palazzo pants are the resort cousin of the wide-leg pants family. While wide-leg trousers take you from the office to the bar, palazzo pants serve you best when you’re lounging around on a yacht or soaking up some Mediterranean sun. Fabrics should be light and with plenty of drape and flow – silks, crepe, jersey; you can even try sheer fabrics for a look that’s daring but now.
How to wear wide leg pants
- With heels. Flats will simply never complete the look as well as heels will; the exception is if you’re carrying off a very masculine look with man-style flats.
- With a slim-fitting top to balance out the volume on the bottom half. A soft, billowing blouse can also work well but is best broken up with a waist-cinching belt.
- With utter 70s glamour: wide-leg trouser, platforms and a big floppy hat.
- Female dandy style – look to vintage icons like Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich for inspiration.
- With 40s pin-up girl flair, by pairing some wide-legged sailor pants with nautical stripes and espadrilles.
Wide leg sailor pants at Christian Dior SS11
Wide-leg pants: who should wear them
A final, mandatory note about wide-legs, be they jeans, trousers or a draping palazzo: all of these styles work best of taller frames. If you’re short in the legs try a pair of skinny cropped pants or ones with a subtle flare paired with heels.
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