Relaxed, easy, cool: the three attributes that pretty much define what an ideal summer wardrobe should be all about. Making a return amongst spring 2014′s fashion trends, wide-leg trousers came bearing those exact qualities, enhanced only by spot-on styling, as if to point out that sometimes baggy can be a terrific idea. Not to mention that nothing beats the comfort of loose pants, you’ll have to agree on that.

Going from slouchy to sophisticated, while building upon the strong menswear inspiration, the wide leg trousers are sometimes dismissed too quickly, often for all the wrong reasons. Giving them a chance this season, doesn’t mean you have to be completely over the slim/skinny look. It just means you can step outside your comfort zone, even if it’s for than one day of the week when you feel like wearing something else.

Continue reading our guide after the break, to get a better understanding on how to sport the wide-leg trousers this season, complete with tips on how to make them flatter your silhouette, amongst others.

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wide leg pants trend for women

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14
Trouser volume: S/S '14

Making the wide-leg silhouette a flattering one.

Much like with all the other fashion trends, we have to acknowledge the fact that the wide-leg trousers might not be for everyone. At the same time, knowing your body type is what allows you to make the most out of the long list of styling tips & tricks granting you to enjoy this particular type of silhouette. Contrary to what you may believe, the wide-legged pants are not for tall, skinny women only. If nothing, they lend you a chance to achieve that long and lean silhouette, by adding extra length to your body:

  • Choose high-waisted pants to elongate your frame;
  • To accentuate your waistline, or create the illusion of one, style the pants with a belt;
  • A high waist paired with a full flare also works in accentuating the waist;
  • Make sure the pants fit great at the top for them to elongate your legs;

how to wear wide leg pants
Wide legs pants at Paul Smith, Hermes and Trussardi, S/S ’14.

  • Pear shaped women benefit from wearing wide legged pants as they draw attention to the ankle, making the hips appear narrower;
  • Wear your wide-leg pants with wedges, stilettos or towering heels if you’re petite;
  • If you’re tall, style the trousers with pointy toe flats, ballets flats, lace-up flats or low heels;
  • Remember that the hem must barely touch the floor to create a long and lean look;
  • If your trousers are of the floor-sweeping type, wear them with open or peep-toe sandals;
  • Balance the volume with at least something form fitting at the top;

what shoes to wear with wide leg pants
Wide legs pants with pointed flats vs platforms, at Colcci & Jeremy Laing, S/S ’14.

Styles, cuts and fabrics.

Seeing how this season’s super wide trousers represent the best approach to summer tailoring, there’s a lot to be acknowledged about the current styles, cuts and fabrics to have made it to the runways.

High-waist vs. low waist.

When talking wide-leg trousers, you will always be presented with a choice in going for a high-waist, or a low one instead. As previously mentioned, a high-waist will work towards highlighting the waist and elongating the silhouette, while concealing a wide hip. It pairs wonderfully with this season’s take on crop tops to reveal just a hint of skin, and it can also serve to effortlessly tuck (half-tuck) a top, or a shirt in.

wide leg pants high waist vs low waist
High waist vs low waist: wide leg pants at Paul & Joe and Sergei Grinko, S/S ’14.

The low waist on the other hand, allows you to play on volume, even at the top. It works great with slightly oversized tops and maximal tailoring, preventing the outfit from looking sloppy. Here is also where the different cuts of wide–leg pants end up influencing the movement of the pants, therefore your silhouette. Biased cuts and pleated trousers are the greatest options for women with larger thighs (hips).

From patterned, to solid, from pleated, to floor-sweeping, from weightless, to sheer, the wide-leg pants for the season are nothing if not versatile. Seek them in double-faced satin, stretch wool, crepe or silk for a laid-back, yet glamorous take on the trend.

How to wear the wide-leg trousers.

Granted you find that ultimate cut that flatters your body and you begin to recognize the best ways to rock the loose silhouette for spring and summer, you’ll find yourself irremediably in love with the wide-leg trousers. Here’s how to wear them with effortless toughness and flair:

The minimalist way.

If there are two spring / summer 2014 fashion trends more keen on complementing each other, the cropped silhouette and the wide-leg pant must make for the perfect example. No matter the pant style you end up adopting (culottes, or floor-sweeping), you can be sure it will look equally stunning when paired to either a crop top, a cropped shirt, a crop jacket or a sleek bandeau. Keep the lines simple, the colour palette basic, with neutral makeup and a wet hair look for a minimalist approach, or go the opposite direction in clashing prints and textures, styling your outfit with chunky wedges and a cool pair of shades.

minimalist wide leg pants
Minimalist styling: wide leg pants at Colcci, S/S ’14.

Masculine styling.

The masculine styling, heavy on menswear influences and based upon maximal tailoring, represents another super-modern way to sport the wide-leg trousers. Think in terms of oversized blazers to match the trousers, layered over the bare skin for a night out, or on top of sheer shirts, bandeaus and classic button-downs otherwise. A slouchy top, neutral and worn half-tucked will also enhance the wide-leg appearance. Here’s where a deep-side part or the soft, flowing waves would work in perfecting the look, without stealing from it.

masculine wide leg pants
Masculine style wide leg pants at Christophe Lemaire, S/S ’14.

The sporty way.

Either sweeping the floor, or ending somewhere above the ankle, there are some wide-leg silhouettes that beg for a sportier styling. Use the bandeau, a slightly “shrunken” tee, or a spaghetti strap halter top to infuse the look with strong athletic vibes. The chunkier the platform you style the outfit with, the better, or you can go for the highly controversial, but comfortable leather flip-flop sandal. Top the sporty aesthetic with a low ponytail, a pair of cool aviators and a mesh vest for extra oomph.

sporty wide leg pants
Sporty styling: wide leg pants at Just Cavalli and Sacai, S/S ’14.

The feminine way.

Despite their apparent toughness due mainly to the menswear inspiration laying their foundation, the wide-leg trousers can be used as the ultimate accent for an utterly sophisticated look. The key is choosing a luxurious, weightless, solid fabric, and further emphasizing it with a killer pair of heels or delicate flats. For the upper body you can choose between a delicate lace blouse, a sleeveless ruffled top, or a classic shirt, tucked into a high-waist, belted silhouette. Soft colours, floral prints or embroideries add extra feminine notes, while a flowing, feminine hairstyle and soft pink lip are the details that will be making all the difference.

feminine wide leg pants
Feminine styling: wide leg silhouettes at Matthew Williamson and Emporio Armani, S/S ’14.

Key colours.

If you would have to pick one colour and one colour only for your spring 2014 wide-leg trousers, white would represent the ultimate choice according to the runways, closely followed by the timeless black. Alongside the earthy neutrals, the cobalt blue, the emerald green and the occasional pops of red, you can also opt for subtle pastel shades for your trousers, especially if they come hues like powdery blue.

wide leg pants key colours
Wide leg pants: key colours. At Diane Von Furstenberg and Christian Wijnants S/S ’14.

If you’re summer style is more vibrant, don’t be afraid to opt for loud prints, or choose between the many stripe iterations to have walked the spring 2014 runways.

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