Call them relaxed, call them baggy, wide leg pants are everywhere and women over 60 are cheering. They are more comfortable, more forgiving and more versatile than those skinny pants and jeans of the past few years. We all wore loose pants in the 70s and the 90s (even with pleats at the waistband) and we can do it again—just in a different way now. Think you can’t wear wide leg pants because you’re over 60? You can. We’ll show you how to wear them and how to style them.
Choose a style that flatters your body type
Some wide leg pants are very wide and slouchy so you may feel as if you are wearing the bedspread. We recommend starting with a medium wide leg. Don’t forget, we are just coming off the skinny trend. The wide leg may take some getting used to.
Use our guide (below) to help you find the best style for you.
Go fitted on top
A challenge for many of us is that our bodies have drifted to an apple shape over the years. Curves may not be where they should be. So, choose tops for your wide leg pants that avoid making you look like a box.
A good rule of thumb is the wider and baggier the leg, the more fitted your top should be. After all, you don’t want to look like a ship in full sail. You many shrink back at the thought of a top hugging your body but there are ways to camouflage your wayward curves.
Set aside the tunic-length tops we wore with skinny pants; they won’t work here. The best tops for this new pants style will either fall between the top of the hip and mid hip. A different look is a long narrow coat or sweater that ends right above the knee.
If your pants are pleated or have a tie waist you won’t want to cover them. But what woman our age wants to tuck a sweater or shirt into the waistband of pants? Unless you are rake thin, it’s not flattering and it’s not comfortable. But there is an easy way around it You can use a tee or camisole loosely tucked into your pants as your base top, and then layer with a cropped sweater, a jean jacket, or a long cardigan open at the front that doesn’t hide the pleats or the tie.
Choose footwear to suit the wider leg
Wide leg pants will partially obscure your footwear, unlike skinny pants. A slightly raised heel is flattering under wide leg pants: a wedge heel bootie, low chunky heel, or dressy heels. Flats work well with jeans. Loafers and sneakers give you a glam-casual look. (Check out these rhinestone sneakers from Betsey Johnson.)
Baggy and flared jeans harken back to the 90s (before we were made to squeeze into skinny jeans like sausages). They come in a range of styles, from a narrow straight line—just a bit looser than skinny jeans—to boot cut and flared. Many of them have high waists, which are especially good at our age, although a super high waist may be uncomfortable for all but the lean string beans among us. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there.
From left to right: Silverlake London Jeans. Full length, high-waisted, straight-leg silhouette finished with a faded wash; shopbop.com Citizens of Humanity, Eva Relaxed Baggy Jeans. High rise, straight, sits at the hip with an easy, wide leg silhouette; full-length inseam. citizensofhumanity.com Madewell Garment Dye Baggy Straight Jeans. Fitted through the high waist with slouchy straight legs. nordstrom.com Everlane, The Baggy Jean. Signature Way-High Waist, wide leg opening for a looser fit. everlane.com
What to wear with baggy jeans
Rag & Bone ICON Maxine Button Down Shirt
This layer-friendly Rag & Bone button-down shirt is crafted entirely from crisp white cotton. Tucking one side in helps create a long line while providing some opportune belly coverage. shopbop.com
Everlane Cashmere Boxy Crew
Blend of recycled Italian cashmere and wool, features slightly cropped, boxy fit with ribbed neckline, cuffs, and hem. We love it with anything high-waisted and a subtle heel. everlane.com
This versatile leather blazer can be dressed up or down. Looks great with jeans and a white tee shirt or straight leg trousers with a low heel boot. nordstrom.com
Boden semi-fitted tweed and velvet tailored blazer
100% wool, fully lined. 100% polyester Semi-fitted shape. Length finishes at top thigh bodenusa.com
H&M Rib-knit Turtleneck Top
Fitted turtleneck top, rib-knit viscose blend, raw edges. Long sleeves and a straight-cut hem. Attractive with pleated or full pants. hm.com
SUZIE KONDI Emilia Jooshi Intarsia Cashmere Sweater
Patterned with painterly swirls of color inspired by the late French artist, Sonia Delaunay. Designed for a slightly loose fit, made from plush cashmere, classic crew neck, ribbed trim. net-a-porter.com
Whoopi “C for Christmas” Cotton Blend Hooded Sweater
Whoopi Goldberg brings her size-inclusive fashion aesthetic to this year’s holidays with this cotton-blend hooded sweater festooned with whimsical, festive embroidery. nordstrom.com
There is good news on the casual pants front. Higher waists, a variety of leg styles– gently flared, straight legged, billowy–and pleats we can actually wear. The trick to looking good in these pants is to create an illusion of curves. Tuck in a corner of a shirt or sweater. Wear sweaters that are fitted rather than oversized.
Look for tops that hit at the top or bottom of the hip, but not-mid thigh. The exception is a long, narrow jacket that stops right above the knee. It will create a slender line that erupts with the wide legs at the bottom. The goal is to avoid, how shall we say, looking like you’re wearing a tent.
From left to right: Boden, Wide Leg Patch Pocket Pants. “The rise is high, the leg is wide, the vibe is strong.” bodenusa.com Poetry, Straight-Leg Trousers in Chestnut. Straight-leg cord trousers, generously cut through the leg with a slight taper to the ankle. poetryfashion.com Everlane, The Way-High® Drape Pant. Extra-high rise, two side pockets, flattering pleat design, wide-leg cut. everlane.com Garnet Hill, Wide-Leg Comfort Trousers. Pull-on ease, pleated femininity, wide-leg panache. garnethill.com
What to wear with relaxed trousers
Everlane Modern Breton Tee. Subtle boat neck, cropped to below waist, relaxed dropped shoulder, and easy boxy fit. everlane.com
THE OVERSIZED SHIRT in Navy Blue Silk. Loose, long-line silhouette with open cuff detailing and hard collar. Pairs beautifully with trousers, perfect for both day and night. serenabutelondon.com
POETRY Silk Crêpe de Chine Printed Top. A beautiful top in Poetry’s leaf print; pleated round neckline, keyhole detail at the front. Cut for a boxy, shorter silhouette. Tuck a corner into the top of your pants for a je ne sais quoi look. poetryfashion.com
LOEWE Cropped intarsia wool sweater. Spun from wool that’s brushed for softness, it has a classic crew-neck shape and is slightly cropped at the hem. Perfect to wear with high-rise jeans. net-a-porter.com
COS Teddy Zip-Up Vest. Soft, faux-shearling vest crafted from recycled polyester. Stand-up collar, front zip-closure. cos.com
Vince Floral-Print Silk Button-Front Blouse. Coastal color, bias-cut blouse in a beautiful print. Spread collar, button front, long bishop sleeves; darted back, slim fit, curved hem. neimanmarcus.com
Wide leg pants can look elegant and beautiful on women over 60 when paired with the appropriate top for a night out. Keep the fabric to something that’s more sophisticated—velvet, satin, a flowing georgette. And unlike with skinny pants, you can be comfortable all evening. These are trousers to drink Champagne in.
From left to right: Boden, Red Velvet Wide Leg Pants. Relaxed fit, longer length (for heels), side pockets. bodenusa.com Boden Navy Satin Wide Leg Trouser. High rise, wide leg, supersoft satin. bodenusa.com NORMA KAMALI, Elephant Wide-Leg Pants. High-rise, relaxed through wide legs, Full length hem. Bergdorf Goodman. bergdorfgoodman.com ALTUZARRA Dale Metallic satin wide-leg pants. Cut from lustrous silver satin and have fluid wide legs. Net-a-Porter. Black Wide Leg Palazzo Pants. Flowy, comfy Fabric; High Waist Culottes with loose wide leg. Amazon.com
What to wear with dressy wide leg pants
ALICE + OLIVIA Pepper Velvet Tuxedo Blazer with graceful shawl collar. The nipped in waist creates a shapely structured top for flowing evening pants. nordstrom.com
Persian Paisley Statement Jacket, Habitat Clothes. Brushed fleece with swing bodice, open-neck collar, flattering sleeves. Swing jackets are attractive with pants that flare below the knee. habitatclothes.com
Boden Knitted Jacket embellished with crystal and beaded bees. A same-color top that falls below the hem of the jacket elongates the look. Alternatively wear matching camisole and pants. bodenusa.com
Elegant Silk Blouse in ivory (other colors available). 100% Mulberry silk, long sleeves, V-neck top. We like the ruching at the waist: it covers a multitude of sins. slipintosoft.com
Ann Taylor Sequin Wrap Top in black. A timeless wrap top, illuminated with light-catching sequins. Crossover V-neck, long sleeves, shirred sleeve caps. anntaylor.com
Eileen Fisher Classic Collar Long Silk Button-Up Shirt. Classic spread collar, modern-chic style, longer-cut, crafted from luxe silk-georgette crepe. This airy top looks lovely with pants that fall straight from the hit. It only needs a neckalce and bracelet to add sparkle. nordstrom.com
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