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Style Guide: How to Style Wide Leg Jeans

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Woman in wide legged jeans and dark blue blouse

Want to learn how to wear wide leg jeans? This denim silhouette may have first surfaced in the 70s, but it’s just as popular, if not more, today as it was back then. Wide leg jeans are comfortable, flattering, and unique. While they may not be your everyday pair of jeans, they’re a great option when you want to switch up your style from time to time. There are so many great ways to wear them too. 

Similar to all our favorite items of denim clothing, there’s always a time to wear wide leg jeans, regardless of the season. From cropped silhouettes to full-length styles, wide leg jeans can be worn all year long and for any number of occasions. Here, we break down how to style wide leg jeans with your favorite pieces. 

What are Wide Leg Jeans?

First, it may be helpful to define what wide leg jeans are. This style of denim clothing is characterized by its wide leg silhouette, However, the style can be full-length or cropped, and while it is typically high-waisted, it isn’t necessarily. 

Unlike flared jeans, which are fitted to the knee and then flare out at the calf, wide leg jeans are only fitted around the waist. From there, they can either balloon out or slowly widen toward the hem. Either way, this silhouette is roomy, which makes it super comfortable and fun to wear. 

We carry a couple of different styles of wide-leg jeans: a dark denim wash and a light denim wash. Both of these styles feature the same comfortable fit with a decent amount of stretch, a cropped length that is universally flattering, pockets in the front and back, and a waistline that buttons perfectly between mid and high-rise. This slimming, stylish wide-leg silhouette is incredibly versatile. Scroll on to learn how to style it in a variety of ways.  

What Tops to Wear with Wide Leg Jeans

If you’re new to wide-leg denim, when you first slip on this style of jeans, it will feel a bit foreign. Play around with the pieces you have in your closet to learn what you like and what you don’t like wearing with your new jeans. Here are a few tops to start trying out first.  

A Cropped Sweater 

The key to pulling off wide leg jeans is highlighting the waistline. A great way to do this is to wear a cropped sweater. We particularly love this mock-neck sweater that ties at the hem, which will naturally draw attention to the waistline. For a sweater with a hem that hits too low, consider folding it under or using a French tuck—a handy styling trick that simply means tucking the front half of your shirt or sweater into your jeans. 

A Fitted Tee 

Long sleeve, short sleeve, or sleeveless, a fitted tee goes very well with wide leg jeans. This is one of our favorite ways to style wide leg jeans because it’s versatile and easy. For example, you can reach for a solid-colored long-sleeve tee in the fall or winter and wear it tucked into your wide leg jeans, and instantly look put together. In the summer, you can simply wear a fitted tank top or a striped tee with your wide-leg pants, slip on a pair of sandals, and be ready to go.

The reason this look works so well is that a fitted silhouette on the top balances out the wide silhouette on the bottom, creating the perfect proportions. It also is a look that’s easy to layer. You can simply add a cardigan, jacket, or coat over your fitted tee for added warmth and style. Check out our latest blog on how to style denim jackets if you’re going for a denim on denim look.

A Statement Blouse

While it may sound counter-intuitive, another way to balance the proportions of your look when wearing wide leg jeans is by actually adding more volume up top. You can do this by picking a blouse with details on the neck or shoulders, such as voluminous sleeves, shoulder pads, ruffled collars, you name it. This style is meant to have fun with! 

Consider this turtleneck (it also comes in a statement-making python print) or this v-neck top, both of which feature trendy shirred shoulders, or try this silk blouse with blouson sleeves and a mandarin collar. Whatever blouse you choose, be sure to tuck it in to create a cinched waist that balances the volume on the top and the bottom.

Wonam in wide legged jeans and linnen blouse

A Crewneck Sweatshirt

Enhance the relaxed feel of wide-leg jeans even further by pairing them with a casual crewneck sweatshirt. A tie-dye pullover, such as this one or this plus-size option, and a pair of kicks is the quintessential combo, and when worn with wide-leg jeans, it’s all the more fashionable. 

A Cut-Out Top

During the spring and summer months, continue to wear your wide leg jeans by pairing them with shoulder-baring tops, whether that’s a tee with cut-outs, a strapless top, a halter, or a cold shoulder blouse. With plenty of fabric on the bottom, a warm-weather top such as one of these will keep you cool and look cute. Tie your hair up in a low bun or ponytail and add drop earrings to complete the look. 

What Jackets To Wear With Wide Leg Jeans

With a wide-leg silhouette on the bottom, adding a big jacket or coat can easily feel like too much fabric, but there are ways to wear extra layers with wide-leg jeans that work. Here are a couple of our favorites.

A Moto Jacket 

The shape of a moto jacket—large lapels and angled hems—naturally creates volume at the shoulders and narrowing at the waist that is always flattering, especially when wearing wide-leg jeans. Whether you opt for leather or suede, reach for a moto jacket when you want to stay warm and look stylish at the same time while wearing your wide leg jeans. 

A Trenchcoat

A classic trenchcoat looks good over anything, wide-leg jeans included. This is a great way to add a sophisticated feel to your relaxed denim look. Simply throw on a trenchcoat and it’s immediately elevated, whether you’re wearing sneakers or stilettos. You can even throw a trenchcoat on over a sweatshirt and jeans and still look chic; it’s the great equalizer of outerwear. 

A Puffer Jacket

There is a time when more is more when it comes to volume. When you pair a puffer coat and wide-leg jeans, the combination just works. It helps that most puffer coats, such as this one, are semi-cropped in nature, so they hit high enough to highlight your figure. Plus, they are incredibly warm. So if you’re wearing your wide leg jeans in the dead of winter, there’s no better jacket to turn to. Throw on a beanie, and you’ll look modern, cool, and fun—and be plenty warm to boot. 

Woman in wide leg jeans and graphic tee

What Shoes to Wear with Wide Leg Jeans

Not all shoes work with wide leg jeans, but that doesn’t mean you need to be barefoot to rock this silhouette. Reach for one of these styles of shoes to wear with your wide-leg jeans to finish off your fashionable look.

Booties

Booties are a fool-proof shoe option for any style of denim, wide-leg jeans included. When you’re working with a denim silhouette that has a wide opening at the hem, though, it’s better if your booties have a more slender opening, just wider than the calf. This will create a streamlined and stylish overall look. 

Western Boots

The western boot trend isn’t just for Southerners. Western boots are the trendiest way to dress up your wide leg denim this season. Slip them on under your jeans and let the stylish shoes stick out. These boots look great with jeans, whether you’re wearing a t-shirt or a printed button-up on top

Sneakers 

Gone are the days when sneakers were only for schoolyards and gyms. Today (thankfully), you can get away with wearing sneakers all of the time. In fact, it’s encouraged. With wide leg jeans, sneakers are an easy shoe option that always looks good with sweaters, sweatshirts, and moto jackets all the same. 

Heels

Wide leg jeans have a similar shape to trousers, which makes them a natural choice for dressier denim looks. One way to be sure you’ll hit a fancy note is to pair them with heels. Stilettos or strappy sandals will both take your look up a notch. On top, be sure to reach for a dressy blouse or silky top. You can never go wrong with a black one, such as this v-neck blouse. Finish the fancy look with a pendant necklace or pair of earrings, and you’ll shine from head to toe.   

Now that you know how to style wide leg jeans, you can embrace the trend full-on. Bookmark this blog to keep these outfit ideas top of mind and soon you’ll be strutting the streets in wide-leg denim all of the time. Visit our blog for more fashion and outfit inspirations such as how to style straight leg jeans, the best jeggings for women and more. 

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