It's time to loosen up after years of wearing those ubiquitous skinny pants, leggings and super-skinny jeans.
The wide-legged pant is back — for now. Wide-legged trousers bring roomy, chic comfort to all shapes and sizes, and while these styles pop up on the sartorial scene with some regularity, they also fade out as quickly as a single-season spring bulb.
French designer Paul Poiret is often credited with creating the modern version of wide-legged slacks for women — in his case, he made harem pants — in the early 1900s based on fashion trends from Asia and the Middle East. Wide-legged trousers later became a favorite for the likes of Coco Chanel, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, and during the last 100 years, they have had multiple incarnations as palazzo and gaucho pants, culottes, bell-bottoms, flare-legged jeans and pajama pants.
What these pants have in common is they have more drama, fabric and comfort, and for some, more élan. They are designed to sit high or low on the waist and they often come belted or buttoned and in a plethora of materials, ranging from silk to denim.
"The [wide-legged] pants of today have a bit more structure, and are produced with thicker fabric — not to mention how powerful they make you feel," says fashionista, model and TV personality Olivia Palermo whose new collaborative line with Chelsea28 (now available at Nordstrom) showcases the looser option. "They elongate the body and make it so that you appear taller. [They] should be reserved for occasions. They aren't very practical for every day. [However,] it's a great style for the professional woman on the go and also works for a night out."
Stella McCartney's blooming wide-legged, high-waisted floral pants have a crisp front-ironed edge crease and a happy bright-green, black and white design. $845, MyTheresa.com.
Asos' washable, mustard, kick-flared, wide-legged pants have side pockets and a flattering double zip front design. $69, US.Asos.com.
Givenchy's tres-chic pale green wool-blend, full-pleated trousers has a wide leg, high-rise waist and side button fasten. $2,755, Farfetch.com.
Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28
Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28's splendid navy wool-blend, wide-legged trousers with front pleats and removable tie belt. $138, Nordstrom.com.
Marni's non-stretch denims with over-sized wide legs and a soft denim wrap belt with lateral pockets and contrasting-colored seams. $680, Marni.com.
Front Row Shop
Front Row Shop's rolled-hem, baggy-legged woolen, stripped camel cropped pants with back pockets and zip-front fly. $55, FrontRowShop.com.
XCVI's cotton full-legged jeans in an acid indigo stripe wash and multi-layered, wide elasticized waist. $110, XCVI.com.
Shaped well for curvy women, Clara Sunwoo's ocean breeze blue-and-white palazzo pants can easily take you from day to evening. $79, ClaraSunWoo.com.
Escada's uber-elegant sleeveless, V-necked, leather-belted and wide-legged black stretch-woven jumpsuit can work for all shapes and sizes. $1,850, NeimanMarcus.com.