How To Look Good In Wide-Leg Trousers
New York, July 2017. Photograph by Daniel Bruno Grandl
We’ve gone to great lengths to bring you the best ways to wear this season’s generously proportioned trend.
Baggy trousers? Madness, you say! Stay with us, though. After more than a decade in the sartorial hinterlands, wide legs seem to be making something of a comeback. What started seasons ago as a trickle of pleats and dropped crotches turned into a torrent of generously cut trousers in the most recent AW collections, with brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Craig Green all getting in on the act. It’s a simple enough trend, but one that requires careful consideration. To help, we’ve rounded up a few examples we’ve spotted on the streets of London, Paris and Milan.
EMBRACE THE BAGGINESS
London, June 2017. Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding/Trunk Archive
Dressing well is often a matter of judicious contrasts. Logically then, if you’re wearing wide-leg trousers, shouldn’t you opt for a slightly more streamlined top half? Not if you’re to follow the example of the above street-style fixture, who combines his voluminous corduroy trousers with an oversized cricket sweater (not entirely accidentally ticking off three key trends of the season).
Crucially, there is a break – a crease in the fabric where hem meets shoe – as there should be with heavier fabrics in wider cuts (unless, of course, you’re going for the trendier ankle-swinger cut beloved by the likes of Mr Junya Watanabe). Not keen on corduroy? Denim (preferably in a mid-wash) or a wool-flannel fabric will achieve a similar effect.
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KEEP IT BREEZY
New York, July 2017. Photograph by Mr Daniel Bruno Grandl
September marks the arrival of autumn, but forecasts promising a dazzling Indian summer (in the UK at least) could put new-season dressing off the agenda for a few more weeks.
Fortunately, we can confirm that this capacious new silhouette works just as well in cotton and other lightweight fabrics. These brown trousers, pleated, wide-hemmed and slightly cropped to reveal a sliver of ankle, have been teamed with a deck-striped shirt perfect for the last vestiges of warm weather. The half-tuck of the shirt is a nice touch, retaining a bit of shape at the waist while allowing for circulation.
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WEAR THEM WITH BOOTS
New York, January 2017. Photograph by Ms Melodie Jeng/Getty Images
The enduring appeal of chinos lies in their versatility – they can be reworked to fit in with almost any trend but remain constantly stylish. But if you’re going to wear them with a more substantial pair of shoes – such as the above pair of boots from Red Wing Shoes – you’ll need to opt for a pair with a wider leg. The single pleats on the above, cropped example (which have been appropriately styled with double turn-ups to give them a very slight taper) help them to not feel too shapeless. Note again the judicious tucking-in of the sweater – as pleats give you a more shapely waist, this is usually a good idea.
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TRY A DENIM JACKET
Paris, July 2017. Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding/Trunk Archive
A denim jacket is a structured, seam-adorned piece. A pair of wide-leg corduroy trousers is not. That’s why they work so well together in the above image. Simple black sneakers, an untucked shirt and a loose leather belt amplify the easy-going vibe of this particular look, a carefully-considered approach masquerading as nonchalance.
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The dropped one
Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. January 2016. Photograph by Mr Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Rest assured – we’re not about to herald the return of Hammer pants, but rather inform you of a take on this dropped-crotch silhouette that works particularly well. In fact, for anyone worried about going big all-over, an alternative is to choose trousers with a subtly dropped crotch that taper down to a slimmer leg, giving the illusion of volume without swamping you in fabric. In the image above, this street-style maven has played to the top-heavy idea by wearing such a trouser with a loose sweater and soft-shouldered, cardigan-like wool coat.