Fashion often takes a one step forward, three steps back approach. This spring, designers have taken their inspiration from the 1970s, creating pants with typical back to the future retro appeal.
While the 70s produced a lot of designs I would not be thrilled to see again, the higher waist jeans are a welcome sight. I am not talking ugly mom jeans either, these wide legged trouser jeans are a fresh look. Designers for every price range are taking a creative approach, from the highly detailed sailor pants, to loose and silky wide leg dress pants, with several classic jeans in between.
What to look for in wide-legged pants:
The pants should fit well at the waist. The top of the pants should button, snap, tie, zip and lie flat without any bunching up or folding over.
The hips are fitted, and then depending on the fabric, the legs will flare out and down.
Avoid wide legged pants that are tight at the thigh and then flare out into extreme bell-bottoms. This not so flattering look, is decidedly out, even though the 70s are in, the look is meant to flow in 2011.
How to wear wide-legged pants:
Pin-up Girl. Try a vintage look with wide-legged sailor pants paired with espadrilles and nautical striped shirt. Go with classic colors, red, white, blue or black. A 3/4 length horizontal striped T-shirt is a basic look that really never goes out of style. Tie a small silk scarf around your neck and apply pure red lipstick to complete this sweetly sexy look.
1970s Disco Queen. Utterly glamorous, pair a high-waisted wide leg trouser jean with platform shoes. Top with a silky button down in a flattering color and a floppy hat. When going for a “theme” outfit like this, it is often best to tone the look down by wearing a modern cut shirt, or a basic T-shirt.
Female Dandy. Channel the look of a vintage icon like Katherine Hepburn or Marlene Dietrich. Both extremely feminine ladies with a masculine style. Try a button down white shirt, sweater vest, skinny tie or even a pair of suspenders. Add pointy high heels or spectator pumps to complete the look.
Everyday Style. Simply wear a slim cut shirt, tucked in to balance out and highlight your wide-legged pants. Easy to wear, this look can be interpreted to go from the grocery store, to the office to the cocktail party depending on the materials chosen. Wide-legged jeans with a T-shirt, sailor-style slacks with a cotton top, or palazzo pants with a sequined tank are all possibilities.
Actually, wide leg trouser jeans have been sneaking around the fashion world for some time. I own several pairs that seem to have miraculously snuck through the low, lower and lowest rise pants on the rack. Maybe these were a test? If so, they passed with flying colors. Soon you will be seeing wide leg pants in every store from Old Navy to Nordstroms. Like an episode of “What Not to Wear,” just try a pair on, see how they really look on your body. Wide legged, high-waist pants can be incredibly flattering to a woman’s shape. You can enhance, or fake, an hourglass shape with the cinched in waist. The overall design of the pants creates more balanced body proportions and the shape allows more versatility when planning outfits. It is no longer all about whether or not your undergarments will be showing.