If you follow us on IG, you saw my post on one of my favorite trends for 2021 and beyond – Feminine Power. For those that may have missed it, or are new to AFL, I work in fashion trend analysis for an amazing company called, THE EDIT ADVISORY. I realize that “trend” is somewhat of a debatable term.
At THE EDIT ADVISORY, we go beyond identifying something like the “shacket” as a trend. We predict how major world events, cultural shifts, societal trends, and consumer attitudes and behavior influence what people will wear. The shacket is something that came to popularity because of this type of trend analysis. For the record, we are not responsible for the shacket trend – although oh how I wish we were! It is just a popular example to use for the purposes of this post.
Now back to Feminine Power. There are more women in powerful positions, including the first woman VP, than ever before. It follows that we are seeing and will continue to see designs that redefine what it means to be both female and strong. On a personal level, this trend means that I am embracing items in my closet that personally make me feel powerful and style them in new, more feminine ways.
One of my favorite power dressing items is wide-leg pants, as well documented on AFL and below. Maybe it is because I was not allowed to wear pants in some of my first jobs – #1980s #iamold. Even though we are in a new millennium, I still feel like a rebel when I wear the supersized version. Not only am I a woman wearing – gasp! – pants, but I am wearing the on-steroids, in-your-face version. I might as well be the next Gloria Steinem in my wide-leg pants.
Tips on Styling Wide Leg Pants
It’s All About Balance – Starting with the obvious, one of my favorite ways to wear wide leg pants is with a slim-fitting top. It is a style formula that gets me dressed and out the door when I lack both time and inspiration. Some of the fitted tops I like to wear are:
- Body con or even a bodysuit
- Cropped top or tee
- A slim cut top that can be tucked in
- A button-down that can be cinched or tied
Play with Proportion – You can wear a looser top if you pay attention to overall proportions. One of my favorite ways is with more creative tucking than mentioned above. I like to use either a boxy top or a drapey tee. In the examples below, the button-down in the chocolate brown outfit is one I normally do some variation of front-only tucking but this time I tucked it all the way in because of the hot pink belt bag.
Don’t Waste Your Waist – Either way your style the above, highlighting your waist is key. By cinching or otherwise drawing the eye to your waist, the bottoms will seem less bulky and your middle will seem smaller. If you do not want to add a belt, you can always add a fitted jacket over your outfit.
Pay Attention to the Details – Know where the pants should hit lengthwise. For full-length styles, the bottom of your pants should hit the top of your shoes. If you are wearing a cropped pair, your pants should hit your shins. While you may be able to fudge this a little with regular silhouettes, it will make these pants look sloppy and ill-fitting.
It’s All About the Shoes – Because, duh. But honestly, the first few times I tried on wide leg pants I was barefoot (like you do) and I was never sold. I swear it all changed when I put on the heels I was wearing the day I bought my first pair. It changed the whole outfit. It did take me a little while to wear these pants with flats, but I eventually figured out how to make them work.
For most of the outfits below, I am wearing kitten heels, but if you do not want to wear heels at all, I suggest sneakers with thick souls or other chunky silhouette to take up space and “stand up” to the pants. If you check our Instagram today, you will see I am wearing a pair of cropped wide leg pants with oversized cuffs. I paired them with statement-making Gucci loafers with oversized details.
Most of my prior looks were rather streamlined, even if I did play with proportion. Going forward, I am excited to style these personal staples with more feminine tops: vintage silk pussy bow blouses, ruffled details, crochet elements, and even incorporating housecoat dressing.
I am also looking forward to embracing this silhouette in the lounge and athleisure wear categories. They are perfect for many physical activities that help me to be physically strong and healthy, which always makes me feel more powerful.
Fashionable lounge, leisure, and athletic wear are hardly new concepts, but they recently achieved a whole other level of popularity on the runways and in real life. And while fashion trend analysts could not predict COVID, we can predict how it will affect how we dress. Do you think it would be still going as strong if we were not still feeling the cultural changes associated with a worldwide pandemic?
I hope you find these tips helpful for styling wide leg pants. What is one article of clothing that makes you feel your feminine power?
Photography by Breezy Ritter