I've always been drawn to the men's department when it came time to shop for clothes. The relaxed fits, boxy silhouettes, and earthy colors appealed to me more than what I usually found in my designated section. But a purchase from men's usually required tailoring — sometimes significant — which added up and didn't always turn out the way I imagined. Thankfully, over the years, gender lines blurred, with womenswear designers offering similar fits in my proportions, like my favorite menswear-inspired wide-leg pants.
Although I have always gravitated toward this silhouette, there is an added excitement in shopping (and wearing) new versions this season. For one, I am tired of mindlessly throwing on a pair of casual knitwear pants or denim day after day. And, they are more comfortable than the latter while exuding a laid-back nonchalance that looks and feels dressed up.
My inspiration this season stems from The Row's Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The bold simplicity and unfussy design speak to me more than anything else I've seen this season. And, with the longing to emerge from the slumber of loungewear, I welcome these bottom alternatives like the change of seasons.
To be forthcoming, I am not tall with long legs, but there are still ways to wear this silhouette that is not overpowering when it comes to my frame. I tend to opt for high-waisted options — if it's a starchier fabric, I go with my size for a tailored, cinched-waist look; if a lighter material, then I select a size up for a relaxed fit that rests on the hips.
Another detail I pay attention to: the hem. I consider the shoes that I will be wearing with each pair. In warmer months, I am more inclined to wear flats and choose a cropped version for its versatility. For an elongated look, I go with a slouchier style and tailor them to hit right at mid-height of the heel — I love the effortless yet polished look to this fit.
Lucky for me and for other wide-leg pant enthusiasts, if the spring/summer 2021 runways were any indication, there will be many to choose from. See below for some of my favorites.
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Wide-Leg Pants: Chino Pants
I loved them in the '90s and I love them still today — loose-fitting chinos styled with a 1.5 inch square buckle leather belt. This lux-casual sensibility is put-together and wearable, and will surely be my uniform this season.
Wide-Leg Pants: High-Waisted Pants
Don't feel limited to tuck in your top when it comes to high-waisted fits. Pairing a boxy jacket or an oversized sweater is an easy combo that exudes french-girl chic. Case in point: Caroline de Maigret pictured above.
Wide-Leg Pants: Cropped Pants
There is a sporty flair to a cropped trouser — regardless if it's made of silk crepe or cotton — that allows for easy movement, which of late is particularly important for me running around my home juggling my dual roles as a working mother. The shortened hem will ensure that I won't trip over any extra fabric, but then again, I can't be so sure about the toys lying around.