Guys have been wearing slim-fit pants for a while now. They're the perfect balance between fit and function and look good on most body types.
But that doesn't mean guys should neglect their wide-leg pants. After all, not all body types suit slimmer fit pants and, on some occasions, a wider profile can actually be a better option.
In today's article, I'm breaking out the different types of wide-leg pants to help you decide whether or not to wear them in 2024.
We'll be covering:
- What Are Wide Leg Pants?
- Loose, Wide and Flaired. What's The Difference?
- Are Slim Fit Pants Out Of Style?
- How To Style Wide Leg Pants
- What Not To Wear With Wide Leg Pants
#1. What Are Wide Leg Pants?
Wide-leg pants come in many forms. They can be anything from extremely loose and billowy trousers to pants that are only slightly flared at the bottom. There is no one specific cut or style of wide-leg pants, which is why they can be so controversial. Some people believe that any pant with a wide leg is considered to be wide-leg pants, while others think that the term only applies to pants that are extremely flared at the bottom.
No matter what your personal definition of wide-leg pants is, one thing is for sure: they have been around for a long time. In fact, they have been a staple in many men's wardrobes for centuries. Wide-leg pants were especially popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were often worn by farmers and other manual laborers because they allowed for a wider range of movement.
In the early 20th century, wide-leg pants fell out of fashion for men. This was due to the fact that they were seen as being too casual and not suitable for formal occasions. However, in recent years, they've have made somewhat of a comeback come. In certain circles, they are now seen as being more stylish than ever before.
So, what exactly has changed? Why are wide-leg pants now considered to be fashionable when they were once seen as being too casual?
The answer lies in the way that they are styled. In the past, wide-leg pants were often worn with very casual shirts and shoes. This made them look out of place in formal settings. However, nowadays, it is common to see them being paired with dressier shirts and shoes. This gives them a more refined look that is suitable for a variety of different occasions.
#2 Loose, Wide and Flaired. What's The Difference?
As we mentioned before, wide-leg pants come in many different forms. The three most common styles are loose-fit, wide-fit, and flared.
Loose-fit pants are exactly what they sound like: pants that have a loose fit around the hips and thighs. These types of pants are usually made from lightweight materials such as linen or cotton. They are often worn in warm weather because they are so breathable. Loose-fit pants are also extremely comfortable and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Wide-fit trousers are similar to loose-fit trousers in that they also have a relaxed fit around the hips and thighs. However, wide-fit trousers tend to be made from heavier material like corduroy or brushed cotton and have a ‘barrel' effect around the knee area of the trouser leg. This gives them a more structured look. Wide-fit trousers are also usually a bit longer than loose-fit trousers, which makes them ideal for taller men.
Flared trousers are the most controversial type of pants. They get their name from the fact that they ‘flare' out at the bottom of the trouser leg. This style became popular in the 1970s and was often worn by disco dancers and other people who were involved in the club scene. Flared trousers can be made from a variety of different materials, but they are most commonly made from denim or corduroy.
All types of wide-legged pants have an increased level of comfort when compared to skinny-fit pants. However, it's also important to note that they can be very unflattering and make you look larger than you are.
In short, if you want a slim silhouette, don't wear any form of wide-legged pants.
#3 Are Slim Fit Pants Out Of Style?
The quick answer? No, they're not.
10 years ago, super skinny pants were in fashion. You'd see guys walking around with jeans that looked as though they'd be sprayed on with a paint can.
Now, you see guys wearing baggier pants – just like they did in the 90s.
My point? Trends come and go, but classic style always reminds a constant.
The slim-fit trouser has been around for a decade. They're not too skinny and not too wide. They create a slim profile without looking skin-tight and work perfectly with casualwear and fine tailoring.
So no, slim pants are not out of style, and they never will be. For most men who don't want to jump aboard the latest trends, slim pants are the go-to option that creates the perfect balance between style and comfort and doesn't look out of place regardless of what's currently ‘on trend.'
So, my advice would be to always have a few pairs of slim-fit pants in your wardrobe. There'll never be a time when you can't wear them, and it'll give you a safety net to fall back on when your latest trendy pants go out of style again.
#4 How To Style Wide Leg Pants
As we mentioned before, one of the reasons why wide-leg pants fell out of favor was because they were often styled in a very casual way. However, nowadays, it is common to see them being worn in more formal settings and office environments.
To help you nail your wide-pant outfits, here are some tips on how to style them like a pro
- Choose a pair that is made from a dressier material, such as wool. Doing so will instantly make them look more appropriate for dressier situations.
- If you're wearing them in a business setting, pair them with a blazer or suit jacket. This will create a smart and stylish look that is appropriate for the office.
- Choose a darker color, such as navy or black. Light-colored wide-leg pants can often look very casual and are best saved for weekends and leisurewear.
- Go for a slightly cropped length. Wide-leg pants that are too long can drag on the ground and make you look shorter than you are. Cropped trousers will help to show off your shoes and give your outfit a more polished finish.
- When it comes to footwear, avoid wearing bulky sports sneakers with wide-leg pants. Unless you're trying to recreate the look of 90s boyband NSYNC, stick to dress shoes and look timeless instead.
- Don't match the wide fit of your trousers with a boxy shirt or t-shirt. Doing this will just make you look fatter than you are! Instead, opt for a regular/slim profile on your upper body to contrast the width of your pants and make you look thinner.
- Try to find a pair with a higher rise (high waist). The lower the rise, the more it will exaggerate the width of your pants. A higher rise will slim your waist up and make your outfit look far more balanced.
#5 What Not To Wear With Wide Leg Pants
Now that you know how to style wide-leg pants like a pro, it's time to take a look at what not to wear with them.
As I mentioned earlier, pairing wide-fit trousers with boxy upper-body clothing runs the risk of making you look fat. So, avoid wearing t-shirts, shirts, and jackets that are too loose-fitting.
Another no-no is wearing wide-leg pants with Crocs or any other type of casual rubber shoe. Not only does this look bad, but it will also make you look like you're not taking your outfit seriously. If you want to wear casual shoes with your wide-leg trousers, opt for plain white dress sneakers or loafers instead.
Lastly, don't try to style wide-leg pants in a way that is too trendy or fashion-forward. Remember, the key to styling them well is to keep things simple and classic. Overdoing it with trends will make you look like you're trying too hard and can result in an unflattering outfit.
That means avoiding:
- Any kind of chain hanging off your waistline
- Bold colors or patterns
- Velvet. Trust me, velvet pants NEVER look good
- Low rise pants – no one wants to see your underwear when you walk down the street
It's also important to know about your body type. Click here to discover how your body type can affect the style of jeans you should wear.