Gen-Z seems to have overhauled fashion as we know it, and today, their preference for the wide-leg pants over skinny jeans seems to be one significant change that has taken hold of the fashion scene since they declared skinny jeans out of style.
Of course, most millennials and even older generations don’t agree with this generation’s sentiments that seem to be against most societal norms and systems. But then, we cannot overlook that many individuals have been wearing wide-leg pants since Gen-Z’s declaration. so
Are we wearing wide-legged pants in 2023? If yes, is this a style that will pass the test of time? Also, do the wide-leg pants look good on everyone? And how do you style your wide-leg pants today?
Read on for answers to these questions.
What are wide-leg pants look like?
The wide-leg pants are hot and trendy this year, with everyone looking to own at least a pair of these pants. Obviously, it is not a look that anyone can pull off. But generally, the wide-legged jeans and pants, in general, have turned into this big trend, or rather, trend du jour. And it is easy to see why.
The wide-cut jeans/ pants are essentially roomier than skinny jeans. They are naturally waist-cinching and feel like a transition between the sweats and the tight jeans.
Essentially, the adoption of this style kicked in full gear during the pandemic as younger and older generations sought comfort in everything they wore.
And since you could wear jeans at home as people transitioned from sweats – the sweats, tights, and other comfortable clothes made it harder to transition back to the older ways of life, involving uncomfortably tight clothing and the wide-legged pants became the perfect middle ground.
As mentioned above, Gen Z was beyond this movement, and for many reasons, they made these pants cooler again. These pants are more comfortable for most people, and they are also the most universally flattering fashion item that you can easily dress up or down. You can wear wide-leg pants with booties, blazers, knits, and bodysuits.
And so, from the 70s-inspired high-waisted pants that are flared to the unusually baggy pairs, these pants might be here to stay for now, and they are trendy in 2023.
We’ll reiterate that the wide-leg pants style represents that one style that can be a hit or miss. For some, the pants are super-flattering, but not for everyone.
These pants also come in different sizes, styles, and names, with the common ones referred to as palazzo pants, culottes, puddle pants, and baggier patterns. These pants are what have ultimately shaped and influenced post-pandemic fashion trends.
Wide-leg pants in fashion history
We may have the two years of the pandemic where we all had to wear leggings and sweatpants to thank for the wide-leg pants trend, but did you know that the high-waist, wide-leg pants/ trousers have been here for much longer and that these pants first came into the limelight in the 1920s.
The trend quickly became a fashion staple for women and men from the 1920s to the 1950s. Like other fashion trends, it made the occasional recurrence now and then, slowing down after the 50s but blowing back again in the 1970s.
Therefore, the current wide legs pants fashion trend is not new – it borrows from the fashion styles of the 70s, which were initially borrowed from the 1930s looks.
Note that the wide-leg pants from the 1920s (1910s-1920s) were inspired by Asian clothing, with the first pieces featuring silky lounge pants. These sat on the natural waistline and hung down just the ankle, with a roomy fit and a straight cut.
The 1930s featured wide-legged lounge pants and pajamas, and sports pants. The pants were paired with a button-down or tunic blouses and matching belts in pajama style.
Jumpsuits also came to be at this time, and the same was seen in the 19870s, although most of the jumpsuits from the 70s were sleeveless and wide-legged as they are today. The culottes were also created in the 1930s.
In the 1940s, the wide-leg pants were improvements from previous styles, but the range was widened to include workwear made of more valuable fabric like cotton twills and denim.
Overalls were made in the same style, too, primarily for the factory workers. These pants were wide-leg, high-waist band pants with full hips. And some had tapered legs. Culottes were popular too, but they were thinned down to look less like skirts and more like long shorts or short pants.
The wide-leg pants trend died in the 1950s as pants made in an inverted triangular shape became more popular. The pants from the 50s became slimmer and slimmer, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that the wide-leg pants reappeared in the fashion scene as bell bottoms, jumpsuits, and palazzo pants.
Are wide-leg pants in style for 2023?
The wide-leg pants are in style in 2023, not just for some seasons, but they seem to be the most significant part of fashion for spring and summer and pretty much the rest of 2023. Also, the stylishly trendy wide-leg jeans for 2023 are more low-slung and not high-waisted, as was the case in 2023.
Another interesting thing to note about the trendy wide-leg pants of 2023 is that they are chicer this time around and not old-school. They are also available in various colors and made of billowing materials, ranging from the structured pant-suit styles with the crisp pleats to the luxe options. There also are more flared jeans worn today. You may like the variety of the paper-bag-waisted pants.
Pros and cons of wearing wide-leg pants
- It is a trendy and stylish look that works for most people
- There are endless styling options for the wide-leg pants
- The pants offer a great way of appreciating history and the fact that fashion trends always come around
- The pants come in versatile designs and materials, and there is a wide-leg pair of pants for every look/ occasion/ place
- The color, style, and design options are endless
- Not everyone has been able to master and pull off the wide-leg look well
- It doesn’t look on everyone.
Tips for styling your wide-leg pants in 2023
1. High-waist wide-leg pants
Styling the high-waist wide-legged pants is a lot easier than the low-hung waistline because there isn’t much midriff to think about. And the best part is that you can pair the high-waist wide-leg pants with crop tops in different lengths, or you could opt for a bralette and then throw a blazer on.
Your wide-leg pants would look almost incomplete without a belt. So, grab a chain belt, wide belt, a belly chain, or even a rope chain to complete your look. Adding a belt means better balance in style.
3. Relaxed look
The best way to pull off this look is to go for a relaxed look. So, the baggier and more relaxed the pants are, the better, regardless of the pants’ material or color.
4. Shoe game
You can easily pull off a look – a crop top, high-waist wide-leg pants, a blazer, and some heels. We recommend heels because of the created illusion of long legs.
5 . Tucked t-shirt
This might feel unconventional initially, but it is the most stylish casual look you can pull off with the high-waist pants. All you need to do is tuck in the white or grey t-shirt in the bold color pants. Complete the look with a lovely necklace and maybe a pastel color handbag and sandals.
Note that you need to create a balanced feel to pull off this look. Your upper half shouldn’t be heavy or bulky.
6. Wide-leg pants to the office
You can also pull off this look at work. Just keep things appropriate, with a white shirt rather than a crop top, and don’t forget the blazer and heels. Slip tank tops work great with the wide=leg bottom.
7 . Denim
You can pair denim wide-leg pants with a lace top for a casual fit, heels, sandals, or sneakers.
The wide-leg pants are very much in style in 2023, and you may want to hop on the trend.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.