5 Tips for How to Wear Wide Leg Pants + Wide Leg Pants Outfits

5 Tips for How to Wear Wide Leg Pants and 5 Wide Leg Pants Outfits

Wide leg pants are very popular right now, and in particular, wide leg linen pants are a great option in the summer! (Really, any type of soft, lightweight pants are great.) Linen is breathable and soft and flexible, making it an awesome alternative to shorts. Today I want to give some tips for how to wear wide leg pants and also share some wide leg pants outfits to give you some ideas for how to wear yours!

First, a PMT Style Club member, Emily, asked if wide leg linen pants are a trend or if they’re classic and timeless. IMO, they are classic and timeless. They have been around for as many summers as I can remember in my adult life!

Today I’ll be focusing on how to wear wide leg pants, but if you don’t like the wide leg style, linen pants come in different silhouettes. You can go for ones with a slimmer silhouette like THESE.

Also, for pants that wrinkle a bit less than 100% linen, try a linen-cotton blend. They do still wrinkle, but definitely not as much as 100% linen!

Unfortunately, the exact pair that I’m wearing here is limited in sizes in this color, but you can look HERE for your size or try it in a different color. This pair is very, very comfy, and it’s soft and not at all itchy. It looks so much better than cheaper alternatives, so it makes you outfits look pulled together while still being super casual and comfy.

Another similar option that is better stocked is HERE.

SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes. 

Tips for How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

Here are a few tips for how to wear wide leg pants and make it look good!

1. Make sure they fit you well!
Wide leg pants are tricky and can really widen you out—if you don’t have the RIGHT pair. Remember, I always, always tell you that great style starts with having the RIGHT pieces. That means it is important to be scrutinizing as you evaluate whether or not a piece deserves a place in your closet. Wide leg pants can easily look unflattering, so be judicious in your purchasing decisions.

BUT, before you write off wide leg pants completely because you tried a few bad pairs, let me get to…

1b. Wide leg pants are not all created equally. Try different pairs to find one that works for you.
If a few pairs don’t work out for you, it doesn’t mean wide leg pants don’t work for you in general. It just means those pairs don’t fit you. They’re not all cut the same, so if you want to wear them but haven’t found the right pair, keep looking. (If you don’t even want to wear them, that’s a whole different story. You don’t have to!)

Fit Comparison Chart Wide Leg Pants

I showed this side-by-side in a recent post, and I’ll put it here as a reminder that if clothes don’t fit you well, it’s not because something is wrong with you. It’s just not the right garment for you. Remember: the problem is not you, the problem is the clothes.

Keep looking and you might finally find a pair that’s cut better for you! FWIW, it’s taken me many attempts over the span of a couple of different summers to find a few pairs that I finally love.

Shop Wide Leg Pants:

Here are some options for wide leg pants that you can try this summer.

2. Define Your Waist
This is important even when we’re not talking about wide leg pants, but it is especially important with wide leg pants. Wide leg pants add a lot of volume, so they can drown out your shape more easily and make you look frumpy and shapeless. You need to define your waist. And when I say that, I don’t mean you need to wear clothes that hug your waist tightly (though you can if you’re comfortable with that). Rather, you just need to delineate where your waistline is, to separate your legs from your top half.

Simple ways to define your waist are with a loose front tuck, a full tuck (which can be bloused out a little to not be so formfitting), or knotting your top. You’ll see examples of me doing these in the outfit pics below.

3. Create Balance: Wider on bottom, more fitted on top. 
This isn’t something that absolutely has to be done each time, but it is a good rule of thumb to follow when troubleshooting your outfit. If you have volume in one half, make the other half more fitted to balance it out.

Since wide leg pants add volume to the bottom, make the top more fitted to balance that out and still create shape.

Conversely, when you wear skinny jeans on the bottom (fitted), you can still look okay wearing a big, long oversized top like a tunic. That’s because the skinny jeans are creating shape for you.

So again, that doesn’t mean your top has to be skin tight, but if you want to avoid looking completely shapeless, go for a top that is at least somewhat fitted to balance out all the volume that wide leg pants add. (And make sure to do #2 and define your waistline!)

4. Make sure to “ground” your outfit.
I have said this in past posts on summer style, and it definitely applies here. Linen pants are soft and flowy, as are a lot of summer pieces. Soft and flowy materials are comfortable, but a ton of you also ask how you can avoid looking like you’re wearing pajamas in those kinds of clothes.

The answer is, again, about balance—this time balancing materials. An outfit full of soft and flowy materials needs something to ground it, so add harder or tougher textures, such as leather, metal, or denim. Balance out the soft textures with hard textures. Adding leather sandals, a leather belt, or metal accessories can do the trick. (And this is another reason why accessorizing is so important!

5. Wear a shoe that elongates your feet.
Wide leg pants can make you look squat, so make sure to keep your leg line extended by choosing shoes that elongate your feet. No, that doesn’t mean you have to wear pointed toe shoes. Just be mindful of the types of shoes that make your feet look squat and stunted versus shoes that keep your toes peeking out and even possibly help to elongate them.

If you are a member of the PMT Style Club, there are examples of the types of toe boxes that elongate leg lines in the Plain to Polished Course, lesson 4a, the Power of Shoes. Log in to view the lesson.

Those are some of my best tips for how to wear wide leg pants. Now I’ll show you some wide leg pants outfits!

Wide Leg Pants Outfits

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants for Summer + Wide Leg Pants Outfits

Really, there are soooo many things you could wear with a neutral pair of wide leg pants like these, but here are a few wide leg pants outfits to try with them!

Elevated Casual Summer Outfit: green tank + white pants + gold metallic sandals + white earrings

1. Basic Tank or Tee
Here, I’m defining my waist with a full tuck. And while this is an example of a top that is very fitted, I want to remind you again that you don’t have to wear something as formfitting as this. I’ll show you slightly looser options below. But, whichever way you choose, just pick your favorite color and go for it!

Notice the pants here aren’t adding extra width to my hips or around my legs, rather, they’re falling straight down (unlike the other pair that I showed you in the side-by-side comparison earlier in this post).

Also, what’s key, regarding the full tuck, is that the rise in my pants is higher and hits at the narrowest part of my waist. If you go back and look at the other pair of pants that I don’t love in the side-by-side comparison, you’ll notice that the rise is a tad lower than it is on this pair, and it makes a big difference in how flattering—or in this case, unflattering—a full tuck looks. Again, starting with the RIGHT PIECES is key.

Shop the Outfit:
Tank: Gap (exact—wearing size S; similar)
Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size S)
Sandals: c/o Kohl’s (exact—wearing size 9 but should have gotten 8.5)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact)

Casual Outfit for Summer: orange brown t-shirt Amazon + off white linen pants Amazon Essentials + gold metallic sandals + white round leather earrings

This is another version with a top that is looser around the torso. I’m still doing a full tuck, but this top isn’t as formfitting as the green tank above, yet my waist is still defined. I added leather earrings and metallic sandals to add some polish and finish off these otherwise very plain pieces!

Shop the Outfit:
T-shirt: Amazon (exact—wearing size M)

Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size S)
Sandals: (exact—wearing size 9 but should have gotten 8.5)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (similar, similar, similar, similar)


White Wide Leg Pants Outfits Orange Tee White Sandals

Alternatively, you could knot a t-shirt, which a lot of people who dislike tucking prefer to do. Here’s an example of that!


Elevated Casual Summer Outfit: green printed sleeveless top + white pants + gold metallic sandals + red earrings

2. Printed Top
Of course, go for a printed top to create a more eye-catching outfit! This top is made of cotton, so it is still really casual, but it’s nicer than a t-shirt. It pairs well with these pants and dresses them up a bit without looking too dressy for regular mom-life activities.

This is another top that is not formfitting and can be bloused out a bit in a full tuck.

I’m using a style strategy here called “color pulling,” by pulling colors from the print and incorporating them elsewhere in my outfit. This creates a cohesive look, as the print does the work of tying those colors together. My wide leg linen pants echo the off-white in the print, and my earrings echo the reddish-orange color in the print.

Whatever color of wide leg pants you’re wearing, choose printed tops that have the color of your pants in the print, and your outfit will instantly have cohesion!

If you are a PMT Style Club member and want to see more examples of color pulling AND have questions answered like, “Do the colors need to match exactly for it to work?” log into the Club Hub and check out the recent masterclass called “How to Pair Colors 101 – How to Choose and Use Colors.” It’ll answer all of those questions for you!

Shop the Outfit:
Top: c/o Kohl’s (exact—wearing size S)

Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size S)
Sandals: (exact—wearing size 9 but should have gotten 8.5)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (similar—I wear size M)

And, another example below:

Nice Casual Outfit for Summer: blue and white striped flutter sleeve top + off white linen pants + white sandals + white earrings

This is a bit dressier than the previous outfit, namely because the top has even more details that give it a dressier vibe. Still good in casual settings, though!

Shop the Outfit:
Top: c/o Kohl’s (exactwearing size S)
Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size S)
Shoes: c/o Kohl’s (exact—wearing size 9 but should have gotten 8.5)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact)


Elevated Casual Summer Outfit: blue tank + white pants + gold metallic sandals + yellow earrings

3. Top With Special Details
Another way to dress up linen pants a bit is to pair them with a top that has special details. This blue tank is made of material that feels just like a t-shirt. In other words, comfy and casual. BUT, it looks like a step up from a t-shirt, thanks to the special details like smocked neckline and ruffle straps. These types of tops are great in the summer because they are casual but add a lot more style and polish than t-shirts do.

To really make this outfit pop, I added yellow earrings, which is a triadic color with blue and pops nicely!

Again if you’re a PMT Style Club member and want to learn about triadic colors, other color pairings, and how to make them all look cohesive, log in and check out the recent masterclass called “How to Pair Colors 101 – How to Choose and Use Colors.” It has been a very eye-opening and helpful lesson to our members!

Shop the Outfit:
Top: c/o Kohl’s (exactwearing size S)
Pants: Gap (exact—wearing size S)
Sandals: (exact—wearing size 9 but should have gotten 8.5)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact—wearing size M)

I hope that helps you feel more confident and capable regarding how to style wide leg pants this summer! Let me know if you have any questions.

Last thing, this is a reminder that the PMT Style Club is open for just TWO more days, until June 8th! Join now and you’ll get access to a ton of resources that will help you understand style so that you feel more confident in putting yourself together!

You saw throughout this post that in the Style Club, we go deeper into topics, like shoes that elongate your leg line and how to choose and use colors, along with foundational things, like figuring out what your style is, how to strategically build your best wardrobe, how to dress your body shape, and other rules of style to equip and empower you to feel great about what you wear.

Whether you’re a beginner at style or whether you’re advanced in your style and you’re looking to refine it like a pro, we have a path and resources for you to get there inside the club!

CLICK HERE to Join the PMT Style Club Before it Closes!

PMT Style Club Enrollment

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