Every single time I wear my palazzo pants to the office, I feel like I’m getting away with a fashion sin: Wearing pajamas to work. The pants have become such a wardrobe staple that I’ve gladly begun trading my slim-fitting jeans for wide-legged styles. Wider pant legs are a brilliant alternative to dresses and skirts during the summertime, then a great wardrobe addition for late summer and early fall when you’re not ready to commit to heavy layers.
The trend has roots in classic cool-girl style: Coco Chanel shocked the patriarchy and started wearing trousers in the 1920s; Greta Garbo and Katharine Hepburn donned them in the ’30s, then palazzo pants arrived in the ’60s, followed by wide-legged jeans and slacks in the ’70s. Jeans were at their widest during the ’90s rave scene. (I bought my own first pair of high-waisted jeans with massive legs after seeing Janet Jackson rock some in her 2000 video for “Doesn’t Really Matter.”)
Fast-forward to 2017, and wide-legged pants have made another return to runways. This time around, designers are nailing sophisticated styles for the office, the beach and everywhere in between. The trend is super easy to take from day to night: Rock a pair of high-waisted, wide jeans with a camisole under a blazer and sandals. After work, lose the blazer and switch to heels for an instant evening transformation. Pyjama-style pants (seriously, SO comfortable!) can also take your look from work to play. (I like to wear them with a slouchy T-shirt tied at the waist with my favourite flats.)
And there are plenty of ways to show off your figure in wide-legged styles. I prefer paperbag or high-waisted options for a more defined look, especially when it comes to denim. If you’re on the shorter side, look for pants that don’t have too wide a flare, or try a vertical stripe to exaggerate the length of your legs. When it comes to the length, you want the hem of your pants to just skim the ground so you can see the tips of your shoes. Or, try a cropped style that falls above your ankles. But let’s be clear: Whatever style you go for, make sure it’s something you feel good in.