I’m a firm believer in avoiding the trap of trying to look younger as a woman over 50, but, instead, aiming to look modern. I think that when we aim for modern, we actually do look fresher, more vibrant and even more youthful. One of the ways we can look a little more contemporary is to wear current silhouettes of trousers and jeans. So today I’m sharing two ways to wear the trending wide-leg casual pants this fall.
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Before we move on to my illustrations and tips, let’s agree that not everyone will opt to wear the wide-leg casual pants. Some women will not care for the style and others will conclude that they’re not best for their personal style aesthetic, shape, height or proportions. That’s to be expected. But for those of us who do desire to try them (because they’re extremely comfortable, fun and current!), I believe we absolutely should be able to wear them with confidence and joy. Here’s how to make them work for you.
#1 – Find a pair of wide-leg casual pants you love and that feel comfortable and authentic to you.
I immediately fell in love with these Harlow wide-leg pants from Madewell. The 48% TENCEL™ lyocell, 33% cotton and 19% linen blend pants have the softest hand and such a lovely drape. They’re a nice weight for fall and into winter (in most climates), and they feel sporty and classic.
I’m wearing the Harlow wide-leg pants in the lower of my two usual sizes, a size regular 8. These are in the color seed khaki. But the Harlow wide-leg pants come in petite, tall and plus sizes and, at least in the regular fit, nine great shades. I’m ordering the chocolate raisin today, but I also love the true black and the acorn. Really, so many great colors to choose from. And yes, these full-length wide-leg casual pants are indeed machine washable. (I will undoubtedly hang mine to dry on a drying rack.)
#2 – Purchase wide-leg casual pants that fit snug in the waist, looser in the hips and legs.
My second tip is to make sure you get wide-leg casual pants that fit you correctly. Originally I tried these in size 10 and I thought they worked fine. But when I went down to my lower size, a size 8 here, I noticed a huge difference. Unless you’re as thin and svelte as the models shown wearing them loose on their hips, I suggest buying wide-leg casual pants that fit snug in the waist, looser in the hips and legs.
By the way, let’s address the pleats in the pants. At first I recommended we ladies over 50 stay away from pleated pants. But in the last couple of years I’ve seen so many pleated pants that are created beautifully, so I’ve changed my tune there. Look for pleats that create a little fullness, but still lay flat. And do what works best for your body shape, too.
#3 – Wear a base layer top that fits close to your body.
You don’t have to wear a tight top or a body suit…unless you want to. But I do find that these wide-leg casual pants look better on most of us if we wear a top that fits close to the body. I’m wearing a favorite tank in both of the outfits I’m sharing today. It’s no longer available (this one is similar), but you get the vibe. Depending on the temperature outside, you could opt for a slim-fitting turtleneck, a close-fitting ribbed tee or a similar tank.
#4 – Use a second layer and style hacks to create a more flattering waistline.
I have an hourglass shape, but I still have a larger waistline than I once did. And even if you have an apple or oval shape, you will probably be able to achieve a silhouette you like if you’ll use a second layer to work a little magic around your waistline. In the outfit above I wore a lightweight button-up shirt over my tank and tied it at the waist, helping to create a little balance and some definition around my middle.
And in this second outfit I wore a denim button-up shirt open over the same combination. Switching out this one component and styling it a little differently created a completely new look, but equally flattering. The key is that fitted top underneath.
Wearing the denim button-up shirt buttoned and without the tank would look unshapely unless I tucked it in. But when you wear the denim button-up shirt as a sort of cardigan or completer piece over the fitted top, it gives the illusion of an even shapelier waistline. Of course one more key really helps…
#5 – Wear a belt if at all possible with your body shape and proportions.
Especially when worn under a completer piece like I’ve done here, a belt can help add definition and create pleasing proportions. It’s also just a great accessory that helps elevate an outfit and tie the look together.
#6 – Wear the right footwear to complete your look.
While you will see models and other svelte and younger women wear their wide-leg casual pants puddling on the ground, these trousers will look best on most of us worn just about a half inch to one and a half inches off the ground. Ideally they should hit the top of your shoes and have one bend or crease just above your foot as mine do above. I like wide-leg casual pants worn with booties, mules, loafers and sneakers for a casual look. For a more office-appropriate outfit you might opt for pumps or other heels.
#7 – Accessorize your outfit to look pulled together, not sloppy.
Wide-leg casual pants can feel and look a little sloppy unless we take the time to pull the outfit together a little. Use a style hack like rolling your sleeves, tucking your top, flipping up your collar or adding a belt to add a little interest and intentionality to the look.
Then accessorize your outfit with jewelry and coordinating shoes, handbag and/or belt. I pulled this second look together with a coordinating belt and bucket bag.
I truly love these particular wide-leg casual pants and actually wore them to church yesterday. I’ll share that outfit in my LTK shop and in Friday’s blog post. But I’ll also style these wide-leg casual pants two more ways – a tad more elevated – in a blog post later in the week.
Thanks so much for dropping in. I hope these tips help you to feel confident and stylish in wide-leg casual pants if you choose to wear them. And if this pants silhouette is not for you, hold tight. I’ve got lots more style inspiration with different silhouettes coming your way this week.
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Blessed for My Day
What has God done in your life recently that you could not have done for yourself? How has He moved in your world? How have you heard Him speak to you? Sometimes we need to pause and just praise the good Lord for all He is doing in our lives.
Truly, there is no one like the Lord God in my life. He has been faithful and good and merciful and kind. He has worked all things together for good in my life, especially as I love back in the rearview mirror and trace His fingerprints on the days I have lived. And I will trust the Lord with the days ahead, too. He is good and worthy to be praised.
For this reason You are great, Lord God; for there is no one like You, and there is no God except You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. ~ 2 Samuel 7:22