Wide legged pants are definitely back on trend this 2024 season. In this article, you will find plenty of tips on how to wear wide legged pants with some fabulous wide leg pants outfit inspiration.

We love wider pants. They’re flattering, on-trend, and can be a very good choice of trousers for many women over 40.

Why should you wear wide legged pants?

Katharine Hepburn is probably the most famous wide-leg pants wearer from the golden age of Hollywood.

They certainly gave her an air of confident nonchalance and could do the same for you. Nowadays, they are the pants style of choice for Meghan Markle, Milla Jovovich, Victoria Beckham and Amal Clooney.

Let’s look at some reasons why wide leg pants can be a very flattering option to wear for many women as well as some of my own favorite wide leg pants outfits:

1. Wide pants can lengthen your legs

Wide leg pants are great for short legged women like me, as flared pants are very leg lengthening when they fit well at the top.

A few things you need to keep in mind to accomplish this:

  • Tuck in your tops or wear your wide leg pants with a short cropped tops
  • For maximum effect wear them with (high) heels and make sure your pants or jeans almost touch the ground.
wide leg pants outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

Similar shirt (another option here), pants (another option here) and booties

This elongating effect works especially if your shoes barely show and you wear shoes in a similar color to your pants. In the image above (@40plusstyle) the hem is too high for my shoes, as I hemmed these pants for flatter shoes.

Below is how I (@40plusstyle) wore them with flats. As I’ve tucked in the top it still has a good leg line as the pants almost touch the ground and my legs look a mile long even though I have proportionally to my body short legs.

tucked in top and pants | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top and pants (another option here)

For more inspiration, read our article on what shoes to wear with different styles of pants.

2. Wide pants may cover up your muffin top

If you have a bit of a belly or muffin top (as many of us over 40 women have) then wide leg pants do a great job to cover them.

Try a more relaxed wide leg pants style like the black linen pants I’m wearing below.

These kind of pants are fabulous for traveling when we’re able to do so once more.

If your belly is too big, then you may like to wear your wide pants with a long (sleeveless) vest that will do a great job of camouflaging the belly.

Also read my tips on hiding the belly with the right clothes.

Another great option is a jumpsuit with wide leg pants that’s flowy and super comfortable. Especially effective for camouflaging bellies or muffin tops if there is a print as well. Belt it at your natural waist (or higher) to give the outfit structure.

Wide leg pants jumpsuit | 40plusstyle.com

Jumpsuit from COS, similar here

3. Wide leg pants are comfortable

I already showed you above that I love wearing airy wide leg pants in summer and on trips. But they’re also a versatile option for winter and fall (simply change your sandals for ankle booties). They are just super comfortable to wear!

4. Wide leg pants give you more shape

This is especially useful if you are a rectangle like me (@40plusstyle). Provided that you accent the waist and your wide leg pants fit you well in the hip, you create a nice v-shape.

This is also helpful for pear shapes as it will focus less attention on the hips. Inverted triangle shapes can also use wider pants to balance their wider shoulder and top area.

Wide pants are definitely the most challenging to wear for apple shapes, but they may do so so if they use them in combination with longer vests.

Below is an example of how to wear wide legged pants with a shorter top that is semi-tight in the waist (@40plusstyle).

Sylvia wearing white flared pants | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top and pants (another option here)

Don’t know your body type? Discover your body type here.

5. Wide leg pants are fashionable

Wide leg pants give a fashion statement. Wear them with an on-trend color like green. For some extra pizazz (and a bit of color blocking) add an extra color with a statement necklace.

Below, you can see wide-legged pants on the 2024 runways.

Wide leg pants on the 2024 runway | 40plusstyle.com

LoeweVictoria BeckhamSchiaparelli

6. Wide leg pants are perfect for summer

Wide legged pants are super comfortable and breezy to wear for summer. In high summer, I even wore them with a cropped top, which was made possible by the high waist of the wide leg pants I’m wearing.

Wide cropped pants are also popular right now

Wide leg cropped pants can be a great option for summer as they are cooler than full-length pants, and show off a little ankle. You can also wear them in winter with booties.

With this type of pants it’s even more important to tuck your tops in as you want to create a one third / two third silhouette OR to wear a cropped top (just make sure your pants are high-waisted).

Of course this is automatically taken care of when you wear a jumpsuit as I (@40plusstyle) have below.

The shorter your legs are proportionally to the rest of your body, the more important this is to create a flattering look.

Wide leg jumpsuit | 40plusstyle.com

Fly London sandals and similar jumpsuit (another option here)

For an even more relaxed look you can also wear this jumpsuit unbelted.

Wide leg jumpsuit - unbelted | 40plusstyle.com

Fly London sandals and similar jumpsuit (another option here), jacket and bag

More on the rule of thirds and how to wear capris here.

What kind of body type looks good in wide leg pants

Wide leg pants are flattering for all types of figures. In particular, they can balance out wider shoulders if you are an inverted triangle, they can add shape if you are a rectangle, and they can make your legs look longer if you are petite.

linen wide black pants for summer | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top, cardigan, pants and sandals

How do you make wide leg pants look good

We have lots more tips for you. So read on. But, making anything look good is all about your overall silhouette. For wide leg pants, you want to offset the loose-silhouette of the pants with a more fitted or tucked in top. If you want your legs to look even longer, choose a pair you can wear with high heels and make sure the hemline is long enough to slightly cover your shoes.

Some additional tips on how to wear wide pants

We’re going to take a look below at some of the different styles of wide-legged pants as well as some of our favorites in stores now. First, here are some extra tips to think about when choosing a pair of wide legged pants.

1. Buy your wide-legged pants long

We don’t like the look of flared pants that are too short. Especially if you want to create a lengthening effect for your legs, it’s nice when your pants hide your high heels.

Wendy wears palazzo pants | 40plusstyle.com

Wendy @fashionoverfifty.wendy above opts for a pair of dramatic print palazzo pants.

Steal her look with this similar top, pants, cardigan vest, bag and necklace.

2. Define your waist

Wide pants look particularly good if you define your waist with a belt or the way the pants are tailored.

3. Opt for a classic look

Flared pants can give you a very classic, timeless look, so will look great with a, tucked in, well-fitted shirt.

For more timeless tips look at this style guide and capsule wardrobe for the classic style personality.

4. Balance your look

To get a balanced silhouette wear something slim fitting on top. You’ll see most of the styles featured here include a more fitted top, or tops which are tucked in at the waist.

5. Wide leg pants can be very lengthening for petites

Short people can also wear wide pants. Just make sure they are more fitted at the top and the pants don’t flare too much.

6. For longer legs

Want even longer legs? Try flared pants with vertical stripes, a center crease. Or wear your pants with heels!

wide leg pants worn with a cropped top | 40plusstyle.com

Similar cropped top (another option here), pants, sneakers and bag

7. Break the rules

Although a slim-fitting top is the easiest and most flattering way to wear wide pants, I also like to combine them with short dresses and wider tops.

It’s a tougher look to pull off, but I personally like the silhouette it creates.

8. For the pear shape

Although wide legged pants can be perfect for the pear body shape, make sure you don’t have any side pockets as that will add extra bulk.

Pear shapes also benefit from flat front pants, as opposed to pleated ones.

Types of wide leg pants

Not all wide legged pants are the same shape and style. Below are the styles to look out for to create the most flattering outfit for you.

High Waist – Full Flare

Good if you want to hide a muffin top or want to create an hourglass figure as this style accentuates the waist. The Boden pants (below) are ideal to dress up for work or evening. They have a stripe down the side, which adds a leg-lengthening effect as well as being more interesting than plain pants.

Boden Westbourne Ponte Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Boden Westbourne Ponte Pants

Tight upper pants – FULL FLARE

If your thighs are one of the parts of your body you like, then a pair of wide pants with a tighter upper leg could be perfect for you.

PAIGE Genevieve High-Rise Coated Stretch Flare Jeans | 40plusstyle.com

PAIGE Genevieve High-Rise Coated Stretch Flare Jeans

Prefer jeans? Check out the best jeans for women over 40.

Tight upper pants – SMALL FLARE

Good if you have skinny legs. Not so good if you have saddle bags.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Delilah Tailored Cropped Flared Jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Delilah Tailored Cropped Flared Jeans

Standard leg – wide flare

Good to hide thicker thighs, perhaps if you have a pear-shaped figure. A pair of wide jeans like the Boden pants (below) will be perfect for any season.

Boden High Rise Wide Leg Jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Boden High Rise Wide Leg Jeans

classic wide leg

A classic wide leg will suit many body shapes. You could wear these to balance an inverted triangle shape. The J.Crew pants (below) are a timeless classic that you can wear in so many ways.

J.Crew Wide Leg Twill Essential Pant | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Wide Leg Twill Essential Pant

Green top and white wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top, pants, sandals, necklace and fedora

Palazzo pants

Very wide pants all over and good for tall women. Short or bulky women, be careful with this style! Palazzo pants can be a great option for summer. But, equally, you could also wear a pair of palazzo pants for an evening out.

DIARRABLU Leer Suto Palazzo Pants | 40plusstyle.com

DIARRABLU Leer Suto Palazzo Pants

Cropped wide pants

Best to wear with your top tucked in so that you create a more flattering silhouette using the rule of thirds. A good choice for summer or for traveling. Opt for a plain top if you choose a pair of print pants, or read our guidelines on pattern mixing.

Adam Lippes Alessia High-Rise Floral Wide Crop Jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Adam Lippes Alessia High-Rise Floral Wide Crop Jeans

Nikki wears a green cardigan and black pants | 40plusstyle.com

Nikki @40notfrumpy above chooses cropped pants with her ankle boots. To get the same look, make sure your pants cover the top of your boots.

Recreate her outfit with this similar cardigan, wide pants and boots.

High waisted wide leg pants

Look for high waisted styles if you want to make your legs look longer. A particularly good style if you have a long torso that you want to balance out.

PAIGE Sasha Wide-Leg Pants | 40plusstyle.com

PAIGE Sasha Wide-Leg Pants

Plus size wide leg pants

There are fantastic options for all sizes when it comes to wide-legged pants. Choose a pair that enables you to show off what you love. For example, perhaps you want a higher waist to cover your tummy, but you want a cropped style to show off your ankles.

Nordstrom Pleat Front Wide Leg Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom Pleat Front Wide Leg Pants

Gabriella Rossetti Sofia Palazzo Silk Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Gabriella Rossetti Sofia Palazzo Silk Pants

Petite wide leg trousers

While you may think that wide-legged pants would be a no-no if you are petite as they could make you look wider rather than taller, they are actually very flattering.

They can make your legs look longer and you look taller, particularly if you wear a high heel underneath them. To create a more dramatic elongating effect, you could choose a top in a similar color to your pants.

Caslon Wide Leg Pull-On Linen Blend Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Caslon Wide Leg Pull-On Linen Blend Pants

Wit & Wisdom 'Ab'Solution Cargo High Waist Wide Leg Jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Cargo High Waist Wide Leg Jeans

There are more tips here on how to dress when you are petite.

Sharryn wears a blue shirt with cropped pants | 40plusstyle.com

Sharryn @thestylishwoman above (read her style interview here) chooses cropped wide white pants that are perfect for warmer months.

Get her look with this similar top, pants, sneakers, belt, handbag and earrings.

Wide leg dress pants

A pair of wide-legged pants can be a beautiful option for both day and night. If you have a formal event or party, or a dinner, to attend, you could wear a pair of wide-legged pants rather than choosing a dress. Or, you could wear your wide-leg pants to the office.

Cinq à Sept Shauna Satin Wide-Leg Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Cinq à Sept Shauna Satin Wide-Leg Pants

silk wide leg pants

To elevate your look, you could choose a pair of pants in a luxurious fabric, such as silk or satin.

Róhe Frame Wide-Leg Silk Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

Róhe Frame Wide-Leg Silk Trousers

wool pants

Look for quality fabrics like wool. The COS pants (below) are very wide, so be sure to balance your figure with a closer fitting top.

COS Voluminous Wide Leg Wool Pants | 40plusstyle.com

COS Voluminous Wide Leg Wool Pants

Wide pinstripe pants

If you love the elongating, leg lengthening effect of wide leg pants, then adding a vertical stripe can exacerbate that even more. You could wear the Mango pants (below) for work, or you could mix formal and casual by wearing with sneakers and a t-shirt.

Mango Pinstripe Suit Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Mango Pinstripe Suit Pants

Wide leisure pants

If you are working from home or relaxing at the weekend, you may wish to choose a pair of wide-legged pants for lounging. The SPANX pants (below) could work for casual days or vacation.

SPANX AirEssentials Wide Leg Pants | 40plusstyle.com

SPANX AirEssentials Wide Leg Pants

Black wide leg linen pants | 40plusstyle.com

Similar top, pants and shoes

You will find more stay-at-home outfit options in this article on the best loungewear for women over 40.

Printed pants

A pair of printed pants adds a fun element to your outfit. You could style with a sweater for cooler weather or with a tank top and sandals for summer. The print pants (below) have a graphic print that would work for parties or vacation.

Farm Rio Richelieu Faces Wide-Leg Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Farm Rio Richelieu Faces Wide-Leg Pants

Also, take a look at how to wear printed pants.

Drawstring pants

For extra comfort, without losing any style, you could opt for a pair of drawstring pants to fit your tummy. The ribbed pants (below) are perfect for casual days or relaxing at home.

Stellae Dux Wide Rib-Knit Drawstring Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Stellae Dux Wide Rib-Knit Drawstring Pants

There are more tips on the best pants and skirts to fit and hide a belly in this article.

culottes

If you prefer a shorter style of pants, then you could choose a pair of culottes, which combine the look of wide pants and shorts for summer.

M.M.LaFleur Zhou Culottes | 40plusstyle.com

M.M.LaFleur Zhou Culottes

What kind of top do you wear with wide leg pants

Now that you’ve chosen your favorite pair of wide-legged pants, what should you wear with them?

As mentioned before, you’ll want to make sure that you either tuck in your tops OR wear wide pants with short tops that end at the waist or have a tie at the waist. That will improve your silhouette and create a really flattering overall look with wide pants.

If your tops are too long or have no structure, you would just look wide all over which is not flattering. With wide leg pants especially, you need to create some structure in the outfit.

If your tops are too long or have no structure, you would just look wide all over which is not flattering. With wide leg pants especially, you need to create some structure in the outfit.

Below are more tops to tuck into or wear with your wide-legged pants.

Tops to wear with wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Karmamia Ines Satin Wrap BlouseAlexander Wang Oversized Belted Cotton ShirtNaadam Wool-Cashmere Hybrid Wrap ShirtTanya Taylor Imara Striped Tie-Waist Long Sleeve Blouse

Wide legged pants: how to wear them in 2024 and where to buy the best ones | 40plusstyle.com

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) shows how you can tuck in your top with your wide-leg pants. We love the pop of color she adds with her yellow shoes.

Steal her look with this similar top, wide pants, pumps, bag and necklace.

wrap blouse and white pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Karmamia Ines Satin Wrap BlousePAIGE Sasha Wide-Leg PantsNaturalizer Cody FlatsVince Camuto Corla Leather ToteCaroline de Benoist California Pendant NecklaceNEST Jewelry Hammered Dome Stud Earrings

How to wear wide legged pants – outerwear for wide leg pants

An easy way to wear wide legged pants is to tuck the top into your pants. This will accentuate your waist and make sure you maintain either a 1/3-2/3 or 1/4-3/4 silhouette and your legs look long.

If you prefer to camouflage your belly, you can also wear a cropped top that ends on or below the waist. An asymmetric top can be very useful here too.

Sweaters can be harder to tuck in, although there is a trend currently for tucking the front of your sweater into your jeans or pants or do a semi-tuck. This can, however, add unwanted bulk at your tummy area.

You could also look at fitted sweaters which will give balance and will be possible to tuck in, at belted sweaters so you don’t loose your waistline and at cropped sweaters. Otherwise, follow our tips for tops as mentioned above.

Just make sure you opt for a pair of high-waisted wide-legged pants if you opt for a cropped option as you don’t want to flash your tummy.

Jackets to wear with wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Karmamia Rex Satin Belted BlazerJ.Crew Emilie Sweater Lady JacketJ.Crew Cropped Denim Puffer JacketCynthia Rowley Cropped Faux Leather Jacket

Claudia wears patchwork jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Claudia @glamupyourlifestyle above (read her style interview here) opts for a shorter jacket with her patchwork jeans.

Get her look with this similar top, jacket, wide jeans, pumps and bag.

denim jacket and black pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Cropped Denim Puffer JacketTanya Taylor Imara Striped Tie-Waist Long Sleeve BlousePAIGE Genevieve High-Rise Coated Stretch Flare JeansSam Edelman Pippy SneakersTime Resistance Full Grain Real Leather Bucket BagNEST Jewelry Hammered Dome Stud Earrings

Shoes to wear with your wide-legged pants

You’ll find that plenty of shoe styles go with your wide-legged pants. You’ll want to make sure, however, that your shoes don’t get lost among your outfit. Platform styles can be agood choices, as can heels. If you want a casual, summery look, you could choose a pair of sandals (just make sure your pants don’t drape on the ground if you choose a flat style).

Shoes to wear with wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch Georgia PumpsVince Camuto Bivenya SandalsNaturalizer Cody FlatsSam Edelman Pippy Sneakers

Susanne in a pink and cream outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Susanne @textelle above (read her style interview here) wears her neutral pants with a bright top and contrasting necklace.

Check out this similar sweater, puffer jacket, pants, sneakers and necklace.

wrap blazer and silk pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Karmamia Rex Satin Belted BlazerRóhe Frame Wide-Leg Silk TrousersVince Camuto Bivenya SandalsTime Resistance Full Grain Real Leather Bucket BagNEST Jewelry Malachite Teardrop Earrings

Accessories for your wide-legged pants outfits

Wide-legged pants can add dramatic flair to your outfit, so you can go as bold or as subtle as you want with your accessories.

Check out this similar blouse, blazer, wide leg pants, loafers, tote, hat, earrings and sunglasses.

Acccessories to wear with wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Time Resistance Full Grain Real Leather Bucket BagVince Camuto Corla Leather ToteHammitt VIP Large ClutchCaroline de Benoist California Pendant NecklaceNEST Jewelry Malachite Teardrop EarringsNEST Jewelry Hammered Dome Stud Earrings

Eugenia in a red sweater and beige pants | 40plusstyle.com

Eugenia @theeageofgrace above (read her style interview here) shows how red goes beautifully with beige or brown. She mixes textures with her linen pants and cable knit sweater.

Recreate her outfit with this similar sweater, wide leg pants (another option here) and bag.

red jacket and black pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Cynthia Rowley Cropped Faux Leather JacketAlexander Wang Oversized Belted Cotton ShirtTory Burch Georgia PumpsJ.Crew Wide Leg Twill Essential PantHammitt VIP Large ClutchNEST Jewelry Hammered Dome Stud Earrings

Your wide leg pants together in one capsule

See how you can put together your wide legged pants outfits in a capsule below. You’ll see you could easily mix and match these outfits to provide countless different looks. Any of the pants would go with any of the tops and jackets.

Wide leg pants capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

shop the best wide pants here:

More wide leg pants inspiration

Below, you can see some previously created wide leg pants capsules. While past season, they should still give you plenty of inspiration to create your own outfits.

Wide leg pants capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

How do you wear wide pants? Have you found these tips on how to wear wide leg pants useful?

Continue reading:

  1. How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas
  2. How To Wear Capris And Cropped Pants – An Extensive Guide!
  3. The Best Fitting Jeans For Women: Choose The Best Jeans For Your Body Type

Like this article on how to wear wide legged pants? Save it on Pinterest!

Wide legged pants: how to wear them in 2024 and where to buy the best ones | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion

Sylvia

Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. She is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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