In Praise of the Wide Leg

I'm in love with this season's wide-leg pants trend

Ok, I admit it: I was a club kid. I wore my jeans too large, the only thing keeping them up was the loosely tightened cub-scout web belt around my waist. The wider the ankle, the better. It looked ridiculous, I know. But I didn’t care.

See, for years, I had a hate-hate affair with jeans. Hated them because I always wanted to buy them, to fit in with everyone else in the States. Hated them because I never could find a pair that fit over my muscular thighs and still looked flattering. Enter the wide-leg. Not only could I pull them past my knee, I didn’t have to worry about chafing when they were too tight on my upper thigh.

You heard that right: like 95% of the women of this world, I do not have a thigh gap.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, when my best friend introduced me to Marlene Dietrich. Inspired by Marlene’s style -- and her job in a conservative, male-dominated field -- this friend had taken to wearing trousers and pant suits every day. Normally, I would have had an allergic reaction to pantsuits but these… they looked good.

Her trick? A fitted top accompanied by trousers that weren’t tapered but broad-cut and wide-legged. Not bell-bottoms, these styles, often in a silky polyester or lined linen started wide at the waist and kept flowing. It’s a look that seemed to disappear from the rack for a few years but this season, they’re back and I’m thrilled.

If you’re as excited as I am about these -- which are unbelievably flattering for tall women, check out these beauties by Malene Birger. My favorite Danish designer had a brilliant ruby red pair in her last collection that I fell in love with. For this season, she’s replicated the cut in a shorter, summery pin-stripe as well as a capri-length pant in black or white. Perfect for those days in the office when you'd rather be at the beach. 

 Image from malenebirger.com

Image from malenebirger.com