How to Style Wide Leg Jeans for Spring: 5 Tips and Outfit Ideas!

I recently mentioned that straight-leg jeans and flare jeans are trending this spring, but the real superstars are wide-leg jeans.  How do wide-leg jeans differ from straight-leg jeans and flares?

  • Straight-leg jeans have the same circumference from knee to hem.
  • Flare Jeans (bell bottoms) are tight-fitting through the thigh to the knee, where they flare out into a wide base. The flare is often greatly exaggerated, like a giant bell.
  • Wide Leg Jeans are wide from the thighs down to the hem of the pants. They have trouser-like legs.
  • Palazzo Jeans are the widest type of wide-leg jeans. They are wide from the waist down, roomier in the leg and more flowy

Wide-leg jeans have an elegant, relaxed vibe and are very popular because they make you look tall and slim like your legs go on for miles. 

This season’s best ones have a high waist, are snug across the hips, and flare out to the bottom of the leg.  Wide-leg jeans are comfy and also very versatile. It’s easy to make them look put together with just a few basics.

Here are a few of the newest wide-leg jeans and 5 tips on styling them to look modern and fabulous.


Wide leg dark wash jeans outfit with Blue Striped Top,white flats and bag

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1. Wear Wide-Leg Jeans with a Fitted Top or a Top Tucked in

Wide-leg jeans are most flattering when you wear them with a fitted top or shirt that is either cropped or that you tuck in. Creating a defined waist gives the illusion of an hourglass shape. (Cropped jackets are also excellent for this too.)

If you want to wear a roomier top with wide-leg jeans, like a pretty blouse, or an oversized sweater, be sure to tuck or half-tuck to highlight your waist. A belt also helps.

If you are short, you must be especially mindful of defining your waist. Long or voluminous tops with wide-leg pants can easily overwhelm your small frame and make you look short and wide.

Tall?  Your long legs mean you can get away with a longer top over wide-leg jeans so long as it is not more than 3/4 length (above the knee)


tan wide leg cropped pants with striped sweatshirt, cream tans shoes and brown bag

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2. Choose a Flattering Width

Wide-leg jeans come in different cuts. Some are tighter or looser across the hips and thighs, some start to flare sooner than others, and there are different sizes of flares. Many this spring are very wide -close to palazzo pants!

The wider your flares, the shorter you will look, so keep this in mind if you are petite. Look for wide-leg jeans that are slim in the leg and flare out at the knee. If the flare starts earlier, it will drown your petite frame. 

It’s all a matter of balance. Check the mirror and find a pair that gives you that beautiful shape.



dark wash wide leg cropped jeans outfit with peach blouse

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3. Dark Wash is Slimming

Wide-leg jeans come in several washes this season, from light-wash blue to inky black. A dark wash will also help maximize wide-leg jeans’ long, leggy look. Another way is with a monochromatic look. Wear tone-on-tone shades of one color head to toe. For example, multiple shades of black & gray or navy & blue, which is slimming.



white wide leg jeans outfit with green blouse, shoes and floral bag

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4. Heels Enhance the Look

For the best leg-lengthening effect, wear your wide-leg jeans with heels, even if that means low heels. Also, compared to a fine, skinny heel, a chunky heel or wedge balances out the flare. Wide-leg jeans are intended to be long and should almost touch the floor. One-quarter to one-half inch above the floor is about right.

These days, cropped wide-leg jeans are popular. Many women wear this shorter length with statement sneakers, which are cute.



light wash wide leg jeans with orange top and cream loafers

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5. Faded or Light Wash Adds a Boho Vibe

I mentioned earlier that wide-leg jeans with a light wash are trending. If you love vintage, hop on this color trend. Wide-leg jeans in a light faded wash with a pretty linen peasant blouse will give you a laid-back boho style. You can also create a more energetic look by wearing light-wash jeans with a pop of bright color. Lightwash denim + saturated colors like bold, bright green, yellow, and blue are a modern color mix for summer.

Other Ways to Style High-waisted Wide-leg jeans

Besides looking great with a tucked-in top, high-waisted, wide-leg jeans look fantastic with anything cropped, like a

  • cropped jacket – Chanel- Chanel-inspired tweed type looks fab. or even a cropped denim jacket
  • cropped cardigan – worn on its own buttoned up or with a white shirt underneath with shirt tails peeking out
  • cropped sweater – a chunky cropped sweater and a pair of wide-flare jeans is fabulous
  • Top with horizontal stripes – I like the look of a boat neck and horizontal striped top tucked into wide-leg jeans, which gives a nautical look. Funny enough, wide-leg jeans are said to have first been worn by sailors, so no wonder it is a good look!

Have you bought a pair of wide-leg jeans yet? I would love to see them, and my readers would, too. Join my Private Facebook group here and post away. You could be my next style superstar! 

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4 thoughts on “How to Style Wide Leg Jeans for Spring: 5 Tips and Outfit Ideas!

  1. After reading some comments about skinny vs. wide legs, I need to weigh in! I think this is a great time for fashion because I think we have more options now. I love my skinnies with my tall boots, and I wear them dancing all the time or with my 1″ heels, which I wear sometimes during the day. But, I love the option to change my silhouette by wearing flares, bell bottoms, and wide legs, although I have not found a true petite wide leg. I’m petite and way under 5’4″. My bell bottoms are a girl’s size, and I get compliments when I wear them with heels. I remember when I was in 7th and 8th grade, I had sewing in school. I still have the patterns for the wide leg – maybe I should make them myself, LOL!!

  2. A straight or wide-leg jean is more flattering than a skinny jean for most body types. Skinny jeans simply aren’t that popular right now. I do agree that cropped wide-leg jeans aren’t for everyone’s body type. The great thing is that there really isn’t a “ruling” jean type and that’s a good thing so everyone can wear their fav and still be in style.

  3. Hi Deborah,
    Great post but I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you :) Skinny jeans aren’t going anywhere! The wide leg is a fad that the fashion industry is trying to push on us but I can almost guarantee that we won’t be talking about them this time next year. The look, especially the cropped leg, is just not flattering on most women. I’ll hang on to my skinnies for now!

    1. Hi Janice, Skinny jeans aren’t out because they are a classic style and I love my skinnies too!! But the more fashion-forward look for spring is straight leg or wide leg. I was reluctant to try these styles, especially cropped, but I just bought a pair of crop straight leg and long wide leg and I am really loving them. It’s nice to change things up. There are so many variations on these styles that it can take a while to find one right for you, or if you choose to stick with skinnies, that’s perfectly fine too. Cheers, Deborah

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