Although wide-legged trousers have been pushed hard on the runways over the past couple of years, the trend has yet to go mainstream. We can see why – in comparison to the industry’s now standardised slim-fits, relaxed or fuller legwear doesn’t produce the sleek, clean-lined silhouettes we desire and can quickly conjure images of the nineties if they aren’t styled right.
However, if you’re looking for an effortless and subtle way of separating your looks from the slim-cut crowd this season, wide-legged trousers are an excellent option. So long as you opt for a pair that appear smart and relaxed, rather than sloppy and clown-like, you can treat them like any other style in your wardrobe.
Here, we offer some inspiration on how to wear them in a modern and stylish way.
Stick To Neutrals
Wide leg trousers are a statement in their own right, so steer well clear of loud colours or printed styles and opt for an understated neutral design instead.
Black, grey or navy versions are a great place to start as they will slot effortlessly into your wardrobe and combine well with everything you already own.
Alternatively, if you want something decidedly more casual, try a pair of relaxed-cut chinos in stone or khaki. They will look superb teamed with a nice white Oxford cloth button-down, linen shirt or plain tee this spring.
Image: Berluti AW12
Our Legacy Textured Wool Trousers, available at Liberty, priced £180.
Anchor With White Trainers
Followers of fashion will be well aware that Stan Smith trainers are having a moment – but we suggest turning to another iconic adidas model for inspiration this season.
The sports brand’s Superstar silhouette was huge in the eighties, staged a comeback in the early noughties, and is now experiencing another revival due to the industry’s love for all things vintage.
With both white trainers and dressed-down trousers key trends for 2015, use your footwear as the blank, minimal canvas for your relaxed legwear to fall onto.
Image: Bally AW14
adidas Originals Superstar, available at size?, priced £65.
As with any new pair of trousers, after a few wears the waistline will start to drop a little as they loosen up. It’s only natural.
A belt is the obvious solution, with slim to medium leather versions juxtaposing nicely against the excess material around your thighs.
Likewise, tucking a neutral T-shirt or shirt into your legwear will help create a striking silhouette that looks extremely fashion-forward, yet still smart and refined. Throw a full-cut blazer or coat over the top for a considered finish.
Image: Gieves & Hawkes AW13
Danton Belt, available at Reiss, priced £45.
The Spring Bomber
With spring fast approaching, every man should have a lightweight cropped jacket ready in their wardrobe.
Our pick for combining with relaxed legwear is the classic Harrington – a timeless silhouette that taps into menswear’s current appetite for anything seventies.
A slim-cut version (complete with traditional ribbed waist) not only accentuates the vintage feel of a wide leg trouser well, it’s also a classic and extremely versatile style that you will get good use out of for many more years to come.
Image: Dunhill AW13
ASOS Harrington Jacket, available at ASOS, priced £40.
Really not feeling wide leg trousers? Try taking the look on holiday.
Not only are wide leg shorts comfortable and cool to wear in the heat, they can be paired with all your warm-weather staples – from printed vests/tees to lightweight linen shirts – to create relaxed and effortless high summer looks.
When it comes to material, let your personal style dictate what is right for your wardrobe; smarter dressers should consider tailored cotton styles, while those who lean towards the more casual end of the spectrum can go for jersey or mesh construction.
Image: Oki-ni 2015
Acne Studios Ryder Shorts, available at Oki-ni, priced £170.