Remember when skinny jeans first appeared on the scene? In a world where bootcut jeans (over Uggs) were the norm, to wear pants that fit snugly through to the ankle was an act of rebellion. They were edgy. They were sleek. They were all the rage.
Then came jeggings, blurring the line between what was and was not considered appropriate legwear for years onward. I won’t even get into the advent of pajama jeans.
Now, it seems, one of the last defining features of the 2000s is finally beginning to fade away (I say “one of” only because Paris Hilton is still clinging to relevance, for some reason). It started with boyfriend jeans, seemingly a rebellion against the restrictive pants that had become so commonplace. Like denim sweatpants, the boyfriend jean quickly gained popularity. But still, our skinny-legged friends persisted.
The real beginning of the end was about two years ago, when bell-bottoms began showing up in high-end denim lines. Over the next couple of years, the flares became more and more dramatic, leading up to today: the age of the anti-skinny jean. As skin-tight denim makes its way out, wider-than-wide leg pants have very quickly burst into the spotlight.
From culottes to palazzo pants, when it comes to the width of the hem, bigger is better. Keep the look sharp by pairing with a clean, simple top. The wider the leg, the greater the statement, and a simple top half will prevent the ensemble from becoming too overwhelming. Think fitted sweaters, slim button-downs, or cropped turtlenecks. As Spring approaches and the weather gets warmer, try lightweight knits or fitted t-shirts.
For something dressier and appropriate for anything from job interviews to drinks with friends, try a crepe culotte like this, or a wool trouser like this. For something a bit more casual, look for something cotton or linen (this or this), or denim like this, which can be dressed up for a snappy-casual dinner.
1. J.Crew, $119.99
2. Alice & UO, $69
3. ASOS, $48
4. Silence + Noise, $69
5. Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28, $138
6. BDG, $79
7. J.Crew, $248
8. Free People, $148
Images Courtesy of: J.Crew, Alice & UO, ASOS, Silence + Noise, Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28, BDG, Free People