It’s official. After years of threatening to make their return, baggy jeans are back.
What started a few years ago with a gradual loosening of the fit around the leg (everyone remembers drop crotch jeans, right?) has now morphed into full-on 90s-style skater pants. It’s a look that has moved from being pretty much runway exclusive, to one that can now be found at fast-fashion staples such as Asos and Topman.
As with any relatively recent trend, adopting it for the first time is a challenge—especially when the change is as extreme moving away from skinny denim. We’re here to answer all your questions about wide-leg jeans, as well as show you seven outfits for inspiration.
How to Style Wide Leg Jeans (The Answer is Balance)
The biggest risk with wide denim is having the jeans drown the rest of the outfit. If this happens, you’ll lose all your shape and suffocate your style. You have to be extra careful with the fit, as well as the clothes you wear with your new jeans. Here are five rules to keep in mind.
- Your upper half should typically be broad or oversized to balance the wide-fitting jeans. Think hoodies or bomber jackets rather than tight t-shirts.
- The best shoes to wear with baggy jeans are chunky styles like boots, sneakers, or skate shoes.
- Go wide, but not long. Give your outfit some shape by ensuring the jeans are cut so they fall either just touching or just above your shoes. If your jeans are too long, turn them up.
- Many of the jeans on this list are heavily distressed. Don’t shy away from worn denim or tears.
- Keep the outfits casual. Slimmer fitting jeans are still best for the office or formal occasions.
Seven Baggy Jeans Outfits For Inspiration
Outfit One: With a Chunky Coat and Boots
Why it Works: I love this outfit from Acne Studios becasue it keeps everything so chunky, which balances out the wide jeans. The wool coat is very square, which accentuates the shoulders, while the thick black sneaker boots more than hold their own. The knit bag is the perfect accessory.
Outfit Two: Heavily Cropped
Why it Works: The main issue with baggy denim is its shapelessness. It risks drowning the wearer. In the above outfit, this was balanced out with thicker, boxy coats and sneakers. Another way to add shape is to crop the legs at the ankle. This way, you still get a tailored look despite the wide leg. The jeans in the image above from Asos pull this off really well.
Outfit Three: Leather Bomber Jacket
Why it Works: The bomber jacket is a great style to wear with wide-leg jeans as it has a natural broad fit. The strength of leather also means the jeans don’t dominate the look too much. I also love how the colors of the canvas shoes match the rest of the outfit. The pocket chain is a cool flashback to the 90s.
Outfit Four: With a Chunky Sweater
Why it Works: A chunky sweater is the perfect item to wear with baggy denim. While a thinner jumper sees you risk having a bottom-heavy silhouette, thicker material keeps a better balance. I particularly like the turnups on the jeans in this image as the shape stays sharp while showing off the shoes. These are by far the most formal shoes on this list, but they definitely work.
Outfit Five: With Sportswear
Why it Works: Pairing your baggy denim with sportswear creates a 90s Britpop vibe. The darker denim in the image above is cut perfectly to just brush the top of the shoes, stopping them from being drowned in denim. Wear an oversized, bright t-shirt under the jacket to continue the streetwear vibe inside.
Outfit Six: Baggy Double Denim
Why it Works: Only the truly brave are ready to step out in baggy double denim. If you pull it off, you may end up with something like the fit above. It works well because the colors are different enough to add contrast to the outfit, while the shoes, cap, and t-shirt add variety to the look.