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How to Wear Wide Leg Linen Pants

Let’s talk about how to wear wide leg linen pants.

Wide-leg, lightweight pants are a fabulous option for spring, summer or year round in warm or mild whether and especially nice if you want an alternative to shorts or capris.

BUT, they are one of the tricker bottoms to wear because the success of the look is dependent on balancing proportions.

You can’t just throw on any top. 

So let’s break down how to wear wide leg pants, with three outfits that can take you pretty much anywhere this summer. 

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

These best sellers are back in stock!

High-Waisted Linen-Blend Wide-Leg Pants in black

Wide Leg Linen Pants, $40 

Our featured pants are from Old Navy. They are a Reader Favorite from the past few weeks, so I thought it would be helpful to use them.

They are available in regular, tall and petite, from XS – 4X, in four colors

Regular price is $39.99 with 30% off at checkout. 

Like many wide leg pants, these are high waisted, but not too high.

That’s important to note because it comes into play with your top options.

And they are going to skim at or around your ankles.

You don’t want to cutting through the calf or you enter capri territory, and we all know how I feel about that.

Depending on your frame, the width of the pant may be overwhelming.

If that happens, remember, you can easily have these altered and have some fullness taken out of the leg by a tailor or seamstress.  

How to Wear Wide Leg Line Pants

As always, you can shop this post full of practical recommendations OR use it as inspiration and pull pieces from your own closet. 

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Key Piece: Wide Leg Pants, $40 | Outfit 1: T-Shirt, $98 |Birkenstocks, $170 | Necklace, $235 | Knotted Handbag, $34 | Outfit 2: Sleeveless U-Neck Top, $99 | Strappy Sandals, $115 | Crossbody Bag, $20 | Hoop Earrings, $14  Outfit 3:  Camp Shirt, $75 | Sandal, $155 | Crossbody Bag, $130 | Earrings, $85

With a Boxy Tee

T-Shirt, $98 | Birkenstocks, $170 |  Necklace, $235 | Knotted Handbag, $45

For a laid-back casual look that also looks sophisticated, start a boxy white tee. 

Yes, boxy. 

You want this to sit just slightly over your waistband.

If it’s a little long, you can half tuck, but the idea here is that because of the high-waisted cut of the pants, you can wear a shorter top and create a fun silhouette while maintaining the length of your legs. 

To add some polished I added this gorgeous statement necklace.

It’s really an incredible piece from one of our favorites, Julie Vos. And I love that you can wear it long or double the chain to shorten the length.

Then, a pair of chunky, flat sandals because you can pull them off with a wide pant leg.

It appears that Hell has frozen over because I continue to say things like, “I like these Birkenstocks.

The oversized gold buckle make these funky in a good way. They were hard to find last year so I’m happy they are back in stock.

And for a bag, we’re playing with texture and using this inexpensive woven bag from Amazon. It fits what you need for drinks and dinner, I carry it regularly.

With a Printed Sleeveless Top

Sleeveless U-Neck Top, $99 | Strappy Sandals, $115 | Crossbody Bag, $20 | Hoop Earrings, $14 

Next, let’s incorporate a print.

Here, I picked this fresh summer print from Nordstrom. I like the mix of bright colors, grounded with black, which make it work back to the pants and feel purposeful.

I also appreciate the scoop neckline – flattering for everyone, and the high/low hem.

Available at Nordstrom in sizes XXS – XXL (16)

And if you want an additional layer, you can throw on a denim jacket.

I recently ordered this one from J.Crew because it comes with gold-tone buttons!

For shoes, I’m showing these chunky strappy sandals by Dolce Vita from DSW.

They would also pair nicely with a flowy spring dress or skirt.  

And to round out the look, a pretty ivory quilted crossbody bag for and my favorite go-to gold hoops both are affordable finds from Amazon. 

With a Camp Shirt

 Camp Shirt, $75 | Sandal, $155 | Crossbody Bag, $130 | Earrings, $85

Finally, let’s work with a camp shirt.

You’ll see lots of versions of these this spring and summer.

Everlane has a beautiful white linen option for $78 that would look chic here, and Quince has an under $40 option in several colors.

But I went with this chambray style from Madewell.  It’s light and versatile, you can wear it open over a white tank or button it up and tuck in the front.

For shoes, we’re using another popular item, these H sandals from Tuckernuck.

I wore these all last summer. They were one of my best buys of the season, and I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to put them back in rotation.

Then I added a simple crossbody bag with a pretty woven detail, from Talbots and a pair of sparkly studs, these are Swarovski fro under $100 on Amazon.

How to Wear Wide Leg Linen Pants
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MEET THE AUTHOR

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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tn

Thursday 11th of April 2024

I tried to sign up for the newsletter, I received an error

Irma

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Darn… I’m wearing it for so long 😬, thank you so much…. New look 👀 from now on… Thank you so much 😊

Mary

Wednesday 19th of April 2023

I’m going to be wearing light blue wide leg linen pants when I fly to Italy in May. They don’t wrinkle too bad because they are a linen blend and so comfortable. I will probably wear a long sleeve white TShirt tucked in and white sneakers. What do you recommend I wear to keep warm—a sweater, a jacket? What length, fit and fabric?

Mara

Friday 10th of March 2023

Thank you, thank you! This is very helpful. I've wanted to try wide leg pants and now have a "guidebook," so to speak. I've always thought they would accentuate what I don't want to accentuate, but I think I've been looking at it wrong -- and too critically.

Janet

Thursday 9th of March 2023

I am a bit confused. I thought with a wide bottom you needed to wear a tighter top. Is it different because they are extra wide pants?

Megan Kristel

Thursday 9th of March 2023

You certainly can wear something more fitted, like a tank, tee, or even throw these over a bathing suit. I used tops that fit away from the body here for a few reason (1) requests from our readers looking for more loose fitting options, (2) specifically because these are linen, that fabric doesn't always work with more fitted top options. You want something equally light, breezy and casual. So I would totally wear a traditional wide leg bottom with a more fitted top, linen is a little bit of a different animal. :)

Michele

Thursday 9th of March 2023

Hi Megan! Could you recommend a few tops for those of us that don’t like our arms? 3/4 or long sleeves that can be rolled up. Thanks as always!

Susan

Thursday 9th of March 2023

Thanks so much for this post. I got the pants last year and it was very tricky finding the right top. Loved theses suggestions!

Melissa Monaghan

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Would you be able to provide more info about the tops in options 2 and 3? I’m wondering if they are best fully tucked or half tuck?

Also, have you ever considered showing the outfit ideas on a body, as well? Sometimes it helps to see that way, too. Just an idea.

Love your information and inspiration. Thanks!

Megan Kristel

Thursday 21st of April 2022

I know this is going to sound vague, but because everyone's body is different you really have to play with it to see what looks best on you. So tuck, half-tuck or leave out, the most important thing to remember is you want to make sure your leg is long.

And the only body type I can show these outfits on is me, which I do sometimes but I don't think it's helpful because I'm 5'10 so the fit on me is going to be really different than most of our readers. I'd have to work with a range of models and have clothes for each of them and we don't have anywhere near the bandwidth or budget for that.

Gretchen

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Can a woven purse be paired with the Vince Camuto woven sandals?

Deanna

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

I am loving wide leg pants at the moment and am super happy to see these looks! I'm leaving for NYC in three weeks; am going to try these outfits for sure!

Beth Anderson

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Very helpful, thank you! I've been wanting to try out a wide leg pant for awhile, but definitely did not have the confidence. The advice on length and shoe, and how to balance the look is priceless.

Ivana JG

Thursday 25th of June 2020

I love this options! Wide legs are allways tricky to style for me and I like them as nice alternative to skinnies.