How To Wear Baggy Pants & Look Stylish

It happens — the trend you’re just not sure about. To some of us, baggy might sound like a synonym for unflattering. Sure, models are strutting baggy and slouchy pants down the runway, but you won’t be able to pull them off walking to class, right? Not necessarily. We’ve put together outfit ideas and tips for styling looser fitting pants (baggy boyfriend jeans, harem pants, wide leg trousers) to flatter your body type.

Boyfriend jeans from Theyskens’ Theory Spring/Summer 2012

Wide leg from Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2012

Harem pants from Jean Paul Gautier Autumn/Winter 2012

What body types can pull off baggy or slouchy pants?
Some girls shy away from looser-fitting pants because of the fear it will make them look wider, but in fact any body type can pull off baggy pants if styled right.

“I honestly believe all types of women can wear a looser fitting type of pant,” says Salvador Camarena, Los Angeles-based wardrobe stylist. “For example, harem pants give you a small waist, emphasize the hip and lengthen your legs with a smaller, skinnier leg. This helps women of any size achieve an hourglass figure.”

When it comes to wide leg trousers, they can be especially flattering for pear-shaped girls. “Wide leg trousers are great if you’re a woman who has wide hips or bigger thighs,” says Claudia Da Ponte, a Vancouver-based fashion stylist. “It’s a totally flattering look.” Avoid cuffing the bottom because it will make you look shorter. If you carry weight in your butt and want to avoid looking bigger in the bottom, stay away from trousers with pockets in the back.

If you want to wear pants with prints, DaPonte advises sticking to smaller prints and solid colors because larger prints will make you look bigger. "Solid colors will lengthen you out more than any print would."

Balance it out
It's important to balance out the bagginess of the pants with a tighter top. "It's all about the proportions of the garments that you put together and they have to balance each other out,” says fashion stylist Amy Lu. “You have to wear something that’s more tailored on top, otherwise you get lost in all of the fabric.”

The right fit
When it comes to wearing slouchy pants, it’s crucial that they fit perfectly, so get them tailored if you must. This is especially important if you are petite. “To ensure you have the right fit when it comes to pants with tons of volume, define the fit by the way the pant fits you on your natural waist,” says Camarena. “By doing this, it will give you all the appropriate measurements to give you that perfect curvy figure.”

When it comes to harem pants, Da Ponte suggests wearing the capri harems because they expose your legs, giving you more length. As for the fit, "the waistband should be hugging you at either your hips or your waist," says Da Ponte. "They should fit loosely through the thigh and then taper toward your ankle."

How to style loose-fitting pants
Blazers add a chicness to any outfit and work well with boyfriend jeans, wide leg trousers and harem pants. The Olsen twins have been known to wear boyfriend blazers with wide pants, but if you want to emphasize your waist, it is best to wear a fitted blazer. “It either has to be petite or super tailored, like a cropped leather jacket or a very tailored blazer,” Lu suggests. “If it’s a shrunken cardigan or shrunken leather jacket or a very tailored piece on top then you can get away with more volume on the bottom.”

It’s also a good idea to slip into some heels. Heels will elongate the legs, which will add length to balance out the width of the baggy or slouchy pants. “Any time you’re wearing anything baggy, you’re going to lose length because you’re widening yourself up,” says Da Ponte. Try chunky heels with harem pants, or platforms for wide leg trousers.

A complementary piece for an outfit with baggy or slouchy pants is a belt. This will show off the waist that you might otherwise lose in the bagginess. It keeps your shape and adds something new to the outfit.

When wearing boyfriend jeans, opt for jewelry and girly accessories. “If you’re gonna do boyfriend jeans, you wanna juxtapose that [by], for example, keeping your other half really feminine,” says DaPonte.

Sarah Casimong is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has written for the Vancouver Observer, Cave Magazine and Urban Pie. She is also the scriptwriter for Beautiful Minds Radio on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 FM, and occasionally conducts interviews for the "personal story" segment of the show.
In her spare time she enjoys British music and television, playing the Mass Effect and Dragon Age video games and getting lost in really good chick lits. You can follow her on twitter: @sarahcasimong

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