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How to style wide leg trousers

Top stylist, Michelle Duguid, shares her trouser styling tips to create chic, creative and confident looks.


Wide leg trousers are a versatile addition to any wardrobe. With a timeless appeal that you can enjoy season after season, we love them for their flattering shape, sophisticated style and easy comfort.

We caught up with Michelle Duguid, a stylist who has worked with British Vogue, Elle and Grazia, to get her tips for styling wide leg trousers in ways that’ll help you build chic, creative and confident looks.

Where should the trousers fall on the ankle?

With so many trouser style options these days, it is very easy to get lost when selecting the correct length for you. The perfect length of trousers differs depending on your body shape, what style you are wearing and what shoes you are wearing. A great tip is to take a picture of yourself in different shape trousers with them pinned up or down and you will soon see what works for you.  

A general rule of thumb is that it is very flattering and smart to have a continuous line from trouser to shoe with slim shapes and wider lengths. It can make you look polished, and the cleaner line doesn’t break and shorten or cut proportion. This is a personal choice though and your body shape will decide what works better for you.  

I do want to caveat this “rule” though as I like to tailor slim shapes to be just on or just above the ankle. (If you are thicker in the leg then it’s more flattering to go slightly longer). It feels more natural and fitting to me to show a cool pair of chunky boots or a bright sock peeking out of a brogue in the winter. I also like the look of some skin with a low-cut flat or sandal. 

Wide-legged jeans and trousers are best designed to fall elegantly onto the middle of your foot. Think of where your laces are on a trainer so that your toes are peeping out. The back of your trousers should also be just off the floor, don’t go longer unless you plan to wear heels.  

Beware of taking wide trouser shapes too short, unless they are designed as culottes, as they tend to shorten your leg and who wants that? I like pairing culottes with a sporty white trainer as it feels modern and easy.  

How to layer for colder weather without looking bulky?

While adding a belt may not exactly be reinventing the wheel, it’s a classic and fail-safe way to add shape back into an outfit when you’re wearing layers in the winter. You can try a thin belt over a jumper or cardigan to add a waistline and a hint of shape. Or, don’t be afraid of belting an oversized jumper and wearing it as a dress with a pair of chunky boots.  

Never try to tuck an oversized jumper in completely as it will be way too bulky – instead, opt for the partial tuck slightly off centre. If you have a smaller silhouette on the bottom half, then it will all balance out. 

What silhouette top should I go for? And should I tuck it in or not?

This is all about proportion, proportion, proportion. Slim cut trousers look good with a looser, untucked top because the contrast doesn’t cut you in half and you can get away with the fuller top part.  

On the other hand, if the bottom part of your outfit is fuller i.e flared, loose trousers or a culotte, then you don’t want the bagginess of an untucked top because this will make you look fuller and just too baggy. You can try a partial tuck at the front or side to show the slimmer part of your outfit if it is feeling too shapeless. 

Have you been inspired to try something new? Show us how you’re #WearingSeasalt and share your wide leg looks with us on Instagram and Facebook