There are a lot of silly fashion rules that exist for no reason. Don’t wear navy with blue; don’t mix patterns; and, if you’re short, don’t even think about showing up to the wide legged pants party. While I’m by no means a wild child, I like to push the envelope a little bit when it comes to picking out my daily ensembles. If someone tells me I can't wear something, you better believe I'm going to prove them wrong.Whether that means dabbling in blue hair chalk or finding the very best fries before guys T-shirts, I laugh in the face of buttoned-up, outdated fashion rules. Sometimes that leaves me laughing at myself days later, but it also means that every once in a fashion-god-blessed while, I’m on the edge of style glory. I’d like to believe my latest experiment, wide-leg pants, had me soaring into the latter. I’d seen tailored flare jeans— the ones that start safely as skinny jeans and end somewhere in 1975 — and I wanted more than that. I craved voluminous pants that would leave most petite fashion lovers running for the cropped capris section. So I called on J. Crew and its Rayner Wide-Leg Jean in White ($138, jcrew.com).
Though specially sized for petite ladies, the jeans were still a little roomy on my frame. So, I decided to style these wide-leg beauts with the casual, devil-may-care feel of a pair of old boyfriend jeans.
And what balances out that tomboy tune better than a leather accented jacket, simple black T-shirt, and 1970s-style platform heels? Add a colorful clutch (masquerading as a magazine) and an arm party, and you've got one glam-ready look for date night or Happy Hour with friends.The trick for dressing up these wide-leg wonder jeans is to pair them with pieces that don't completely steal the show. Here, we've got one statement clutch, a few bangles, and a colorful jacket, while the rest of the look remains simple.
When office-proofing the pants, I opted for a simple black blazer, cropped striped shirt, and classic set of stacked heels. To keep things from getting too sailor-y, I added a pink watch to pop some extra color back into the outfit.While adding a blazer to most looks will make it work-wearable in my book, I also clicked on a simple gold necklace and chose the black shoes with a matching gold buckle. When in doubt, coordination shows effort.
While the slight bit of belly baring may be a dress code violation if you're based in a more formal working environment, you can switch the cropped style out for another bright patterned (tucked-in) option. Or, you know, save this semi-formal attire for a brunch date with a less judgey outfit atmosphere.
When it came time to dress down the wide-leg pants, I found their extra roominess a little harder to wear with flats. Not one to shy away from the style challenge though, I went full-on Weekend Mode, matching the pants' baggy vibes with an equally breezy cotton T-shirt. Stripes and blue tinted sunnies were the only colors I allowed, not counting a quick swipe of red lipstick.
Flat sandals with minimal decoration kept the attention on my party pants, which I would gladly sport on an afternoon of thrifting or other form of city exploring. Can't you just see these pants cruising a crosswalk Abbey Road-style?
Images: Courtesy Brands; Kara McGrath/Bustle