Do or Don’t: Wide-Legged Pants on Petites?

My mom gave me these LOFT pants a while ago (see alterations post) and I haven’t broken them out yet. It’s really too bad because I love the lightweight linen fabric. I’m just a slim/skinny pant kind of girl, because I feel that wide pants make me look…frumpy dumpy.

In Boston, most women commute to work in flats or flip flops, which makes it even harder for me to pull off the wide pant look. Who wants to be seen wading/flopping over their clown pants while boarding the subway?

Blouse: H&M; ruffle top sz 2
Pants: LOFT sz 00P (waist taken in)
Heels: Banana Republic sz 5.5

I wish I took another full-body shot to show the billowing pants, but I was in a rush. What do you guys think about wide pants on petites? 

I think that in the future, I will look for pants with more of a curved boot-cut instead of straight up and down. I saw a pair of wider trouser pants on Ping which I thought looked quite flattering on with heels.

I also wanted to share this new top I picked up a few days ago from H&M.; The color is a pale lime green, which makes skin look nice and tan. It looks even better tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt. It is 100% polyester, but actually drapes nicely like a silky/chiffon blend. Not bad for $19.99!

Unfortunately the top did not fit perfectly right off the rack. As you can see, it is guilty of the typical indicators that a garment is made for regular-height women. The armholes are too big, neckline is too low, plus the bust darts on both sides are an inch below my natural bust. I solved this by stitching in 2 inches on the straps, but didn’t do a perfect job.

If you peer at the photo above, the stitched in part is obvious. Oh well…I’m too lazy to go to the tailor for such a small job!

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  1. I love wide legged pants and have envied tall, lanky women who effortlessly pull off the style. I once bought a pair of dark, wide- legged jeans that were meant to fitted at the hips with a large, beautiful gold and turquoise button from Target. Overall, the pants were supposed to give the wearer an artsy- earthy vibe. (They were a size 5; I learned the next year that I am a size 3 at Target). I hemmed them to fit my short, muscular legs. I had a really hard time giving up these pants, but after a few years of clinging onto them and wishing my legs would elongate or the pants would flatter my gymnast body, I reluctantly passed them on to someone taller.

    Posted 4.2.12 Reply
  2. Rosie wrote:

    I am also a do. I think the key is to never pair wide pants with a wide top, so your outfit is perfect! The pants could be more fitted through the hip for a better fit on you.

    From the photo background, I think I live in your neighborhood. Hi, neighbor! 🙂

    Posted 7.14.10 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I think slimmer pants would be more flattering but I think you could still pull this look off. I love your blouse by the way. You always have so many cute pieces from h&m.; Whenever I go there I can't seem to find anything.

    Posted 7.4.10 Reply
  4. Sabrina- Hi there! I did not size up. I know they recommended it, but for something like a strapless (which I really want to stay up) I didn't feel right going up a whole band size. I got 32A which is a perfect fit. The angela however, I probably should have sized up as it feels truly smaller than the other 32A bras I own. Hope this helps! Don't forget to use the 15% off coupon code : )

    Posted 7.2.10 Reply
  5. Wowzers..thank you everyone for your comments and opinions. I loved reading these as usual. Seems like a minority of you love the look, but most of you agree that there are more flattering cuts out there than these pants. I agree! These pants probably won't come out again unless I get them slimmed at the hips/ thigh or something.

    Posted 7.2.10 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    My first reaction to your photo was "Yikes." Sorry, but it does make you look shorter. Now I know how I look like to others when I wore my one and only black wide leg pants. Got to get that out of my closet 😉

    Posted 7.2.10 Reply
  7. vnikali wrote:

    hey great blog!!
    i really like it
    come check out my blog when u have time:)

    Posted 7.2.10 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    hiiiii, can i ask you a question regarding the TLBC bras please? for sacha, did you take a size up for the band size? I just saw the website and they said that it's better to take a larger band size.

    appreciate if you could answer my qn. thanks!!! 😀


    Posted 7.2.10 Reply
  9. I am Khatu wrote:

    it's a do! I'm only 4"11 and I think they make me look taller. I wear mine with a pair of comfy wedges.

    Posted 7.1.10 Reply
  10. pws wrote:

    Mmm…I'd say pass. Your legs seem shorter in proportion to your torso (at least in this particular outfit) and I feel like the pants don't really give you quite as flattering an effect they would if those proportions were switched. I suppose I'm on the cusp of petite (5'4") and I did find a pair of wide leg trousers that I really liked and ended up keeping. It's not a look I would rock often but I also know I have very long legs for my height and as such I thought the pants worked!

    Posted 7.1.10 Reply
  11. lil_budoy wrote:

    i love this look on u. first of all, i love the necklace. and the pants looks really good.

    Posted 7.1.10 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    The outfit looks great on you, but I agree that wide leg pants is iffy for petites in general. I love BR's 00P Martin Fit pants but find even those to be too wide for my liking. For some reason I just never know what shoes to pair with wide legged pants.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    The outfit looks great on you, but I agree that wide leg pants is iffy for petites in general. I love BR's 00P Martin Fit pants but find even those to be too wide for my liking. For some reason I just never know what shoes to pair with wide legged pants.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  14. a definite don't.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  15. ch3r wrote:

    I love wide leg pants, but I don't think those pants in particular are very flattering on you. The proportions on the pants have to be just right. I also think that people with longer legs in proportion to their upper body can get away with it a little more than those with a longer torso and shorter legs (and I don't mean just petites).

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  16. Vicky wrote:

    I think wide-legged pants are no go for petites. There are so many styles that we can pull off, I wouldn't bother with this one. 🙂 Blouse looks cute on you. I love the color.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  17. Sara wrote:

    I think the difference with the pair Ping had on was that you can see the width of her leg better because the legs are wide but not as wide as yours, which mask your shape a lil more and therefore can make you look smaller. Ping's actually make her look bigger (in a GOOD way) by giving her legs more substance, if that makes sense? The ones you have on up there look like they fit great in the waist but are TOO big on the leg, if that makes sense.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    i like wide leg pants, but it's very hard for petites to pull off. i look at a few important points: high-waisted, not TOO wide, and fit around the buttocks area. in other words, i can just wear regular women's pants that look wide on me! hehe

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  19. stylepint wrote:

    I love wide leg pants, though, I really only have two that I don't wear very often.

    Still, if it was high-waisted, it'd be better than having it sit at your natural waist or even on the hip. The low rise ones tend to be the worst for the petite since it loses the leg lengthening proportions.

    Btw, I've done that same alterations to several of my tops…but I wouldn't do the alterations myself if it was a silk top. It doesn't look so noticeable if the extra flap was cut or sewn down.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  20. I'm not a fan of wide leg pants in general, petite or not. That being said, these don't look awful, but I think you look so much better in more fitted proportions. When there are so many better options that look fabulous on you, these pale in comparison.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  21. BTW, Glad to know we are close. I'm in the suburban area. Any suggestion about the dress I post today?

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  22. I think you look gorgeous with pants. Love the blouse! very much my cup of tea. But I do agree with you it doesn't go with flats. Maybe go to work with one of you highest heels once in a while? 🙂

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  23. I have a pair of petite wide leg pants that I got from Banana Republic a season or two ago. I have two pairs actually, and they are very flattering. When I start working again in the late fall, I will post pictures of work outfits.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  24. sophia wrote:

    Hmmm.. honestly, if you're on the fence about an article of clothing, why force it? It's like people who don't like beer, but keep drinking it in the hopes that they'll acquire a taste for it? LOL. Buuuut, if these pants are a fashion item that you really love and have always wanted to rock, then I think you should hunt down a pair that suits your body type.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  25. Ashley wrote:

    Agh, you're so pretty! I hate gaping arm-holes, it's such a problem! I like how you look in the wide-legged pants, but I hate how I look in them…maybe it's just because you are used to seeing yourself in skinny pants?

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  26. Nelah wrote:

    It is nice to see you experimenting with different shape of pants. I like the color and I think it would also look good with white shirt. I do agree with some other ladies that it would be even more flattering if they fit better in the waist, hip and thighs areas. Probably fix the lenght of the pants a bit more.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  27. kerry wrote:

    I am not a fan of wide leg pants – I think if you are tall, they work, but otherwise, they just look too big. I would be more likely wear pants that are fitted at the hip/thigh, and just continue straight down from the knee, essentially a boot cut. Also, I think petites have to be careful with pants in heavy/textured fabrics. Lighter fabrics, or fabrics with less texture or pattern look better, IMO.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  28. PetiteXXS wrote:

    I also wondered if that was an Ann Taylor top when I first saw it in your video. Good find from H&M;! I sometimes take straps up too on my own, but don't really know what to do with the "overhang"… it's pretty noticeable, especially when the fabric is thick.

    I love the color and texture of the pants, but I think because it's a low-rise, it shortens your leg line and lengthens your torso when you tuck tops in. Have you tried it with tops untucked but belted at the waist?

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  29. I think wide-legged pants don't look as flattering as some of the other pants on you. They don't do a good job of showing your figure. BTW I love the top. I tried it on the other day at H&M; but didn't end up getting it since it was big on me too (even with size 2)

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  30. Cindy wrote:

    I think it's a do. It's not bad at all. They do look baggy in terms of them being wide-legged pants, just the concept of wide-legged, that's all.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  31. kali wrote:

    I think wide-legged pants are wonderful. I've always looked for the "perfect" pair but usually they look too baggy on me because they're too wide and long (I really should look into seeing a tailor.) I definitely think that petites can pull of wide-legged pants -I think a booty is needed though. The pants would look a bit odd over a totally flat butt.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  32. nicole wrote:

    I love the colour of the pants and how you styled them, but I think that while it can be tough to wear wide-legged pants as a petite, it's not impossible. I find that when the pants are fitted in the waist, hips, butt and a little bit in the thighs, the rest of the leg can be wide and it won't look too baggy. Also, the width of the "wide leg" can't be too wide either. It's tough because I doubt that most companies take petite sizing into consideration when they design/manufacture wide-legged dress pants. However, that's where petite-friendly designers and brands come in! Great outfit though, you look very sophisticated!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  33. Wow I loved your last few posts with the new twist on the BR outfits!

    I personally isn't into the whole wide legged look. I think it makes petites look chunkier. Coincidentally, I own the same pair of pants as yours in black! It's been sitting in the back of my closet for the longest time. Now after seeing your post, I might give it another shot!

    Also, thanks for the tip about the white tanks. I'm gonna hit up h&m; tomorrow! Haha.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  34. Wide pants are great. They make the butt more shapely, I think. This pair seems a little big on you. It's definitely very nice on you, but if it were a little more fitted on the thigh part, it might not feel so frumpy dumpy :p

    I love the gorgeous color on it though. The top is so pretty. What a great price!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  35. Kate Gene wrote:

    I love loose pants, but prefer them a bit more fitted in the thigh.

    Seriously, though… I don't think you can ever go wrong. You're outfits are always polished and the epitome of class. I jokingly told my hubby that I need to raid your closet. That top is so pretty. I'm glad you were able to alter it! (I hate taking things in to be altered. I have a pair of jeans in my closet that are like, seven years old that I need to get hemmed. LOL!)

    Great post!


    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  36. I'm not a big fan of wide leg pants or pants in general..LOL But you certainly always seem to be able to pull it off!!!

    LOVE the top- must find it!!!!! Reminds me of Ann Taylor 🙂

    And THANK YOU THANK YOU for helping me on the snagging the screen on my Mac-you are a GENUIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  37. it's a definite DO! i love wide pants! i agree with the comment above, if they are proportioned correctly then the look works on petities. I love higher waisted wide leg pants on petites b/c it gives the illusion of a longer silhouette:)

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  38. DarlingV wrote:

    I love the blouse! I always thought super wide pants or even flare jeans made petite women look more short lol.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  39. Ping wrote:

    is the the same blouse you wore on the video? i was going to ask you about it. it's a really pretty color and it does make you look tan. i was just on the VS site ordering bikinis and i thought about ordering some bright colors to make my pale pasty skin look more tan, but of course i opted for my usual black and white…lol.

    i agree with angie. your legs are too skinny for these pants. you have great legs and i'd definitely take adv and show them off.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  40. elleandish wrote:

    Hi Jean :}

    I think if the waist were higher on those pants then they'd look great! I have a couple of pairs of wide leg, high waisted Seven's and I love hiding my wedges under the fabric and they make my legs look miles longer 🙂

    The next time you have a major tailoring job maybe bring the top along as well… it would probably be a cheap fix 😀 I had to shorten some straps off a silk MJ top once and it wasn't too bad.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  41. Angie wrote:

    great fix-up of that pretty top 🙂 yeah .. i think the wide legged pants don't look as good on you. your legs are really petite too and skinny while ping's (and mine) are thicker at thighs and taper down, which probably allows wide legged pants to balance things out.

    you look great in skinnies. flaunt that!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  42. snowjulie wrote:

    I've wondered this myself having been a wide-leg pants fan last time they were in style 😉

    But after seeing the picture, I'd say pass. They just don't seem to proportion your body as flattering as they should. I prefer the boot-cut myself.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  43. MizzJ wrote:

    Hmm I have seen people like Rachel Bilson rock wide pants, and I do think you proportioned them correctly in this outfit, but personally I'm not a fan of this look. It's just too easy to go wrong with it.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  44. April wrote:

    You look great! I love the necklace you're wearing! You are so classy! I think everyone needs a role model like you–classy and pretty!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  45. Anh wrote:

    I agree with you – something with a little bit more curve to it would be much more flattering for your petite body. And I actually like the tank top pre-alterations!! You look lovely as always!

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply
  46. Pants – DO! They look absolutely stunning on you! Especially because you are petite. I would also wear them with a tight top next time. Love the color too. LOL. I guess you can say that I like your mom's pants.

    Posted 6.30.10 Reply

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