Pants for Sturdy Legs

“Why do you wear jeans so often?” It’s all about the fabric. Denim fabric holds you in, smooths, and is substantial enough to accentuate the shape without showing all the jiggles under it.

The Mandie jeans are by Bandolino. The shirt was from Chico’s last year. The sweater is old. The bag is a couple of years old by Dooney & Bourke. The loafers were by Nine West last year.

The pants are by NYDJ, and they are the Sheri Slim fit. The jacket is old from White House|Black Market. The silk scarf is a few years old. The shoes are by Paul Green.

Pants sometimes hug my knees and calves, but that is what happens when your hips and waist are straight and your lower legs are curvy. I have rarely been able to put on a pair of skinny jeans. The styles I wear most often have straight legs. I tend to look more substantial all over when I wear wide-leg pants, flares, or bootcut pants. The proportion is off when I wear those pants because they need to be worn with a short, close-fitting top. I am much more comfortable NOT showing off my ample bust and thick waist.

These pants are made from lightweight, comfortable crepe knit material, and they have a simple elastic waist. The top is the three-quarter sleeve scoop neck top made from the same crepe material. The denim jacket is by Levi’s. The shoes are by Louise et Cie.

When I find a pair of jeans with a slight flare starting a bit above the knee, I buy them. Most begin to flare below the knee, which won’t do because they are more like bell-bottoms. That would be a bit too much like a costume.

The white ankle pants above are a size 6 in a lightweight cotton twill fabric from Fabrizio Gianni. The top is by Clara Sunwoo from My Fair Lady. The sandals are a few years old from Vince Camuto. Fit, material, and color are the things I take into consideration when buying pants. I hope this post helps you to discover which pants will work best for you.

  1. This column reminds me that everyone has their fit problems! I, too, have sturdy legs (“athletic” they call them now). But that is just the beginning of fit problems! Continued searching and trying on of all potential purchases and a lot of looks in full length mirror are called for now. I am reminded that most people don’t (or won’t) take the time to do this. However, it shows on you that you care to hit that sweet spot and look for great fit from head to toe. Love the looks today. I love Paul Green shoes! I hate to pay their price, but this brand of shoes fits my feet. Some good tips today!

  2. I love jeans for the very same reasons you gave. I think that they can be casual or dressed up with accessories.
    You always look appropriate. I appreciate the detailed explanations that accompanied your photos.

  3. Express legging jeans extreme stretch midrise. I have two pair each in white, blue and gray. Fit better than my Joes and Citizens.
    And price on special cannot be beat.
    They work for me…with the stretch. Best to try on first in store. I buy the short size as I am 5’1″ and they are perfect. I do have skinny legs and they are not tight at all on my calves. So keep that in mind.

  4. I love the Bandolino Mandie jeans as well as the NYDJ style. They are a great fit for me- slim hip, thicker waist, pretty good legs for 62! Our Sam’s Club carries them making them a much better value than the mall. Skinny jeans and leggings work well for me, but just the right top must go with it. I’ll never wear a boot cut jean or any jean with a leg opening wider than 8 inches again. Even an 8-inch leg opening works with a short boot or western boot. Thanks for the great tips. Spring is coming! Any new ideas for the upcoming season?

  5. Thank you so much!! I had a pair of $25 Levi’s altered and it’s my favorite pair of jeans. Skinny jeans look ridiculous on me, so I had the straight leg style tapered. You always look terrific and have inspired me to step my style up a notch!

  6. Susan, You look absolutely stunning in every one of these outfits! Would you mind telling where you get your alterations done locally? Thanks!

  7. Susan, will you please address Spandex in a post. I often buy pants thinking they fit, but after a few hours they fall down. It’s miserable and looks disgusting to constantly be hiking up my pants.

    1. When pants have a lot of stretch to them, I buy them too small. The gals at Chico’s told me years ago, to buy them to fit like a girdle. In an hour, they will be just fine.

  8. Enjoyed this newsletter very much and you look gorgeous in all of these shots. You look especially gorgeous in the Royal Blue top. I love that top. You have given a lot of information in this letter and I love info. Keep up the gorgeous work. Wish I could do something like this. I feel so outside the knowing what to do?

    Thanks for your blog.


  9. I have found I love love love the pants from JJill (they’re a little stretchy). Come in navy, black, khaki and white. They can be worn as dress pants or casual – travel well and never wrinkle and so so comfortable. The material is a little thicker, too, so wrinkles don’t show. They’re a little pricier than I like, but I have found worth every penny. I actually bought two pairs in black.

  10. Why not wear jeans? They are a classic and have thousands of permutations in color, weight, style. They can flatter every body type. They are a youthful look you can enjoy at any age. I think having a wardrobe with no jeans is aging.

  11. I would never have guessed you have a difficult time buying pants that fit you well off the rack. You make it look effortless!

    Thanks for the tips. I have the flip shape which can be challenging too.

  12. I love your website! It is incredible and I love your styles and your taste in clothes. I wish you could help me shop for clothes. I am petite wear 4-6 it is so hard to find clothes that fit properly. I notice you have your slacks tailored. It is so difficult to find tops that fit me. They are always too long for me. All the clothes you wear are classy on you and I like when you share where you found them. Thank you so much!!!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.