Wide Leg Pants

Many people leave comments and questions about the straight leg pants I usually wear. They are never leggings or skinny jeans, but they may look like it because I have muscular calves. I wear slim-fitting pants, skirts, and sometimes dresses because that’s what flatters my shape.

When you have straight slim hips and thighs and a flat behind the best silhouette for you, hugs the hip area. A top that softly drapes and covers most of your behind is most flattering. These linen palazzo pants require a short fitted shirt to look balanced. If I wore these pants with a flowing style of top, I would look larger all over, and I would also run the risk of looking frumpy.

I could wear this on one of our ninety-four degree days, but I am not as comfortable in this look as I am in a less fitted top and slim-fitting pants.

Getting the silhouette and proportions right for your size and shape will make a big difference in how happy you are with your clothes.

As is often the case, none of these items are new, so I’ll link to the closest examples available. ShoesBagTopPantsBraceletWatchEarringsRing

I reach for most of these Beautycounter makeup items daily. On this day, I wore Girls’ Night Classic Red here. Color Outline Eye Pencil in black here. Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer in Light here. Radiant All Over Bronzer in Surf here. Tip: I often blend the Bronzer as an eyeshadow on my orbital bone.

Shopping links may provide a small commission for me at no additional cost to you. I use my Sony Alpha a5100 camera’s timer and a tripod to take my photos.

  1. You look amazing,and your dress sense is what I look forward to.though I’m by far more larger than you but still like to copy you.
    Ha ha ha lol

  2. You look beautiful! I am the opposite, small from the waist up, but have more junk in the trunk. I watched your closet videos last night, and my solids are all bottoms, but my tops are mostly patterned:). I would love to see a video of your beautycounter make up regimen

      1. Susan, I just watched your makeup video and love the look. I do have one question though about mascara. You didn’t put mascara on your bottom lashes, I always do but your saying it’s not necessary. Not sure why. Doesn’t it accent the eyes better? I don’t wear eyeliner maybe that would help the eye stand out rather than mascara under the eyes. Love this look I’m going to try it. Thanks! Do my question is why no mascara on the bottom lashes?

  3. You are looking healthier with every post. So pleased to see you improving. This outfit is lovely, but I must say it is not my favorite look on you. I love you in the more fitted pant and a top with sleeves. As I’ve aged I have steered away from being sleeveless. It’s a personal thing. I just don’t like the way my skin looks but I so admire women that can still pull it off. You are one of those lucky ladies. Thank you for continuing to post during this difficult time. You brighten our days.

  4. Hola Susan
    Estoy feliz de verte bien
    Una pregunta
    ¿Usas zapatos o sandalias blancas ?
    Me sorprende ya que usas muchos pantalones blancos
    Gracias por seguir trabajando para nosotras

    1. Hola, no uso zapatos blancos o sandalias que no sean zapatillas de deporte. Mis pies se ven enormes y rosas con sandalias blancas, así que nunca me los pongo.

  5. You may not be as comfortable in this outfit but you look wonderful in it!

    I have similar fitting “enhancements” to consider (flat behind, large chest, muscular calves plus I’m 5’ nothing) so crops are out for me and I don’t wear dresses and rarely do I wear shorts anymore. I love your proportion tips! I just ordered a pair of bright coral pants after seeing one of your posts with a similar coral
    jeans outfit. Can’t wait to try them on!!

    Thank you for your posts and glad you’re feeling better!!!

  6. Thank you for this information. I didn’t consider proportion before, but now I’m anxious to learn more!

  7. My first thought when I saw this picture, was that doesn’t look like what Susan, would normally wear. However I think it looks great on you. Glad you are feeling

  8. Like Sharon previously said, I too have a build opposite of yours, narrower shoulders, large arms and pear shaped. I would avoid these too. They look nice on you as you wore them, but I like your usual
    Look better.
    So who DOES look good in these?

    1. If I had larger hips and thighs and a smaller bust, this look would be more flattering, but the reverse coloring would be better in that case. (Dark on the bottom, light on the top.)

  9. I feel the exact same way as you do about wide pants. I don’t feel as put together and I know it doesn’t look as good on me. Because of my tummy area I like a longer top and can achieve the look I want with straight leg pants. Hope you are feeling better Susan.

  10. Susan, you look pretty, so glad your feeling better.
    Makeup question- do you wear mascara?
    Thank you
    Jennie P.

  11. You look great in this look. I like the proportions on you but what’s important is how you feel in your clothes. Your arms look great and the silhouette is flattering, it looks like you have a waist.

  12. Susan, You always appear lovely. I have a personal question…I am guessing that your slim body is genetic….If, not….How do you keep your upper arms in such good slim shape?

    1. I was in my mid-fifties before I accepted the fact that you can’t outrun your fork. For most of my life, I was a yoyo dieter who might weigh 200 pounds in January, and 140 by the following October. I stopped dieting and changed what I eat. I’ve been able to stay at a healthy weight for about ten years. What and how much we eat makes a significant difference in our health and energy. I am active, cleaning the house, gardening, brisk walks in the morning, and always going up and down the stairs. I try to move all day naturally and avoid sitting still for too long.

  13. Hi Susan. As usual, you look stylish and elegant even in ninety-four-degree heat. I’m thankful that you have recovered and are doing so well. Thank you for the tips you share with us in this wonderful and informative blog.

  14. I love this style on you. The top makes your bust look smaller and the pants also are very flattering. I’m short and wide legged pants do not flatter me at all. You definitely have the proportions exactly right! Thank you for blogging as you are recovering. I can only imagine that some days are a struggle. Kind regards!

    1. You are right! Some days I just want to lay on the sofa and take naps until it is 7 pm so I can go to bed. I’ve tried to stay up until it gets dark each night, but I have yet to do that.

  15. You look wonderful! I thought you didn’t like to show your arms Looks like you’ve been working out!

  16. I have bought wide leg pants in the past and find I never wear them. I prefer skinnies or straight. You look great Susan.

    1. When we cover the most slender part of us, we look larger, which is why I seldom wear pants with wide legs. I look twenty pounds heavier in this post compared to the previous post, but I weigh the same.

      1. Susan, Thank you for sharing this wisdom and illustration via the pictures in this post. Although you look beautiful, you do look larger than in your usual style. The principles you discuss are excellent and apply to just about everyone’s situation. (I have a small chest and waist so I wear close-fitting tops and defined waists, and people comment that I’m thin–with no idea how much I’m hiding under the flowing skirts and pants.) Thank you also for your advocacy and personal stories about healthy plant-based diets and lifestyle. It’s so important to be aware and take care of our bodies and health ourselves, rather than give in to the assumptions that we will get fat and slow with age, and can just take medication (and surgery) to accommodate it.

  17. Susan
    You look radiant and positive after your ordeal

    Are you still in business with the silk scarves

  18. Susan, I think you look absolutely fabulous in that outfit! Your arms look great as well as your shoulders.

  19. Looking healthier there, Sweetie!! Any tips for older women with small bladders who cannot go on long walks????

  20. Susan,
    I just found your blog and I am quite inspired by your style and your discipline. And I am so glad you are feeling better. Every photo is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  21. I love your “signature” look of 3 pieces: skinny bottoms, a camisole and a “jacket.” Can’t be beat. Ladies our age should never be sleeveless. That ship has sailed.

    1. Ladies our age should never make blanket statements, like that! As Susan’s blog emphasizes, we should dress how we feel most comfortable. She looks fabulous showing her toned arms!

  22. Having full hips, a defined waist and a small bust, this is the look I feel most comfortable in and get the most compliments on. Pants that fall straight off the highest point of my butt with flared bottoms to balance out my hips. And a top that emphasizes my waist.

  23. Great to see you looking better. Hope everyone else is staying well (your family Susan & Mr. Mickey). Not sure why you think these pants are not complimentary to you. One outfit I loved on you from the past was at Women, Shoes and Wine. Probably the same pants and a gorgeous tank and jacket.

    I find tight leg pants too hot for summer and forget jeans; just can’t do them. A wide leg is so much cooler for me. So wear what you love and what makes you happy.

    Thank you for blogging even though you are not feeling back to yourself. Hang in!!

    1. I liked that look too. Those were wide-leg cropped pants from Ann Taylor, and I still enjoy wearing them. I do have to get creative when I wear them because I have a thick waistline.

  24. Hello, Susan,
    I hope you’re feeling better! I don’t like showing my upper arms myself. What exercises have you done or do for your upper arms?

  25. I actually like this style of pants but I have slim hips and a flat behind. I have a bigger breast than I would like too so I feel better in looser tops and slimmer pants. i wish I felt comfortable in tee shirts but I usually wear Vee neck, open in the front, linen or silk blouses if I don’t have a third layer.

  26. You look very elegant in this outfit (wide leg slacks). I hope you feel better soon. God bless.

  27. Whatever are we going to do now that changing rooms in shops are closed? It was great when you could just pop in and slip on a jacket or properly try on a pair of trousers or jeans. I live in England. During lockdown I’ve been through my wardrobe and sifted out the items that are too big or unflattering and I now have a pair of trousers for most occasions but what will we do in future when these are too worn? Like you, I am of similar build although I’m only 5′ 2″. Palazzo pants are OK on me as long as they drape softly and aren’t too structured.

  28. I totally agree with you! For my body type, I feel I look better in closely fitted pants and flowing tops. You do, though, look good in the wide pants with fitted top. When I wear wide leg pants though, I tend to get tangled up in them when walking ! Maybe it is because I am in my 70’s.

  29. Love your post. Inspite of knowing this information about wide pants, I have bought some in the past. My body type is not right for them. I wonder if it is worth taking them to a seamstress to make them more straight leg? Some of the wide leg slacks I have are a nice quality. Thank you in advance for your help, and I am so glad you are feeling better.

  30. I actually found Susan’s blog because I realized one day that I needed to update my makeup ( or lack of makeup) routine due to my age. I’m almost 60. I watched Susan’s routine and it helped me immensely. I never wore much makeup to begin with but now that I’m older, I must make the effort. I don’t underline the bottom lid ( except for maybe a little on the outer corner) or add mascara because I need to give my mature face a visual lift. I once had long thick beautiful lashes and now I have hardly any. Plus, It’s difficult to put mascara on my eyes because I need glasses to see but I do add as much as I can on the upper lids to add some color definition and hide my sagging lids. Susan always looks so tastefully put together and lovely- such an inspiration to me every day!

  31. Dear Susan, I liked your look with the wide leg white linen pants! To me, who is much older than you, it’s a more feminine look. The sporty slim leg pants are great with a large top or the look of Audrey Hepburn. But still a more casual look. I stick with slim pants around my house!
    Keep up the good work and I hope you are feeling better each day. Judy W.

  32. Susan, You look nice in the wide leg pants, but you are so much more attractive in the previous day’s post. The difference between the 2 photos clearly illustrates that the straight leg pant and your usual “uniform” are so much more flattering on you. You look so much less stylish and so much older in the wide leg outfit which I’m sure you know. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Looking forward to future posts and wishing you well in your recovery.

  33. I really love to see your palazzo pants. I remember wearing them 40 yrs ago in college. They look lovely on tall slender women. But I am 5 ft 4 in. & a bit over weight now, full hips, & I can’t see how I could pull,off wearing these palazzo pants now.

  34. Glad to see you up and about again – don’t over-do things and hope you feel 100% soon.
    Keep safe
    Regards, Marilyn Lea, Rhydymwyn,Wales UK.

  35. Susan,
    I have a preference too for a certain fit of clothing but I think the white wide leg pants look very flattering on you. What I like about wide leg pants is regardless if you are very thin or carry a few extra pounds the extra flow of fabric is very forgiving of both. They also look cool and airy on these hot humid days.

    Glad you are continuing to feel better.

  36. I love your style could you please leave stores where you can order your styles. I also love your hair style.I can never get a good cut in this small town I live in.I love the look and feel of sleeveless tops but my arms do not look good enough to wear them.I am so glad I fond your siteI don’t want to dress to young looking love the way you look.

  37. You look beautiful and have given me ideas-I told my sister just because we are “older-Im 64 ” doesn’t mean we have to be frumpy!

  38. Hi Susan!
    Im Susan at almost 80! What works for you at over 60 still works for me at 79. All except the heels… my balance isn’t what it used to be. I also love pants and sometimes skirts too!
    Im just now letting my hair go gray/white..it isn’t fun bc gray hair has a different texture… more coarse… I am having a hard time finding products to tame it…Argon oil being the best I’ve found thus far.

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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.