For years, the go-to silhouette in women’s jeans has been the skinny leg, which tapers at the ankle. However, the fashion times, they are a-changin’. Lately, women have been turning to wide-leg jeans. Unlike bell-bottoms, which are snug through the knee and then flare out toward the bottom, wide-leg jeans are looser from the hip down. They can either fall straight down or widen slightly at the bottom, but the widening occurs on a straight line from waist to hem. (Imagine the jeans as either the bottom half of a capital A or a capital H.) In that respect, wide-leg jeans are the denim equivalent of palazzo pants–the flowy, wide-leg pants so popular during the spring and summer months.
Figuring out what sweaters to style with wide-leg jeans after years of wearing skinny jeans can seem daunting, but, really, it’s just a question of balance and personal preference. Read on for some suggestions on which sweaters are best to rock with wide-leg jeans.
The simplest way to style a sweater with wide-leg jeans is to choose from women’s cardigans. These versatile sweaters can be worn in several different ways. Layer your cardigan over the top of your choice—T-shirt, tank top, or button-down blouse—and complete the look with a simple neck chain and a pair of platform sneakers for a look that’s both classic and fresh.
You could also opt for a twin set made up of a matching knit shell and cardigan. Of course, you’ll want to add a pearl necklace and earring studs, which is the go-to jewelry combo when wearing a twin set. If your cardigan has snaps or buttons, try skipping the shell and wearing your sweater buttoned up for a deceptively demure look. Swap out the sneakers for ankle booties to up your style further.
If you prefer a longer-length sweater, go for luxury and layer a silk shell with a long cashmere cardigan. Add elegance with some gold chains and choose on-trend footwear such as block-heel mules.
There’s more to cashmere—which is obtained from the undercoat of cashmere goats and then combed, washed, and dyed before being spun—than just cardigans. Cashmere’s softness means that it can be worn directly next to the skin. Tuck a cashmere turtleneck sweater into your pants for a look that’s warm and cozy.
Complement it with a pendant necklace and some dangling earrings. Given that you’re tucking in your sweater make sure to finish off your ensemble with a leather belt and matching square-toe shoes.
One of the most popular sweaters to pair with wide-leg jeans is a cropped sweater. The shorter length of the sweater helps balance the jeans, especially if they are high-waisted, as wide-leg pants often are. The resulting look, which leaves a bit of skin exposed, is simultaneously playful and daring. Carry the look to completion by adding a statement necklace and some bangles.
If you like the idea of a cropped sweater but are not comfortable baring your midriff, add a women’s white blouse underneath your sweater. Keep the sleeves uncuffed, and be sure to leave your shirttails hanging out—otherwise, your shirt is likely to make an unsightly little puff between the bottom of your sweater and the waistband of your pants. Accessorize your outfit with a newsboy cap and high-top sneakers. The result will be a look that is both casual and eclectic.
Crop sweaters are often pullover sweaters, but not all pullovers are crops. Other styles of pullover wool sweaters work as well with wide-leg jeans as they do with other styles of jeans. Try wearing a crewneck or V-neck sweater over a cotton turtleneck for a casual look. To break up the monotony of solid colors, chose a print for either your turtleneck or sweater. For example, pair a Fair Isle-patterned women’s wool sweater with a solid turtleneck in a complementary color for a classic wintertime look.
If it’s summertime, you’ll want to opt for a lighter-weight sweater, such as one made from a cotton knit. For a flattering warm-weather sweater, try a boatneck style. The wider, shoulder-to-shoulder neckline will balance the width of your wide-leg jeans. To keep in line with the season, choose a slightly cropped pant—say, just above your ankles. Then, don a boatneck with horizontal stripes, tie a chiffon or silk scarf jauntily around your neck, and add a beret and white canvas sneakers or ballet flats. The result will be a French-inspired look that is trés chic.
Wide-leg jeans are here to stay, and given denim’s durability, you’ll likely be wearing them for a while. So, celebrate the new style by rocking a sweater from the suggestions above. Whatever style you choose, you’ll look fabulous in your wide-leg jeans.