My quest to dress more French-like took a turn this weekend when I finally bought into the wide-leg trouser trend. I don’t buy trousers often because, most of the time, I find them to be too tight across the bum and hips but too loose around the waist. However, after months of admiring the wide-leg trouser trend from afar, I finally found a pair that seemed to fit the bill. The trouble was, when they arrived, I had no idea how to style them.
The knee boots I currently live in made no impact, disappearing under the trouser leg and becoming obsolete. Although I wasn’t ready to give up just yet, this stumbling block was enough to make me question my purchase. So, as I do in times of sartorial need, I turned to some of my favourite French women to gain insight into the rules they follow when assembling outfits around the wide-leg trouser trend. And of course, they reassuringly served up a plethora of inspiration that I can’t wait to try.
Considering how tricky wide-leg trousers can be to style, I thought I’d share some of the best looks with you so that you, too, can embrace the trend with confidence (not to mention Parisian flair). Scroll on to see them and to shop my top picks to re-create each outfit.
Style Notes: One of the main problems I encountered when styling my wide-leg trousers was that I didn’t think to embrace them casually. This, however, is how French women prefer to style theirs—often with trainers and casual accessories, such as baseball caps, which give the polished staple a whole new aesthetic.
Navy coats are just as versatile as their camel counterparts.
I know so many editors who rave about this specific pair of trousers.
Converse trainers never go out of style.
Style Notes: I love the fact that looks made up of black and white clothes are trending right now, mainly because it’s a colour combination that never fails to look premium. It’s particularly useful, then, when it comes to styles you’re tentative about—in this case, the wide-leg trouser trend.
This ’90s cover-up is a fashion-person favourite.
A perfect layering piece.
Pleat-front trousers create the most flattering silhouette.
Square toes are big in the 2023 shoe season.
Style Notes: Personally, I’ve never really embraced the slouched-clothes look. I’m curvy and typically wear silhouettes that nip in at the waist. But it’s not lost on me just how chic they can be, so I’ll be taking a leaf out of Aïda’s book by wearing my wide-leg trousers with some oversized outerwear—this Jigsaw trench being the perfect accompaniment.
Another trench coat to add to the wish list.
Not all sweatshirts are created equal. This one is elite.
Reiss is serving up some of the best wide-leg trousers on the high street.
These will look just as chic with dresses as they do wide-leg trousers.
Style Notes: If you’ve read any of Who What Wear’s stories analysing French style in the past, then you’ll know the knitted cardigan is an integral part of the French woman uniform. It may not seem like the most obvious choice for pairing with wide-leg trousers, but as Anne-Victoire proves, it works.
Sézane provides a fast track to the French aesthetic.
A sleek take on typical shoulder bags.
I’m tempted to snap these up just in time for winter.
Such a bargain!
Style Notes: When I’m outfit-prepping for a night out, it’s all too easy to default to dresses and skirts. In the mood for a change for my next after-dark outing, I’m prioritising wide-leg trousers, which I’ve noticed French women often reach for when they’re heading out for dinner and/or drinks. A pair like Léna’s will keep things suitably glam.
Herringbone blazers always look so premium.
Instant je ne sais quoi.
Why not opt for velvet during party season.
The style of heel everyone wants this season.
Style Notes: One of the styling tricks most favoured by French women has to be wearing one colour from top to toe. Here, by sticking to a palette of camels and browns, Julia’s outfit looks expensive. Finished with white trainers and a crossbody bag, this ensemble perfectly surmises the effortless aesthetic French women are largely known for.
Toteme pieces are beautifully refined.
A jumper you’ll wear year after year.
The cream stitching makes accessories feel so sophisticated.
The high waistband on these trousers is so flattering.
You can’t go wrong with fashion’s favourite sneaks.