How To Wear Wide Leg Pants With Confidence When Petite

woman wearing wide leg cream colored pants, nude shoes, and a cream blouse

Wearing wide leg pants as a petite can be done. When we first started seeing them a few years ago, I didn’t think I could pull them off. A friend of mine assured me that I could. I trusted her and fell in love with wearing wide leg pants. The rest is history and I love to wear them every chance I get.

Now that we have seen them for several seasons it is time to embrace them as a petite. With a few tips, I think I can change your mind about wearing this style of pants as a petite. We just have to keep a few things in mind when we are wearing them so that our look is in scale with our petite frame.

Before we dive into those tips here are a few other posts I have written about petite and petite-friendly fashion that you might like to read.

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link or picture and make a purchase I may receive a commission. Thank you for shopping thru my links.  Beth

brunette woman wearing tan wide leg pants and a white blouse carrying a straw handbag 02

I love wearing a wedge with my wide leg pants in the summer to make my legs appear longer.

Key to Wearing Wide Leg Pants With Confidence

Yes, it took me a few seasons to see if I needed to embrace this fashion trend. Now I am so glad I did. I do like to wear pants year round and honestly wide leg pants are cooler to wear in the summer than regular pant legs. That is my opinion. Guess I feel like there is a little more airflow or something.

I like to let you know a little about my petite frame when talking about subjects like this. I am 5′, an hourglass figure, and usually a size XS or 2. 9 out of 10 times I have to have the waist taken in on all of my pants. It doesn’t matter if they are regular or petite sizing.

Now let’s get to how to find the perfect pair of wide legs pants to add to your wardrobe. Yes, I want you to have a smile on your face when you wear them.

I’m wearing a nude pump. I didn’t want the shoe to be a focal point in the outfit.

Choose the Right Length

Length is always an “issue” for petites. Our goal is to always have that illusion of longer legs. So what length should your wide leg pants be? If you are going for a cropped look like I did in the photo above, then you want them to hit at the slimmest part of the ankle.

If you are wearing your wide leg trousers full length, then you want to make sure that they are to the top of your pants. Almost to the point that your shoes really don’t show much at all. Remember in this scenario that the longer the pant the longer your legs will look.

So now that you know what lengths work well for petite frames, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind.

Watch the Width

Not all wide leg pants are created equal. Some have much wider leg openings than others. Make sure that the width of the leg is in proportion to your body. You don’t want to look as if you are swimming in pant leg material.

Go for the Higher Waist

Designers have returned to higher waist pants for a reason. They flatter a woman’s body. Yes, when you are looking for your dream pair of wide leg pants a high waist will make your legs look longer.

Let’s Shop for Some Wide Leg Pants

Wide leg pants come in so many options. From ultra casual to very dressy. They can come in a variety of fabrics as well. So whether you are looking for a comfortable travel look or a great pair to wear to the office or meetings there is a pant out there.

Casual Pants

Casual wide leg pants work well with sneakers, sandals, a cute tee or even a fun graphic tee. When I think of a great pair of pants to wear when traveling by car or plane, this wide leg pant with an elastic waist is what comes to mind. Also great for those days you are out and about running errands and want to look put together, yet oh so comfortable. Yes to fashionable comfort at its best and the stripe down the leg will help elongate your legs while you are wearing your favorite sneakers that have a little platform action going on.

This is my new favorite wide leg pant crush. The fabric on these pants is amazing. I don’t know how they do it, but these pants look amazing on. They elongate the leg and suck and tuck you in all the right places. I sized down a size and they were pant perfection. The right length and the waist is perfect. I prefer to tuck something more fitted into these pants. I have worn them with sneakers and heeled sandals.

Linen wide leg pants are also a great option to wear in the summer if you don’t like to show your legs with shorts. They will be cool and comfortable so think of them as wearing a pair of casual shorts.

Here are some fun, casual options that are either petite sizing or petite friendly.

Dressier Wide Leg Pants

Wide leg pants work for a dressy/smart casual look, business casual, to business, For this type of pant you are going to lean towards wearing a tucked in blouse and a shorter jacket if needed.

This wide leg pant is a must for women. I have it on in blue above with sneakers, but I also wear this pant with heels. The fabric can be worn 3 seasons here in the south. I don’t think I would wear them in winter (I prefer a heavier fabric when it’s cold out). The great thing about these pants is that they come in two petite lengths “short” and “shorter”. This is a dream come true for a member of the short girl’s club.

What Shoes to Wear with Wide Leg Pants

You can wear sandals, sneakers, or heels. The choice is yours. It is going to depend upon the style and vibe of the pant as to what you choose to wear. Wide leg pants can be very casual to very dressy.

What I will say is that you don’t want to wear too delicate of a shoe with a wide leg pant. It is all about proportion. You don’t want your feet to look very narrow and tiny compared to the bottom of your pant leg.

If you can wear heels, then go for it. They will make your legs look even longer. Another good leg elongating trick is to wear the same color of shoes as your pants or keep it neutral. A neutral or nude shoe is a petite woman’s best friend. Here are some styles of shoes that I would wear with my wide leg pants in a heartbeat.

Shoes to Pair with Casual Wide Leg Pants

For a casual weekend look here’s some shoe inspiration for you.

Shoes To Wear for A Dressier Look

If you can wear heels, then go for it. If you need a lower heel, go for a chunkier heel not a kitten heel for balance.

What Style of Tops to Pair with Them

With wide leg pants you have volume on the bottom so you will want to keep the top half more fitted. You can either do a full tuck or a front half tuck to keep things balanced. Another option if you don’t like tucking is to wear a cropped top.

You want to avoid heavier or bulkier fabrics with your wide leg pants. So think light and airy fabrics. Think vertical stripes and small patterns also work well for the proportion balance.

Why You Should Wear Wide Leg Pants

Ok, let’s take a look at why you should give this style of pant a try now that you have some general styling parameters.

  1. They can make your legs look longer. Always a win for any member of the short girls club.
  2. They are comfortable. Many even have elastic waistbands or partial elastic waistbands which is a bonus.
  3. They are fashionable. It’s a pant trend that I don’t see going away anytime soon.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog. I hope that this helps you find a great pair of wide leg pants that you will look forward to wearing. Remember personal style is just that. Once you find some that fit, experiment with tops and shoes so that you feel great and COMFORTABLE.

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Updated March 2024.

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  1. Where can I find the pants you are wearing on the first photo of How to wear wide leg pants. They appear to be linen and maize color. I love them but the link doesn’t work.

    1. Hi Minnie, sorry about that. If it is the one in the very main photo when you pull up the post. They are these pants I did have them hemmed. If it is the next photo where I’m carrying a wicker handback and wearing a white sleeveless shirt, then those are a few seasons old. Hope that helps.

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