Baggy and slouchy trousers started appearing on runway shows in 2008. I remember talking with fashion stylist and author Kendall Farr about the “new soft drapey pant” when I first interviewed her in 2009, and she was as excited about the new silhouette as I was. We both enjoy ’80s inspired fashion and for me in particular, there was once again a trouser style that was my cup of tea. I loved trousers in the ’80s and ’90s, but went off them after that, favouring skirts, frocks and jeans. It’s thanks to the new baggy and slouchy trouser silhouettes that I have fallen in love with non-denim pants all over again.
The new trouser silhouettes are tapered at the hems but loose fitting everywhere else, in both soft and sturdy fabrications. The pictures below provide a good visual of typical styles. Some are pleated, some flat front. Some are cropped, others full length. Some are high rise and some low rise. Some are baggy, which means that the fit is roomy over the thigh, hip and leg area, but the crotch point is still in its normal tailored place. Some styles are baggy AND slouchy, which means that the crotch point has dropped below its “normal” point.
I watched the recent New York Fashion Week, Fall 2013 runway shows online, and I’m currently watching the London shows. Pants are once again very dominant. I’ve pinned my favourite hot off the press runway trouser silhouettes so far if you’re after more visuals.
There is no stopping the force of the baggy and slouchy trouser silhouette on the runway, yet the trend is slow to filter down to retail. These trousers were very, very fringe in 2009 and I immediately posted my thoughts on the style. The look became slightly more popular in 2010, although skinnies and cigarette styles were an easier sell. Slouchies and baggies appeared with sparkle for holiday wear in 2011, which made for a nice change to the LBD. Carlos Miele showed a fun Spanish rendition in 2012 that was completely wearable once the elements were broken down. Wearing baggy or slouchy trousers today with a cropped moto jacket and booties is a fab outfit formula. And we can lengthen cropped versions with booties if desired.
These modern trouser silhouettes are not yet mainstream, and some of them are currently only available at higher price points. You will find less expensive versions at Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, but even so, retail is keeping the look fringe for now, favouring skinny cropped pants as the mainstream silhouette.
Where retail has gone mainstream is with the simpler denim version of the baggy and slouchy trouser. Namely, boyfriend jeans. I wonder whether this will pave the way for their dressier cousins to go mainstream too. I hope so, because we need a larger variety of trouser silhouettes at affordable price points.
I’ve been wearing an assortment of baggy and slouchy trouser silhouettes for three years and feel that I have finally found my pant style. My clientele are also becoming more and more interested in the silhouette after having a generally negative reaction to them at first. As with all styles, you have to find the cut that works for your body type. Pretty pear shaped ladies, I’m especially talking to you! You’d be surprised at how flattering this silhouette can be if you give it a chance and style it in a modern way. The silhouette can flatten curves if that’s your goal. Or it can accentuate the waistline and highlight your curves. Tuck, semi-tuck, faux-tuck or un-tuck the top, add footwear and you are good to go. And did I mention the high comfort factor of this trouser silhouette? Forget jeans and leggings for comfort. Roomy trousers are much more comfortable.
Over to you. What’s your take on baggy and slouchy trouser silhouettes? Will you wear them? Have you even tried them? Feel free to raise potential fit challenges in the comments section and let’s address them.