It’s been ten years since skinnies and variations on the tapered pant silhouette resurfaced on the runways of fashion week. Bringing back the ‘80s tapered leg was a HUGE change after the ‘90s, which was filled with bootcut, flared, palazzo and wide-leg jeans and trouser silhouettes. Looks like we’ve come full circle because skinnies are extremely rare on the Fall 2014 runways so far. At their most tapered, the pants are fluid straight legs and not sausage-casing skinnies. Now the runway is all about wider pant legs

This is an acceleration of the trend I mentioned in my forecast for Spring 2014 (trend #10). If my hunch is correct, we will see it continue to gather momentum.

There are two main variations of the silhouette: 

  1. Wider all over and down to the hem. Think boot cuts, wide legs and flares. 
  2. Baggy and wide on top, but tapered at the hem. Think baggy and slouchy styles like upscale track pants and harem pants. 

As I watch the shows I pin trends and inspirations along the way as a frame of reference. I love to see how the trends on the runway filter down to retail. Some get there right away, some take a while, some stay fringe and others don’t filter down at all. It’s a fascinating process. Here’s a peek at the pant silhouettes I have pinned recently:

  1. Denim jumpsuit fabness
  2. Gauchos
  3. Forest green man coat with cream wide legs
  4. Tomato column of colour
  5. Wide tapered trousers with oversized coat
  6. Dressy track pants
  7. Oversized ‘90s soft suit
  8. Cropped wide legs with voluminous layering
  9. Culottes
  10. Wide, wide trousers with tailored jacket and oversized topper
  11. Wide on the bottom, fluid on top
  12. Genie pants with straight blazer
  13. Slouchy straight legs
  14. Wide Winter white.
  15. Stunning straight lines and proportions with lots of movement
  16. Floor sweepers with belted retro coat
  17. Magical cuffed culottes
  18. Elegantly sloppy
  19. Cropped, baggy and tapered on the bottom, oversized on top
  20. Bootcuts with wrap coat
  21. Baggy and wide Winter white
  22. Wide, wide plaid
  23. Tapered wide leg jumpsuit
  24. Pleated, casual, wide and tapered with toggles
  25. Roomy denim with oversized topper
  26. Big suit
  27. Bootcuts and colour blocking
  28. Patchwork boyfriends
  29. Baggy patchwork boyfriends
  30. Bootcuts with fluid top and loose topper
  31. Midi dress over bootcuts
  32. Mega wide and tapered at the hem
  33. Genius oversized volume with a little structure
  34. Wide suit with tapered hems
  35. High-waisted bootcuts
  36. Perfect structured slouch with tapered hem scrunch. LOVE. 
  37. Wide legs become pantaloons with ski boots
  38. Big all over
  39. Baggy low rise with inverted pleats
  40. Wide legs with painter’s smock
  41. Baggy, baggy, wide and baggy
  42. Classic
  43. Wide, cropped with wrap jacket
  44. Apricot elegance
  45. Wide and cropped
  46. Layered, wide and cropped
  47. Modern equestrian magic. My favourite.
  48. Oversized classics
  49. Roomy cuffed ankle pants
  50. Wide and elegant

I did have the occasional apoplexy when I saw outfits with cropped wide ankle pants because the silhouette is my poison eye. But I do include them on my board because the look is trending. As for the rest, I welcome wider pant legs. We desperately need an alternative to tight, tight, tight. Of course, many of these catwalk looks are exaggerated, unflattering, and impractical to wear. Rest assured that wider pant leg silhouettes will be streamlined for retail purposes. 

While skinnies are scarce on the catwalks and wider pant legs are all the rage, it’s important to remember that silhouette changes don’t make their way to retail overnight. And even if wide legs do filter down in a big way, that won’t necessarily mean that skinny styles will become unfashionable or dated. Although skinnies did disappear in the ’90s and early noughties, I think their practicality, combined with a fashion era that is more tolerant of variety, will keep them in fashion.

That said, I’m not encouraging my clients to purchase more pairs of body con skinnies. I’m suggesting that they wear skinnies a little looser all over when they purchase a new pair, or opt for a straight leg instead.

Wide Legs at Fashion Week