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How to style wide leg jeans - a guide by unspun (pt. 2)

How do you choose the best kind of wide leg jeans for your personal sense of style? Depends on your vibe. Plus some notes about fit.

Alright. So wide leg pants are a thing. In part 1 we talked about what wide leg waist rise might suit you depending on your body type, and also what top you might wear with which rise. Now onto the vibes. 😎

How do you know what kind of wide leg jeans to wear? It's just another way of asking what your vibe is. "Vibe" is kind of ambiguous, so what we mean is what you feel most comfortable wearing, and how you wish to be seen by others.

In a word, this is the part where you decide the style that befits you. You gotta imagine it to be it.

It’s all about the occasion

What are you wearing your jeans for? Or more precisely, where are you wearing your jeans? To work? Out on the town for a date night? Picking up the kids? Around the house? To your friend's wedding in Wine Country that's so California casual it's extra?

If the clothes make the person, the occasion makes the clothes. The situations in which you imagine wearing a pair of wide leg jeans should largely determine what cut you wind up favoring. Because when you choose a pair based on how often you'll enjoy wearing it, rather than how much you enjoy the idea of wearing it, you'll wear it more often.

Don't believe me? Just ask this bro who inadvertently invented New Age Pirate fashun after ordering a pair of Retro Flares without a plan. 🦜

Fashion as an act of communication: where and how you dress in wide leg jeans imparts a vibe to others only after you imagine yourself wearing that vibe. Our Retro Flare jeans in Organic Light Vintage with a low waist rise.

Preliminaries: exactly what are wide leg jeans?

Of course, wide legs are what make a pair of wide leg jeans, well, what it is. But there's some variation to be had in terms of how wide it is, where it's wide, and how it drapes.

At one extreme end of wideness, you get Jncos. At another end, you somehow get what appear to be little more than traditional straight legs. Maybe all the Millennials who've been squeezed by skinny jeans for years think that's wide…

unspun has four wide leg styles:

Wide Leg: fitted from the waist to the hips, and then as wide as your hips all the way down to the hem

Retro Flare: just like it sounds, sits close on the body from the waist through the thighs, and then flares loudly from the knees down

Baggy Fit: an intentionally loose fit just about about everywhere; tight enough to clasp, more than loose enough to move about in

Everybody Wide Leg: from our collaboration with Pangaia, a gender neutral fit in Pangaia's signature PANhemp denim that's comfortable at the waist through the hips and is wiiide from the thighs down

Choosing your wide leg jeans for your vibe

We know that individuals aren't sizes. And we know your fashion is uniquely yours. (Remember, "Pirate fashun.") So take our vibe breakdown as advisory. And most importantly, have some fun. 🕺

Baggy Fit

Yeah, I mean like, totally. Somewhere on the spectrum that includes Dickies pants that skaters wear, slacks that custodians wear, and those sweatpants you wore for a year, you'll find baggy jeans. Relaxed, irreverent, devil-may-care, bagginess communicates a chillness about your outlook on life, not to mention a certain streetwear savoir faire. As any student near any American college campus anywhere could tell you with a glance.

But it's not just about that. For those who want the feel of a 100% cotton jean, but shudder at the prospect of a non-stretch fabric feeling too inflexible, our Baggy Fit can accommodate: never tight below the waistband, and just tight enough at the waistband to stay in place. The idea is that you can have the look without your waistband being too loose and sagging. Because no one wants their belt to ride up and that weird tension on their thighs.

Coolness in the bag: baggy jeans have attitude that's informal enough to be easy, but tasteful enough to not be slouchy. Our Baggy Fit jeans in Natural with a low waist rise.

Wide Leg

Eye-catching, self-assured, and refined, the Wide Leg is boss. Its straight drape suggests polish in comparison to the punkish crumpled leg of the Baggy Fit, and yet does so without becoming snobbish. That's part of what makes traditional wide legs so versatile: they can be formal enough for a fashion magazine editor's outfit, or as riotously casual as the garb of an Egle Zvirblyte character. It really comes down to what you pair with them – heels or sneakers or loafers, blazers or sweaters or long coats – and there's no lack of inspo online or at a bar in San Francisco on a Friday night.

Because wide legs are so roomy, their versatility extends beyond their appropriateness for an occasion. What we mean is, whether standing for hours at a social event or sitting down in an office chair all day, our Wide Leg is going to be comfortable while looking great, and, you know, while still being 100% cotton. Again, it's like the Baggy Fit, but with a little more form. And for those of you with wide hips and a narrower waist, don't mind the gap. Our custom fit approach means the hips of your jeans won't be so tight that you can't lift your legs, and won't gap at the waistband.

Debonair far and wide: wearing wide leg jeans lets others know you're discerning and comfortable at once. Our Wide Leg jeans in Vintage Black with a mid waist rise.

Everybody Wide Leg

If our Wide Leg jean is polished, our Everybody Wide Leg is sophisticated. The super wide cut at once bespeaks fashion forward sensibility, confidence that comes from wearing something that so wholly departs from its slim antecedents, and an embrace of a cultural, um, perceptual shift. We're coming back to the chill vibes and gender whateverness of baggy jeans here, but with a decidedly raver silhouette mixed with a kind of local book store urbanity (on 24th St. in The Mission, you might say). Don't overthink it though. Even those who lounge at the bookstore wind up looking at TikTok.

That said, the denim from which these jeans are made is something you could nerd out about. The blended organic cotton and hemp denim is one-of-a-kind. Its relative heaviness means that these jeans will require some breaking in and getting used to… But trust us, it's an investment that pays off, because the fabric becomes softer with use without losing its durability, while the color fades slowly over years. In short, if you want a bold wide leg with a drape that doesn't flap, to show off your unflappable attitude, this is the pair of jeans for you.

Wide italicized: wide leg jeans that emphasize the wiiide take the trend of the day and run with it, or rather stroll with it knowingly. Our Pangaia x unspun Wide Leg Tight Fit jeans in Rinse Wash with a high waist rise.

Retro Flare

Roller skates and disco dance floors come to mind. So do high-heeled boots and shopping promenades. And maybe just maybe bare feet and Golden Gate Park during the Summer of Love. 👀 But no matter its connotations, the flare is a statement wherever and whenever it's worn. A quintessential be-seen-in pair of jeans, the silhouette of a flare almost demands to be in public it's so brazen. It confers presence. If the wide leg look is self-assured, the flare look is assertive.

That has everything to do with the flare style's love of contrast. The tightest of wide leg jeans, the flare is close-fitting through the thighs before it expands starting at the knee, allowing your calves to mirror your thighs. If you're fond of how a straight leg jean fits your waist, hips, and thighs, but want something all around wilder, then cue our Retro Flare. Not so much owing to the fabrics we use, but to the way we sculpt the Retro Flare to be true to your curves, these jeans might take a few spins to tease out any tightness. Not necessarily a bad thing though when you're turning heads.

Lighting up the room: like sunshine breaking through clouds, a pair of flare jeans dazzles the scene with its signature shape, and may prompt a double take. Our Retro Flare jeans in Organic Mid Vintage with a mid waist rise.

Your vibe is how you wear it

You're the one who decides which wide leg jeans will match your vibe. We're the ones who make sure those jeans match your figure.

Do you want to fit into a pair of wide leg jeans, or sport a pair that fits you? Yeah: the second is what's up. Our Feminine collection is where it's at.

Don't get us wrong. You can find a best-wide-leg guide or two on the internet, including ones that we're in! Just save those images for the mood board. 😉 And keep it rockin' in the real world.

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How do you choose the best kind of wide leg jeans for your personal sense of style? Depends on your vibe. Plus some notes about fit.

November 2, 2023
Frank Morison
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