As much as we’ll always adore our slim-cut denim, it’s time for their wide-leg counterparts to take center stage in your wardrobe. From high-waisted and fitted through the hips to low-rise and relaxed, wide-leg jeans are an effortless way to look fresh and polished, no matter what you pair them with. A silk blouse and strappy heels? Yes. An off-the-shoulder sweatshirt and sneakers? Also yes.
Some wide-leg jeans puddle near the floor, ’90s-style, while others are chicly cropped at the ankle. Certain styles are made from sturdy and rigid denim, while others are crafted with a bit of give. There’s no right or wrong wide-leg jean style—choose whatever cut, wash, and composition makes you feel cool, comfortable, and confident.
To save you from endlessly scrolling your favorite retailers, we’ve narrowed down the best wide-leg jeans. They vary in style, price point, and overall vibe, but each makes for a must-have addition to any closet.
Everlane The Way-High Sailor Jean
It’s not easy to earn our badge of the best overall wide-leg jean, but this pair from Everlane checked all the (many!) boxes with their Goldilocks-like factor—not too this or too that. Most importantly, the structured silhouette featuring an ultra-high waist that elongates the leg is flattering on all shapes, sizes, and heights.
They also retain their shape thanks to a makeup of 98% organic cotton, yet feature the tiniest bit of stretch for morning-to-night comfort. At $118, they won’t send your credit card statement into a tizzy, but you can still trust they’re high-quality, so they’ll survive many rounds in the washing machine. The goes-with-everything style can be paired with a button-up and blazer for a sharp look or dressed down with a sweatshirt and sneakers—up to you. Add in three different washes, two inseam lengths, and dozens of positive reviews and you can understand why they’re at the top of our list.
Price at time of publish: $118
Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane | Size Range: 23–33 | Inseam: 27.5 or 29.5 inches | Rise: Not listed | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash cold and tumble dry low
Zara TRF High Rise Wide Leg Jeans
Leave it to Zara to design a budget-friendly pair of wide-leg jeans. If you’re intrigued by wide-leg pants but don’t want to invest serious money in a pair, add these to your online cart. They come in a light, dark, and black wash, so there’s sure to be a colorway for any type of outfit. They’re cut with a slim fit through the high waist and hips that leads to a relaxed leg, all in a stretchy fabric that’s a breeze to wear from your morning meeting and long past your dinner plans. The subtle yet fun features, like the contrasting wash from the knee up and slightly frayed hems, will have you reaching for them day after day too.
Price at time of publish: $50
Material: 87% cotton, 11% polyester, 2% elastane | Size Range: 25–32 | Inseam: Not listed | Rise: Not listed | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash delicate inside-out and hang to dry
Jesse Kamm Sailor Pants
The price of Jesse Kamm pants is no joke, but neither is the brand’s quality, forever style, or versatility. “The Jesse Kamm sailor pants are such a classic jean because they are inspired by actual vintage sailor pants,” says Dahlia Brue, owner of St. Paul, Minnesota-based womenswear boutique Idun. “She took something timeless and versatile, then modernized it.”
The high waist and tailored fit through the hips ensure you’ll feel polished in them, especially since they're made of the highest-quality fine Japanese denim that’s durable wear after wear. (Kamm encourages you to wash them as little as possible). As for what to pair them with, there is truly no going wrong, but Brue suggests styling them with a bodysuit, blazer, or sweater, along with either boots or sneakers. “You feel incredible when you put them on,” Brue says. “While they are an investment piece, you will find yourself reaching for them every day because they are so easy to wear.
Price at time of publish: $450
Material: 100% Japanese denim | Size Range: 0–16 | Inseam: Varies with size | Rise: Not listed | Closure: Button front | Care: Not listed
Best for Petites
Madewell The Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg Jean
Wide-leg jeans can be a gamble for petites. (“Petite” is considered to be anyone measuring 5’4”-and-under.) Will they need to be hemmed? Do they make you look shorter than you already are? Will you feel like you’re in kindergarten, with flashbacks of when your mom would buy you clothes that were too big, hoping you’d grow into them?
That’s not the case with these wide-leg jeans from Madewell. “Perfect” is in the name for a reason. They’re the ideal combination of a high-fitted waist—which will trick the eye into making you look taller—with slouchy wide legs. Best of all, they come in both petite and standard inseam options, so you can save yourself a trip to the tailor. Note: this style runs big, so size down.
Price at time of publish: $148
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: 23–33 | Inseam: 27.5 or 30 inches | Rise: 11.25 inches | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash
Best for Curvy Figures
Good American Good Skate Jeans
Curvy gals, rejoice! We found a pair of wide-leg jeans that’ll comfortably hug every inch of your hips and waist, no matter your size or shape, then effortlessly flare to a casual wide leg. Meet the Good American Good Skate Jeans. The ultra-high rise includes a gap-proof waistband with plenty of stretch, which promises not to lose its shape as the day wears on. “These are the perfect amount of stretch—not too much and not too little, but just right,” says TV stylist Dina Cerchione. “Enough to keep you comfortable all day while still keeping their super flattering shape.”
Price at time of publish: $139–$149
Material: 69% cotton, 30% lyocell, 1% elastane | Size Range: 00–26 | Inseam: 34 inches | Rise: 12 inches | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash cold inside-out and hang to dry
Best for Tall Frames
Ganni Magny High Waist Wide Leg Jeans
If there’s anyone you can trust with creating wide-leg jeans that fit long legs, it’s a Danish brand like Ganni. Since Danes are some of the tallest people in the world, the luxe brand knows how to properly dress miles-long legs. Take these high-waisted wide-leg jeans, for instance, which feature a 31-inch inseam. They’re cut from non-stretch denim and feature a casual faded wash. Since they’re long enough, versatile enough, and cool enough for high-fashion Copenhagen, here’s betting they’ll instantly become a wardrobe staple.
Price at time of publish: $235
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 24–32 | Inseam: 32 or 34 inches | Rise: 12.5 inches | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash and dry flat
Frame Le Palazzo
It’s hard to narrow down what we love most about Frame’s Le Palazzo wide-leg jeans: the fit-and-flare shape, the soft stretch fabric, or the numerous washes they’re available in. How about all of the above? “The fit of the Le Palazzo from Frame is near perfect, and it has a cool girl vibe with a higher rise and a full leg that widens at the bottom,” says Cerchione. Even if your closet is stocked with enough (or perhaps more than enough) denim, there’s still a pair begging to be a part of your pants collection. Whether that’s the army green, faded black, or chocolate brown corduroy is up to you.
“They come in a variety of washes including an off-white denim that is perfect for wearing now with a black sweater and boot and just as good when you tire of the cold and head for a sunny mid-winter vacay,” Cerchione says.
Price at time of publish: $265
Material: 97% organic cotton, 3% elastane | Size Range: 23–34 | Inseam: 34 inches | Rise: 10.75 inches | Closure: Not listed | Care: Machine wash inside-out and hang to dry
Best on Amazon
Levi’s Premium High Loose Jeans
We wholeheartedly believe that no list of the best jeans is complete without a pair from Levi’s. Cerchione agrees: “You can never go wrong with a classic and no denim is more classic than Levi’s.” The fact that you can spare yourself a trip to the mall and instead add them to your Amazon cart alongside laundry detergent and AA batteries? All the better.
In terms of Levi’s wide-leg jeans options, this pair rises to the top for Cerchione (literally)—especially if you’re new to the style. “I love these because they are made from a slightly thinner fabric so they hang really nicely and are super comfortable all day,” she says. Save the thicker, more rigid pairs for once you’re used to wide-leg style.
Price at time of publish: $88
Material: 77% cotton, 23% hemp | Size Range: 23–32 | Inseam: Not listed | Rise: 13.13 inches | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Machine wash
Citizens of Humanity Gaucho High Waist Crop Wide Leg Organic Cotton Jeans
These cropped jeans are both flattering and fresh; with their lived-in look, they’re so casual and cool, though they still boast the ability to be dressed up when needed. They’re soft but made of sturdy non-stretch organic cotton that’ll hold its shape. Since they’re cropped above the ankle, you have more flexibility with your shoe choices too. Wear them with an oversized sweater and sneakers for errand runs, and then with a fitted turtleneck and booties for a dinner out.
Price at time of publish: $298
Material: 100% organic cotton | Size Range: 24–33 | Inseam: 26 inches | Rise: 13 inches | Closure: Button fly | Care: Machine wash and tumble dry
Best for Athletic Figures
Mango High-Waisted Jean Culotte
If you’ve been blessed with thick thighs, you’ll want to consider two aspects of wide-leg jeans before clicking “add to cart.” First, shop for a pair with a relaxed fit from the waist down, giving you a little extra wiggle room in the thighs. Second, take a peek at the material composition. Does it have at least a little stretch in it? This pair from Mango checks both of those boxes. They come in a variety of washes too, including medium blue and off-white, so if they fit perfectly, you can stock up on multiple pairs.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: 1–24 | Inseam: 28 inches | Rise: Not listed | Closure: Zipper and button | Care: Not listed
We love Everlane's Way-High Sailor Jean due to the various colorways, flattering silhouette, and goes-with-anything fit. And to achieve that wide-leg look on a budget, Zara's TRF High Rise Wide Leg Jeans are our top choice.
What to Look for in Wide-Leg Jeans
Wide-leg jeans come in a variety of fabrications, from 100% cotton to other pairs with a touch of elastane for stretch to others that feature cashmere (for softness) and hemp (for sustainability). Pairs with a bit of stretch are more comfortable but can lose their shape over time, while non-stretch jeans retain their structure but can become uncomfortable after, say, an indulgent lunch. “We are also seeing denim’s fun cousin, corduroy, which is great for winter and adding texture to your looks,” says Cerchione.
With so many styles of wide-leg jeans on the market, you can find any finish your closet is missing—whether it's a pale blue wash or the blackest of black denim; a polished pair or a distressed one; or a worn-in soft cotton or a structured pair.
Wide-leg jeans tend to fall into two categories: high-waisted with a slim fit through the waist and hips, or a mid- or low-rise with a slouchy fit. Which you choose—perhaps one of each, if you’re all-in on the trend—is a personal preference. To elongate the look of your legs, opt for high-waisted, which will balance out the bottom-heavy look. If you’re short-waisted or have long legs, consider rocking a lower, looser version.
Like all aspects of fashion, jeans trends come and go. Wide-leg jeans are a mainstay though. Within the classic category, you can mix up the look with more timely trends, like unexpected colors and rinses. “We are also seeing ‘sailor pant’ versions, with buttons on both sides at the hip, and a lot of distressed versions,” says Cerchione.
What are wide-leg jeans?
The name says it all: wide-leg jeans fit loosely in the legs, with a trouser-esque width in the leg. Don’t confuse wide-leg jeans with bell bottoms though; wide-leg jeans are loose throughout the entire leg, while bell bottoms are fitted until below the knee before flaring out. “Today's wide-leg jeans are reminiscent of the baggy jeans from the ‘90s but feel a bit more like a denim trouser because of the fitted waist and full leg from hip to floor,” says Cerchione.
How should wide-leg jeans fit?
Unlike your skinny and straight-leg jeans, wide-leg denim should fit loose—or at least looser—in the thigh. Since there are so many styles within the category, Cerchione recommends trying a few different silhouettes (like fitted with a high waist and one with a looser fit) to discover the best one for you.
To emulate a street-style vibe, Cerchione suggests opting for a pair with a slightly lower rise and casual feel. “If you do go for the slouchy look, you may need to size up to get that celeb-on-a-Starbucks-run attitude,” she says. “Just be sure the fullness of the pants doesn’t overwhelm you, especially if you are petite.”
How do you style wide-leg jeans?
Here’s the good news: there’s no wrong way to style wide-leg jeans. Think of them as you would any other jeans, just with slightly different proportions. That could mean embracing the wideness with an oversized sweater and chunky clogs, or that could mean balancing the wideness with a fitted turtleneck and slim booties. When in doubt, opt for effortless. “Wide-leg denim looks great with a relaxed white button-up and a pair of Converse sneakers. It’s tailored and refined, but not stuffy,” Brue says.
What is the best length for wide-leg jeans?
The best length will vary widely depending on your height, the shoes you plan to pair them with, and the overall vibe you’re going for. It’s worth noting, however, that because of the inherent wideness, they tend to shorten the look of your leg.
“Depending on whether you want to go dressy or casual, you may need to get a couple of pairs in different hem lengths to fulfill all your wide-leg jean look desires,” says Cerchione. For a casual vibe, hem the jeans to puddle length and wear them with sneakers or chunky boots. For an upscale feel, pair them with a pointed-toe heel or bootie and hem the jeans so they hit across the middle front of your foot.
Why Trust Byrdie
Full-time freelance writer Megan McCarty has been writing about the best of the best of fashion and design for over 15 years, and her work can be seen in InStyle, Domino, Architectural Digest, Bustle, and more. She’s a forever fan of wide-leg jeans and, for this piece, she also interviewed two fashion experts.
Jasmine Hyman is a commerce producer and writer covering all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her work can be found in InStyle, People, and more. For this article, she spent hours sifting through the best denim brands and used her shopping expertise as a frequenter of wide-leg jeans to find the best styles.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough wide-leg jeans from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.