Saturday, February 25, 2012

Trousers - Wide or Narrow Leg?

Are you a wide-leg trouser fan, or are narrow legs more your thing?  I've always felt more comfortable in straight or narrow legs, and have never really been a wide-leg-trouser person.  I tried some on once (actually they were pyjamas!) and they looked alright, but I've never owned a pair as they always seemed so grown-up to me!


But there are so many nice inspiring naval style trousers in blogland!  So with the belated realisation that I am grown-up, and aided by the fact that my personal trouser block has long needed redoing, because I have not only grown up but out as well, I took the plunge into Wide Leg Trouserville.


I'm quite happy with the results, and they are very comfortable - the fabric is a relatively heavy but stable knit with good drape - the same fabric as my 1956 All Black Dress.

I have a long waist to hip height, so commercial patterns never fit me.  When I make my own, the front rise looks fine:


Although it looks like I need to shift those L side buttons down a bit lol!  The back rise is good too:


I thought these two side-on photos were worth posting - in the first one I am standing as normal for me, and in the second one I am trying to hold in my tummy and tuck in my bum - look at the affect this has on how the leg hangs:


I thought this was a good example of how things need to be fitted to your natural posture, not your wannabe posture!

My favourite thing about these trousers are the buttons:


They were pilfered from my mother's button box many years ago but I had never found the perfect use for them.  I think I finally have - thanks Mum!


The buttonholes were made using my Greist buttonholer, which jammed on the first buttonhole and left
a few snags, but I made sure the worst was covered up with the button.  I decided to close the pockets in this knit fabric as they curled out slightly.  By doing this the buttonholes didn't need to be cut, so I made them longer to make those pretty satiny stitches more visible.

I'm actually thrilled with my new wide-leg trousers - they are really nice to wear, but I still have to get used to all that fabric around my ankles when I'm walking!  I'm undecided what shoes to wear them with too - I envisage these trousers would look nice with flats but I don't think I'll wear them that casual, so I hemmed them for shoes around 8cm high.

Do you like wide leg trousers, or are you a narrow-leg devotee?  Maybe you switch between both with ease!  Is there a reason you prefer one style to the other - does one flatter your figure more, or is it a personality thing?


71 comments:

  1. oh wow - they are so fabulous - I prefer flared or straight trousers because they balance out my heavy top - otherwise in tapered pants I look like I'm a house on stilts. Burda has a lovely pattern for the sailor look pant you've just made. I think you've just bumped it up on my "must sew" list.

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  2. These are just perfect. I'm just venturing into the world of trousers and perfecting my block, so sticking to slim legs at the moment. But I am very inspired by these and am pinning them to my inspiration board for when I've cracked the block and can start experimenting.

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  3. Love your pants! I am in the unfortunate position of prefering slim trousers but looking better in flared/boot cut ones!

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  4. Those look beautiful! I used to be a wide-leg pants person but have recently switched to narrow-leg pants.

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  5. The pants look great on you, but wide legs look absolutely ridiculous on me. I'm rather short & I wide leg only make me look stout. I find that a tapered leg & waistline that hits me just below the my natural waist is most flattering, so that's what I stick with.

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  6. These look really nice.
    I like wide-legged pants (and love flared pants).

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  7. Those trousers are lovely, and look wonderful on you. I like the sailor-style buttons on them. :-) I'm a straight or wide-leg trouser person myself, just because I find them easier to move around in. Although I only wear trousers probably once every two months, if that.

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  8. I love sailor pants, but I cannot find a pattern that fits on the natural waist. Your pair looks absolutely perfect to me. Just the way I would want them to fit. Smooth as glass! The buttons a great little detail.
    Good point about fitting to your real posture, not your "looking in the mirror" posture!

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  9. Just beautiful! These are perfect for you. The fit is right on. I have heavy legs so I haven't done a wide leg yet but maybe I will try it.

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  10. Great fit on the trousers Sherry they really suit you too! I like both styles of trousers for wearing (or rather I did a few pounds/kgs ago ahem!).

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  11. Lovely trousers, really! And that's coming from a narrow-leg trouser person. :) These fit you amazingly and those buttons are so cute!

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  12. OMG, they look fantastic!!! What a drape, they hang sooo nicely, very flattering. I agree with the shoe height, they look really nice with a heel.

    That is exactly the kind of pant on my wish list: a wide leg that just hangs down from the hip. I don't like myself in narrow/skinny pants, being a pear I'd have to wear a tunic length top or something, but it's hard to get away with it as I'm also petite; it would cut me off at the wrong place. It's funny, I feel the same way about realising that I am actually grown up!

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  13. These fit so perfectly, I'm awed. Lovely job!

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  14. Stunning trousers, they hang perfectly, no horrible wrinkles, and thank you for the side on shot, it is something we all need to remember. I don't think I have tried wide leg trousers and being petite I would have to be careful with the volume, now I need to find the Burda Mary Nanna referred to.

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  15. Wow! Perfect fit! And drape. Wow! The only pants I won't wear are tapered - just awful on women with hips! But overall it depends on the top I plan to wear it with.

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  16. They look stunning on you. What a brilliant job.

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  17. These pants are incredible on you! I have skinny legs so I usually go towards the more tailored fit, but I'd love to share wide leg. Also, those buttons are nice! RL x

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  18. I like the wide leg, but you need to wear heels with them (unless you are skinny). Yours look devine.

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  19. I mostly go for dresses - I always have the feeling that my legs look ultra-short in trousers. I love yours, though! They look very elegant and swishy!

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  20. These look awesome--such a perfect fit and so flattering! Now I want to make some stable knit pants! Because I've quite full-busted and flat-assed/small-hipped (i.e. topheavy) I've always gone for wide legs to "balance" things out. I actually just finished my first pair of proper trousers and they're wide-legged. BUT I keep thinking I should branch out and try a narrow leg.

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  21. I prefer a leg width in between straight and flared but this is due to my figure being hip and thigh heavy so straight leg trousers do nothing for my figure.
    I love your trousers, I am aiming to get my trouser block to fit my new size so may use your trousers as inspiration if that's okay.

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  22. Your pants look lovely as usual. The drape is lovely.

    I prefer a wider leg, although the patterns I call wide leg probably aren't a true wide legged pattern. I just don't like skinny or really straight leg long pants since they make my legs look like chicken drumsticks (I am not too worried about shorts for some reason).

    Love the two posture photos - I seem to have the opposite problem with my posture and I am never sure whether the adjustments I make are the right ones since the wrinkles are different (what I see in the mirror is different to how it photographs on one day to another day). Some days it exasperates me while other days I let it slide.

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  23. Ooh fabulous trousers Sherry - they have everything I love in one go! They're a perfect fit, very flattering indeed, I'm guarantee you'll wear them a lot! Fab buttons too. I sway between narrow and wide legs, but you're right, wide legged strides definitely feel more grown-up! x

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  24. I prefer wide legs or boot cut. Skinny pants make my legs look chubby and short. So I guess it depends on your figure. Those trousers look fab on you

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  25. I *really* love these trousers and you look fabulous in them. I am definitely a wide-legged trousers gal. :)

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  26. A very nice pair of trousers and the side photos are instructive too. As for my preferences, the most important consideration (for me) is close fitting hip and thighs. It may sound weird, but this is the most proportionate on me (short-waist, less than long legs, boobs, but relatively non-wide hips). Wide leg pants tend to overwhelm and make me look blocky, so I have only straight legs (and in the past, flares with slim-cut thighs). I'm thinking about making a pair of capris though. In anything, skirt or pants, a "hip-hugger" fit is more flattering and more comfortable for me than a high waistband.
    ~JenL

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  27. What a fabulous looking pair of trousers! The buttons are the perfect finish. I really like wide legged trousers and think they look flattering on a variety of shapes. Currently I am working on a pair of narrow legged pants. My gut is telling me I won't like them as much, but I do want to have a pair available for certain outfits.

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  28. Your trousers are terrific. The fit, the buttons, the drape of the fabric, and the long, slim line, sigh.
    Wide to straight leg is my style of choice when I need to wear trousers, as these shapes seem slightly less unflattering on me, and are comfortable.

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  29. These are fantastic - you do such an amazing job with fit! The buttons do look perfect too... I tend to wear a mix - straight & narrow, or boot cut, or super wide pants. I have some very fitted leg jeans but don't feel as comfortable in their shape - just feels too revealing!

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  30. I'm typically a straight leg or bootcut (narrow) jeans kind of girl. BUT a few weeks ago I found some killer RTW jeans with wide legs. They are so comfortable, I'm in love. I feel like substantial wedges/platform shoes are the only thing that look good with the wide leg though. they are too overwhelming with a small dainty shoe (at least for me--they cover up my entire foot!). and too long for my flats... still thinking about hemming them and maybe adjusting one of the two pairs to a narrow leg.
    Yours look fabulous!!

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  31. Absolutely stunning Sherry. Perfect fit,the style looks wonderful on you. Oh, if only my legs were 3" longer!
    Is it possible to get that lovely fall at the back with straight trousers? My efforts always 'tuck under' the derriere no matter what I do.

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  32. These look fantastic on you!! I love the fit!! What pattern did you use?
    I love the drape, makes me want to make wide legged pants too!

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  33. I like both. Your trousers are fantastic! I love the sailor style. And your front rise fit is absolutely perfect. I am working on trousers as we speak and am incredibly frustrated. Sigh....

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  34. The fit on your pants look fantastic. I am striving to achieve a fit like yours.

    Marie

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  35. Beautifully refined. I really like.

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  36. I tend to prefer wide leg or bootcut for me, they balance my womanly hips a little. Skinny leg trousers make me look like a leg of mutton ready to be cooked for dinner; not a good look. Love the fit you managed on those trousers; perfect!

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  37. These look very smart, and welcome to the world of wide-legged trousers! Myself, I have examples of all types of trousers and jeans, of all leg widths in my wardrobe. I like to mix it up!

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  38. They look wonderful!

    If I have to wear trousers, I prefer wide leg. My calves are so big that even boot cuts tend to be too small through the calf.

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  39. fantastic, they look and fit perfectly. Now I am really motivated to conquer my 2012 sewing goal, the one and only - make a perfect pair of pants :)

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  40. I definitely have a preference for wide legs - they lengthen shorties like me. I have been looking for exactly this pattern with the buttoned sides. Did you self draft?

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    1. Yes I did make the pattern for these, but Mary Nanna mentioned there is a similar Burda pattern!

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  41. Lovely trousers and well combined with the short top.
    Marieke

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  42. I prefer wide legs, and will not go further than straight. Narrow legs just look horrible on me.
    I do know what you mean by the fabric around the ankles, but I love the feel of it.
    By the way, did you use a pattern for these trousers? I really really do like them

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  43. I love these! I think wide-legs are so chic, and they're my preferred look for summer (bootcut/flared legs for cooler months). I have heavy thighs so tend to avoid slim/narrow legs. I would love to able to make something like this ... One day!

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  44. I usually prefer straight leg to wide leg. Saying that more than often shop bought and commercial patterns are way to wide (as I do have thin legs.

    Your version is gorgeous!

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  45. Gorgeous and perfect fit, they look amazing on you.

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  46. These trousers are great. They fit you really well. I'm wide-legged or straight legged all the way. Narrow trousers make me feel like I'm being chocked at the legs. The only time I can wear narrow trousers is when they are really, really stretchy.

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  47. I'm trying to figure out if we "imprint" on the trousers that are in style when we're in our late teens/early twenties, or if we legitimately gravitate towards the styles that suit us. Maybe a bit of both... anyway, for me the most "comfortable" shape is one fitted through the thigh with a small flare below the knee. Do I like that because it actually looks good on me,or just because that's what was "in" when I was 20? Or just because it's a comparatively easy shape to fit?

    I don't know, but these look great---good for you! Those buttons are amazing, too. And thanks so much for sharing the two side photos---that's so fascinating the difference a minor shift in posture makes! :)

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  48. Those look amazing! I am really interested in how your posture changes the way the pants appear to fit. Thanks for including those two pictures. Given a choice, I will wear wide legged trousers first as I am an hourglass and they hang just right from my hips. Then, straight pants. Then, occasionally, stretchy skinnies with a long top.

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  49. Sherry, these trousers are perfection! So elegant. I love wide-legs and most of my trousers gravitate toward that (with a high waist, even better). It's only been in the last two years that I have finally ventured into the world of narrow or skinny, because I finally figured out how to proportion them with tops and specific shoes. Thanks for the reminder about posture... I always find myself straightening up when fitting a muslin till I realize I'm not going to stay like that.

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  50. I am definitely a narrow or straight leg devotee! I've made wide legged trousers in the past, and been SHOCKED at how short & stumpy I look when I look at the photos. I'm 5'8" and mostly legs, and the wide legged trousers do nothing for me whatsoever! You're very lucky that you can wear these well - for me, I just sew the narrower legs!

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  51. These look so very elegant on you.

    Now we want to know how you draft your trouser block! I am long from hip to waist also, so never know where to make the top of the pants...if they actually make my waist that is a very long crotch indeed, and looks out of proportion. You have nailed it though.

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    1. I drafted it from my personal measurements, because I am long from hip to waist also. These sit on my waist, and the crotch length is long alright!

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  52. very nice and such a great fit!!

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  53. I agree with Katherine--it would be nice to have some tips about drafting a long hip to waist. Your trousers are gorgeous...what a great fit!

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  54. These look so elegant on you. The fit is terrific. I personally, am a big fan of wide legged trousers and always admire them on everyone who wears them. The buttons look perfect against the navy.

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  55. I'm a narrow leg fan, but might reconsider if I could get such a great fit as you did! They look fabulous on you!

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  56. Your pants look great on you. Posture and fitting comparison shots were an eye-opener. One that I will have to remember when fitting my next pair of pants.
    I like straight leg or slightly flared. I have tried wide leg pants before and have found them to be a little too much for my thin legs. When I was young I loved bell bottoms, must be the reason I like flared.

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  57. Beautiful marriage of fabric, fit and pattern Lovely!
    My legs are a crap shape and really should be hidden under a skirt! Believe it or not, skinny suits them best as long as the lower half is tucked into boots. And I have to use a stretch woven or knit fabric otherwise it's impossible to fit my hips (sz 10) and my thighs (sz 18). Yes, I draft my own patterns! Sar's

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  58. I definitely switch between the two, but my all-time favorite trousers were a pair of wool standard issue Navy uniform pants so similar to these. I've always been widest low at my thigh, and they were so flattering and comfy, that I wore them out. Love the posture photos, as I do the same thing! Try to tuck my pelvis like the trainers advise, but it's def not my natural standing state.

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  59. Hi Sherry,
    Your trousers are beautifully fitted and sewn. Did you draft the pattern yourself?

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    1. Thank you! Yes I did make the pattern!

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  60. The fit is absolutely perfect-and so elegant! Any tips for drafting the perfect pants from scratch? What drafting system do you use?

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  61. Hello Sherry,
    Thanks to Wyld Woman for asking the question! I have a Threads magazine article for drafting your own pants. It doesn't look that hard, just measuring and marking the points on graph paper. Please do tell us about your drafting system.
    Gaileen

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  62. You really got an excellent fit on these. And the point you make about posture is quite interesting - it makes sense to fit for how we actually stand.

    For the record, I tend more toward the wide legs; I like the bit of drama they have!

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  63. I'm more comfortable in boot cut and wide leg pants. skinny pants make me feel like an apple on stilts!

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  64. I love either wide or narrow leg trou and currently wear the latter mostly. Don't know why. Have a pair of wide-ies in soft linen in my pile to make up.

    These are lovely lovely pants and suit you down to the ground (no pun intended). Beautifully executed, to my untrained eye. Buttons are perfect.

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  65. Made it look fabulous. Pretty trousers.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I really enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback every time I post!