I’ve been a fashion editor for many years now, and one of my favourite items of clothing that I always turn to when I want to look put-together is wide-leg trousers. The only problem is I’m 5’2″ (just), and it’s often a difficult balancing act between looking chic and looking swamped. Find the right pair, though, and this pant style works wonders for making you appear taller (if you’re into that) and, I always think, smarter.
It took me a long time to discover the joys of this trend, though. Being on the shorter side meant I avoided them like the plague, ogling from afar at tall girls wearing them in the office or at fashion week. It was only when I was forced into a pair for an event and received some compliments that I became determined to make the trend work for me and my petite frame.
I’m wearing a Jigsaw coat, Arket vest and Mango wide-leg trousers.
Yes, it takes a lot of trying to find the perfect shape (not too flared, not too long, pockets are always a plus), but I learnt that it’s really all in the styling as well. Wide legs look great with trainers, but unless you’re 6 feet, the likelihood is you’ll get soggy hems if you step out in the rain. Heels, high ones, work for an evening look. But of course, we all know our highest heels aren’t a realistic option for long days of meetings or being out and about, especially in London. So I’ve landed on wearing them with heeled ankle boots, which add height and sophistication without the pain—perfect!
My ultimate tips? Try out the petite sections first—anywhere with an option to choose a shorter leg length saves a lot of hassle. M&S and ASOS impress me the most. But don’t let that stop you shopping elsewhere. Zara and Mango trousers are often much too long in the leg for me, but make friends with your local tailor or download the Sojo app, and your options are endless. Our favourite petite influencer Monikh swears by alterations.
Lastly, if you’re shopping online from non-petite collections, don’t be fooled by the length of the trousers on the model. I always look for styles that look slightly cropped on them, which means they’ll hit the floor nicely for me. Take these pink trousers above as an example.
Keep scrolling for some wide-leg-trouser outfit inspiration, and then shop some of the best styles for petite people.
Try chocolate brown as a chic alternative to black.
Go bold with Arket’s green Hopsack trousers, and why not try the matching blazer, too?
Nothing says understated chic better than smart navy trousers.
These will be a great spring option.
Topshop has always done excellent petite clothing. Luckily, you can still find the line on ASOS.
Because these are petite, it’s likely the length will be better to wear with flat shoes like trainers to perfect that slouchy look.
I bought these in summer, as the linen fabric makes them a great option for looking smart in warmer weather. They were so good I went back and bought the cream pair, too.
Nasty Gal also has great petite options.
H&M is easily the best high-street destination for excellent value trousers.
The turn-up is a nice detail on these trousers and means they’ll be easy to take up if needed.
These classic camel trousers have a shorter leg length option.
Don’t shy away from a bright colour. These are just as classic.
You’ll have these for a lifetime.
If you want to be sure your trousers aren’t dragging on the floor, choose a more cropped style like this Frankie Shop pair.
All the Who What Wear editors are talking about how good River Island’s wide-leg trousers are.
The brand has dedicated petite options, too.
These look so expensive on.
This fresh neutral pair should just hit the floor on shorter people.
Up Next: I Tried On Loads of Petite Jeans—Here Are the Pairs I Rate