IN DEFENSE OF ALL WIDE-LEG PANTS, ALL THE TIME
an essay by Olivia Fleming
I remember the first time my ankles could finally breathe.
I had spent the better part of a decade wearing nothing but skinny jeans, the kind of denim that left you with a permanent indent running down your leg. But the summer of 2014 changed all that.
A friend had purchased a pair of vintage wide-leg pants off Instagram for herself but decided they’d look better on me. A tight-pants devotee for life, I humored her, promising I’d send them back if they didn’t fit. When they arrived several days later, I held them up curiously, like a foreign specimen that required inspection. I think I may have even laughed, certain that my mom used to wear pants like this. (“Mom jeans” were yet to make it back into fashion’s collective conscious at that point.)
I tried them on, zipping them up carefully over the white T-shirt I had on that day. They were high waisted and surprisingly hugged my hips and butt in the same flattering way my tight jeans did, but mid-thigh down hung with a loose ease. As I checked myself out in the mirror, turning this way and that to survey the pants from every angle, I was impressed by how well they retained that coveted sense of put-together elegance—the kind of effortless polish every woman strives for when getting dressed in the morning. They were growing on me. And finally, my legs felt free.
These days, I rotate between a wide-leg pant collection in an equally wide style spectrum: blue denim, black denim, white denim, linen, cotton, wool, printed, checkered, you name it, I have it. To be honest, I haven’t touched a pair of skinny jeans since.
Ready for the freeing feeling of wide-legs? Shop our new Emmett Pants (pictured here on Olivia) now.