You guys, I never knew wide leg pants could be a style that would work for petites. I was always a medium rise girl. I feel like the low rise has a tendency to push up the loose skin you’re left with after kids, (not to mention the risk of flashing a plumber’s crack). And high rise always reminded me of those awful mom jeans of the 80’s that I frequently saw adults wear in the 90s and 2000s.
You probably won’t see me in high rise jeans any time soon, but the high-waisted, wide leg pant trend has really grown on me. As a petite person (5’1″), I like to elongate my legs to create the illusion that I’m not such a shorty. The high waisted pant actually does just that – elongates your legs and gives you a defined waist.
Wide Leg Pants
This pattern is the new Samara Pants by Itch to Stitch Designs. Kennis was asking for testers and so many of her designs (pretty much all…let’s be honest) look fantastic on petites. So I knew I had to test these and give my opinion from a petite perspective.
**Please note…these are my personal opinions only and should be taken with a grain of salt. YOU, amazing you: You should wear whatever makes you feel beautiful, confident and happy.**
Petite Tips for Wearing Wide Leg Pants
- Define the waist. Hmm..what to pair with a wide leg pant? Many of the petite testers preferred the look of a flowy blouse or t-shirt tucked in. Others said they liked a cardi over the pant, provided that they wore a cami, tucked in, underneath. My sister-in-law (who works in the fashion industry) recommends wearing a white or brightly colored shirt to bring attention to the face. You can also wear a statement necklace, if that’s your thing.
- To prevent the pant from swallowing you whole…take care that the pant is not too wide. A wide leg pant that looks proportionate on an average height adult (or let’s be honest…a 6 ft tall, super thin model) may be overwhelming on a petite body. If you don’t like the width, you can remove some of the ease in the pant leg on the inseam and outseam. I love the width on the Samara Pants, but I probably wouldn’t go wider on a pair of pants than this.
- Use a fabric with good drape. A rayon challis, rayon twill, crepe or tencel twill, and charmeuse (ahem…listed in recommended fabrics for this pattern) are all good choices. If you choose a stiffer fabric that has more body and less drape, the pant will look wider. Again…it’s all about the look you’re going for. Sarah Connell made a pair of Samaras in linen and I think they are smashing!
- If you are trying to elongate the leg to the fullest potential, a full length wide leg pant (versus a cropped pant) is going to help you achieve that goal. I think cropped wide leg pants are fun, especially with a short boot. But for us petites, it tends to visually cut our legs in half, making us appear to be even shorter. I’ll be the first one to admit, I don’t like to look short. (Even though my husband always says, “But Stephanie, you ARE short!”) I like skirts just above the knee or full length. My muslin for the Samara Pants was a cropped pant and I wasn’t happy with it. I like the full length Samara so much better!
- My last tip is this: Wear your wide leg pant CONFIDENTLY! “Ohhh, YES I’m wearing these pants! I look pretty freaking-tabulous! And these pants are all that and a bag of Fritos, because they don’t restrict my movement and I feel like I’m wearing silky pajama bottoms!” (I know because I wore them to church the other day and I was like, “Did I really dress up or is this cheating?”
I actually got a very nice compliment while wearing them. The person that gave it usually sees me at the playground watching my kid, wearing no makeup, a ponytail and sweatpants…but hey, I’ll take it!
Samara Pants Pattern
So now that I’m given you a peek into my petite style…let’s talk more about this pattern. It’s got a thin waistband that is surprisingly comfortable! There is an invisible zip on the side. **LEFT HANDED TIP: Put your side zippers on the left side of the pant. They are so much easier to zip!!
It’s such an easy pattern to whip up – if you’re quick it’s a 2-3 hour project. If your fabric has a large pattern like mine, PLEASE remember to buy extra fabric for pattern matching! The fabric I used is an absolutely fantastic rayon challis with lycra from Joann Fabrics. I saw this crazy print and I knew they would make a really fun pair of pants. Despite having lycra, the fabric is only slightly stretchy but it didn’t change the ease in the pants so I could go with my recommended size.
Pattern Adjustments Made: standard flat pubis adjustment, flat seat adjustment, low seat adjustment, and lowered the rise. I chopped off 6″ or so off the bottom for my short legs. I also did a faux thin thigh adjustment by removing 3/8″ width to the back leg at the inseam and outseam at the bottom edge of pants and then blended the line into the hip.
I am a person who can’t wear heels. EVER. A small heel, even an athletic shoe that has a heel lift, can cause me knee pain and an inability to walk the next day. So I made sure to hem my pants with flats in mind. I’m wearing my new suede Merrells and they are so comfy!
The Samara Pants are a great addition to your wardrobe – dressy enough to wear to the office, but comfy enough to wear around the house. I now realize my wardrobe was incomplete without wide leg pants – especially a pair as wild as these ones. Get them now while they are on a 20% off release price.