Art of Style

How to wear wide-leg jeans, according to denim expert Annina Mislin

LA-based stylist ANNINA MISLIN shares her top tips on how to wear wide-leg jeans. As told to KITTY GRADY

Annina Mislin wears boyfriend jeans and an oversized blazer, while open sandals add height

No item in your wardrobe works harder than a good pair of jeans. But if you’re after a style with more mileage still, then this season’s roomy cuts – from wide-leg and boyfriend to cocoon shapes – combine comfort and ease with undisputed fashion savvy. Unsure of just how to style these game-changing shapes? We spoke to LA-based stylist, brand consultant and denim expert Annina Mislin, whose own polished aesthetic artfully mixes feminine and tailored pieces with oversized, statement jeans – a penchant she owes to a part-Californian upbringing and a nostalgia for ’90s surf and skatewear. Read on for Mislin’s top tips on how to wear wide-leg jeans now.

Double-down on XL proportions

“You can go down an exaggerated route by matching the proportions of your denim with what you wear on top. Try pairing boyfriend jeans with an oversized blazer or oversized button-up shirt (tucked in or out, as you prefer). Or add a trench with something more form-fitting underneath. If your jeans are a full-length style, add a heeled, open-toe sandal in order to give a little height.”

Experiment with silhouette

“I also like contrasting wider shapes with a slim-fitting top. For cocoon-shaped denim, where it’s wider in the leg and tapers down in the ankle, I would team it with a bodysuit or a slim T-shirt that can be tucked in. You can also try matching the shape of the jeans with the top – for example, pairing them with a balloon-sleeve shirt for a bohemian, Isabel Marant-inspired silhouette.”

When it comes down to it, it’s about what you feel good in and less about the rules
Mislin likes to experiment with silhouettes, layering denim underneath a dress or pairing it with an oversized shirt or trench

Mix it up

“Aside from skinny jeans, which I’ve never really liked, I have a lot of denim in a lot of different styles – I find that, over time, it tends to recycle itself. Right now, for wide-leg styles, I’m into brands such as Khaite, Slvrlake, Goldsign, Totême and The Row – its SS21 collection includes exaggerated proportions that remind me of the way my brother used to dress when he skateboarded!”

Comfort is key

“Now more than ever, we’re well past the idea that ‘my body type can only wear X shape’. There are definitely different comfort levels for everyone. For example, if you have a fuller chest, you might want to show off your waist more – not to say that’s essential! In my opinion, anyone can wear oversized denim with an oversized blazer. When it comes down to it, it’s about what you feel good in and less about the rules.”

White on white

“You can definitely make big, wide-leg denim work for every day. Try going monochromatic in all-white and break up the silhouette by adding a sharp black leather belt. For shoes, I would add an easy flat, like a leather sandal. For jewelry, go for something subtle: simple Repossi rings would look beautiful.”

Dressed-up denim

“For a dressed-up look, pair your wide-leg jeans with a more feminine top tucked in, plus a heeled sandal. Keep accessories to a minimum: a clutch and a piece of statement jewelry, such as a Sophie Buhai necklace or drop pearl earrings, will take it up a notch.”

Make your statement piece sing

“If you’re wearing a statement jean – whether it’s patterned or a crazy wash or hardware – I would keep everything else quite simple and let the jeans speak for themselves. Don’t overwhelm the look with another strong pattern or concept. If you want, you could pick out a hue from a print and match it in a simple T-shirt of the same color.”

Mislin also likes to contrast wider shapes with a slim-fitting top

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