How to Wear Baggy Jeans

Stop, drop and remove cuff


Here’s a thought: every time you get dressed, you are moonlighting as a religious figure, tenured to officiate marriage.

I’ll take this a step further and say you are even more powerful than the aforementioned alliance enabler. How? Because you don’t just manage the details that confirm the betrothal, you pick the pieces that make it possible. For one dresser that might mean perfectly aligned shades of black served to counterbalance a pair of white shoes. For another it could mean 150 different mutations of 150 different colors worn across as many garments as there are cows in Ohio.

For me, it means contradictions. And lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to apply the basic tenets of these contradictions (e.g. satin shoes with ripped jeans; red lipstick with fitness wear; unwashed, unbrushed hair with a black-tie gown) to baggy jeans, which in the last three months I have pledged allegiance to in a capacity so definitive, I’m concerned about the future for the arsenal of culottes I have built in the past two years. Cause of shift? Likely the intersection at which the 70s and 90s met and mated to create a new progeny of style called 2015.

A good place to start styling your baggy pants (which, by the way could totally come from the leftover pile your brother didn’t take when he moved out of your parents home) is by the foot with a shoe that is as dainty as the pants are clumsy.

Cue the shown pair of elastic ballet shoes, like the ones Céline popularized but Maryam Nassir Zadeh pioneered, as worn by Esther. In wearing a similar pair, you offset the innate bagginess of the pants with a proposition that posits you may have danced ballet in the life you lived before you became Missy Elliott’s protégé.

And showing the world that you’re the protégé of the only woman who has heretofore been able to literally make it rain can be cumbersome, so you will want to approximate the same experience across your chest, where instead of attempting shielding, you might want to consider…reveal-d-ing. Keep it light — lighter than those aspartame-filled Dannon yogurts. Then declare yourself ready to unfold at the hand of the world. The people will criticize you but remain confident in your knowing that it’s just because they don’t get it yet. They probably haven’t been ordained.

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  • Milda

    Esther, you look amazing! I don’t know if it’s the tan or exposed midriff or both but you look sexy and cool and carefree at the same time. I think this is what the new “skinny jeans, drapey tee, ankle boots, leather jacket” will evolve to be over the next few years.

  • Stephanie

    To me the epitome of the crop top with baggy jeans look was Joey Lauren Adams circa Chasing Amy. Although given it was the 90’s I think her footwear was chunky Doc Marten-esque instead of the ballet flats shown here. Wish I could find a picture but my quick google search was not fruitful…

  • Nala

    i love these inspirations. the jeans suit esther soo well, she looks gorgeous (as always). she is so so cute.

    esther, it says you’re a freelance writer in your mr profile, and i am just curious how do you have the money for an almost 500€ top? i am a freelance writer in nyc as well, and i am happy for you to be able to indulge lika that. but i was wondering if brands lent you clothes to wear on here, or if it is your own personal wardrobe. anyway, i love you!

    • Esther Levy

      I actually work full time for MR! Gotta remember to change that bio:) Anyhooha I’m all for the occasional indulgence….<3

      • Nala

        happy you’re at mr! i seriously love seeing you on here (i’d love to see you in a video, see how you talk etc. wow that sounds so creepy.) and i am totally for an indulgence, a little bit too much lately 🙂

        • Leandra Medine

          her voice is very erotic.

          • Kenns

            Leandra-do a Manrepeller Reality video of a Day in the Life at the MR office! It would be such a blast to see/listen to all of you in the process of creating content for our reading pleasure!

  • dustUP

    I’ve just made identical top for fun (took 5 stitches and no money), BUT, it’s Esther’s 20’s and that gorgeous tan that make it work, so, it’s my bad. I’ll try baggy long jeans and dainty mid heels tomorrow and if it doesn’t work,I will have to blame Esther.

  • Esther looks so damn cool…as always. This makes me feel good about stealing my mom’s old baggy jeans from the 80s & wearing them all day.
    P.S. your hair <3

  • parkzark

    I could eat off those abs.

    • Milda

      Okay, good, I’m not the only one…

      • Esther Levy


  • pm.

    Those jeans look so comfortable they make me want to weep with joy.

  • Aires Nuevos

    super !!!
    like a lot this pants and the ballerinas with midi heel !!
    super and congrats

  • HOW are you so tanned Esther??? That isn’t even like “oh I took a short Spring break trip.” It looks like you’ve been living under the sun for 5 years :(((((( all the envy!

    • Esther Levy

      It’s my Middle Eastern roots commingling with the sun!

      • well you look hot

        • ps. not hitting on you

          well a bit.

  • esther you look so good!! that outfit is amazingg!

  • mack nielson

    Hey MR readers + writers, anyone know where can I get a “for less” version of these shoes? I’ve been stalking these for months since I saw them in a boutique, and it hurts to see them here and not on my feet. Anyone have a suggestion? P.S. Esther– you look adorable. :+)

    • Leandra Medine

      the ones photographed are Maryam Nassir Zadeh and though not cheap def. better than the Celine version. I’d also recommend peeking through the ballet flat tab on Yoox, which tends to have similar styles sprinkled through out. And not for nothing, do you know that brand Arche? Maybe take a look there too!

  • Elly

    Omg, shoes

  • Samantha s

    I’m in love with this concept! thrilled about transitioning from yard work to evening with just a change of shoe (I mean that non sarcastically). As a less lean, less tan person en moment, I am musing on what other top shapes would work with this…

  • Idn Joyment

    wow… this is really helpful

  • Looks great and comfy!

  • She looks so cool… I love her top and the way the back is opened:)


  • Alice

    smart casual outfit 🙂

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