The Best Wide-Leg Pants, From $70 to $400
10.26.17

I’m a pants person. I’d choose to wear the same shirt every day over the same pants in a heartbeat. The shelves in my closet tell the same story: stacks and stacks of pants on the left; a pile of similar cotton T-shirts on the right. But contrary to how love operates in other facets of my life, my affection for pants has made me super finicky about them. If a pair doesn’t hit all the right markers — fit, fabric, look, feel — I despair and change immediately. I’m picky.

Wide-leg pants, which I love and intend to wear past their trending expiration date, are especially tough to get right. Perhaps I was spoiled from the start: The first pair I owned were Jesse Kamm’s Sailor Pants, which have since proven to be my favorites, but which cost four hundred American dollars. (!) (They were a gift.) Whenever I wear them, people constantly ask where they’re from and how much they cost and then get disappointed by my answer. That’s why I became hell-bent on finding others that look and feel great but are more affordable.

I love Kamms (pictured here in light blue) because they have a high-enough waist and a long-enough crop, keep their shape over many wears, are made of a thick, structured but comfortable cotton, and fall at a consistent angle away from my body. If you’re in search of a similar style but can’t fork over $399, below are six pairs I’ve found that hit all (or at least some) of those markers, for less.

1. Everlane’s Wide Leg Crop Pant, $70

I bought a pair of these right when they came out and was impressed by their sturdiness. They’re thick and definitely hold their shape like the Kamms. My main complaint is the length: I wish they had a higher waist and a longer crop; the silhouette reads a little too culotte for me. Still, if you’re looking for a solid pair of wide-legs that will hold up but don’t want to spend over $100, these will do the trick. Also, they’re very comfortable and fit true to size (here I’m wearing a 4).

2. Loup’s Dark Indigo Simone Jeans, $165

The Simone’s have a longer crop, which I like, but a slightly shorter waist than I prefer (again). That said, I like how they fall — a little wider than the Kamms — and are a little thinner, which makes for easier movement. The indigo wash and details (oversize pockets and hems) make them feel expensive. One thing to note is they don’t cut as slim along the thigh as others. If you’re okay with/into that extra volume, these are a good pick.

3. Caves’ Lucie Wool Pants, $215

Caves is an Australian brand that I discovered when I saw stylist Danielle Nachmani wearing these same pants. I love that they’re wool (perfect for fall and winter) and their shape is perfect (I wouldn’t change a thing). This is a super nice pair of pants. I think they actually fall better than the Kamms and would continue to after many wears. (After a few wears, the button-fly on Kamm pants can pucker in a way some people find unflattering — these don’t.)

I’d say they were my favorite if not for the slight itchiness of the wool, and the fact that the sizing is a little hard to predict. Here I’m wearing a size AU 8 (supposedly a US 2-4), but they are way too small. The next size up is AU 10 (supposedly a US 8, but which fits like a US 6). If you buy these: SIZE UP, and cross your fingers Caves gets more sizes.

4. Emerson Thorpe’s Ryan Pants, $275

These were my all-time favorites. I’m obsessed with them and would recommend these almost as highly as the Kamms. Their cut is basically identical (down to the protected button closure, waist height, crop length and extra large hem), but the fabric is slightly thinner, which is actually way more comfortable. For these, I’d recommend sizing down, as they stretch out a little bit with wear. That said, they fall so nicely that I like them when they’re fresh or a bit worn-in. (Here I’m wearing them in a 4, but have grown to prefer the 2.)

5. Creatures of Comfort’s Maison Pant, $295

THESE ARE SO FUN. They’re not that much cheaper than the Kamms, but I love how much more special and memorable they are. The huge upturned hems mean you can mess with the length (I prefer longer), and the waist is definitely the most flattering and comfortable of any high waist I’ve worn. These also have a nice and structured feel to them, but are a little more breathable. If you’re game to invest in one pair  and want them to feel really special and worth it, I’d definitely choose these.

6. Delfina Balda Lisso Pant, $325

To be honest, the price of this pair feels a little off the mark for their look and feel, but the color and seam down the front make them feel refreshing and different. I haven’t seen pants like this; they’re definitely outfit-makers. They don’t have the classic wide-leg shape of the others, but that makes them a little more versatile. After this shoot I tried giving them a big cuff to create capris, and they looked really cool with ankle boots. If you already have wide-legs and are looking for a fresh take, these are a good choice.

 


I tried more than are pictured above, including cheaper ones, but these were the ones I felt comfortable recommending. I will say that with a wide-leg cut, because they don’t hug your legs, they’re more reliant on fabric and less reliant on your body shape to make them look good, which means material and structure go a long way. For that reason, I’d suggest spending a little more if you’re debating.

Have more questions re: the above? Ask away. Have a really good pair that’s not here? Please share!

Photos by Edith Young. Wearing Mansur Gavriel shoes throughout.

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  • Senka

    I love wide legged pants, even though they are more of an anomaly than an average clothing item here in Balkans. It’s about showing more, rather than less, and, attracting most basic type of man, rather than repelling here. 🙁 I opt to wear wide legged pants occasionally. Just as I did with culottes. Most of the times I get informed that they are ugly whether I ask people or not. Or asked am I really, really sure I want to wear it. It’s strange, they are available for purchase, but it’s nearly impossible to see them on the street.

    • Haley Nahman

      That’s SO strange! Love that you’re wearing them anyway.

      • Senka

        Of course. I love how they look and fit. But my choice of clothes is one of the reasons I’m still single I guess. 😀

    • Lexie

      I still feel kind of embarrassed about wearing my wideleg pants to school (I am a teacher) because they are still pretty new in terms of trends compared to skinny jeans. I’m doing it though!

      • Senka

        But even from the teacher job standpoint. They are more fashionable, if that’s the right term, but also more comfortable and even modest, if that’s what school enviroinment requires.

      • Engels_Beard

        My students look at me like I’m insane when I wear my wide-leg pants. To be fair though, my students are almost invariably in jeggings or yogapants.

  • Eva Skewes

    I’ve been eyeing the Caves Collect pants for AAAAGES so thank you for giving them a review. I was also incapable of judging the sizing, so am just happy to know that they fit small. If you’re OK giving them, what are your measurements? I love my Kamm pants but I definitely had to buy them to fit the hips and then tailor the waist.

    • Haley Nahman

      Ah I do not know my measurements! But I have the Kamms in small and they fit really well. I think the Caves pants would be perfect for someone who has a slightly bigger waist/hip ratio (I don’t have much of a waist, so I had to squeeeeze the button closed even though they fit through the leg). But still I’d recommend sizing up!

      • Eva Skewes

        Good to know! I originally got my Kamm’s in small but could only button the top button, which is kind of the opposite of you and had to size up to the medium and tailor. Thank god for a needsupply 15% off coupon.

  • Julia

    I’ve always been a jeans person but am so BORED these days. Can’t wait to try the everlane pants!

  • Alexandra

    Sigh…wish there were options for plus-size women. I love this shape and looked on enviously as my straight-size colleagues all bought the Kamm pants one after the other.

    • Haley Nahman

      Hi Alexandra! Totally feel you and will keep my eye out/ask around for this style in brands that carry more sizes. Not sure what size you are but I do know someone who has the Everlane ones in 14 and they look great! Wish they went beyond that though.

  • Abby

    Oooh I have those Everlane pants in my cart and will be buying on payday!

  • Hayley

    I wish all Everlane pant styles came in long inseams. It’s such a drag that none of their pants are long enough for me to have the desired lewk.

    • Haley Nahman

      Totally agree! The pants would be perfect if the waist sat higher and the crop was longer. I’m a broken record but it seems like such an easy fix!

      • Hayley

        Agreed on that. I’m 5’10”, and all of these crop styles are super cute UNTIL I TRY THEM ON and then they’re like, 3 inches too short. Le sigh. Thankfully at least J.Crew does tall inseams on most of their styles, otherwise I would not be able to indulge in crops at all.

        • Kattigans

          Totally agree with you, I’m also 5’10” almost 5’11” and have the same issue with Madewell’s flared crop. I know they do tall inseams on their site but I’d prefer to try on because in store before I buy rather than buy only to return by mail in they don’t work. I also want to know what people think of the everlane BF jeans…do they work for tall girls? My measurements are 5’10” 25/26 waist, and 34″ hips with a booty. I’m slender but have curves in the boob and butt department

          I love some everlane stuff but some of their things are also a miss for me. I kinda pine for the days when they weren’t as well known and culty (kinda like Glossier lol)

          • Hayley

            I think Madewell does free shipping both ways; totally worth trying them on at home!

          • Kattigans

            Omg do they?! How did I not know this (and I shop w/ Madewell a lot!)? I really only shop in store now as to avoid buying this I know I won’t absolutely love. Good to know!

            Have you tried everlane’s jeans?

          • Hayley

            I’ve tried a couple pairs and they never really fit me well (too short and too tight across the butt but too loose elsewhere).

  • Merrynell

    Haley, how tall are you? How would these look on gals 5 feet and shorter? Tried a pair of the Everlane ones and I looked short and stumpy. Womp womp. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93a35e6d6cecc3c2499771ced78a4db3a7e1394c85636ec2c467ed8664b2fc27.jpg

    • Haley Nahman

      LOL

      I am 5’6. I do think the Everlane style does little to elongate the leg (hence my complaints about the rise and the length). I think the Caves could be perfect for a shorter build. They are slimmer in the leg and longer.

    • This is incredible

  • Amelia

    THIS ARTICLE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE TIMELY thank u thank u

  • Molly

    LOVE LOVE LOVE
    Just got a pair of wide legs at Target, and not to brag, but they were like $35 🙂

    • Haley Nahman

      Wow yes

  • Fereshteh-Faith Oftadeh

    I really love those red shoes. Did I miss what those ars? Haley, please let me know!

  • Áine Hegarty

    Those creatures of comfort pants look amazing on you!!!!! — about to investigate now. Also, have done a similar journey re: Kamm pants alternative–still think they’re worth it!

    • Haley Nahman

      They still are the best in the game unfortunately

  • Alexandra Hayes
  • Rachel

    I’m here to give a PSA to hip-ier ladies that the everlane pants are HORRIBLY cut/patterned! I tried the 8s (my regular size and the size that made sense based on the measurements provided on the site) and when they came they looked awful! the pocket is really poorly designed so it creates a bubble of fabric out from your hip creating a really unflattering tuck in at the pocket base. So i sized up to the ten and had the same problem, plus they were too big. It looks like they work for people with less of a boo-tay but I want to warn against the crappy construction of those still pretty expensive pants!

    • Yeah that’s always my issue with these things. I’ve been eyeing the Kamm pants for forever, but It seems like they are designed for people with flat butts. I hope someone makes something similar that works for those of us who are a bit more…endowed.

      • Kristi Ellis

        I have pretty big hips and butt and just got a pair of Kamm pants…they actually fit pretty well! I ordered a size up to accommodate my rear and will get the waist tailored. Did the same thing with the Everlane wide leg pants and they worked for me! Just a thought!

    • Hayley

      I had the same issue. 🙁

    • Haley Nahman

      Ughhhh. Yes I’ve noticed wide-legs are either cut for a big waist/hip ratio or a small waist/hip ratio, so it’s v hit-or-miss depending on which you are.

    • Anna Allen

      I have a 25in waist, 35in hips, and an even bigger butt/thigh region, and somehow, Uniqlo’s wide leg legs fit perfectly in all those spots! They do free hemming onsite too, so you can get whatever length you want. The only bummer is that they stretch out a lot after a day of wearing, so I usually throw them in the dryer after each wear.

    • Andrea Alyse Pillaro

      I wouldn’t call myself hip-y but same with the Everlane pants. I bought the exact pair/color Haley is wearing and wow it was bad. And really upsetting because I love every other item I’ve ever purchased from them. But in the end it worked out bc I used the return credit to buy a pair of their jeans which are so incredibly good and don’t have weird pockets

  • SB

    Where’s the jacket from look 2 from? And the leotard in the first picture? They’re amazing!

    • Haley Nahman

      It’s a turtleneck not a leotard but it’s also Caves Collective! Jacket I am forgetting but will look when I get home

  • dayman

    Loved reading this article even though I DO NOT need more wide leg pants I DO NOT am I convinced yet??

    • spicyearlgrey

      hahahahahhahahhaha feels

    • Haley Nahman

      Hahahah same tho..

  • prairie dogs

    Fun story, I have a 29 inch waist and I wear an XL in Jesse Kamm pants. I’m usually a 6/medium. They were sweet about exchanging though.

    • Haley Nahman

      Ugh letter sizing is so frustrating!

      • prairie dogs

        It was hilarious! I kind of admire them for being so anti-vanity sizing– but it’s also a little wild that my 5’9 150 lb self is maxing out the size range, right?!

  • Abigail Thacher

    I recommend these https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/product/women-high-rise-wide-fit-jeans-403623COL66INS027000.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxvHM8YmP1wIVAo5pCh1ingnGEAQYASABEgKcUvD_BwE from uniqlo in the dark wash. Supremely comfortable and look much more expensive than $30. Uniqlo can be so hit or miss but was pleasantly surprised this fall 🙂

  • Julia Park

    i put this comment/question on office apropos, but i’ll put here so it will be more, well, apropos!

    “question to haley about her kamm pants in slide 4 – do your buttons get stretched and peep out a bit too? i have a pair (size S) that i got at the need supply warehouse sale – for $100!! – and (granted the buttons are a bit off already = why they were on sale) i have to squeeeeeeze the buttons at the top to get them to shut. But if i go any bigger, they’d be rather large! but i feel like i am jamming myself into them. any kamm pant advice? did you get yours altered or let out? can you do that?”

    • Haley Nahman

      Hi! Sorry I missed this comment in apropos! Hmmm, yes my buttons def peep out a bit, but it doesn’t bug me too much. Or rather, I decided to not let it bug me because it seems unavoidable! I don’t necessarily have the problem of squeezing the buttons, but maybe sizing up is the ticket, as I noticed Kamms look pretty roomy/oversized on the models, so maybe they’re meant to be like that?

  • ♡genevieve♡

    i have the everlane pants in white + love them (except, i too wish they were slightly higher in the waist). however i bought the black and i feel like they loosen up tons in the waist throughout the course of the day and give a weird puckering look! such a bummer

  • Rachel Wong

    Thoughts on the Rachel Comey Legion? I’ve been trying to decide whether to invest in those or the Jesse Kamm ones.

    • Patricia

      I love!!!!! my legions! It’s a fairly light denim but such a beautiful pair of pants 🙂 they’re like my security blanket. And so soft!

  • Mary | O Blog da Mary

    Love the Caves navy blue ones! Honestly I wear my wide leg jeans so much I need some other options!

    Mary | O Blog da Mary
    https://oblogdamary.wordpress.com/

  • Claire Adey

    Dying to know where the top in the kamm pants image is from?? fire looks are always Haley!

  • Ashley Cervantes
  • Patricia

    Rachel Comey’s legion!!! The OG of wide pants! I love love LOVE the denim – RC is always so soft and so light and lovely. I also have a Samantha Pleet pair which is a heavier denim but a very cute cut. and Nancy Stella Soto’s amazing cutout jeans – a beautiful piece and actually so versatile but still so unique!!! I LOVE WIDE LEG PANTS:))

    • Haley Nahman

      Peeps love legions! I always felt they were a little too thin, but that might have been the version I tried! Love them on everyone else

      • Patricia

        yeah, i feel that – if you like a thicker denim that holds its shape that’s not the legions. But I love em nonetheless!! Dying for a pair of Kamm pants though because the colors are so good.

  • Lexie

    I have heard from a few influencers that Kamm pants are pretty rough on the crotch! How do the Emerson Thorpe pants compare?

    • Haley Nahman

      I have not noticed that! Emerson def comfier though. Although I’ll say the Emerson’s will def pucker more and shape-shift due to the softer material.

  • Alli

    YOOO imma let you finish but I just got these (VELVET!) wide leg pants from Uniqlo for !!!$15!!! and they are truly the best pants I’ve ever seen, much less owned. Perfect length, high-rise, and fit, even on my weirdly long torso + super short and curvy legs (read: worst possible combo for wide leg pants). The cut and fabric are so flattering and comfy, and surprisingly versatile (I got the pink/burgundy). They go with a tshirt or a fancy blouse, ankle boots or sneakers or heels or flats or socks-n-sandals, and they look super expensive. Oh, and did I mention they have both POCKETS and an elastic waist??? Please go out and buy them immediately and then hmu with pics so we can all become a sisterhood of the velvet pants. (For reference, I’m 5’7″, 160lb, and curvy/athletic and a M fits great) https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/product/women-velour-wide-pants-400195.html

    • Haley Nahman

      I’m genuinely happy for you I love this comment

  • Beatrice

    https://www.freepeople.com/shop/kimmie-pant/

    For all you petites out there! I got these pants in both colors. I am 5’2, usually wear a size 4, and got a size 26 in these. The ultra crop length results in a flattering crop for petite frames. And they have these as well, which are suuuuper high rise wonderfulness. https://www.freepeople.com/shop/dawn-to-dusk-cropped-wide-leg/?category=jeans&color=001

    Last year anthropologie did a full on dupe of the Kamm pants. I hate to support knockoffs but I did buy a pair for 1/6 the cost of a Kamm pair :/ I still feel sort of bad about it but… they’re so good.

    • Haley Nahman

      Good recs!!

  • Ida

    What Brand is that white/creme jacket?

    • Haley Nahman

      need 2 check

  • lulu442

    Someone mentioned these Madewell wide-leg crops. If you don’t mind the crop-iness, they’re a decent option for $49.99 on sale. Excellent reviews, and they’re pretty flattering.
    https://goo.gl/SJEEqu

  • Permanent Bishface

    Pretty much all my pants are wide legged, mostly crops, and I’ve bought quite a few this past year. While I ❤️ most of the styles above (after working retail for most of my life and seeing the markup/being cheap af) I refuse to spend more than $80 for a pair of pants.

    I have bought excellent denim and not denim styles in this same vein on Zara, ASOS, Madewell, and J. Crew. I’ve seen good looking styles on Mango, Topshop, Uniqlo, Cos, Free People (reaaally great styles there now), Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Aritzia, and even The Gap’s sale section. If you wash your clothing on gentle and hang dry the darks, you can make most of these cheaper brand’s offerings last for years.

  • Ai-Ch’ng GB

    Best fashion article ever! I am a wide-legged pant-wearer 100% of the time, and had been buying vintage sailors pants (still with ether names sewn on them) from Rosy. Nice to know I can now get first-hand ones.

  • Hannah Greene

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been eyeing your Kamm pants for the longest time (in a not at all creepy way).

  • Olivia

    Who makes that white t-shirt you’re wearing in the first four photos??! I love!

  • Selena Delgado

    Rachel Comey makes good pants. The problem I have with some of these styles occur when I’m either slightly bloated from a meal or gain a few pounds around the waist, these pants give major camel toe.

  • Emma Kay

    I would recommend Samantha Pleet too for wide legs! I have a pair of soft cord ones from a previous season and they are so comfortable. Did have to get them taken up though (but i’m also pretty short).

  • Merrynell

    Here to report that: Marinell Found the Perfect Pair of Wide-Leg Pants for Ladies 5′ & Under!

    BDG at $69! This fits me perfectly, hits just right above the ankle bone (I’m a quarter short of 5 ft!) and makes the buns look real cute and plump! https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shop/bdg-flood-cut-off-high-rise-ankle-jean?category=jeans-for-women&color=002