Meet drapey pants (left), track pants (center), and cropped wide-leg pants (right). Read on to learn how to wear them best.
To buy, from left: Lafayette 148 NY silver silk drapey pants, $398, lafayette148ny.com. H&M top. Melanie Auld ring. Kate Spade pumps. Elie Tahari charcoal flannel track pants, $248, elietahari.com for info. Quinn top. Ann Taylor heels. Tommy Hilfiger plaid cropped pants, $169, 888-866-6948. W118 by Walter Baker top. Nine West pumps.
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Best for: Anyone. In fabrics like silk and rayon, this cut should hang fluidly. If the pleats pouf at the hips, try a flat-front style or you’ll look wider. Petite? Opt for tapered legs (not fuller ones, which can overwhelm), says Monica Barnett, the author of the style guide Without Saying a Word ($26, amazon.com).
How to Wear Them
Pair this silhouette with a top that hits near the waistband. Look for pieces that are structured or fitted. “If you choose a blousy top, tuck it in so you can see your waist,” recommends Rachel Wirkus, a stylist based in Los Angeles and New York City. Heels are the ideal shoes to lengthen and slim the body.
To buy: H&M rayon pants, $60, hm.com. By Malene Birger blouse. Nocturne necklace. Lauren Merkin bag. Aerin heels.
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Try Them With a Black Crop Top
Because this wide-leg pair sits high on the waist, a shorter shirt will show off your middle and balance the flowiness of the legs.
To buy: Diane von Furstenberg pants, $398, dvf.com.
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Try Them With a Boxy Cropped Jacket and a Shell
The satin waistband gives these pants a tuxedo vibe. Go elegant with pumps or rocker-style with ankle boots.
Best for: Almost everyone. The drawstring waist creates an easy fit. (But if you’re bottom-heavy, this dressy take on sweats may look frumpy.) Cinched cuffs adjust to any length, at the ankle one day and well above it the next.
How to Wear Them
Track pants aren’t strictly for downtime. Glam them up with sexy heels and an embellished blouse for a date night. Loose tops are okay, as long as they’re not sloppy. “Even a tuck in the front can add shape to your figure,” says Wirkus.
To buy: Simply Vera Vera Wang pants, $54, kohls.com. Rebecca Taylor top. Forever 21 necklace. Lizzie Fortunato bracelet. Auxiliary for Aritzia bag. Zara heels.
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Try Them With a Blazer and Flats
Silky fabric means that these can definitely clock in some hours at the office.
Best for: Hourglass or straight figures. The dramatic cut of this tailored design may also help offset broad shoulders or full hips. But “if you have a stocky build or thick ankles, you may want to sit this one out,” says Barnett.
How to Wear Them
Balance your proportions. Since the pants are cropped, the top should be somewhat short, too—ideally reaching the waistband or hitting just a few inches below, as this jeweled shell does. Shoes with height (heels or wedges) can prevent the lower body from looking too heavy. Skin-toned footwear, in particular, can create a slimming effect, says Wirkus.
To buy: Wilfred for Aritzia pants, $145, aritzia.com. Hoss Intropia top. Lizzie Fortunato bangles. Jessica Simpson heels.
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Try Them With a Simple Fitted T-Shirt or Sweater
Make the pastel shade more fall-appropriate by pairing it with dusty grays or earthy tans.