Why wide-leg pants are making a comeback

Karen Walker's spring-ready pants ($350), print sweater ($205)

Karen Walker's spring-ready pants ($350), print sweater ($205) and cropped parka ($405) make for a fun weekend look at karenwalker.com (Credit: Karen Walker)

After a long, snowy winter filled with cozy sweaters and too much comfort food, the last thing most women want to do is shimmy into a pair of body-hugging bottoms or -- gasp! -- brightly colored skinny jeans or jeggings.

But there's no need. Wide-leg pants are making a major comeback, creating a flattering and on-trend look this season.

"It's fresh," said Heidi Hoelzer, vice president and general merchandise manager of Scoop, a boutique with locations in Greenvale, East Hampton and Manhattan. "The new silhouette is a welcome update."

Designers from Michael Kors to Phillip Lim embraced the shape in their spring 2014 collections, with retailers such as Banana Republic and Ann Taylor following suit.

Wide-leg pants are loved for their easy, breezy style, as well as their comfort, since wide-leg trousers simply slide over the body, unlike skinnier silhouettes.

"These pants are super-light and comfortable," said Melloney Birkett, Banana Republic's vice president of women's design.

They can also be flattering: The key is creating a long, lean line from head to toe and elongating the leg. One way to do so is by fashioning a monochrome outfit; for example, wear all black, white, khaki or even red or a pastel -- just mix up the textures and fabrics so you don't look too matchy-matchy. Or, if you prefer print pants, choose a pair with a dark base print or a vertical stripe, said Hoelzer.

Heels are also a must, she said. "If your hem goes to the floor you can hide wedges or platforms and you look that much taller," she said.

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