Trouser Trends and Body Shapes: Making Sense of 2018 Pant Styles

Welcome back!  I know it’s been a while.  I am still learning how to juggle business, family, exercise, and blogging.  ?  Since I last blogged I celebrated 10 years as a cabi Stylist.  (Love this company!) In addition, I was approved as an affiliate for Nordstrom’s.  (I am a serious Nordstrom’s fan too).  What is an affiliate you ask?  It means if you purchase something on link that I recommend then I get a little commission from Nordstrom’s.

My clients often tell me that they struggle with finding perfect fitting pants.  So many variables go into getting the correct fit (i.e., waist, length, thigh and hip).  They are mass produced for everyone and often fit no one perfectly.  Many women give up the quest and opt for yoga pants.  Good news!  This is such an exciting time for denim and pants.  So many styles are trending that everyone can find a cut that fits, flatters and is in style.  If you find a style that you love, then now is the time to stock up, because nearly all styles are in.  For example, high-waisted jeans were out of favor for about 20 years.  We even began referring to them as “Mom Jeans.”  Not meant in a positive, mother-honoring way.  Low and mid-rise jeans were the rage for what seemed forever.  We dealt with peeping panties, butt crack and muffin top – like, for years! Oy Vey!   I have a long torso and really needed a higher rise.  I was sick of muffin top!!!  I remember searching the internet several years ago for high rise jeans and not having much luck.  Rises started to creep back up a couple years ago and now high-rise jeans and slacks are everywhere!  The paper bag waist is another high-rise option you may enjoy trying.  And good news for my low-rise-loving friends – low and mid-rises are still trending and available for you too!  Like I said, something for everyone!  So, let’s take a look…

Skinny – So many of you love your skinny jeans.  So, before I dive in, I want to reassure you skinny jeans and pants are classic and here to stay.  They are a style staple.  Although we all can wear skinnies, they are the most flattering on gals with slim legs and hips.  This Fall, wear your skinnies with over-sized jackets and sweaters and slouchy boots or ankle booties.

cabi High Skinny #3565 $109

cabi Connery Trouser Navy Plaid $119

Wide Leg Trousers – It’s been a while since we have widely embraced (pun intended) the wide-leg trouser.  I helped many clients rid these once-outdated pants from their closets.  But they are back!   So, if you still have any, it’s safe to pull them out of the back of the closet.  Wide leg trousers are very comfortable, especially for curvy gals, because they offer more room in the thigh area.  In addition, if you opt for a high-rise trouser your legs will look like your legs go on for days.  You may see wide leg trousers with flats and even sneakers.  However, wide-leg trousers look best with a heel for a lean proportion.  A platform or block heels works beautifully.  Not into heels?  You can always opt for a pointy-toe kitten heel.  Kitten heels are trending right now and offer the beauty of a heel, without the height (Try an animal print for fun).  A pointier toe will elongate the leg even further.  Who doesn’t love that?  “My legs are way too long and sexy.”  Said No One.  Ever!

Alice + Olivia Paula High Waist Wide Leg Pant $295


Women’s Jeffrey Campbell Sikes Genuine Calf Hair Mule $144.95

cabi Promotion Trouser in Charcoal $129

Sanctuary Modern High Waist Crop Straight Leg Jean $119

cabi Authentic High Straight $119

Straights – Straight leg jeans and slacks are attractive on all body shapes, especially Wedges (broad shoulders/narrower hips) and Triangles (aka Pear).  Straights are cut straight from hip to hem and are more forgiving than a skinny jean, while still providing a lovely, balanced silhouette. In addition, they offer more room for those of us with extra padding in the back.  Personally, my favorite jean is a high-waisted straight.  About a year ago cabi came out with the High Straight jean.  I love them!  You must try a pair if you haven’t yet!  Quite possibly the perfect jean!  A slim straight that hits around the ankle is especially flattering and creates a nice lean line and looks stunning with a heel and blazer for office Friday or dresses down with a flat.  Straight legs are trending in a variety of washes and lengths.  The straight crop is very current!  If you have some old straight jeans, consider cutting them for an updated straight crop look.  Which leads me to another trend….


cabi Smolder High Straight Jeans, Cinch Top and Back in Black Jacket with Sam Edelman Kinzey Bootie

Sam Edelman Kinzey Genuine Calf Hair Pointy Toe Bootie $159.95


Cropped Pants are another pant enjoying a comeback.  You need to sit down for what I am about to tell you.  Are you sitting?  It’s not just slim legged crops.  We’ve seen them for a while.   Gauchos and Culottes are back in style!  Although the terms seem to be used interchangeably, Gauchos are basically cropped wide leg trousers.  However, Culottes are short pants that look like a skirt.  Often Culottes are A-line shaped.  I wore Culottes in the 80’s and again about 8 or 9 years ago (cabi offered a pair in a Fall collection.)  Culottes were developed in the Victorian era for women to wear while horseback riding.  Both pant styles have made a comeback and are the perfect pant to show off a fun statement shoe or bootie.  Culottes are especially great for hourglass and Triangle shapes because of the a-line shape and extra thigh room.

Moon River Tie Waist Culottes $85 (really a gaucho)

Gucci Floral Print Silk Foulard Culottes $1500

Leggings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  The emergence of the athleisure trend over the last few years has brought leggings back for good.  Leggings provide comfort, ease and versatility. Every body shape can wear them. However, they are not office appropriate.  Leggings should, at minimum, have a top that covers your crotch area and your bum.  If you don’t like thinking about it, then you can also opt for a skirted legging like cabi’s famous M’Leggings (pronounced “muh leggin’s).  They give you just enough booty coverage to rock any length top.

cabi Zip-Back Legging $99

cabi M’Legging in Charcoal $79

Printed leggings are exciting and can draw attention to shapely legs, while dark solids elongate. Tunic selection is key!  If you are curvy select a tunic with a waistline or belt a baggy tunic to show your shape. If you have a tummy that you want hidden, then wear a looser tunic.   Consider leg proportion.  If you have shorter legs, as I do, then opt for a shoe or boot in the same color to create a longer leg line.

Joggers combine comfort and style all in one pant.   They are all over and other stores.  Cabi, too, has jumped on the jogger band wagon.  They are offering a fabulous pair in the Fall collection.  I am going to try hard not to wear them all the time!  Joggers can be dressed up with a blazer and booties or dressed down with your favorite trainers.  They should fit at waist and ankle and loose through bum and legs.  Joggers are especially great on Rectangles, Diamonds, Wedges and Hourglasses.  However, they may be a difficult fit for Triangle shapes.

AFRM Jensen Prime Camo Jogger $78


cabi Marathon Jogger $109

Destruction, raw edge hems, colored denim are just three ongoing trends. Acid wash is a returning trend from years ago.  I would have bet money that acid wash would never resurface.  I suppose all trends eventually make a comeback (i.e. Fanny Packs are back and called Belt Bags now). Please note, I am not giving you permission to keep pieces in your closet until they make a comeback.  To the contrary.  Wear what you love.  Be true to your personal style.  Keep in your closet only what fits well and makes you feel beautiful and special.  If you need help with that give me a call!  I am here for you!

Until next time…

Fashionably yours,




  1. Enjoyed it, thanks Ellen! You have a way with words!

  2. Always value your advise and suggestions. Your insight into my size and body shape has helped me greatly.

  3. Great info. Love that you are working with Nordstrom too.

    • Thanks! I love Nordstrom. When it’s not cabi it’s usually Nordstrom. ?. So I’m super honored and excited!

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A Little About Ellen

Ellen Caldwell, personal stylist in HoustonEllen was chosen as a top personal stylist in Houston, Texas by CBS Houston! I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Houston Baptist University with degrees in Finance and Business Administration.

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