Just a few short years ago, I found myself inside the Menlo Park Mall Delia*s, scoping out the denim wall that was, of course, organized by leg-opening size. 20 inches? That’s basically straight-leg. 24 inches? Still not enough. But 26 inches? Yep—I picked out a pair of bell bottoms so belled that they completely overwhelmed my 4’6 frame. (I was 13, and the year was 2001. Gimme a break.) I stepped out of the dressing room practically beaming, and my mom just shook her head and told me I looked like one of those hourglass-shaped sand time keepers—and not in a good way.
15 years later, the ’70s trend is back—except the modern iteration of wide-leg denim isn’t so much bell-bottom as it is a roomy, subtle flare. Still, after The Era of Skinny Jeans that lasted eons, it’s not always easy to put together an wide-leg jean outfit without feeling, well, odd. Because there’s no better place to look than the street style stars that are embracing the silhouette, we culled 49 wide-leg jeans outfits to give you enough inspiration for every day this year. The general rule? You can play it safe by wearing something tight up top, but don’t be afraid of volume: Style your wide-leg denim with an oversized sweatshirt or a top with billowing sleeves for a truly modern look. Ahead, 49 wide-leg styling ideas to copy now.