Slouchy Pleated Pants Trend
This is one of those trends I was super excited to try – I’m talking about the pleated pant trend! Have you seen those street-style photos of women looking so cool and chic in their slouchy trousers with their sneakers, blazers, tanks, and bra tops? They look SO amazing, right? So I wanted to find a way for us 40+ women to embrace the trend too. But let me tell you, it wasn’t easy…at first. While pleated pants can certainly give off an “effortless” vibe, styling them was actually a bit of a challenge! BUT, I did find ways to rock them after some trial and error. Keep scrolling for 5 ways to wear this hot trend without looking frumpy.
If you are as excited about fall fashion trends as much as I am, be sure to read this post where we highlight our favorite fall/winter trends…and how to make them wearable!
But First, The Challenges
Let’s take a minute to talk about the issues you might be facing that make this trend seem a bit daunting…
- You might be petite like me..it was impossible to find any petite length pleated trousers! The ones I ordered were way too long and had to be tailored.
- What if you have a tummy? Since pleated trousers add bulk around the midsection, it may seem counterintuitive to try this trend. But it actually can be flattering if you can find the right pair of trousers.
- Overall, pleated trousers add volume so unless you are super thin and tall, how do you pull off this look without looking swallowed in the pants?
Keep scrolling for the best ways to combat each of these challenges!
PANTS | TANK | SIMILAR SNEAKERS | FOR LESS
Look #1) White Tank
One super easy way to sport the trend is with a ribbed or simple white cotton tank. In this look, I’m wearing a white tank by Free People with pleated trousers by L’Academie. First I want to talk about these trousers…they are one of the best options I found because the pleating isn’t too over the top. With a lot of the trendy pleated trousers out there, the pleating is WAY too big, which make the tummy look bigger. With a softer pleat, you can avoid that issue. But, with oversized pieces like these trousers, getting the proportion and balance right is key! The tucked-in tank helps define my waist and creates some balance with the baggy silhouette of the pants. I did have these pants hemmed so they’d work with both sneakers and a low-heeled shoe. If you are under 5’7″, you’ll probably need to do the same. To keep this look casual and really wearable, I paired the pants with Golden Goose sneakers but you could also throw on a pair of slides. Very simple and very chic!
PANTS | TEE | SNEAKERS | FOR LESS | SIMILAR NECKLACE | FOR LESS | SIMILAR SUNGLASSES
Look #2) T-Shirt & Sneakers
Ok, so maybe you’re thinking a fitted tank won’t work for you…that’s fine! For another casual and cool look, you can wear pleated pants with a simple v-neck tee and sneakers. If you aren’t comfortable tucking it in completely, try the half tuck so you can get some forgiveness on either side and some waist definition. You could also add a waist belt. Now, if you have a tummy, and tucking in isn’t flattering for you, just find a shorter or cropped tee that barely touches the top of the waistband of the pants. But, not an oversized or boxy tee…you need something that is body-skimming to give you some shape.
PANTS | TANK | SIMILAR BLAZER | FOR LESS |SIMILAR SNEAKERS | FOR LESS | SIMILAR NECKLACE| BRACELET | FOR LESS
Look #3) Cropped Blazer
If you’re looking for a bit more coverage than a tank or tee can provide, a cropped blazer is the perfect third layer for pleated pants. It does a beautiful job of nipping in the waist and giving the illusion of a defined waist even if there isn’t one! It also adds polish and sophistication. The one I’m wearing is unfortunately sold out, but I linked a few similar options above. You could also wear a cropped moto jacket or denim jacket to achieve this same look.
SIMILAR PANTS | FOR LESS | TOP | HEELS | FOR LESS | BAG | FOR LESS
Look #4) Body-Skimming Blouse & Heels
I wanted to share an office-appropriate option or dressier option for pleated pants. In this look, I’m wearing a Team Busbee favorite, the Wayf lace top. I believe the team purchase count is somewhere around 10 blouses…and we don’t have 10 people on our team! See what I mean when I say it’s a favorite? Not only is it lovely and high-quality, but it’s also very affordable. I paired it with darker, camel-colored pleated trousers and gorgeous Malone Souliers pumps to dress it up. Heels in the same tone as the pants will help elongate your legs which is another trick to making slouchy or oversized pants look more slimming. These exact pants are sold out, but these similar trousers also come in camel along with 5 other options including black.
SIMILAR PANTS | FOR LESS | SIMILAR TOP | SIMILAR | SIMILAR | SIMILAR HEELS | FOR LESS
Look #5) Ruched Top
Here’s another idea for the office. This time I paired the camel pants with a black top with some very strategic ruching. I love the flattering details on this Frame tee (yep, it’s a tee) with the puff shoulder, fitted sleeve, ruching, and v-neck. The ruching is helpful with hiding a tummy and the cropped length is perfect for these pleated pants because it hits right at the waistband…no tucking required! This look is polished but doesn’t feel fussy at all. The exact top is sold out, but I linked some similar tops that will help you achieve the same look. I’m wearing a pair of old Jimmy Choo two-toned pumps that worked perfectly with this color combo but you could also wear neutral heels, camel, or all black. The pointed toe helps elongate the leg too so that’s something to consider when choosing your footwear.
BEIGE PANTS | WHITE BLAZER | FOR LESS | TANK | SNEAKERS | SIMILAR PANTS | FOR LESS | SIMILAR BOYFRIEND BLAZER | FOR LESS | SANDALS
I wanted to share a bonus look – 2 ways! On the left, I’m wearing a streamlined white Cinq a Sept blazer with the lighter L’Academie trousers. This is a cool girl look…very casual with the sneakers. On the right, I’m wearing an oversized, boyfriend blazer by ba&sh that adds quite a bit more volume. I wasn’t super comfortable with this look at first, but the fitted tank underneath creates waist definition, the heeled sandal adds some height, and now…I’m actually really loving it! I dig it but, full disclosure, it even intimidates me! The key to pulling off either a streamlined or boyfriend blazer with your pleated trousers (and not looking like you are drowning in fabric) is not closing the blazer. Leave it unbuttoned so you can see the waistband of the pants.
What do you think? Are you going to give this trend a go? Even better, have you found the holy grail pair of pleated pants? Please share in the comments! To get blog posts delivered right to your inbox along with other incredible style resources, be sure to sign-up for the newsletter here. AND…if you liked this post, we’d love for you to share it with a friend using the buttons below.
Thanks so much for reading!
2 thoughts on “This Cool Trend Looks Amazing on Women Over 40… But It’s Tricky!”
I enjoy your tips! I’m 68 (size 6, 5’7″) and I’ve already worn almost all of these styles shown for beige pleated. I even have a cropped camel jacket that is very similar, and a white blazer! I purchased beige linen very baggy, pleated pants in Paris in May (made by Marc O’Polo). Of course, I’m larger than you, but the look works. Now that fall is coming, I tried them today with a silk navy sweater tucked in, black Coach gold belt, and Cole Haan tri-color slingback mule loafers. I added a structured high-hip navy pique blazer. It works!
I LOVE to hear you are having fun creating outfits! That’s wonderful. 🙂 ~Erin xo
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