How To Determine The Fine Line Between Oversized Denim And An Ill-Fitting Pant

Wearing an oversized pair of pants is undoubtedly a cute look, and it totally gives a '90s fashion throwback. Some people even call it the antidote to skinny jeans. Specifically, wearing oversized denim jeans is a go-to look for many people. In fact, it's popular to wear a tight-fitting top, usually a tank top or a crop top, with a pair of flared or oversized jeans, of course inspired by the likes of Aaliyah and Avril Lavigne. TikTokers even name-drop these two music legends as inspiration for their jean stylings.

Wearing this style of pants can be fun and versatile. However, it might feel like a struggle to find pants that fit well but still give that oversized look. There are things you can look for and keep in mind when trying to find the perfect balance between how it fits and how it looks. Knowing the difference is important, but you don't have to sacrifice either comfort or style to achieve this look.

How do your jeans fit?

An easy way to differentiate between an oversized pair of denim jeans and ill-fitting pants is by seeing how they sit on your hips and/or waist, depending on their cut. Writer Haley Nahman detailed her experience on Repeller, describing how she transformed her ill-fitting pants with some tailoring. "My clothes don't look "slouchy," they look like someone else's. In some cases, they look like they belong to someone seven feet tall," Nahman explains. "I've just cuffed them or belted them or ignored them and moved on, maintaining the ever-present idea that I need more pants, when the truth is I just need more that fit."

Many of the pants that Nahman tailored actually provided a better fit balance with their looks. For example, she has a pair of denim barrel-leg pants, per Who What Wear, that were meant to look high-waisted with roomy, spacious legs. They originally sat at her hips, falling lower than they were supposed to while fitting slightly too big. After alterations in the waist and butt area, they hugged her waist better, moving up on her body, without sacrificing the oversized look of the legs, and while going down a size (via Repeller).

Additionally, something to avoid is jeans that are too tight. These are uncomfortable and might actually sabotage your look. It all comes down to balance. You want to make sure the waist or hip area is fitted while keeping space in the legs. According to The Cut, if you follow these rules, your look will appear "intentional" rather than ill-fitting or thrown together.

Let your accessories guide you

How your accessories look with the pants may also help determine the fine line between an oversized and an ill-fitting pair of pants. Perhaps the most common pants accessory is the belt. While they are meant to provide tight-fitting support in holding your pants up, they should also co-exist with them. In other words, you don't want the belt doing all the work. If you're finding that it feels like your belt is just not working, you might be dealing with a pair of ill-fitting jeans. This could be because of your body type or because of where it's meant to rest, such as at the hip or the waist (via PantsProp).

Additionally, your shoes can also be complementary to the fit of the pants. Ballet flats, strappy sandals, sneakers, or even a loafer with a small heel can work well with your oversized pair of jeans. When choosing what shoes to wear with baggy pants, you don't want to take away from the baggy look itself because it's intentional. If the shoes and denim pants aren't working well no matter what you try, it could be a length issue. Consider hemming your pants to fit better with your body and your legs. Or, if you're going for the puddle look, work with a tailor to create a balance with your pants to do so without them being too long (via Repeller).