How to style wide-legged retro swing trousers

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Morning fog, icy nights, and chilly days – it is getting a bit uncomfortable outside, right now. Cosy socks, scented candles, delicious teas, and warm blankets are the perfect companions when staying at home. But what, if we have to leave the house? Thermal tights and wool dresses are a great choice in this case. But sometimes, when it is windy, wet, and cold outside, I also like to wear wide-legged retro swing trousers. And oh, these are so versatile! Perfect for the office, a coffee date with friends, or even evening occasions. In this blogpost, I’m going to show you different retro swing trousers, tell you what to keep in mind when buying and combining them, and show you a lot of different outfit ideas for every occasion.

What to keep in Mind when styling retro Swing Trousers

Marlene-Hose kombinieren: RetroCat mit Bluse und Hut im Stil der 1940er-Jahre

Classy retro swing trousers are wide-legged and high-waisted. But before we have a look at some outfit ideas, I have a few tips for you:

  • Always tuck your top/blouse in the trousers (except your top already is quite short, of course). This gives the whole outfit more shape and creates the illusion of endless long legs.
  • For a more modern look, I recommend to team wide-legged trousers with slim tops. If you like an authentic 1930s and 40s look, though, team your trousers with blouses that may be a bit loose fit.
  • Combinations consisting of wide-legged trousers and loose-fitted blouses can look a bit masculin. If you want to add a feminine touch, I recommend to team such outfits with fancy hats. If they have some added flowers or similar accessories: even the better!

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What kind of Jacket to wear with wide-legged retro Trousers?

Vintage-Bloggerin RetroCat mit Marlene-Hose und einem eleganten Blazer auf einer Treppe

It can be a bit hard to find a jacket that goes well with wide-legged retro trousers. Here are some recommendations:

  • For a classy look, I recommend slim-fitted jackets* that end about at the waist. The shoulders definitely can be enhanced, though.
  • If you prefer a more casual look à la Marlene Dietrich, team your wide-legged trousers with a suit jacket or a blazer. A more feminine alternative are colourful swing jackets, which you can find at The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*, for example.
  • For an elegant and business apporpriate look, team your trousers with slim-fitted, feminine blazers*.
  • A trench coat also is a good idea.

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What Shoes to wear with wide-legged retro Trousers?

Bloggerin RetroCat mit Marlene-Hose, Blazer und Bluse vor dem Riesenrad in München

You actually can team wide-legged swing trousers with both, heels and flats. Here are my favourites:

  • For a feminine look, I definitely like to team my retro trousers with high heels. These make my legs look even longer and are also perfect for the office or evening occasions.
  • If you prefer a casual and super cool look, wear Oxford shoes with your retro trousers.
  • You can even wear your trousers with ballet flats, wedges, or sandals (in summer, of course).

What kind of shoes look great with wide-legged trousers also depends on the length of your trousers, which directly leads us to the next point.

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What to keep in Mind when buying wide-legged retro Trousers

Marlene-Hose kombinieren: RetroCat mit einer Hose von The Seamstress of Bloomsbury und passender Bluse

You now want to invest in wide-legged retro trousers? Here are some helpful tips.

  • Make sure the trousers have the perfect length: They should end exactly above the floor. If you want to wear your trousers with heels, make sure your are wearing heels when trying on your trousers.
  • Swing trousers are available in a lot of different fabrics. If they are made of linen or a crepe fabric, they are simply perfect for warm summer days. Wool and warm cotton fabrics, on the other side, are a great choice for autumn and winter.
  • It is often said that wide-legged swing trousers are for large women, but I definitely don’t agree with this. I’m quite small and such trousers definitely don’t make me look smaller. Futhermore, these kind of trousers work well on many different body types. Just try different styles to find out what suits you best.

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How to style retro swing Trousers: Outfit ideas for different Occasions

By now, we already know a lot about wide-legged retro trousers. In the following, I’m going to show you some outfit ideas for different occasions. As you will see, these trousers are quite versatile and look good in everyday life, the office, and even on festive occasions.

Casually cool: How to style wide-legged retro Trousers for everyday Life

RetroCat mit einer Marlene-Hose von Pretty Retro und einem Stricktop von 18nulleins

Wide-legged retro trousers look amazing in combination with simple sweaters or tops. Such an outfit is perfect for everday life: Super simple, but still stylish, and never overdressed. Plus: it is very comfortable! Depending on the temperature and season, I like to wear my trousers with either a long-sleeved turtleneck, a summery top, or a knitted top with short sleeves. A hat literally crowns such an outfit, but definitely isn’t a must. In this blogpost, by the way, I show you another outfit with these trousers.

Marlene-Hose kombinieren: RetroCat mit einem hochwertigen Stricktop von 18nulleins made in Germany

I’m wearing blue swing trousers by Pretty Retro in combination with a very comfortable knitted top from a small brand called 18nulleins, located in Bavaria/Germany. A colour-matching hat makes the outfit immediately more stylish. And thanks to my ballet flats, I can go out for a long walk in nature, or a shopping tour in the city without sore feet.

Outfit Details:

Swing trousers: c/o Pretty Retro

Top: c/o 18nulleins

Hat: Vintage, similar here*

Earrings: Vintage, similar here*

Ballet flats: Ted Baker, similar here*

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Stylish maritime: How to style retro Trousers for special Occasions

Marlene-Hose kombinieren: RetroCat mit einem maritimen Look für besondere Anlässe

If the occasion requires a more stylish outfit, I recommend this nautical outfit, consisting of the same swing trousers as before, a white blouse, as well as a striped blazer. A hat is a good idea, too. This outfit definitely looks fashionable and is perfect for a coffee date with friends, a vernissage, or, in the creative sector, even for the office.

Outfit Details:

Blouse: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Swing trousers: c/o Pretty Retro

Blazer: Fornarina, similar here*

Shoes: Frollein von Sofa, similar here*

Necklace: Vintage, similar here*

Hat: Vintage via Alexa’s, similar here*

Handbag: Furla*

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A 1940s inspired Outfit with wide-legged retro Trousers

Vintage-Bloggerin RetroCat mit einer Marlene-Hose von The Seamstress of Bloomsbury im Stil der 40er-Jahre

When women stared to work in factories, offices, and on the fields during World War II, trousers found their way into the closets of many women. With only a few pieces, you can easily recreate such an 1940s inspired outfit.

The base of my outfit are the dark brown 1940s Womens Tailored Trousers by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury. As I lie inbetween two sizes, I went for the larger ones, to achieve such a relaxed, cool look. The trousers simply look amazing with the authentic “Alice Blouse”, also by the Seamstress of Bloomsbury. My 1940s inspired hat is by The Little Shop of Gorgousness and finishes this outfit.

Outfit Details:

Trousers: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Blouse: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Hat: The Little Shop of Gorgeousness

Ballet flats: Ted Baker, similar here*

Earrings: Vintage, similar here*

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A vintage inspired Outfit with retro Trousers

RetroCat kombiniert eine Marlene-Hose von The Seamstress of Bloomsbury im Stil der 30er-Jahre

For a very stylish vintage look, I recommend colourful trousers and matching accessories. I’m wearing the green Winnie Trousers by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury together with a retro blouse by the same brand. A colour-matching hat and scarf as well as leather gloves finish this striking outfit.

Outfit Details:

Trousers: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Blouse: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Hat and scarf: Mein wunderbarer Hutsalon

Gloves: Vintage, similar here*

Earrings: similar here*

Shoes: similar here*

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How to style wide-legged retro Trousers for the Office

Marlene-Hose fürs Büro kombinieren: RetroCat mit Retro-Brille und schwarzem Top

Classy wide-legged trousers are a great choice for the office. I went for a subtle grey one in combination with a black top, but of course you can also choose a blouse. Pumps or ankle boots, retro glasses, jewellery, maybe a beret for outside, and you are ready to go to work. 😉

Outfit Details:

Slash Neck Top: c/o Vivien of Holloway

1940s Swing Trousers: c/o Vivien of Holloway

Handbag: Ted Baker, similar here*

Glasses „Betty“: c/o Retro Peepers

Beret: similar here*

Gloves: similar here*

Earrings: Glitter Paradise*

Brooch: similar here*

Shoes: similar here*

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How to style wide-legged retro Trousers for Evening Occasions

Vintage-Mode-Bloggerin RetroCat mit einer Marlene-Hose und einem Glitzer-Blazer bei Nacht in München

Wide-legged swing trousers are not only great for everyday life and the office, they also look great on chic evening occasions. You only need some fancy accessories to dress the trousers up.

RetroCat mit einem Glitzer-Blazer von Kate Moss for Topshop und einem passenden 30er-Jahre-Hut in München

I’m wearing my grey trousers with an elegant white blouse that has some lovely sheer details at the neckline. Alternatively, you can also wear a fancy top or corsage. On top, I went for a glittering blazer, which adds some glamour to the outfit. A sparkly vintage beret from the 1930s, as well as true vintage earrings are the cherry on the cake of this evening outfit.

Outfit Details:

Swing trousers: c/o Vivien of Holloway

Blouse: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Blazer: Topshop, similar here*

Beret: Vintage, similar here*

Shoes: Miss L-Fire, similar here*

Earrings: Vintage, similar here*

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Do you like wide-legged retro trousers? And which one is your favourite look? Tell me in a comment below, if you want.

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3 thoughts on “A Guide on how to style wide-legged retro Swing Trousers

  1. Hallo Sandra
    Die Marlene-Hose kann durchaus eine alternative zum rock oder kleid sein.
    Was mir nicht gefällt sind die heutigen hautengen hosen.

    Liebe grüsse Joan

    1. Liebe Joan,
      vielen Dank für Deinen Kommentar!
      Das geht mir auch so. Hautenge Hosen mag ich eigentlich nur in Form von taillenhohen Caprihosen. Ganz abgesehen davon stelle ich mir solch knallenge Jeans doch sehr unbequem vor, aber jeder wie er möchte. 😉

      Liebe Grüße

      1. Liebe Sandra

        Caprihosen gehen auf jedenfall sie wurden durch Audrey Hepburn salonfähig.
        Und was Audrey getragen hat kann nicht schlecht sein 🙂
        Meiner meinung nach darf eine hose den körper ruhig betonen aber tights are not pants und ich finde vor allem leggings, jeggings und treggings so scheusslich 😉
        Liebe grüsse Joan

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