Three ways to wear: barrel leg trousers

T-shirt: Mango (from last year but you can buy similar from M&S here). Trousers: £65, And Other Stories. Shoes: $145, Everlane (part of a paid project I completed a few months ago). Photographs: Eva K Salvi.

This is embarrassing as I actually own three different styles of this trouser shape to show for the outfit post. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend buying three of the same thing but sometimes: if it ain’t broke and all that.

I first bought a pair of wide leg, cropped, high waisted trousers (which is why I’m using ‘barrel leg trousers’ as an umbrella term!) back in LA about 3 years ago – the now famous Madewell khaki ones, it was almost on a whim, but they have fast become my favourite pair and are so versatile. I wear with trainers and sweatshirts, pretty tops and gladiator sandals, heels and a blouse for the evening, they even make a great holiday trouser too. And whilst everyone is already in full-on summer mode blog-wise, I thought it still important to show you clothes for those inbetween days when the weather isn’t quite ‘there’ yet.

First up, the logo tee is pretty much a base staple for me – but I’ve mixed it up slightly by wearing with heels, I would totally wear this with a denim jacket to meet friends but feel a little smarter with the heel (in the winter, I wore a pair of seventies inspired block heeled boots with these trousers too, which surprisingly, worked! See the post here). I would definitely tuck in most tops to these trousers, as the high waist is the most flattering part of these jeans and helps with the proportions – it’s often good in the summer to show a bit of ankle, yes these trousers are swingy and a weird length – I’d say just own it and use it as a chance to show off your fab shoes, ankle straps and lace-up shoes work particularly well.

Top: Sezane (from last year, gifted). Trousers: Madewell (3 years old but buy similar here). Shoes: Topshop (about 3 years old). Bag: LK Bennett (gifted, from last summer).

I would say that the khaki pair are still the most ‘useful’ in terms of colour, they go with everything: leopard print, bright colours (I love wearing them with red) as well as neutrals and natural fabrics – perfect for summer. Here, I’ve done a dressier look and florals make these somewhat boyish style of trouser feel different – it’s essentially a different take on ‘jeans and a nice top’.

And an everyday look? I tend to keep my Bella Freud jumper out all year round, as it can be so useful for evenings when the temperature cools, and it can instantly add a touch of effortless cool to jeans/trousers/shorts/skirts. I got this jumper for my 30th birthday and I know I’ll have it forever.

Worn with a basic sandal and leather jacket, it’s such an easy outfit for meetings and seeing friends although I must admit the white jeans aren’t so baby-friendly!

Jeans: $68, Everlane. Leather jacket:£299, Jigsaw (this is 4 years old but you can still buy this style here). Jumper: Bella Freud (6 years old but you can buy it here). Sandals: And Other Stories (from last summer). Bag: Etsy (from 2 years ago). Sunglasses: Mango (from last year).

I bought these jeans in New York, I was going to go with black but the girl behind the counter was wearing the white version with a khaki tee and they looked fab so I thought I’d go for it. I love how summery they feel and these are really comfortable, too. I dreaded taking Chris into store as he isn’t generally an enthusiastic shopper but he even bought a few items himself, which is a testament to the store! I really love Everlane’s ethos and the store sells great basics, without trying to be anything else which speaks to me. I am definitely not looking at super trend-led items at the moment and it is really paying off with my wardrobe – it was quite easy to pull this shoot together as it’s more stream-lined than ever before.

Jeans: $68, Everlane. Sandals: And Other Stories (from last summer). Bag: Etsy (from 2 years ago).

Barrel leg jeans: I’m a huge fan, clearly, and if you’re savvy about it, they can last through winter, too.


  1. These are my absolute fave trouser shape too at the moment, although I’d probably call them “wide leg crops”. I thought barrel leg trousers curved in again at the ankle….? Anyway, I’m on the hunt for a khaki pair, and am off to the US shortly, so it looks like I’ll be heading to Madewell!

  2. Thanks Alex, I’m afraid I didn’t know the name of these trousers but all is now revealed. One of the American blogs I read regularly (along with yours of course) always talks about Madewell and Everlane. Everything always looks very stylish and classic. Incidentally I can see a look of Peggy in you in that first picture, I think it’s your smile?x

    1. Oh yes, weirdly, I think we’re a bit late to the slow, relaxed fashion stores like Everlane and Madewell – I think Everlane will come to the UK though. And yes, I think Peggy developed my squint – been seeing it all holiday! xx

  3. Hi Alex – I’m on the hunt for a pair of khaki wide leg cropped trousers, couldt get your link to whatever the alternative to your Madewell pair to work. Where are they from? Also can’t see a link to your Bella Bella Bella t-shirt…which i neeeeeed. Lovely post xx

    1. Sorry – Madewell do a similar style with button front, or the And Other Stories trousers come in a few colours and khaki is one of them! The Bella tee is old sadly, from Mango last year! x

  4. Whenever I see this style I think of you, because no one works them quite like you! I always assumed they wouldn’t work on my curvy shape (I generally avoid anything I think will make my legs look short and ‘stumpy’), but you’ve convinced me I need to try a pair on as I *love* how they look on you with trainers or sandals and a cute top tucked in. Thank you for always encouraging me to be more experimental with my fashion choices!

    Briony xx

  5. These are great trousers, and three pairs is fine – they’re not the same, different colours different brands! If it ain’t broke and all that…
    If this is your summer uniform (and it sounds as though it is), then it’s almost the more the merrier and you’ve bought them over several years, so no problems!
    I love your styling, just shows how versatile they really are. Inbetween weather seems to be standard issue at the moment too.

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