Puddle Pants Are a New Kate Middleton-Approved Trend, but We’re Not Sure How to Feel

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There’s no denying that Kate Middleton has a fabulous wardrobe, but she isn’t necessarily the trendiest celeb we follow. So we were a tad surprised to see her hopping on a very new (somewhat divisive) fashion trend recently, way before it has truly caught on with the masses. The trend in question? Puddle pants. And despite the Duchess’s seal of approval, we’re still not entirely sure we’re on board.

Kate Middleton wearing a blue sweater and black pants
Neil Mockford/Getty Images

What are puddle pants, you ask? As the name suggests, they’re pants that puddle around your ankles. It’s a style petite gals have likely been intimately acquainted with for years, whether they wanted to be or not. But luckily for anyone who hates hemming their trousers, fabric pooled around the ankles is now considered chic rather than sloppy.

And we have to admit, Middleton looks great in her black Jigsaw trousers that drape ever so elegantly over her pointy-toe pumps. She somehow manages to make them look posh rather than careless. In fact, lots of celebs—including J.Lo, Bella Hadid, Zoe Kravitz and Chrissy Teigen—have been spotted rocking puddle pants in the months after KMiddy wore hers. And Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been wearing them for years, proving one doesn’t need to be tall to pull off this trend.

That said, how practical is it, really, to have your hems dragging along the ground? The risk of getting them caught up in or under your heels and becoming a tripping factor is pretty high. PureWow editor Chelsea Candelario, who stands 5-feet tall, recently tested the style for a few events in NYC and decided the two keys to making this tricky trend work are shoe choice and hem length.

women wearing puddle pants
Getty Images

“Choosing the right shoe is definitely key to rocking this style for short gals like me so we don’t end up dragging the fabric all day or, worse, tripping,” she says. “The first time I tried it, I had on sneakers and it wasn’t too bad at the end of the day. I can’t wait for fall so I can wear them with boots, too.”

As for length, Chelsea suggests looking for styles that hit right at the very end of your shoe so you can get the puddle effect without risking the material getting caught under your heel. “I was lucky to find a pair that hits just centimeters away from my sole, which gave me more relief that I wouldn’t trip or drag the hem on the ground.”

We 100 percent agree with her assessment. For footwear, because there is now excess fabric around your feet to contend with, we don’t recommend wearing stilettos or anything that might get caught up in all that material. Pointy-toe shoes, like ankle boots or ballet flats, are probably your best bet. They’ll poke out from under the hem, giving shape to your legs, and are unlikely to trip you up. Platforms are also a great (and trendy) option because they allow the material to gather at the top of your foot but not drape all the way to the ground. But you can also rock a lug-sole Chelsea boot or loafer if that’s more your style.

Now that you’re well versed in pulling off this somewhat tricky trend, here are nine pairs of chic Kate Middleton-approved puddle pants to shop and wear this fall.

puddle pants

Invest in a chic black trouser like Middleton’s to get double the use—pair them with pointy-toe boots for the office and white platform sneakers for the weekend.

Size range: 0 to 12

green puddle pants

These power pants, as Reformation calls them, are made from a lightweight, eco-friendly material that will help you keep cool and comfortable all day long. Plus, they come in 12 color options, so you can buy one for every event on your calendar, and then some.

Size range: 0 to 12, also Petite and Plus

Not ready to splurge on the trend? Test the waters with this chic $30 pant from H&M. Just be sure to steam or iron them before you head out the door to help make them look twice as expensive.

Size range: 0 to 20

Yes, puddle pant jeans are also a thing. Try a high-waist pair with a tucked-in top to give your figure some definition, and opt for a bold shoe to peek out from under the hem.

Size range: 24 to 32

These pants come in two inseam lengths, 30-inches and 32-inches, so you can choose the perfect option for your height.

Size range: 00 to 18

These navy trousers won’t easily wrinkle, and pair equally well with a button-up blouse for work as they do with an easy tee for Sunday brunch.

Size range: 24 to 31

These pull-on pants are supremely comfy and won’t wrinkle, making them a fabulous choice for travel or weekends away.

Size range: XXS to 4XL

The combination of the asymmetrical waistband, wide leg and extra-long length help create an itty-bitty waist and legs for days.

Size range: 24 to 32

Looking for something a bit more out-of-the-box? These satin-finish trousers come in lilac, marigold and peach pink to add a fresh pop of color to any ensemble.

Size range: XS to XL



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...