Y2K fashion has been having a moment over the last couple of years as millennials have enjoyed (and sometimes cringed at) the Gen Z-led return of low-rise jeans, pleated skirts, and baguette bags. The latest flash-from-the-past trend? Gaucho pants.
While gaucho pants first emerged in the 1970s, many of us know them best from their 2000s revival, when the cropped, wide-legged style was a hallmark of middle school style. They’re similar to culottes and palazzo pants, but with a slightly more structured look. While not as wide or long as palazzo pants, gauchos look a bit more like pants than culottes. Currently, gaucho pants are making a comeback, appearing in a variety of stores (yes, you can get them at Target again) as TikTokers are discovering this Y2K relic. Much to the shock of those who know these pants by their original name, younger generations have often been calling them cropped flared leggings, similar to the rebrand of the style formerly known as yoga pants.
In the 2000s, gaucho pants were typically brown and worn with a layered tank and plenty of sparkly details. However, those who aren’t trying to recreate that unforgettable look will be relieved to know that they have a whole new aesthetic (and plenty of options) for 2022. Ahead, see nine modern ways to wear gaucho pants.
Dressed in Stripes
While gaucho pants usually came in solid colors, mix things up with a striped style, paired with another ’00s favorite: The graphic baby tee. Add a wide brim hat and you have a fun outfit for running warm-weather errands.
Tie It All Up
Another Y2K favorite is the tie-front top, so bring that back along with some solid gaucho pants and fun heels to really bring a new take on the look. This also adds a much-needed pop of color to the usually muted color palette of the pants.
For Cooler Weather
While gaucho pants are great for summer, they can also easily work for when the weather gets a little cooler. Pair some gaucho pants with a sweet short-sleeve sweater and some heeled sandals—the look is perfect for days when you just can’t figure out how to dress for the weather.
While gaucho pants typically have a knit, stretchy material (think leggings), denim styles are also available for those who want a more comfortable version of jeans. Pair your denim gauchos with a sleeveless turtleneck top and some sunglasses, and you’re ready to go out.
We couldn’t write this list without adding the classic brown gaucho pant. It’s pretty much the blueprint. However, give this look a modern edge with a patterned design, a black cropped top, and some statement earrings to really make the look work for the modern day.
Date Night Look
Did you ever think that you would be wearing gaucho pants on a date? You certainly can when you add some leather gaucho pants into your wardrobe. Pair them with a cropped bustier and a sophisticated blazer, and you’ll be more than ready to hit the town.
Summer is the perfect time to bring back your Y2K favorites, especially if you can find multiple uses for them. Pair a cropped tank top with some stretchy printed gaucho pants and white sneakers for a look that works for almost anything. From running errands to hitting the gym, you’ll look stylish all day long.
If you’re not sure how to make gaucho pants work, make it all one color. Pair some solid gaucho pants with a matching colored shirt, then add some fun jewelry to pull it all together and you’re ready to go.
When in doubt, if you’re not sure how to style an outfit, throw on a leather jacket. Take a pair of white gaucho pants and a ribbed tank for some extra texture, then add your leather jacket and you’re more than ready to hit the town.