I Tried on Every Pair of Split-Front Leggings I Could Find—From The Row to Zara

January 16, 2021 at 06:40AM

We like to think we’re pretty good at keeping our finger on the fashion pulse here at Who What Wear UK. We tend to live by the general rule of “three’s a trend.” After seeing something three times, whether on the runway, on social media or even on a friend, it becomes worthy of the “trend” title. Sometimes, these things can happen slowly, popping up on fashion insiders first at Fashion Month, then trickling down throughout the next few years. Split-hems, the new It-trouser trend, however, spiked almost instantly last spring, and it’s continuing into 2021

They were championed first by Victoria Beckham in her S/S 2020 runway show and picked up almost immediately by the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and street style royalty Camille Charrière. We now can’t seem to blink without seeing a pair pop up on our feeds.

When major brands like VB and influencer favourite The Row are picking up on something like this, you know it’s bound to be big. Contemporary brands like Wardrobe.NYC have also worked on the perfect pairs which are already selling out on Matches, and although sometimes it takes a good while for these designer trends to hit the high street, luckily for us, some of our favourites have jumped to it, from M&S to Zara.

Last year, when I first saw the trend taking off (and we were still working from offices), I tried on as many pairs of split-hem trousers as I could get my hands on, from denim to legging styles. But as most of us are staying indoors and living in leggings, it would be a good time to republish my findings. 

Let me tell you, Rosie is really on to something with that mirror pose of hers. Keep scrolling to see the pairs I loved. 

Style Notes: For the price, these stretchy, ribbed trousers do what they say on the tin, and they do it well. They definitely work best under layers, as they are more of a legging style, but if you’re looking to try out the trend without splashing the cash, these are a great basic option. 

Style Notes: Marks and Spencer’s skinny split-front trousers have been sold out online in most sizes for a while, proving this trend is hot on the high street as well as high end. These are the new straight-leg style and are sure to fly off the shelves just as quickly. They have the quality we’ve come to expect from M&S and feel like a very chic alternative to simple black trousers. If the fit-and-flare shape of most split-hems puts you off, these are the pair for you. 

Style Notes: The best thing about this style is the zip at the hem, which means the height of the flare can be personalised depending on your preferences or your footwear choices. They also felt smart enough to wear in an evening with a thicker, more tailored, fabric feel. 

Style Notes: I have to admit these were high on my favourites list. I’m very partial to leather-look trousers, not to mention a croc-print pair, so I was excited to try this popular Zara style. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint. They’re almost sold out online, but we’ve heard from the Zara team that more sizes are due to land imminently, so keep those eyes peeled. 

Style Notes: It must be at least five years since I’ve worn Topshop Joni jeans, but 2020 sees the return of skinnies, so I think I’m just about ready to embrace them again. This 2020 split-hem update was surprisingly flattering, and the stretch material made them super comfortable. I’m 5’2″ and definitely needed heels with them, but the split-hem style was made to show off a great pair of shoes.


Style Notes: This is probably the style I’d wear most as I’m a “jean” girl. The front slit on these cropped straight-legs adds a nice update to my everyday style. If you’re not into extremes, these are a great first foray into the split-hem trend. 

Style Notes: This jet-black, stretchy pair has a side split, so it felt more like wearing classic flares with a twist, which I enjoyed. I have to say, they reminded me a little of my old school uniform, so I don’t know if I’d buy them, but that’s not to say they weren’t super flattering and great for dressing up in the evening. 

Style Notes: These Nasty Gal jeans were one of only a few blue-denim split-hem styles I found. The baggy ’90s shape is very in right now, but they are still fitted at the waist, which is always flattering. I could definitely get on board with these. 

Style Notes: If you’re not a fan of flares, or if you’re on the shorter side like me, a cropped skinny style could be for you. Like the New Look style above, these are great if you’re on a budget and have a striking resemblance to The Row’s style. (Keep scrolling to see.)

Style Notes: If you’re a fan of statement-making trousers, these are for you. Faux-leather, wide-leg and a high split-hem. Although I personally preferred the fit-and-flare styles that felt more supportive, these would certainly top off a very cool look. 

Style Notes: The Row’s slim, cropped style is certainly an investment, but you could instantly feel the difference in quality (as you’d hope), fit and finish. I have a feeling these would be a wardrobe hero way beyond the lifeline of this spring 2020 trend. They were the perfect pair. 

Style Notes: Similarly, you could feel the quality of Tibi’s style. If you’re a fan of the brand, you won’t be disappointed, and like the M&S pair, they’re a great alternative to a skinny style if you’d rather avoid.

Style Notes: When writing about a trend started by VB herself, I couldn’t not try the original style, could I? I absolutely loved this pair. The tux-style side stripe and waistband added a dressed-up and put-together feel, whilst the slim-leg to split-hem ratio was the most flattering of all the styles that I found.

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know. 

This piece was published at an earlier date and has been updated. 

Author Emily Dawes | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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