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Marilyn Trousers

Added Mar 15, 2010

By burdastyle

New York, New Yo...






Goodbye, rear-end revealing low-risers. Hello, classy, high-waist trousers.

Though this look may not be for everyone, high-waist trousers can be waist defining, leg lengthening and fun to wear. Our Marilyn trouser sewing pattern is about 38" (98 cm.) long. A variation on this look can be created from our Bella pattern, a high waist trouser with a flared leg.

We paired our sage green, wool-crepe sample with a tight fitting leotard with a plunging back, and black heels, but we look forward to seeing how you style your version!

Material Notes

Size 34 – 46 requires 1 3/4 – 2 1/8 yards (1,50 – 1,90 meters) of gabardine, light-weight wool or silk material, 7" (18 cm.) zipper, 10" (90 × 25 cm.) interfacing, hook & eye closure.




Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Preppy, Victorian, Vintage
Blends, Silk, Wool



92 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Man1_large

    Jul 2, 2015, 10.49 AMby DysonSteph

    these is awesome

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    Jan 11, 2011, 09.10 PMby brisehuus

    I love those trousers… but to be honest, the model is far to skiny and does not at all represent a normal woman.

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    Jan 11, 2011, 02.15 AMby randimae

    I think they’re great! Really fresh, something you’d see on the runway. Thanks BurdaStyle!

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    Oct 21, 2010, 11.57 AMby ielle palmer

    uh, has no one noticed that these are just parachute pants (but less baggy) all over again? It wasn’t a good look in the 1990s it’s not now. Some things don’t need to come back.

  • Missing

    Aug 27, 2010, 06.22 PMby tint

    What a beautiful pair of pants! It reminds me of my favourite pair I wore for years. The difference is that under the pleats, there was a stabilising inset, a piece that went from the zip to the side seam, which kept ‘everything’ in place, so the ultra-curvy me could wear the pleats and look good. I think I’ll do just that with this pattern – and for the record, I’m very (with emphasis) curvy and short-waisted.

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    Aug 1, 2010, 09.21 PMby missdandy

    I just wanted to add that I made a muslin of the Marilyn trousers this week and they are a truly classic and versatile trouser! For those of you who are interested in making them, the construction is super-easy and, believe it or not, very quick. I have a curvier figure (I used size 42 to make them) and the fit is flattering. The pleats are fab! I will be making the finished trousers from brown herringbone suiting fabric and will hopefully post them later this week.

  • Missing

    Jul 8, 2010, 02.57 PMby frankiquilts

    I must say that those of you so down on these pants have NO IDEA how to dress yourself for the most flattering look. Skin-tight, low rise, flat front pants look good on NO ONE … even skinny girls seem to have muffin top coming out over the top.

    Pants like these are classic because they DO look great on just about ANY body type. Especially because they hide the behind, of which I’ve seen way too much of combined with the belly-muffin mentioned above.

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    Apr 28, 2010, 11.39 PMby jennifer-anne

    Why is everyone so afraid of accentuating their hips anyways? Why the hell SHOULD we always be trying to minimize our bottoms? I have a big bum and a round belly with high-set hips and a rather short waist and I think I look fabulous in high waisted, pleated trousers as long as they sit well cinched around my waistline. This kind of pant shows off my curves without showing my lumps the way a tighter-at-the-top unpleated pant, or a low rise pant would. I think it’s a really flattering look for a woman with some shape around the bottom, at least for pear shaped hips. The trick is to keep the taper quite narrow and to tuck in your shirt so that your legs look thin, your waist looks thin and your chest and bum are free to thrust themselves out into the world in all their glory!

  • Me_8d1_large

    Apr 16, 2010, 07.03 AMby chadrific

    So many complaints! Man!

    I’m 5’3 and I would LOVE to make these, ugh I can only imagine. My mother who is also 5’3 and skinnier than I has a pair (with only one pleat but that’s easily adjustable ;-) ) and she looks darling in them. I do agree you need a small waist and a butt to pull it off. It’s sad how so many people don’t know how to dress their bodies. And if you do a high waist pant right your butt will look amazing. <3 but whatever, to each their own I suppose…but just so much complaining my head hurts

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    Apr 12, 2010, 01.07 PMby ingridbergmansvictoryroll

    Come on people – Isn’t life too short to be so down on a trouser pattern!!

    I’m going to make these little beauties, with a tweak here and there to suit my shape.

    All patterns need a little up here, out there – a little flourish on the side etc. That’s why i make my own things because I like to play with shapes and styles. If something doesn’t work out it’s ok – you just know for next time. There are no rules either – wear what you like, how you like!

    And thanks burda for putting up something a little fashion forward..ix

  • Photo_1082_large

    Apr 8, 2010, 09.34 PMby Daniel Parker

    These are fabulous…. period

  • Missing

    Mar 31, 2010, 10.03 PMby edconnol

    ahhhh! I just made these! They turned out AWESOME. I will post pictures soon!!!!

  • Peanutsrecords_large

    Mar 29, 2010, 10.46 AMby natalieann-1

    does anyone know if the jacket in the photo is a burda pattern? i’d love to make it!

    1 Reply
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      Jul 24, 2010, 09.34 AMby nikotina

      exactly my wonder too

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    Mar 25, 2010, 01.55 PMby ink

    I don’t know if this is a proper analogy but this style of pants is very similar to ‘stinky, ripe cheeses.’ Not everyone is going to like them but you still have to appreciate the work & craft of creating them. Keep an open mind. You Go Burda – Thanks for keeping it fresh & highlighting ‘all’ trends !

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 10.25 PMby karmicnewt

    I am sorry but this are unlikely to look passible on like 99.9% of women. I really want to like these for nostalgia reasons, but I do not. I remember wearing pants similar to these when I was a teen in the late ’80s, and, looking back at pictures of myself, I am slightly embarrassed.

    I think, in my case, my proportions were part of it. I am 5’ 1" (1.55 m) and, at the time, was a size 0 or 2 US. Now, I am not short-waisted for my height, but I am short and they were ready-to-wear which I think makes it worse. And now that I am much larger, I can only imagine what the pleats would do for my belly. All that said, my tall friends also looked bad in them. :) And don’t get me started on how terrible this type of pant makes everyone’s bum look.

    I meant to add that I do love Marlene Dietrich-style high-waisted pants a lot.

  • Dsc02324_2_large

    Mar 24, 2010, 05.58 PMby reneebies

    I think these are really cool. ALSO, often when members start sewing up the patterns I think they look better.

    I wish burdastyle would do pants in a 0 size though. Pants patterns just aren’t small enough for my scrawny butt and legs! That being said, I probably can’t make these, though maybe try to imitate them slightly.

  • Missing

    Mar 24, 2010, 12.07 PMby edconnol

    I really like these pants! They are very fashion-forward. I think people should stop complaining about how they don’t suit everyone’s body type- some of us actually ARE 5’11" with 34" inch hips. Regardless, not everything looks good on everyone. I personally hate babydoll styles, and think they are extremely unflattering, but a lot of people love them. That said, I don’t comment on every babydoll style and say it sucks just because it is unflattering on me.

    I am planning to make these ASAP in rose/blush suiting and add a rolled cuff at the bottom. Hooray for spring!

    1 Reply
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      Mar 27, 2010, 11.12 PMby ginasophia

      the rolled cuff is such an awesome idea, ive seen it everywhere and it didn’t eve cross my mind. I am just finishing mine up now, but maybe on the next pair!!

  • Cali_large

    Mar 23, 2010, 11.18 PMby threadsquare

    I’ll go ahead and chime in. High/natural-waisted trousers? Yes. This particular pair? No. Not for me, or the model (if they were a tad longer in the leg, and a tad less droopy in the crotch, then yes). But I’m too hippy for this. In the rear-end sense, not the 60’s sense. Pleats are a big no for me, as is a plain bottom in a thin fabric that my not-so-yoga a** will show through in. But my all time fav trousers were a pair of Navy-issue wool pant, complete with the hundred or so buttons on the front flap. The wider leg and flat front, combined with a high/natural waist did wonders for me. I literally wore them out!

  • 42b4596a98ac2dce9ab35881cdfc36763a7cc318_large

    Mar 22, 2010, 04.50 PMby mmillsj

    This is a great look if you are young, very skinny, and long-waisted. However, if you are short-waisted like me, it’s a horrible, horrible look! Please let’s keep some diversity in fashion so that each of us can wear something that suits our body type.

  • 0407_ndayi-dh_large

    Mar 22, 2010, 03.34 AMby kissmyfrog

    Amazing! I owned these exact pants (only in white denim) back in 1986! However, mine fit me properly, sitting at my natural waistline, and not climbing up into The Unknown as they are in the pictures above. Also, I can’t seriously believe that the designer intended for the hem to sit at that awkward too-short-for-trousers-too-long-for-capris length.

    I think most of the so-called “controversy” of these pants is because they don’t fit the model, and she certainly doesn’t look comfortable in them.

  • Missing

    Mar 21, 2010, 05.44 PMby lilimoy

    I love high waisted pants. What I dislike are pleats and tapered legs and highwaters. Stick some suspenders on that and it ain’t fifties retro, it’s eighties stuff from a thrift store. Sorry very much, but… ew.

  • Edna_mode_icon_large

    Mar 20, 2010, 03.01 PMby digitallux

    Personally, I do not like this particular style. It looks good on the right body type, such as the model. Definitely a classic, tailored look. As for “Gone are the days of rear-end revealing low-risers …”, I would like to add to that list: muffin tops, jelly bellies, whale tails, cameltoes, builders bum and excessive frontal cleavage. I am not advocating a return to puritan ideals, just that we should keep certain abundant fleshy areas disguised better. Think of it as more room to display the glorious clothing we create!

  • Cimg3487_large

    Mar 20, 2010, 09.36 AMby dschudie

    i can´t hear it anymore….not every woman is able to wear every shape, that´s clear! but i´m so happy with the burdastyle.com designs, because they design those sort of garnments. they´re are always fashionable, young and sooo trendy <3 if you want boring “for every shape of body patterns” use patterns from the magazine etc.

    please be thankful of the modern style from the burda team!

    and i say it a second time i love the marilyn trousers!

    1 Reply
  • Missing

    Mar 19, 2010, 01.22 PMby avam

    Yea! My waist is craving the fit. And no, I am not shaped like a model. When (and if) I actually make these I would decrease the depth of the pleats just a bit as I am afraid it would round out and accentuate my less than flat tummy.

  • Legit_colorshot_large

    Mar 19, 2010, 11.13 AMby movant

    I think most women look fat in pleated pants – Keep in mind the woman wearing these pants is a model, therefore she is most likely about 15 pounds under average weight for her height – she has no hips, which would be deadly looking in these pants, and absolutely no behind to speak of. High-waisted pants make anyone with hips look bigger – period. Face it ladies – most of us have hips that are bigger than the model’s. I am a big no on these pants.

  • Missing

    Mar 19, 2010, 03.10 AMby sewwise

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t like these pants, either. I have slim build and wear a small size. I could wear these pants but won’t; I don’t think the baggy crotch is attractive, I think they fall to short, but I know that’s adjustable. Just not into them.

  • Dsc01175_large

    Mar 18, 2010, 07.35 PMby Betty Cox

    BEAUTIFUL. they are lovely trousers, these are what i live in, i don’t own any jeans. i’m 4ft 10" and they oddly look good, even though i’m short. but yes they are absolutely for a certain body type. just in the same way that empire line dresses look completely horrendous on flat chested ladies like myself, and long gypsy skirts can make short people look squat. diversity and range is surely a good thing? that’s why we’re all here isn’t it?

  • Dad06590c914a9a1c67387dab315d1dc5ade20ea_large

    Mar 18, 2010, 06.42 PMby simka

    I simply hate these pants! Also, I do think that these do not look good on any women’s body at all. No matter how tall, skinny or curvy you are – in my eyes, these pants are nothing but unflattering. ‘m only glad that this trend seems to be over for the next winter season, I haven’t seen one in the latest fashion shows. ;)

    I’m sorry if I offended anyone – I do not mean to be rude, this is only my opinion, so please bear with me. :)

  • 9c135d9ef4236b867a6734e9c10de515d75ffdcb_large

    Mar 18, 2010, 05.05 PMby foxyroxy

    I like these pants, but for a good fit you have to slender and tall. I can’t see some under 5"6 in these pants. The model looks really good her height and weight compliments the pants. I’m 5"8/180lbs…athletic build, these pants would not drape well on my body type w/o making me appear larger than I am.

  • Ashleigh1_large

    Mar 18, 2010, 02.51 PMby sewgurlwmu

    Trendy and fun. Thanks Burdastyle for creating this pattern. Though I would never wear it, I can see some beautifully skinny women looking awesome in these pants. When I saw this pattern I immediately thought of that tall blond lady from Project Runway last season…Althea I think her name was…She made these pants a few times and the judges just loooved them! She made it all the way to fashion week! So, thanks for a trendy pattern.

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