32 Types of Pants Essential For A Woman’s Wardrobe

Discover 32 different types of pants for a women's wardrobe. Every type listed and described along with photo example.
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Types of trousers for women

Pants are among the most overlooked aspects of women’s fashion. Since the late 19th century, more and more women have added pants to their wardrobes. Well-fitted pants can go with just about any type of shirt or t-shirt you own, be it a tank top, a formal shirt, or even a collared/round-neck t-shirt. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of jeans or pants to help you don a stylish look, then consider the following suggestions.

1. Denim Jeans

A blonde woman dressed in skinny blue denim jeans

Naturally, every woman has at least one pair of jeans in her wardrobe. However, denim jeans come in many different styles and shapes and it is essential that they fit right. Denim jeans can be skinny, flared, bootcut or boyfriend jeans.

If you have big thighs, look for straight-legged denim jeans that fit nicely on the hip and flow down in a straight line to your ankle. This gives a great slimming effect. For a plus size lady, relaxed denim jeans can do wonders. They are not too tight and easily flow down your curves. Some have a high rise cut in the back to provide more coverage and give an uplifted effect to your rear end. If you are on the shorter side, shop for some skinny, dark wash jeans that taper towards the bottom of the legs. This will help you look taller.

The best part of owning the perfect pair of jeans is that they can be worn over anything — cropped tops, skirts, formal dress shirts, tank tops and can even be worn during formal events.

2. Palazzo Pants

A young woman dressed in a white blouse and black palazzo pants

Palazzo pants have an extremely loose and wide cut that flares out straight from the waist. They are usually made from airy, breathable and flowing fabrics and suit virtually all kinds of body types. Palazzo pants make your legs look longer. They also disguise bigger thighs and help skinny women look more rounded.

Palazzo pants are so versatile that they can be worn over slides, sandals and sky-high heels. Women can also wear them to the office with a fitted blouse and wear the same pair to a pool party with a relaxed, colorful, floaty top.

Palazzo pants are available in solid single colors as well as printed materials. The fabric can range from soft cotton to silky satin.

3. Trousers

A young woman dressed in a dark red blouse and black tailored trousers

Tailored trousers, as the name says, should be tailored according to your size. These trousers are well-fitted to your body and women usually wear them to the office or on formal occasions. They look attractive as well as professional, especially if you have a corporate meeting.

However, their downside is that if they are not properly fitted, they can ruin your entire outfit look and make embarrassing fashion faux pas. They also need to be ironed well prior to wearing; no tailored trousers look good with wrinkles.

Otherwise, these are fabulous substitutes to wear to a formal event, even a wedding, if you are not in the mood to wear a dress.

2 types of trousers:

a. Pleated:  Pleated pants have pleats.  There are many different types of pleats that adorn pants.

b. Flat-front:  These have no pleats.

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4. Track Pants

A blonde woman dressed in a red track suit with black stripe

Track pants are one of the most comfy types of trousers you can wear. These are a great option if you are on the move all day and need to wear something relaxing and comfortable. Many women wear them to the gym, so they come in sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabrics, as well.

The best part is that they are not as baggy as sweat pants and hence, look so much cooler. It is not a bad idea to stock your wardrobe with several types of track pants in your favorite colors.

5. High-Waisted Pants

A young woman dressed in high-waisted jeans and a leather jacket

In the 1960s, Marilyn Monroe starred in the movie “Misfits” and wore high-waisted jeans with a tucked-in shirt. High-waisted pants became popular in the 1970s, along with low-rise pants. Today, they are all the rage and come in several different styles. These pants sit high on a woman’s waist, usually higher than the navel. When paired with a tucked-in blouse and a thick belt, like Monroe, high-rise pants look super chic.

High-waisted pants are popular because they accentuate a woman’s waist and fit her in all the right places. Women also pair them up with thick belts to further cinch in the waist. These pants were usually worn super-tight in the 1950s but are now available in wide-legged variety as well.

6. Cropped/ Capri Pants

A young woman wearing stylish black Capri pants with heels

Cropped pants are pants that end just above the ankle. Capris are shorter than cropped pants as they end mid-calf. These pants first gained popularity in the 1950s, when women replaced full-length pants with these shorter versions to appear cooler. They are still in vogue today.

Both types of pants are casual pants, capris more so than cropped pants. Capris work best when worn in a single color over sneakers or heels. Because they end mid-calf, it is not appropriate to wear them to formal events. However, cropped pants, which are longer, can sometimes be worn to formal occasions, depending on the fabric.

7. Leggings

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Leggings are undoubtedly the most comfortable pants to ever exist. These pants are made of stretchy and soft material, which can easily expand to accommodate a range of sizes. Their tight and stretchy fit makes them ideal to wear during yoga practice, jogging and other forms of physical activity, but women can wear them any time to all sorts of casual places.

The great thing about leggings is that they come in a huge variety of patterns, prints and colors, including neon and give an edge to every outfit you wear. They can be paired with cropped tops, t-shirts, lumpy sweaters, tank tops and more.

8. Distressed/ Ripped Jeans

A young woman wearing a pair of blue distressed jeans with sneakers

Jeans have come a long way from being worn by miners and construction workers in the 19th century. Distressed jeans, like most of the more radical fashion style, emerged in the 1970s’ punk culture era. They remained popular throughout the rock metal era of the 1980s and the late 1990s’ grunge movement.

Now, the technique of ripping perfectly good pair of pants into shreds has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Mega brands use sand blasting to achieve the illusion of wear and tear on jeans, a method that is quite controversial and dangerous.

However, ripped jeans still hold a lot of sway over the wardrobes of many and Hollywood celebrities are frequently seen flaunting them.

9. Harem Pants

A young woman practicing yoga in cotton harem pants

Harem pants are loose, baggy pants, gathered in at the ankles and are inspired by the Middle Eastern trousers worn by women. These pants are worn by belly dancers in Egypt but in recent decades have become increasingly popular with the mainstream public. They are also known as genie pants.

These days, the fashion of harem pants seems to have caught on and you see a lot of K-pop members and some Hollywood celebrities wearing them. What’s so great about them is that because of their blowsy cut, they are the most forgiving type of pants and flatter both male and female and skinny and plus-size figures.

You can wear them as lounge wear or get them in a rich, patterned fabric and rock a party in them.

10. Jodhpurs

A young woman wearing beige breeches or jodhpurs while horse riding

Jodhpur pants are riding breeches and are tightly fitted beneath the knee. They are named after the Indian city of Jodhpur and are inspired by the “churidar pajamas” worn by both men and women in the South Asian region.  These pants are made so that they can accommodate high-rise horse-riding boots.

In their early days, jodhpurs were loose fitting around the hip and butt area so that the rider could easily and comfortably sit on a horse. These days, however, the pants are tight-fitted throughout and are worn more as a fashion statement rather than when one is riding horses.

11. Cargo Pants

Combat pants for women

Cargo pants were first worn by the British army personnel in the 1030s, because the numerous pockets provided many storage areas and access to gears. Nowadays, these pants are worn more for their fashion rather than functional value.

Cargo pants gained notoriety, thanks to the rise of the street and urban hip hop style in the 1990s. Nowadays, cargo pants are worn by both men and women. These pants are worn best with fitted crop tops and tank tops but women rock the look with sweaters, denim jackets and tees as well. They are also available in a wide palette of colors as well, ranging from the traditional khaki to bright neons.

12. Carpenter Pants

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Another pant style that belonged to working class, carpenter pants, are all the rage now. Also known as overalls and dungarees, this garment is usually made from tough fabric, like denim, to be worn as a protective covering.

Now, the dungarees are the go-to fashion thanks to celebrities like Rihanna and Alexa Chung. For women, overalls are made of softer fabrics, like cotton, as well. They are also available in floral, polka dots and geometric prints and in numerous feminine colors. The best part is that you can just pair them up with a simple t-shirt or a tank top. They also look great with high heels, sneakers and sandals.

Dungarees also come in full length pants version or the shorts version. You can pick your style!

13. Jumpsuit

Red jumpsuit

Jumpsuits, as the name indicates, were once worn by parachuters. Today, they refer to any one piece, neck-to-ankle garment. They are also a bit tricky to pull off.

Casual jumpsuits usually come with relaxed fit that you can give some shape to with a nice belt. Women should avoid wearing jumpsuits that are too baggy as they can give a very dumpy and shapeless look. They should also be wary of wearing jumpsuits where the waist is completely lot and the backside, hips and legs look like one long rectangular block.

If you are attending a wedding or a gala, only wear tailored and fitted jumpsuits that hug you in all the right places, like a gown. If you want to wear a shorter version of jumpsuit that ends mid-calf, choose a flared-leg style. Petite women should be extra careful wearing short jumpsuits as they tend to stump height. Also, don’t wear jumpsuits that are very tight as they look unappealing.

14. Flared Pants

Flared wide-legged pants

Flared pants have a normal fit at the thighs but flare out from beneath the knees. They are a bit like the bell bottoms of the 60s, without so much bell to them. As with all modern versions, flared pants are available in a variety of styles, colors and prints. Megabrands sell flared pants in a single, solid color or with prints for a boho chic look.

As with most relaxed garments, proportion is everything. You can wear these pants with both tight and loose tops, cashmere sweaters or semi-sheer blouses. These pants are great for a shopping spree or a night out and you can complete the look by adding some statement accessories. Most women go for tight fitted shirts and straight cut long coats with these pants, as they have a wide cut.

15. Hot Pants

Daisy Dukes shorts

One of the more radical fashions of the 1960s, hot pants are very short shorts. These shorts are quite tight and are made of tough cotton, rayon or any other fabric and are reinforced with fabric so that the pants do not easily split at the seam. The denim version of these shorts is known as “Daisy Dukes” in reference to the main female protagonist of the TV series, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” These hot pants are a popular garment to wear at pool parties, beach or lakeside.

These casual shorts are often worn in the warm season. Although hot pants are a bit risqué, you can still wear them like a lady by pairing tailored shorts with a chic, sharp-looking blazer and high heels. Just make sure the fit is right; excessively tight hot pants tend to look tawdry. Nowadays, brands are making more relaxed fitting hot pants for curvier women. So, don’t be afraid to try these out.

16. Corduroy Pants

Woman on grass wearing turtleneck, corduroy pants, and boots.

Corduroy is a durable fabric made of woven yarns and vertical ribs or wales. It may be piece-dyed or patterned and named according to its number of wales per inch.

17. Chino Pants

Woman standing by the door wearing white long sleeves and chino pants.

Chino pants were first worn in the 19th century when British Lieutenant Sir Harry Lumsden asked for his troops’ bright white trousers to be dyed into the colored “khaki,” a Hindu term for “dust,” which was used to dye the trousers, for camouflage purposes. It later became called as “chinos” during the Spanish-American war of 1898 from the Spanish word chino, referring to the Eastern Asian country where the cotton twill fabric came from.

18. Linen Pants

Woman sleeping on bed in a fetal position and wearing a tank top and linen pants.

Linen is made of flax and is considered one of the oldest woven fabrics. The fabric has been used as early as 30,000 B.C. in Georgia from rope-making to clothing. Linen may be easily wrinkled but it’s undeniably one of the most comfortable fabrics for clothing. It’s breathable, water-absorbent, easy-to-wash, and beautiful.

19. Twill Pants

Female carpenter sawing a piece of wood.

Twill pants are made of heavyweight durable fabric which is ideal for outerwear or manual labor such as carpentry and construction. The twill weave has diagonal patterns called as “wales” and woven on heddles to produce elegant and sturdy twill weaves.

20. Jeggings

Model on a round chair wearing black leather jacket, jeggings, and heels.

Jeggings is a combination word rooted in “jeans” and “leggings.” As patrons started to realize the miracle that was the combination of figure-hugging jeans and stretch denim, the denim started to become stretchier and stretchier until there became practically no difference between the more dramatically lycra-spandex pants we wear for workouts and yoga and our “street clothes.” It was a prime invention because women everywhere increasingly want to showcase their figures without sacrificing the comfort and freedom of movement.

21. Rugged Cotton Canvas Work Pants and Painters Pants

Woman wearing a checkered shirt and work pants and holding paint brushes while leaning on a ladder.

Carhartt, a brand famous for providing garments for construction workers, forest and agricultural workers and other professionals who need the toughest stuff on earth, has a women’s line. This cotton canvas is the toughest and thickest stuff around. Mostly these pants fit loosely and might be enforced with brass grommets at the corner seams. They usually take many washes and wears to “break in” like a pair of work boots. As you live and work in them, it’s almost like they start to mold to your body and become your own! You might find a loop sewn in to hold a hammer or other tools. There’s likely a pocket for a paintbrush in the style of painter’s pants.

22. Stretch-knit pants

Model wearing a matching long sleeve top and stretch-knit pants with a tote shoulder bag.

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Stretch knit fabric is not necessarily form fitting like the thicker technological blends used in athletic pants. Stretch knit is usually a predominantly rayon blend (with polyester, cotton, or nylon) intended to drape and flow in unique ways. It is elastic with four-way stretch and so very comfortable. Usually, this fabric is considered very informal and casual. It’s inexpensive and a lot of mass-produced fashion relies heavily on it.

Now that we have outlined most of the fabrics and textiles that make up the types of women’s pants on the market, let’s talk about the different styles (cuts) of pants and the silhouettes they hope to achieve. It’s important to know that the industry is now so varied that its possible to find most of these cuts and styles in infinite combinations in almost any fabric.

23. Skinny Jeans, a.k.a. Form-fitting All the Way Through

Cropped photo of a model lying on the floor wearing skinny jeans.

The popularity of wearing jeans skin-tight from top to bottom quickly overlapped with the leggings craze. They shape the booty. The emphasize shapely thighs and calves. Contrary to their name, they don’t make you skinnier. But they sure do showcase your assets. They also cancel out the short-girl problem of having to get all her pants hemmed. A little bit of fabric bunching at the ankles is just fine.

24. Straight-legged Pants

Straight-legged pants

This refers to the most traditional cut on the market and is favored by mature women who are not swayed wildly too and fro by trends. There’s an equal amount of room in the butt, thighs, right down to the calves.

25. Wide-legged Pants

Model wearing a white shirt underneath a jeans jacket, wide-legged pants and holding a handbag.

Wide-legged pants are pants that are cut equal in width at both the thighs right down to the hems. They are also sometimes called “elephant jeans,” or “drum jeans” because of the uniform width throughout. Unlike baggier, “boyfriend fit” jeans, the crotch of the pants is not cut lower.

26. Bellbottoms

Model wearing a black tank top and bellbottoms.

Bellbottoms were at their trendy, hippie peak in the 60s. Bellbottoms are tightly fitted from crotch all the way through the thigh and they flare out dramatically from the knee to the hems in the shape of a “bell.” the width of the bells at their widest point can vary greatly. Some are even designed to fully cover the shoes. Shorter women probably need to have the inseams hemmed precisely because fabric dragging on the ground is unsightly and cuffing bellbottoms doesn’t work well.

27. Hip-hop Pants

Model wearing a cap, tank top, hip-hop pants, and sneakers and posing with a peace finger sign.

Popular in the 90’s dance, parkour, and movement communities among both genders, hip-hop style can be equated to wearing one’s pants several sizes too big and holding them up with a chunky belt too big for ease. With a lot of the abrupt movements prevalent in hip-hop, extremely loose clothing adds an eye-pleasing dimension to the popping, locking, and jerking movements required by the genre.

28. Boyfriend Jeans

Model sitting on concrete ground wearing shades, black top, and boyfriend jeans.

We include the boyfriend jeans in this article about pants for women because they’re for sale in the women’s section: jeans cut to fit just like your boyfriend’s jeans would on you– loosely, with a slightly dropped crotch, with generous pockets, and sometimes with a few subtle extra feminine improvements, like a little more room in the hips.

29. Floods

Model wearing off shoulders blouse, floods pants, and stilettos.

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Floods are pants that end around the tops of the ankles. They are essentially the length between capris and full-length pants. These can also be made of any fabric and can fit closely or loosely. They are considered dressier than capris.

30. Hip-slung

Different portraits of a model wearing turtleneck long sleeves blouse and hipslung jeans.

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Hip-slung jeans have fallen out of style in recent years, but they will always have their place. At one point in the mid-2000s, it was like designers were having a contest between themselves to see how low-rise they could make their styles. That was also around the time thongs became popular. People were trying to avoid unsightly underwear lines and wear sexier undergarments, but then that’s when “whale tail” became a thing (when the waistband of your thong rose above the waist of your hip-slung jeans). On the other hand, hip-slung pants are great for emphasizing an amazingly toned stomach.

31. Side-zip and Back-zip Trousers

Back Zip Pants

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Trousers often vary where their zippers are to make room for other cool details like sailor buttons. When buying pants with a side or back zip, make sure the zipper sits flat against your body to avoid unsightly bulges.

32. Convertible Pants

Convertible Pants

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These pants are most often worn for outdoor activities and matters of practicality. It’s when your pants have zippers going width-wise around the circumference of the fabric your knees, allowing you to zip off the legs of your pants and turn them into shorts. Sometimes a zip-off option is available mid-thigh and/or mid-calf.

 

If you are trying to enhance your wardrobe with smarter, chic looking clothing, we suggest you try any number of the pants given above. Shop your favorite look and become a show stopper at any place or event.



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