19 Types of Pants Essential For A Woman’s Wardrobe

Discover the 19 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.

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.


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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