The fashion industry has a funny way of repeating itself, revolutionizing and revisiting styles new and old. For a long period of the United States’ history (and many other areas across the globe), women were barred from stepping out in a pair of pants. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1930s that American women were allowed to wear pants in public without fear of arrest.
Over the past near-century, women’s fashion has transformed—opening up doors for experimentation and self-expression. Today, the face of women’s pants comes in a number of edgy cuts and fits. From jeans and leggings to joggers and slacks, the options are vast and exist within every style-sphere out there.
Are you looking to spice up your pants wardrobe? Do you need a bit of creative inspiration to craft some cool outfits? Let’s explore the many cuts of pants on the modern market.
To the naked eye, pants are pants—and to an extent, they are. However with the right pair of pants, an outfit can be completely transformed. But how exactly does one go about picking out the right pair of pants? Depending on how you define your style and what mood you’re in when faced with your wardrobe, the most appealing pair of pants will look different on a day to day basis.
Every pair of pants accomplishes something different—whether it’s keeping your legs warm on a blustery morning, providing the flexibility you need for a session at the gym, or making a statement at a long-awaited job interview, the right pair of pants strikes that fine balance between fashion and function. So what’s out there? What’s already living in your closet and what will you stock up on next? Whether you’re looking into smart capsule wardrobe creation or just looking for some stylist-provided inspiration, you've come to the right place. Let’s dive into the many cuts of pants living in all of your favorite shops and boutiques.
In 1934, Levi Strauss & Co. became the first global manufacturer to introduce the world’s first pair of jeans made exclusively for women. Originally designed for women working on farms and ranches, Lady Levi’s transformed into a symbol of feminist progression—disbarring the many societal and legal restrictions placed on womenswear.
Today, denim jeans are a part of every woman’s wardrobe. They’re sleek, stylish and supremely versatile for any and all of your style moods. Check out the cuts and styles that are likely already living in your closet.
The 70s called and they’re saying “you’re welcome” for the invention and popularization of the bell bottom. While the modern flare jean may be a more toned-down version of the bell-bottom pant, it carries the same spunky flair.
Though the rise of the skinny jean may have proved difficult for flare jeans, they’re back and better than ever. Whether you’re dressing for a casual workday or hitting the city with your best gals, a pair of flare jeans beautifully complements any occasion no matter how formal or casual.
Though cigarette jeans may seem like the latest trend to hit all of your favorite jean sellers’ racks, they’ve been in style since the 1950s and worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Sandra Dee in their earliest days. Characterized by their slim, but not too snug fit, cigarette jeans maintain a leg-skimming straight structure from the waistband to the hemline that ends just an inch or two above the ankle.
Living somewhere between the skinny jean and the bootcut jean, cigarette jeans are equal parts casual, classic and chic—an excellent choice for crafting cute pants outfits.
Mom jeans first became fashionable in the early 1990s, and all of its loose-fitting comfort has come back in a big way. Mom jeans are best known for their high-waisted, relaxed fit, which flatters all bodies.
The return of the mom jean has paved the way for more spacious and breathable clothing, something every woman can appreciate after years spent in skin-tight skinny jeans.
The boyfriend jean is the low-rise sibling to the mom jean. Defined by its relaxed fit, baggy shape and ultra-comfortable wearability, the boyfriend jean is the perfect pants outfit starter for errand running, wine tasting and mall shopping.
The ankle crop comes in many forms but always cuts the hemline just above the ankle. Keep it neutral with a skinny ankle crop or add a splash of dimension with a cropped flare. Ankle cropped jeans are ideal for the spring and autumn season, and pair seamlessly with a slip-on sneaker or a riding boot.
There are so many types of women’s pants that branch outside of denim jeans that serve up eye-catching silhouettes and feminine flair the moment you slip them on. Revel in the sprawling variety of shapes, fits, and cuts with these outstanding pants cuts.
The more polished and trendy version of business-casual slacks, the pixie pant is the perfect half to a swanky pantsuit. Constructed with a narrow fit through the leg, the pixie pant’s hemline ends a few inches above the ankle, allowing you to step into your workplace in a pair of ballet flats or high-heels.
Leggings have become the latest women’s wardrobe staple since the athleisure scene exploded into the dynamic force it is today. Typically made of cotton, lycra, and polyester blends, leggings are the barely-there pants that are perfectly wearable to yoga, the office or wherever else you go. A pair of black leggings can be dressed up or dressed down with the right top and shoe selection.
Palazzo pants are long, flowy, trousers that feature extremely loose wide legs that flare out from the waist. While palazzo pants are a popular summer bottoms choice, these 1960’s style pants are all-season friendly and age-friendly.
Take the everyday sweatpant, but make it fashionable. The modern jogger is distinguished for having elasticized ankle hemlines and waistbands and a baggy fit. While some joggers are made for the gym, some are designed to deliver business-casual comfort. For a comfier feel, opt for a pair made with gentle cotton. For a more formal feel, choose a pair made of light silky fabrics for an elegant touch.
While some view the culotte as a reimagined gaucho pant, others see these billowy pants as shorter palazzo pants. Featuring a wide-leg construction that lengthens your figure, culottes are the ultimate warm-weather pants that let you move freely throughout your busy day.
Cute Pants Outfits
Use these top-notch pants outfit ideas to match the season you’re living in or the next event on your calendar.
The Pants: Burgundy joggers
The Outfit: A slouchy black graphic tee with a pair of simple white trainers functions as a dynamic duo. Drop off your laundry, pick up the kids, or catch up with Netflix in this relaxed outfit.
The Pants: High-waisted blue flare jeans
The Outfit: A cap-sleeve top looks effortlessly stylish with a pair of black ballet flats, a pair of metal-rimmed sunglasses, and a red crossbody bag.
Girl’s Night Out
The Pants: Black faux-leather leggings
The Outfit: A matching black moto jacket paired with a square-neck camisole and a funky pair of animal print flats serves up some serious model-esque vibes for a night on the town. Add a splash of sparkle with a dainty necklace and a few stacking rings.
The Pants: Navy blue pixie pants
The Outfit: A coordinating navy blue blazer with a patterned button-down blouse and a pair of neutral-tone pointy flats pulls this pants outfit together.
The Pants: Black cigarette jeans
The Outfit: A beige turtleneck knit sweater with a plaid scarf beneath a knee-length black wool coat looks effortlessly chic and keeps you warm all day long. Keep it casual with a printed slip-on sneaker, or make it work-appropriate with a sophisticated pointed flat.
The Pants: Light wash ankle-cropped skinny jeans
The Outfit: A white v-neck tee with a camel colored moto jacket and finished off with a white round-toe flat is breezy and beautiful—taking the spirit of the season into full bloom.
The Pants: Mustard yellow palazzo pants
The Outfit: A white off-shoulder bodysuit paired with some comfortable loafers is a stellar ensemble for vacation getaways and countryside sightseeing. Accessorize with an oversized floppy hat and a pair of round sunglasses for full-coverage sun protection.
The Pants: Black distressed mom jeans
The Outfit: A black-and-white striped long-sleeve top with a burgundy quilted vest has you looking fall-festive and fashion-functional in one fell swoop. Cushion your toes in a pair of sand-colored slip-on sneakers.
Styling any cut of pants becomes infinitely easier when you have a firm grasp on exactly what you're working with. Whether you’re curating bold skinny jean outfits or country festival-ready bootcut pant outfits, with this guide you’re plenty steps closer to achieving the outfit of your dreams.