If I was to offer to clean your closet and drawers where you keep your clothes, how many types of pants would I find? If you are like many people, I will see less than seven types of pants. Yet, there are over 48 styles available.
In this post, I will discuss some of them and share ideas about how to wear them. I will also share some history about pants and give you some buying advice.
Therefore, I encourage you to read this entire post. Unless you are a fashion queen or king, I promise you that you will learn about some new types of pants or a little bit about their history that you did not know.
Without further ado, let’s start learning about types of pants!
You will also sound much more knowledgeable at the end of this chapter as we will discuss what the different parts of pants are called so that you can use the correct terminology.
What are pants?
The word pants means an outer garment covering each leg separately. Furthermore, pants typically extend from about the ankle to about the waist. When used before a noun, it is often singular, as in pant leg. While the term is pants in the United States, in the United Kingdom, they are called trousers, while in Australia, they are referred to as daks.
Manufacturers make pants out of many different materials. The most common is cotton. Other natural fabrics include wool, canvas, silk, and linen. Manufacturers also use manufactured materials like polyester, satin, and rayon.
You can find pants in every color under the rainbow. Most men have black, khaki, gray, white, and blue pants in their closet. The most common color of women’s pants sold is black, but most women own many other colors, including blue, gray, khaki, and brown.
In the United States, over $110 billion is generated annually through the sales of pants. The industry is quickly growing at the rate of about 10.6% annually. It is estimated that United States consumers will buy over 5 billion pieces in 2023. Consumers in the United States buy more pants than anywhere else in the world.
About 66% of women wear pants to work at least twice a week, and about 38% wear pants to work daily. Furthermore, women confess that khakis and jeans are their favorite styles of pants.
About 50% of respondents in a poll conducted by Women’s Wear Daily identified casual pants and jeans as their favorite style to wear, while 19% report wearing dressy slacks with separate tops, and the remainder report wearing pants that allow them to create a classic suit look.
What types of pants are trendy?
Pant trends will come and go, but some styles of pants have been highly fashionable for a long time. Leather pants are always perfect for a night out on the town. Most women have a favorite type of jeans, and many people wear other denim pants when jeans are not appropriate. Wool trousers are a popular choice for men and women.
According to the survey, if a woman cannot wear jeans, then her favorite style of pants is khakis. Since they are manufactured from heavier cotton fabric, many report not only loving them for work but also for play.
While falling far behind jeans and khakis, the third most popular style of pants was capri pants. These pants ending about mid-calf can be made from many different fabrics, with cotton and polyester being popular choices. They also can have fitted or elastic waistbands.
While many men wear jeans when they can, most have a variety of pants in their wardrobes. A popular choice is chinos, and these cotton twill pants are usually khaki.
Wool trousers are a popular choice for cooler days. While the tailoring of these pants lends itself very well to wearing with blazers and sports coats, many people choose to wear them with sweaters to create a casual outfit.
Pleated trousers are another popular choice. Many guys find the looser cut of these pants more comfortable. They often find that they can move in them easier.
The versatility of joggers makes them a favorite of many men. These pants, which are often made of jersey fabric, are ideal for dressing up or down. Therefore, their great flexibility means that men often find themselves reaching for them.
History & origins of pants
The oldest pair dates from between 3,500 and 3,200 years ago, and it was found in a Yanghai cemetery in Turpan, Sinkiang, in Western China. Men likely wore these straight-legged garments with a wide crotch while horseback riding. These pants indicate an interesting story of how different cultures influenced their development.
These pants that were found on a mummy have two series of bands on them. The first series of woven bands is right below the knee. This band has a T-shape design on it. You can see the same design on many bronze vessels across Western China dating from about 3,300 years ago. The second set was near the ankles and used to hold short leather boots in place.
The legs on the pants got wider at the top. The fabric contains a pyramid pattern. That pattern can be observed on vessels dating about 3,500 years ago. Experts believe that this pattern and the T-shaped one was spread across Western China by Yanghai horseman.
The leg pieces were connected to an extremely wide crotch piece. The crotch piece bunches in the middle, which archeologists believe allowed the man to move his legs freely without the garment reducing his range of motion.
Most of the pants were made using a twill weave. The twill weave allowed whoever made the pants to create white stripes from the bottom of the legs to the crotch piece. The area around the knees was created with a tapestry weave, making it thicker. Whoever made the pants used a third weaving technique on the waistband to add extra padding in this area.
Were pants always called pants?
The word pants is short for pantaloons, and that word comes from the Pantalope, which was a greedy character in Italian comedic theater from the 16th to the mid-18th century. While the character wore breeches and long stockings about the 16th century, those breeches eventually became long pants.
While the oldest pair of pants ever found dates back to about 3,500 years ago, Greek folklore suggests that women in Ancient Greece wore pants to blur the physical appearance of the sexes during battles.
The reign of Queen Semarias, who reigned about 800 B.C., is credited with designing trousers for her subjects so that enemies could not tell if their opponent was a man or a woman. Then, she would reveal her sex after capturing her opponent. She deemed pants very practical as she rode horses and climbed rock walls to defeat her enemies.
By the time of the Restoration in England, people wore pantaloons in public. Americans shortened the term to pants in the early 19th century, but that word was considered vulgar to many in Great Britain.
American Southern Lit. Messenger receives credit for being the first publication to use the word pants in 1835 when they published a piece by M.M. Noah, who was America’s first famous Jewish writer.
In fact, the word pants might not have ever come into regular vocabulary as it was considered a vulgar term except that Edgar Allen Poe used it in his writings. He is credited by the video “Mysteries of Vernacular: Pants” and by “Manly Manners: Lifestyle and Modern Etiquette” by Wayne James for using the term before 1840.
And he definitely used it in 1850 when he wrote: “The Portable.” Until about 1860, the term pants referred only to men’s trousers, except in Great Britain, where the term has always referred to underwear.
What are the different parts of a pair of pants called?
Pants have many parts, and using the correct terminology to describe them is essential when communicating with others. While you put your pants on daily and do not think about the different parts, some pants have at least 15 different parts. They include:
- Waistband – This band of fabric at the top of the pants can help hold them up, and it typically is made from two layers of fabric folded on top of each other.
- Belt loop – This part of the pants, when present, is designed for the belt to run through. They can be as simple as a piece of thread or be wide fabric pieces.
- Button – Some pants have a button in front, which is designed to help hold the fly closed.
- Fly – The fly’s purpose is to hide the zipper or buttons at the top of the pants. While it is typically in the front, it can be on the side or in the back.
- Watch pocket – This pocket is usually inside the right pocket on pants.
- Pockets – Pants can have a variety of pockets. Patch, side, and flap are the most common, but there are many variations.
- Rivets – These metal pieces found on the corners of pockets help keep the pocket from ripping off when present, and they can add to the pant’s overall design.
- Crotch point – This is the point where the two legs on the pants come together.
- Back yoke – As the name suggests, this fabric is found on the back of some pants, and it helps to ensure a closer fit.
- Back rise – This part in the back is where the two legs of the pants meet.
- Seams – This is where fabric is sewn together. Most pants have at least front, back, and side seams, but they can have many more.
- Zipper- When present, the zipper helps hold the pants up and makes them bigger, making them easier to put on.
What’s the difference between pants and trousers?
While there are subtle differences between pants and trousers, many people use the two words interchangeably. In those differences, grammar teachers and fashion editors will tell you that you are wrong. Before they do, then let’s learn the differences.
Pants are any garment with separate leg holes designed to be worn below the waist. Designers make them come from about your waist to your ankles, although some may be a little shorter while others are a little longer.
As we have already discussed, people in the United Kingdom have a different definition because pants are underwear there. So do not ask someone if they love your pants unless you want a very strange look.
All trousers are pants, but not all pants are trousers. If the garment is made from a single piece of fabric, it is a pair of trousers. If the garment is made from two or more pieces of fabric, then it is not trousers. In the United Kingdom, all garments containing two leg holes that come to about your ankles are called trousers.
While we are having this discussion, let’s add two more words that are sometimes used to define garments meant to cover your legs. The first one is slacks, which are loose-fitting pants designed for casual wear.
This term is somewhat archaic but respect your elders by letting them call them slacks if they want. Meanwhile, dress pants are pants that are more formal in design. Therefore, they are perfect for wearing with blazers and suit coats.
If you open your closet and feel like you are looking at the same style or two of pants a million times, then the next chapter is ideal for you. We will take a deep dive into about 50 different types of pants. Then, you will be better able to expand the choices in your wardrobe, but to do that, you must keep reading.
A friend convinced me to help her move the other day. I was a sucker and agreed, and I tackled her closet. I discovered that she had five pairs of the same pant, three of which were even in the same color and size.
No, they were not uniform pants because that would be understandable. When I asked her about it later, she said she was talked into them by talented salespeople, and she momentarily forgot that she had them at home.
As her birthday was coming, I went on a shopping spree with her, and she now has three new styles of pants to wear.
Now that you know about 48 types of pants for men and women, we will look at how to put them to use in building fabulous-looking outfits. Therefore, you will want to keep reading.
Baggy pants are pants that flare out from the waist. Many options have either a drawstring or elastic at the waist. These pants may have become popular in the 1990s because prisons did not allow belts, so pants worn by inmates would sag.
They are especially popular with skateboarders and hip-hoppers. Many employers have passed dress codes to stop the wearing of these pants to work. So if you are looking for pants for work, skip this option. While you can find baggy pants made of denim, there are other choices, including cotton options.
Manufacturers usually make these pants from double-knit fabric. There are many styles of baseball pants. While classical options are full length, you can also find knicker pants that end about the knee and are usually cut fuller.
Piped baseball pants have a single pinstripe down the outside of their legs and may have one on the inside. Regardless of the style that you choose, these body-fitting pants have come a long way since the 1840s, when the first professional baseball team wore baggy wool trousers.
Starting in the 1860s, baseball teams switched to knickers, which might have stayed that way except for New York Giants player Carl Hubbell who insisted on wearing long pants. Form-fitting uniforms became the mainstay in the 1980s.
Bell bottoms or flares
Bell-bottom pants flare out at the knee. One of the earliest groups to wear this style were sailors because the wide leg made it easy to pluck a man who had fallen overboard the water. During the 1970s, elephant bell bottom pants became very popular, with some having 23-inch leg openings.
These pants are incredibly tight at the knee and flare out from there, creating the shape of an old-fashioned school bell. In the 21st century, these pants have a much tinier flare, with options for women often flaring more than for men. While denim is a popular choice, you can find knit options.
Unlike flares that have a large flare from the knee, the flare is much smaller on bootcut pants. These pants are cut straight down from the waist to the knee. These pants first became popular with ranchers and cowboys because they allowed for boots to be worn under the pants.
The first bootcut pants were high-waisted, but over the years, the waist height has gone down and up. While wearing boots with these pants remains a popular choice, they can also be worn with platform shoes. These pants can be an excellent choice for people who want to elongate their legs because they make them look longer.
Bondage pants are usually black, but you can find other colors. The original bondage pants had highly visible white stitching. These pants have chains, rings, buckles, zippers, and straps attached to them, and they are usually worn by people who enjoy punk rock or other alternative styles of music.
The original skinny style was anti-fashion when manufacturers introduced them in the 1990s. Since then, manufacturers have offered some bondage pants with wider legs.
While these pants are usually full-length, capris are also available. Punk rock groups like Sex Pistols, Jordan and Adam Ant made these pants popular by wearing them during their concerts.
You can argue that capris are not pants because they do not come to the ankles. Nonetheless, capris are close-fitting women’s pants that end above the ankle, usually about mid-calf. They can have an elastic waistband or a solid one.
There is debate about who created the first pair of capris. Some say Italian designer Emilio Pucci was the first to design these pants in the 1950s and named them after Capri Island.
While others say, it was Sonja Born who was walking on the beach when the bottoms of her pants got wet who deserves credit for inventing them. Others insist it was Sonja de Lennar who protested that only men were allowed to wear pants and developed them.
Cargo pants are loose-fitting pants with large patch pockets on their sides. The large pockets on these pants were originally designed to hold field supplies for British soldiers. The government first authorized troops to wear these pants, which they called field dress, in 1937.
Many of the original cargo pants had accordion-fold pockets to maximize carrying capacity. These pants came into style with the public in the 1990s and are not going away. These pants come in multiple colors, with white and gray being the most popular. They are also often worn as EMT pants.
Carpenter jeans fit loosely like cargo pants but have a loop on one or both sides approximately 6 inches below the hip pocket. As the name suggests, carpenters originally wore these pants as the loop helped to hold their hammers while on a job site.
These pants may also have a small pocket, usually without a flap, under the loop carpenters used to support the hammer’s weight. These pants were adopted by many groups during the 1990s, with a slight modification.
The loop on older carpenter pants was about 1 inch wide, while those on pants made during the 1990s and 2000s were much thinner. Therefore, it became called the brush loop.
Most chino pants have a twill weave, and manufacturers make them from a cotton blend. These pants come in various colors and have a tailored cut, and the stitching is usually visible. Therefore, they have a dressier appearance than khaki pants, which technically only come in khaki.
Manufacturers typically make khaki pants from a heavier fabric than chino pants. You can find these pants in various leg styles, from straight to slim. During warm weather, polo shirts pair beautifully with chinos, while pullover sweaters work well with them when the weather turns chilly.
These pants have a very tight fit that gets even narrower about mid-calf, and they just graze the ankle. These pants first came onto the fashion scene in the 1950s, and pairs from that era have a flat front, high waist, and back or side zipper.
Cigarette pants, sometimes called pencil pants, take their name from their narrow legs, which some believe look like a cigarette. They are typically made from a stretchy fabric, although you can find denim options. While many choices are available in solid colors, you can also find them in plaids or patterns.
Technically, cropped pants are pants that end below the knee and above the ankle. Therefore, all capris are cropped pants. In practice, cropped pants end just about the ankle while capris are shorter. The most flattering type of cropped pants ends at the narrowest part of your legs.
Many women love to wear cropped pants to work because their design flatters their legs. Manufacturers usually make these pants from denim, but other choices are available. While women have worn this style of pants for a long time, men got their chance starting in about 2017.
Corduroy pants have a ribbed texture giving them a velvety feel. Most have a fly in the front and button or snap shut on the waistband. The word corduroy comes from the “Cord du Roi,” which can be translated as the cord for kings.
Evidence suggests that this fabric was used in Egypt by 400 A.D. Modern corduroy came about following Britain’s Industrial Resolution. These hot pants are a great option on a cold winter day.
The fabric for most corduroy pants is cut horizontally, but you can find vertical possibilities. In today’s society, people often pair corduroy pants with a flannel shirt worn over a t-shirt to create a casual outfit.
Culottes are knee-length pants with a wide leg opening. Since they stop at the knee, they are not technically pants at all. Originally, upper-class European men wore these pants that workers often cut from silk material.
The word “cul” is Latin, and it translates backside. During the Renaissance, these pants became popular with women and were cut full enough to resemble a long skirt. Culottes may have stayed hidden in history except that Elsa Schiaparelli designed a pair worn by Lili de Alvarez at Wimbledon in 1931.
They became even more popular during World War II when fabrics were limited. So women created several pairs to mix and match with tops so that it looked like they had more clothes.
These pants, originally from India, are fashioned from an unstructured rectangle of fabric, usually about 15 feet long and wide. It wrapped around the waist before being tied around each leg. Men traditionally wore these pants, but manufacturers have begun offering options for women.
It is usually worn for religious ceremonies, and many men wear this clothing to their weddings. Ready-made dhoti pants loosely drape across the upper leg area before gradually tapering towards the ankle where they end.
While you may know them as overalls, manufacturers make dungarees from heavy fabric with an extra flap covering the chest. They also usually have straps that come up the back and fasten to the chest piece to hold it in place.
Manufacturers make most from denim, producing them in various colors, with blue being the most popular. These pants were named after Dongari Kapa, India, where workers often made dungri cloth during the 17th century.
The original dungarees had no bib. After the material was exported to Great Britain during the mid-18th century, the bib was added. Due to their durability, they quickly became a favorite of miners and farmers.
Manufacturers usually make men’s dress pants from polyester or wool. They are cut to fit close to the body and typically have a crease down the leg in the front. They can have a variety of pockets with many options having slant side pockets and flap or plain back pockets.
Most are designed to be worn with a belt. Women’s dress pants come in various styles, but they all stay close to the body. Both men’s and women’s dress pants usually have a zipper and close with a button. They are often worn with blazers, suit coats, and sports jackets.
Fatigue trousers are worn by the United States military as a casual uniform, but they have also been brought into broader society. These pants, like cargo pants, have trapezoidal front patch pockets and back flap pockets.
While all fatigue trousers are baggy across the top, you can find options with a tapered leg below the knee. Fatigue pants are usually made from heavier fabrics and are generally very durable. Most have a structured waistband, and you can find options with or without belt loops. Many options have a fly front, but others have an elastic waistband.
These pants are made wide in the waist so that one size fits all. Ribbons are tied around the waist and used as belts on these pants from Thailand. Manufacturers make these unisex pants from very lightweight fabric, which are ideal when it is warm.
In the past, they were made from a sarong, but they are usually made from cotton or rayon today. Most are made from quick-drying materials. Many people, especially pregnant women, love the loose fit of these pants around the stomach. In Thailand, they are a favorite choice because they are inexpensive.
Compared to pleated pants, which I will discuss in a little while, the front of flat-face pants has no pleats, so they lay flat near the zipper. These pants usually sit below the natural waist, so they have a slimmer appearance.
These pants are especially great for men that have a slenderer build. They also have a more formal appearance, which is ideal for wearing to business events. This option ends at the top of the shoe as pleated pants.
These wide-legged trousers are modeled after the outfits worn by South American cowboys of the 18th and 19th centuries, called gauchos. These pants have a cuff that ends about mid-calf. These pants were trendy in the 1970s after American designer Anne Klein sent a gray pair down the runway.
Like other parts that stop mid-calf, these pants are an excellent choice for women who want to look wider. While these pants are wide-legged, they are not as wide as some other choices on the list, so they look more like pants than skirts when worn. Manufacturers usually make them of a flowy material, which allows them to drape nicely down the body.
Coming out of the 1980s, these pants have a sagging waist and a huge billowing crotch, and tapered lower legs. They take their name from music star MC Hammer. He said that he moved, and a millisecond later, the pants moved, so the performance looked more dramatic.
The hip-hop artist says he started wearing these pants that originated in Turkey because “The looser the pants, the more accentuated your dancing becomes.” During the 1990s, manufacturers made them out of brightly colored parachute material. These pants come in cycles, so do not toss them out if you have a pair in your closet, as you will eventually want to wear them again.
Inspired by Middle East styles, harem pants are baggy pants that gather about the ankles. This pants style has been hugely popular in North Africa for almost 100 years, where they are thought to preserve a woman’s modesty. Manufacturers usually produce them in vibrant colors and patterns.
These pants were some of the first to be introduced into Western civilization in about 1910 when most women did not wear pants. These pants led to the development of Harlem pants. Belly dancers often cover them with skirts when performing.
Manufacturers usually make hiking pants from nylon because it is lightweight and dries quickly. Furthermore, quality hiking pants are quiet, allowing you to get closer to wildlife without being detected. These pants usually have several pockets, so carrying things with you while hiking or treasures you find along the trail is easy.
If you are hiking in the spring or fall, consider convertible hiking pants that allow you to remove the lower part of the pant legs when you get hot. Look for options that are breathable because they will allow sweat to escape away from your body.
Jeans need no introduction to most people who wear them as often as possible. These denim pants come in many different leg styles. Skinny jeans are cut to stay close to the body throughout. Bootcut jeans flair out slightly at the ankle.
Bellbottom jeans fit tight through the thighs before flaring out from the knees downward, while wide-legged jeans start flaring about mid-thigh. Jeans can also be described by their rise. High-rise jeans sit at your natural belly button, mid-rise jeans sit about 1 inch below your navel, while low-rise jeans start a few inches below your belly button.
Joggers are loose-fitting pants with an elastic waistband and elastic at the bottom of the leg openings. As the name suggests, they are often worn for jogging. Many people love them as they are usually lightweight and dry quickly.
Therefore, they are ideal for a day at a water park, and they will not drag through water puddles. These pants are very unlikely to trip you up when running. Even if you usually do not run, a pair of joggers is perfect for showing off your designer or fashion-forward sneakers.
The pants and top are made as one piece in jumpsuits. There are many different styles available. For example, you can find long-sleeve, short-sleeve, one-shoulder, and cold-shoulder options. Some are made with a silky material and sparkly embellishments, making them ideal for more formal occasions.
In contrast, others are made from less luxurious fabrics, so they are perfect for a casual dinner or a day spent running errands. These garments come in a variety of colors and designs.
These close-fitting pants fit tightly below the knee and often have reinforcements on the inside seams. Additionally, they often have an elastic band, usually held in place with buttons, that help hold the pants down when riding.
These pants come from an ancient Indian city, where the first pair may have been made about 1495. A polo team from India wore these pants during the matches held during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and leaders worldwide saw them and fell in love with the style.
The word khaki comes from the Hindi word meaning dusty, which is an apt description of the color of these pants. In Great Britain, khaki can also refer to the olive green color. While chinos and khakis are often used interchangeably, even by manufacturers, khakis have a more rugged appearance, and they usually fit a little looser.
The stitching is not visible on khaki pants. British soldiers may have created the first khaki pants by using tea, curry powder, and mud to dye their uniform pants so that they would blend into the landscape better about 1840.
As the name implies, leather pants are made from natural or faux leather. They should fit snugly against the body. Typically, these pants have straight legs. Real leather pants can be made from the skin of cows, kangaroos, goats, lambs, alpacas, or camels.
Depending on how the skin is cured, leather pants can look smooth, have a more traditional leather look, or be made into suede. Leather pants come with loops for hanging them. Do not fold leather pants, or you may ruin them. In addition, you need to condition your leather pants regularly.
Typically worn by women, leggings are skin-tight stretchy pants, but it has not always been that way. For example, during the Renaissance period, men wore leggings. Native Americans wore a form of leggings to protect their legs from chaffing when they rode horseback for long hours.
Both sexes wore leggings in the winter in Russia and Korea to keep their legs warm. Leggings made their way into Western women’s fashion about 1960 when they were usually worn with a wide belt.
Today, most leggings are made from cotton-lycra, or a cotton-polyester-lycra fabric, making them stretch easily. They can be worn in many ways, including with a skirt over them or worn with a long t-shirt.
Pajama pants are loose-fitting pants designed for wearing to bed. Manufacturers often make them of cotton or flannel fabric with a matching top. These garments started in India, but when Great Britain took over India during the 17th century, some people started wearing them in that country.
They became a trendy choice about 1870 with men. Coco Chanel made it popular for women to wear pajama pants as her photo was often taken in them. By the 1920s, these pants became popular as beach coverups. Chanel was not the only one to have her picture taken in pajama pants, as many Hollywood stars did after World War I.
Palazzo pants are wide-legged pants for women. These pants are named after spacious Italian buildings, and like them, these pants offer lots of room to get comfortable. These pants that flair out from the waist or hips have a vast circumference, often making them look like you are wearing a skirt.
These pants should come within 3 inches of the floor and can be full length. Reminiscent of pants worn by Hollywood stars in the 1930s and 1940s, these pants were trendy in the 1960s when restaurant dress codes required women to wear dresses.
But they did not want to wear them, so they circumvented the rules by wearing these pants. They continue to return about every twenty years, with choices designed by Giorgio Armani and Donna Karen being trendy in the 1980s.
Patiala pants are loose-fitting pants that are pleated. Women divide them into two broad categories depending on the number of pleats. While some women wear it with a long t-shirt, it is traditionally worn with a salwar kameez., which has a matching top and an outer robe.
These pants originated in India, where they were worn by kings, queens, and other members of the royal court. These pants are often weaved by hand, with workers earning the trade from older relatives. While some women wear these pants on more formal occasions, they are considered a casual pant style.
Pegged pants are cut full in the waist and taper to a cuff or a gather near the ankle. These pants were trendy in the 1980s when it was customary to roll the bottom of jeans. The practice, however, probably started much earlier when manual laborers would peg their pant legs to keep them dry and clean.
Teens saw the act of pegging jeans as an art form, and they viewed it as a great equalizer because it did not require any money to peg jeans. These pants were usually worn with tucked-in shirts, and they came in a variety of colors.
Phat pants are fitted around the waist, but they get increasingly wider as they go down the leg. Manufacturers often use ultraviolet tape to give these pants a glow-in-the-dark effect that offers a stunning effect when dancing. Those within the rave community usually wear them.
While denim is the most popular choice, manufacturers can make them from various fabrics, including faux furs. These pants are cut long so that they completely cover the feet. These pants usually have large pockets, eliminating the need to carry a handbag.
Pleated pants are usually high-waisted pants, and they often taper from the knee to their bottoms, which can be full-length or end about mid-calf. These pleats are created by folding the fabric and attaching it to the waistband while it is still folded.
There can be any number of pleats. Pants with one or two pleats are more formal than those with more pleats. Generally, pleats help to make the pants more comfortable to wear, especially in the crotch zone.
More formal pleated pants usually have cuffs at the bottom of the legs. Especially if you are larger, pleated dress pants typically look better on you than flat-face options.
Often combined with a raincoat, rain pants are waterproof or water-resistant trousers. They are usually made of breathable materials, but they can also be made of coated nylon or plastic. The first rain pants may have been made by the Inuits using whale and seal intestines.
Thankfully, a whole industry has developed around making waterproof breathable fabrics, so you no longer must cover your body with intestines to stay dry. The most durable are those made from tightly woven fabrics.
If you are wearing the pants when it is hot, think about options made with a solid polymer coating or base, as they are the most breathable. Those containing microporous membranes are usually the lightest.
Track pants are an ideal choice when running, but many people also choose this option for casual wear. There are several styles of track pants, including the basic-length track pants that look like sweatpants because of the cuff at the bottom of each leg. You can also find cropped track pants ending about mid-calf.
Many people find drawstring track pants the most comfortable because you can easily customize their size. Relaxed-fit track pants have extra room through the thighs and seat. Tailored track pants have a slimming effect because of the way that the fabric stays close to the body.
Tuxedo trousers look like flat-front men’s dress pants, except that they have a piece of ribbon or satin running down their sides. This stripe is often called a braid. The first tuxedo pants were worn in about 1865 by Prince Edward VII.
It is likely that James Brown Potter visited Prince Edward VII in 1885 and came home with a pair of tuxedo pants along with the rest of the outfit, which he wore to a gala in Tuxedo Park, New York, where people instantly fell in love with the look.
Tuxedo pants remain essentially the same today, except for some minor modifications, such as most being made from polyester or polyester blends. They are worn for black-tie and white-tie events and are generally worn for black-tie creative and black-tie optional events.
These pants, with their wide pant legs, were first worn by British sailors. Then, Queen Victoria had a pair made for her five-year-old son, and these pants became an overnight sensation. These pants entered women’s fashion in about 1920 when Coco Chanel did her take on them.
Soon, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Katherine Hepburn were all spotted wearing a pair of these high-waisted pants. In the 1960s, it was popular to wear these pants with a t-shirt to create a French-inspired look.
Often made with a row of buttons in the front on each side, these pants usually have a non-elasticized waistband. They are an excellent option for making your legs look longer.
Sokoto are African trousers traditionally worn with an outer robe, an undervest, and a hat. These billowy pants have a drawstring waist. There are two versions, with the ones ending about the ankles fitting closer to the body than the other option, which ends about the knee.
Historians believe this garment originated in the Middle East, perhaps Turkey, and was introduced to Africa by early merchants. In the past, this garment was often made of luxurious fabric and was often highly embordered. Today, manufacturers often use brocade, damask, and velvet.
Straight pants have the same circumference at the knee as they do at the bottom of the leg opening. While you often see straight-cut jeans, you can also find straight-cut dress pants. As we discussed in the first chapter, the oldest known pair of pants had straight legs.
It is believed that the first pants probably had straight legs because they were perhaps used while horseback riding. You can wear several different tops with straight jeans, including t-shirts, turtlenecks, and button-up or button-down shirts. You will often want to tuck your shirt in when wearing straight-cut pants.
These close-fitting pants have an elastic strip on their bottoms, going under the foot’s arch. These pants usually taper in a bit from the knee to the ankle. While they were initially an offshoot of jodhpurs, this style of pant became extremely popular during the 1980s with skiers. Stirrups pants receive recognition for being a forerunner of leggings.
Stovepipe pants are straight-leg pants that stay incredibly close to the body. These pants are sometimes called straight stiff-leg jeans. There are two different styles of stovepipe pants. Those popular in the 1990s were very similar to the cigarette pants that I discussed earlier and the straight stiff leg jeans.
The latter has straight legs and is usually made from a stiffer fabric, like denim. Most end about the ankles. They can be an excellent choice for women with inverted triangle bodies because they help balance their looks.
Sweatpants are a favorite of men and women and became even more popular when everyone was forced to work from home during the pandemic because they are incredibly comfortable. They can have a drawstring or elasticized waist and usually have elastic around the leg openings.
Generally, they are made from warm material, making them a perfect choice on a cold winter day. Émile Camuset receives credit for inventing the first sweatpants, and they became popular after the IV Olympic Winter Games in Germany when athletes often wore them over their performance attire.
Fast-forward to the 1970s, and manufacturers once again brought sweatpants to the forefront by offering choices that college students wanted to wear to class.
These pants, stylized after the pants worn by Spanish bullfighters, are close-fitting pants ending between the midcalf and the ankle. They were a wardrobe staple during the 1950s when manufacturers often used crepe fabric to make them.
These pants usually have an elastic waistband and often have a matching bow in the middle at the top. They were often worn with a pullover matching top and a button-up shirt left open to create a beautiful monochromatic outfit. These high-waisted pants were perfect for making the legs look longer.
If you plan a fishing vacation, you may need a pair of high-waisted waders. Manufacturers design these waterproof pants so that anglers can wear them while standing in streams. They are also helpful after a flood or hurricane as rescue efforts begin.
These pants are most useful when the water level stays at least two inches below your waist. While you can layer under these loose-fitting pants, they are more commonly used in warmer weather.
You can find three different styles. Barefoot waders have no attached boot or footwear. Stocking foot waders have an attached piece that acts as a sock. Finally, there are boot foot waders with a waterproof boot attached.
I hope you love looking at these ideas and can see yourself or a friend wearing them. While I will give you some basic guidance, there is no way that I can cover all the possibilities even if I wrote for the rest of my life.
People tend to get stuck in a rut. Therefore, they tend to wear the same clothes every week throughout the season. If you live in an area where the climate does not change much, you may be guilty of wearing the same outfits year-round. Amaze your friends by putting together a different look.
They are sure to give you lots of compliments, which can be a huge psychological boost. Then, you will be more inspired to keep trying different options. Thinking about your outfits for a week when you have a few spare minutes on the weekend can help. Consider these options as they are great starting points:
Outfit ideas for men
First, let’s look at men’s outfit ideas. I have tried to include ideas for work and play. In addition, I have also tried to include ideas for different interest groups. When you are reading through this list, see which ones sound the most interesting to you because those are the outfits you will want to focus on creating first.
Shirt + blazer + pleated trousers
Look stylish at work by wearing a button-down shirt with your pleated trousers. As I mentioned in the last chapter, pleated pants give you more room in the seat, which can be a great option if you must sit at a desk most of the day.
If you carry extra weight in your stomach area, you will find that these pants make you look slimmer. A pair of pleated trousers in a neutral color is a great option. Then, pair them with a button-down shirt.
A black shirt is perfect if you want to create a monochromatic outfit but ensure that it is a different shade than your pants. Otherwise, choose your shirt color based on your blazer’s color.
A split complimentary color to your blazer is an ideal choice. Complete the look by wearing your favorite blazer. You may want to accessorize your outfit with a luxury watch, and don’t forget your sunglasses.
Leather jacket + t-shirt + straight cut jeans
For a casual dinner, consider wearing your straight-cut jeans and a t-shirt. A quality t-shirt in a bright color is an ideal choice if you need to make a good impression, like on the first date at a casual restaurant.
You can choose the color of jeans that you think looks best on you. It is up to you if you tuck in the t-shirt or not unless it is a long one. Then, you should definitely tuck it in. If you tuck it in, grab your favorite belt that matches your leather jacket.
Then, top the t-shirt with your leather jacket. Consider a leather jacket that comes a bit below your waist, as it will help pull your outfit together. If you are a bit overweight, an option with decorative buttons down the front will help elongate your look.
Western shirt + bootcut jeans + cowboy boots
If you are planning a getaway weekend in the country or heading to the farmers market, a western shirt and your bootcut jeans are a great choice. You will love the curved yoke on the front and back of these shirts.
Depending on the weather, you can choose between a long-sleeved or a short-sleeved option. You can also select the color that works best for you. Personally, I like the ones with faux mother-of-pearl buttons. Then, tuck it into your bootcut jeans and wear a belt with a small buckle.
This is an ideal outfit to wear with your cowboy boots. If you are buying new ones, ensure that there is enough room in the tow box that you can walk comfortably. A cowboy hat with a wide brim clear around it will help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
T-shirt + bondage pants + combat boots
A long white t-shirt is an excellent choice if you want to wear your bondage pants for a night of clubbing fun. You can choose the bondage pants that you like best, from traditional black choices to the newer plaid choices.
Since a white t-shirt goes with almost anything, it is a great choice. Consider wearing this combo with a studded belt and hook a chain from your wallet to the belt and stick it in your back pocket.
If your pants do not have enough rings, chains and other metal, you can always fasten on more. If the weather is nippy, consider adding a military-style jacket to your outfit.
Combat boots are an ideal footwear choice. If you want, you can give your boots a bit of old-school character by wearing them without the laces. Just make sure that they are clean.
Bellbottom jeans + graphic tee + denim jacket
Create a retro 1980s outfit by pairing your bellbottom jeans with a graphic t-shirt. You can opt for tees containing words or go for a cartoon character that was popular in the 1980s, like The Smurfs, Ghostbusters, or Spiderman.
If you do not have one, do some thrift store shopping. You can choose the width of your bellbottoms from ones with just a little flair to elephant bellbottoms.
A denim jacket is a perfect addition to this outfit. One that stops about your waist and that you can leave open allows everyone to see your graphic tee and adds some width to help balance out your look.
You can go several different ways with your shoe choice. For instance, you can wear your work boots to give the outfit a more rugged appearance or opt for platform shoes to keep the 1980s vibe going.
Cargo pants + pullover sweater + Newsboy hat
Creating a comfortable outfit for class with cargo pants and a pullover sweater is easy. You can wear a button-down shirt under your cargo pants if the weather is cooler. You could also opt for a mock turtleneck or a turtleneck sweater underneath.
If you opt to wear a shirt underneath, choose an option that is a lighter or darker shade than the main color in the sweater. You will never match it exactly, and then you will class. Go classical by wearing white cargo pants.
A Newsboy cap will help keep your head warmer while adding an edgy look to your outfit. About the only other accessories, you may want are your sunglasses and a watch. When selecting sunglasses, choose an option covering your entire eye as they do a better job of protecting your eyes.
Carpenter pants + hoodie + sneakers
Create a lazy day outfit by pairing your carpenter pants with a hoodie. Opt for one that is a little oversized as it will be the most comfortable. It’s up to you if it has writing across the front or is plain. You will want one long enough to cover the belt on your carpenter pants.
Ensure that you choose one that is the right weight for the weather, or wear a crew-neck shirt underneath so that you can take off the hoodie if you get too warm. Tuck in your shirt and wear your pants with a simple belt. Then, add the hoodie on top.
If your lazy day includes going outside, then wear your sneakers. You could opt for your cross-trainers, running shoes, or other casual shoes instead of your sneakers if you want.
Chinos + polo shirt + golf shoes
Feel confident about your golf game by pairing your chinos with a polo shirt. You will look sharp on the greens and in the clubhouse. The sleeves on your polo shirt should reach about halfway between your elbows and shoulders.
You want one that fits close without appearing tight. Therefore, you should be able to slip a finger or two underneath the sleeves. Selecting chinos in a neutral color ensures that you can wear them with any polo, so you can choose what works best with your skin tone.
Select slim-or-stretch-fit chinos as they will make you look more athletic, which can help psych your opponents out. Regular-fit chinos are a little too formal for the golf course.
Leather golf shoes are an ideal choice because they provide a classical look. Ensure that it has a solid sole allowing you to twist without losing your balance. Spikeless golf shoes are ideal for drinks after you win the game.
Corduroy pants + t-shirt + flannel shirt
Stay comfortable while enjoying drinks with friends around a roaring fire in a fireplace by wearing corduroy pants and a t-shirt. You are sure to look and feel like a country gentleman when you top your outfit with a flannel shirt.
You can choose between several flannel styles. Tartan, gingham, and checkerboard are classical choices. In that case, you may want to wear your outfit with work boots to give it a lumberman vibe. Houndstooth would look perfect with your leather dress shoes.
If you decide to go with a Prince of Wales or windowpane check, wear your sneakers with madras and tattersall plaids to give your outfit a modern look.
If you are buying new corduroy pants, then buy 100% cotton pairs. Choose an option that has a generous pile and a lush sheen. The inside of the pants should be tightly woven so that they will last longer.
Dungarees + sweatshirt + work boots + trucker hat
Dungarees are an ideal choice when the weather turns cold, especially when you wear a sweatshirt underneath them. You will adore the softness of a fleece-lined one. Wearing one that is a little tight will help ensure it does not bunch up under the dungarees’ bib.
If your dungarees are dark, go with red or kelly green. Alternatively, if your dungarees are more of a medium blue, then choose a neutral-colored sweatshirt. Finally, if they are a lighter color, consider white and all of its shades.
Your work boots are an ideal choice to wear with this outfit. Then, choose a trucker hat. These hats are adjustable in size, so you do not have to worry about their fitting.
If your dungarees are distressed, be sure to choose a distressed option so that your outfit matches. You can select any emblem you want, which can be a great conversation starter.
Outfit ideas for women
Now that we have a well-dressed man let’s turn our attention to women. Just like men, your destination and activity should make a difference in what you wear. Therefore, I have tried to include ideas for different settings. If you constantly turn to the same looks, considering these options can bring new life into your wardrobe.
Culottes + graphic tee + sneakers
If you are running errands on a beautiful day, then your culottes paired with a graphic tee is a great choice. You can go many ways with this outfit, but one basic rule to remember is to wear culottes that end where your lower leg is at its narrowest point, so they do not look fat.
For example, you can give this look a fairycore look by pairing a graphic tee featuring butterflies and nature and choosing green culottes. On the other hand, you could give your outfit a kidcore aesthetic by wearing bright colors, like a yellow graphic tee with a rainbow on it and bright red culottes.
You can opt for sneakers as they are comfortable when planning a day of running errands. Just make sure that they go with the outfit. A split complimentary color to your culottes color is a great choice.
Blouse + dress pants + ballet flats
A button-up blouse tucked into your dress pants and worn with your ballet flats is a great choice when you must go to work. Look for a shirt that, when it is buttoned up, you can stick two fingers under the shirt at the top.
Ensure that the shoulders end where your shoulders and arm meet. Reach for the sky and see if the skirt comes untucked. If it does, then leave it for someone else.
This can be a great look to accessorize. You can wear chunky jewelry or wrap a colorful scarf around your neck to add a pop of color to your outfit. Try to make 60% of your outfit one color, 30% another color, and 10% a third.
Working with split complementary colors can help you put beautiful outfits together. You can wear various shoes with this look, but one of my favorites is ballet flats.
V-neck pullover + cigarette pants + Mary Janes
A V-neck pullover sweater and cigarette pants are a great way to create a 1950s outfit that will be extremely comfortable. You can choose one with a crew neck. These are especially great in the winter as the cold wind has less opportunity to sneak down the opening.
The half-zip is another fantastic choice you can wear with the zipper partway or all the way up. You could also go classical and wear a turtleneck. A cable knit sweater is another fantastic choice.
When picking out cigarette pants, I always love the look of black ones, and this allows you to wear them with many different colors of sweaters. If you are heading to work, consider darker colors, but if you are going to a casual event, think about more colorful choices. Since cigarette pants were popular in the 1950s, your Mary Janes will be ideal with this outfit.
Capri pants + camisole + blazer + pumps
Capri pants are a great option when the weather is warm. If your office does casual Fridays, consider pairing them with a silky camisole and your favorite deconstructed blazer. Choose a camisole based on your body’s silhouette.
If you are bigger on top, you need one with wider straps, but if you are smaller, you can wear one with spaghetti straps if your dress code allows it. You can go many ways with your color choices, like wearing a red camisole with a yellow blazer and blue capris or a purple camisole with a green blazer and orange capris.
This is a fun outfit to accessorize. You will want to keep your look balanced. So choose a pretty bracelet and carry a handbag in your hand to add some weight to the bottom. A hobo bag or a doctor’s bag would be a great choice. A pair of low-heel pumps will feel great on your feet no matter what the boss asks you to do.
Fatigue pants + t-shirt + Army jacket
Head to the surplus military store to grab a pair of fatigue pants and an Army jacket to make a unique alternative music outfit. It is up to you if you want to opt for slim-cut ones or options cut a little fuller.
Put on the pants and a plain white t-shirt. Then, add a camouflage Army jacket. Combat-style boots are an ideal choice to wear with this outfit. You can leave them looking rugged if they do or polish them up.
While you can keep it simple, you can also add an olive-green belt and some chains if you want. While at the surplus store, you may also want to consider adding some badges and a name tag to the jacket if you want.
Harem pants + crop top + booties
Harem pants are an ideal choice to wear to a cultural dinner. A pair of brightly colored harem pants are a great choice to wear with a black crop top. If a crop top is too revealing for you, pair it with a tank top.
Again, black would be a great choice, but you can also pick out a color that is in patterned harem pants and wear that color. If you choose the tank top option, then select one fitting close to your body as you want to keep the focus on the harem pants.
Since your outfit has plenty of beautiful colors, choose to wear your top and pants with your black booties. You can select the height of the heel based on the dinner’s location. Due to the casual nature of your outfit, kitten heels are usually best.
Hiking pants + UV shirt + hiking boots
Hiking is an excellent form of exercise, and it lets you reconnect with nature. Hiking pants are ideal for protecting your legs if you are hiking in an area full of tall grass, thorns, and bushes. If your hike is more in the open, consider a pair where you can put on and take off the bottom, turning them from pants to shorts when you get hot.
A shirt with ultraviolet protection technology is an excellent option because it can help keep you from getting burnt. Manufacturers give these shirts an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating. In order to understand this, imagine your average white t-shirt.
It has a rating of about five. By comparison, UPF clothing has a factor of at least 15, so you can stay out in the sun three times as long. Shirts rated 30-50 offer good protection while those above 50 offer excellent protection.
Now that you have your body protected with your clothing, do not forget to wear your hiking boots, as their thick sole is excellent at protecting your feet.
Jumpsuit + stilettos
If you are going to a cocktail party, consider wearing a jumpsuit. The trick is picking a jumpsuit with some glitter or sparkly embellishments. Then, pair the jumpsuit with your spiked-heeled stilettos.
You will want to wear some jewelry that sparkles. A diamond tennis bracelet is an excellent choice if your jumpsuit has no sleeves, but you could also go with gold bangles. Then, wear a necklace that follows the jumpsuit’s neckline.
Again, a diamond necklace would be an excellent choice if the neckline on the jumpsuit is lower, or you could wear a diamond choker. Keep your look balanced by wearing earrings that are as wide as the legs on the jumpsuit. So if they are tight, stick with studs, but if they are wider, then hoop earrings are perfect.
Jodhpurs + button-up blouse + riding boots
A day spent riding is better than any day spent working, but even if you cannot get to the barn, putting on your jodhpurs will help keep you in the right mood. Wear your jodhpurs with a white button-up shirt.
One that is long-sleeved and where there are cuffs on the end of the sleeves is an ideal choice. Then, put on your riding boots.
Ones with heels about 1 inch tall and a small tread will help you post and ensure that your heel does not get stuck in the stirrup. They also look stylish if you run around town when you cannot make it to the barn.
Pull your hair back away from your face. A bun at the base of your neck is an ideal option, and you can wear a ribbon around the hairnet if you want.
Khaki pants + scoop-neck shirt + sandals
Your khaki pants and a scoop-neck shirt are an excellent option for a casual date. Select options that stay close to your body.
If your stomach is a little larger than you desire, consider wearing a shirt with a belt right under your bust, as it can make your body look more balanced. You can have lots of fun picking out what color shirt you want to wear because you can wear any color with khakis.
Then, have even more fun with your jewelry. You can wear a statement necklace that sits between the base of your neck and the top of the shirt. Alternatively, consider wearing big beads.
You can also wear a bracelet if it stays close to your body. A crossbody bag would be ideal. Grab your sunglasses and put on your kitten-heeled sandals on your way out the door.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about these outfits. In the next part, I will share some concluding thoughts to wrap this post up. Therefore, I ask that you continue reading.
I hope you are anxious to add some new trousers to your wardrobe or wear them in new ways. We have looked at 48 types of pants, so unless you have a vast wardrobe, you do not have all of them yet.
While you are waiting for an opportunity to go shopping, even online, I want to give you a chance to ask any questions that you have about pants. If this post inspired you to create a new outfit, we would love to hear about it.
I also ask that if you have a friend who lives in jeans or another style of pants, you share this post with them. They may be inspired to try a new look.
You can find many other informative fashion posts, so choose another one to read now.