Although jeans are a styling staple in any wardrobe, you can quickly turn them into a fashion crutch. We get it—they’re comfortable, reliable, and pair well with practically anything. But with so many versatile jean alternatives on the market, there’s no need to limit yourself.
When looking through your closet or shopping for what to wear instead of jeans, it can be difficult to narrow down the ones that suit you best. Even more so, when you are deciding what business casual for women looks like when selecting pants. From sleek pairs of cigarette trousers to colorful, wide-leg pants, keep reading for our all-encompassing list of chic denim alternatives—plus a few styling recommendations to boot.
Save those well-loved jeans for a rainy day—let’s start styling.
9 Comfortable Bottoms to Wear if You’re Sick of Jeans
While perusing through the following alternatives for jeans, check in with your wardrobe to see if you have something similar. Follow our styling tips to reinvent the way you wear these pieces. If you’re interested in a certain style that you don’t yet have in your closet, we’ll point you in the right direction so you can stock up.
#1 The Chino
Chinos are a solid first step away from jeans. Typically made from durable, lightweight cotton or a cotton-blend fabric, they’re notably lighter in weight than their denim counterpart. Styles intended for cooler seasons will be made with the change in temperature in mind. Plus, since they come in various colors, you can easily find a pair that will match just about anything in your wardrobe. Opt for a classic beige or off-white pair, if you lean towards the traditional.
One of their biggest strengths is that they offer a casual and smart feel to any outfit. This versatility makes them the chameleons of the pant world. Pairing them with a button-down blouse and pair of block heels will impress at a more formal affair; start with the same pair, add a v-neck sweater, and a pair of your cleanest sneakers, and you’ve got an effortlessly stylish casual weekend look.
Pro tip: Look for a pair that includes a distinctive ironed-in crease down the center for an added touch of structure—and an instantly elongating finish great for petite style.
#2 The Corduroy
Although technically more of a material than a cut, corduroy pants are an iconic fall and winter wardrobe staple and, thus, deserving of their own category. Their fuzzy feel and subtle ribbing will likely keep you warm—without needing to squeeze in an extra pair of leggings underneath.
If you’ve got a pair with sturdy, thick belt loops, it’s the perfect opportunity to weave that favorite belt of yours into any outfit. To complete the look:
- Dress it up with a slim-fitting turtleneck top and a set of gold hoops
- Keep it comfy and light with a tucked tee and a denim jacket
Whether you opt for a retro-inspired flare or a wide-legged shape, if you’re stuck on what to wear instead of jeans in winter, corduroy is sure to keep you cozy all season long. If you still gravitate towards jeans, read our blog to learn how to style straight leg jeans or how to style wide leg jeans.
#3 The Legging
Ah, the classic black legging. If you have some crumpled up somewhere in the back of your dresser, it’s time to take them out—and shake them out. Their informal feel might have convinced you that they’re exclusively meant for the supermarket or yoga class, but don’t be fooled. With a few styling tricks, you can quickly transform them into the base for an elegant outfit.
We recommend pairing them this fall and winter with:
- A high, over-the-knee boot
- A chunky, oversized sweater for maximum coziness
- A wide belt over top to accentuate the waist and make up for any shape lost in the sweater
Pro Tip: Faux leather and velvet leggings can offer a bit more structure and formality than their classic cotton cousin. Pair one of these styles with a long wool coat, a turtleneck, and a low heel for a confident look that still keeps in comfort.
#4 The Cigarette Pant
Timelessly classic, these cropped-at-the-ankle pants will instantly take any outfit from drab to darling. The cigarette pants' flattering cut has a slimming effect on the legs—plus, it’s a cinch to style:
- A collared button-down (tucked in or tied) with a pullover thrown on top will make for a simple and smart look.
- For comfort, consider slipping into penny loafers; and for a more formal occasion, some sassy, ankle-strap heels will complement the cut to a tee.
#5 The Wide-Leg Trouser
If you’re the nostalgic type, wide-legged trousers will be your best friend. This callback to the 80s is on the formal end of the pants spectrum, but they still exude comfort. Their roomy yet structured cut offers enough leg room to move throughout your day with ease. The elongated shape lengthens the leg, bumping you up a few inches.
The best part? Their versatility. Whether you have plans at the office, the movies, or a night out, this cut is sure to please. With all of these pros, it’s no wonder that Vogue touted today’s wide-leg pants as “sleek and elegant–a go-to everyday wardrobe-essential or a special occasion standout.”1
For a casual outfit, pair them with a crisp tee and reliable trainers. For a more formal event, a structured blazer and kitten heel will do the trick.
#6 The Culotte
More cropped than the wide-legged trouser comes the culotte, a style that will keep you feeling cool throughout the day. The wide silhouette is often best offset with a fitted top, but feel free to embrace the space and pair them with:
- A knit sweater
- A scarf
- A long trench coat
As they have a cropped ankle, consider showing off your best pair of over-the-ankle boots, too. Don’t forget to choose the right pair—we recommend ones that end just a few inches above the ankle and don’t bunch up around your hips, adding bulk.
With the right set of culottes, the exaggerated bottoms tend to give the appearance of a slimmer waist. Plus, you can control the flow of the pants by paying close attention to the fabric. A thicker material such as wool stiffens them up, whereas a lighter cotton material lets them move around as you walk. If you’re looking for a decidedly eye-catching culotte, consider a cropped pair of plaid pants with a bit of flair at the bottom.
Although they can be tricky to shop, there’s no need to be intimidated. Once you find the perfect pair for you, their one-of-a-kind cut will pay off.
#7 The Jumpsuit
What’s easier than finding a top that perfectly complements the pants you’ve been wanting to wear? Not having to look for one in the first place. Casual jumpsuits make outfit styling easy by giving you a full-body base from which you can layer to your heart’s content. If the weather changes from chilly in the morning to sunny and warm in the afternoon, transitional, comfortable pieces like a jumpsuit are a must.
Style a classic black jumpsuit with a fuzzy mock neck sweater that falls in line with the waistline of the jumpsuit. This will prevent your waist from becoming lost in the layers. Almost any shoe will do, but a low Chelsea boot will be sure to give your outfit that ultra-chic finish.
#8 The Jogger
Although this style takes inspiration from athletic wear, it’s not necessarily meant to be worn in the gym. The jogger pant keeps the flexibility that sportswear so famously offers without compromising the seriousness of your outfit. When made from a material such as silk, it helps create a perfectly smart yet relaxed outfit.
With the waist and ankle typically cinched with an elastic waistband, they ensure comfort and form-fittedness. Effortlessly dress them up with low heels and a long sleeve blouse, or down with sneakers and a form-fitting long sleeve.
#9 The Parachute Pant
For the more daring, the parachute pant could be a wardrobe addition you didn’t know you needed. This throwback to Y2K has impressed style watchers at New York Fashion Week runways.1 Plus, its lightweight material and baggy feel retaliate against discomfort.
Some parachute pants even offer an abundance of pockets, buttons, and ties, adding a layer of visual interest and movement not often found in other pant styles.
For an extra layer of warmth, feel free to throw them on with a pair of fleece leggings—trust us, they’ll go unnoticed due to their generous size. A reliable pair of sneakers will ensure that this outfit will keep you comfortable on those off-duty days.
Pant Shop for this Fall Season with Karen Kane
Now that you’re ready to slip out of those jeans and into any number of these flattering pant styles, look no further than Karen Kane. Our chic, seasonal pieces will make outfit selection a cup of tea.
Always made with quality, sustainable materials—and with sizing ranging from petite to plus size—there’s a pair for everyone and every occasion. Our styles might just push that favorite pair of jeans of yours to the back of the closet.
Fall into autumn and explore our selection of cute bottoms and chic women's clothing today.
- Vogue. The 6 Trouser Trends We’re Backing For 2022. https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/2022-trouser-trends