Men’s Pants Buying Guide

There’s a style of pants for every occasion, be it casual, formal, indoor or outdoor, and they should all fit right and look good. This men’s pants buying guide outlines your options.

Men’s Pants 101

The right pair of pants can bestow confidence on the job or promote relaxation during off hours. From dress pants and casual slacks to jeans and exercise pants, each has a place in your wardrobe. The trick is to match the pant type to the occasion, and to ensure a proper fit to the body with a sense of personal taste. Key considerations for the latter include material type and colour, along with features such as pleats, cuffs and pockets.

Types of Men’s Pants


Men’s Casual Pants

Chinos, khakis and corduroys are the most common styles of men’s casual pants and a popular alternative to denim jeans when the dress code is relaxed and comfort is a high priority. Chinos and khakis are typically made of light cotton twill, while corduroys are made of cotton or synthetics and display the fabric's distinct cord pattern. Work pants are generally made of highly durable cotton twill that offers the versatility of denim and the comfort of khakis. Casual pants typically feature two vertical pockets in the front and either one or two slat pockets in the back, often completed with a single button. 

Men’s Dress Pants

Around the office, out for dinner, attending a party or whenever a man wants to look sharp, dress pants are a key element of the overall look. Nowadays, dress pants typically have a flat front, but a pleated front is another option that works well on formal suits and tuxedos. Dress pants are available in a wide selection of cuts, styles, and colours, making them an excellent way to show your personality while maintaining a professional appearance.

Men’s Jeans

A wardrobe essential, jeans are the go-to choice for everything from physical work to leisure to business casual. You can find jeans in a wide array of styles, cuts, colours and washes. Regardless of need or personal style, there's a jean to match and help a man look his best. With so many different occasions to wear jeans, it’s always good to have at least a few pairs in rotation.

Men’s Cargo Pants

Cargo pants are a hybrid of casual pants and work pants. Typically made of resilient cotton twill with reinforced seams for durability, cargos are easily distinguished by their baggy cut and additional thigh pockets for stowing sunglasses, electronic devices and the like. In addition to being extremely practical, cargo pants also bring a youthful feel and sense of play to a man’s appearance. 

Men’s Track Pants

Every man should have a good pair of track pants. Performance and comfort are the goals when shopping for this style of pants. Track pants designed for physical exercise are typically made of lightweight nylon, while those intended for relaxation are typically made of heavier, softer cotton or polyester. Pockets, draw strings and cuffed ankles are some of the features you can choose from to ensure your exercise pants deliver the desired style and function.

Types of Men’s Jean Cuts


Men’s Straight Leg Jeans

Straight-cut jeans sit at the natural waist line and offer a close, comfortable fit through the seat and thighs before lightly tapering to the ankle. Versatile and practical, this iconic jean cut can work as part of virtually any casual outfit. Whether it's no-tie Friday or denim days all week, straight-cut jeans will give you the right look while also providing comfort and long-lasting wear.

Men’s Boot Cut Jeans

Boot-cut jeans sit slightly below the waist and fit loose through the knee before tapering out to the ankle. A throwback to the days of the Old West, boot-cut jeans were originally designed to be worn by cowboys with their cowboy boots. However, the style caught on and today it's one of the most popular jean styles. The boot cut still looks great worn as intended, but you can pair it with all types of footwear, including casual leather shoes, sneakers and open-toe sandals.

Men’s Flare-Cut Jeans

Flare-cut jeans, also known as bell bottoms, are similar to boot-cut jeans in that they flare outwards from the knee to the ankle, but the flare is typically more pronounced here. Flare-cut jeans are available with low-cut, high-rise and standard-rise (or mid-rise) waists, which allows you to choose a style that suits you best. Bell bottoms also traditionally feature a slimmer fit through the seat and thighs, accentuating the body as well as the jean’s flared design itself.

Men’s Wide Leg Jeans

Similar to straight-leg jeans, wide-leg jeans typically sit at or just below the natural waistline and are straight with a slight taper from thigh to ankle. However, wide leg jeans are cut very loose through the seat, thigh, and lower leg, making them ideal if you like a lot of room to move. Comfort is a key feature of wide-leg jeans, and their baggy look is also a trendy choice. Quite frequently, wide-leg jeans will feature larger back pockets and deeper front pockets to keep them from looking oversized or ill-fitting.

Men’s Relaxed Fit Jeans

Relaxed-fit jeans, sometimes called loose fit, offer an intermediary fit between wide leg and straight leg, i.e. between loose and tight. The waist on relaxed-fit jeans is generally midrise, and the cut is looser than straight legs through the seat and thigh, then slightly more tapered from knee to ankle. Relaxed-fit jeans provide room to move without excess fabric that can look saggy and cumbersome. They are an ideal utility or leisure jean for work around the house or lounging at the cottage.

Men’s Slim Fit Jeans

Slim-fit jeans feature a snug fit through the seat and thigh to the knee. From knee to ankle, the fit is tight and straight with minimal taper. Slim-fit jeans typically have a mid-rise waist, but other waist cuts are available. A more fashion-forward option, slim-fit jeans often come in a wider variety of colours and washes than traditional cuts.

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans fit tight in the seat and thigh and generally feature a modest taper from knee to ankle. Due to their snugness, skinny jeans are typically made with 1% or 2% elastic fabric woven into the cotton denim, adding comfort and flexibility. Like slim-fit jeans, skinny jeans come in a variety of waist cuts and colours to create a more fashion-forward wardrobe. 

Men’s Pants & Body Type Tips:

• Choose pants that flatter your body type
• Tall, lean men often look best in straight-leg or boot-cut pants
• Slender body types may be negatively accentuated by slim or skinny jeans
• Athletic and muscular body types are often flattered by loose-fitting, wide-leg pants that reveal just enough tone
• Heavier body types may find relaxed or moderately wide leg pants offer the best comfort and looks

Men’s Pants Features

Material +

Different pants use different materials to best suit style and function. Jeans are typically made from denim, but 100% denim will fit and feel different than jeans that use other materials in the weave, such as elastic. Polyester dress pants will also vary in material breakdown from colour to colour and cut to cut. Casual pants are often made from cotton or corduroy: both are extremely comfortable and durable.

Size +

Pant size refers to waist circumference and inseam length. For example, 31x30 indicates a 31-inch waist and 30-inch inseam. The inseam is the distance between the bottom of the pant crotch and the bottom of the inner ankle. Inseam is used as opposed to outer leg seam because, depending upon the rise and cut of the pant, the outer leg seam (the distance between the pant waist and ankle) can vary significantly, whereas the crotch-to-ankle distance remains relatively fixed. Size is not the only indicator of how a pair of pants will fit; style and cut also matter. For example, loose-fitting jeans sized 31x30 will fit much baggier than slim-fitting slacks in the same size.

Rise +

Low-rise jeans, also known as hip huggers, sit well below the natural waistline, typically on the hip bones, often revealing the navel area and belly. This style of rise is available in an array of jean cuts, from skinny to flare to relaxed fits. Mid-rise or standard-rise jeans sit at the natural waist line, and like low rise, are available in most cuts. High-rise waists sit above the navel area and are primarily a feature of traditional straight-leg jeans. When shopping for different jean and cuts, remember the rise will also affect both the feel and the finished look.

Stitching +

Stitching affects not only the look and comfort of a pair of pants, but also the durability. Jeans often have double reinforced stitching, further secured by brass rivets down the inseam and outer leg. This makes the seams extremely resistant to splitting. Casual and dress pants typically have only one interior stitch down both the inseam and outer leg seam, making them more prone to splitting at the seams but also more comfortable.

Pleats +

Pleats are folds in the pant from the belt seam to about mid thigh. Most pleated pants are either single or double pleated, though some are triple pleated. Pleats are commonly found on dress pants, suit pants and casual pants such as khakis and chinos. Past trends have seen denim jeans designed with pleats as well.

Cuffs +

Cuffs, or rolls, are pre-stitched turned-up folds at the ankle of the pant leg. Cuffs are common on dress pants, suit pants and some casual pants styles, including khakis and chinos. The cuffed look is strictly a style choice, adding heft and substance to anchor an overall look.

Buttons & Zippers +

Most pants have either a button fly or zipper fly. A popped button or broken zipper can ruin an otherwise perfectly great pair of pants, so look for strong materials that are securely fastened. The type of fly should be secondary to a pair of pants fit, feel, material and overall appearance.

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Men’s Pants Care & Cleaning Tips:

• Hang dress pants to prevent wrinkling and unnecessary wear
• Wash denim jeans inside out in cold water to best retain dye colouring 
• Hang dry cotton pants to avoid shrinkage
• Avoid over washing pants to preserve shape and increase lifespan
• Wash like colours together to avoid colour bleed, especially with cotton pants and jeans
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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