Women’s Bottoms Buying Guide

The foundation of a great look begins below the waist, but your pants or skirt still need to work with the rest of your outfit. This Women’s Bottoms Buying Guide provides helpful shopping tips.

Women’s Bottoms 101

When shopping for women’s bottoms, consider your body shape, the season and the activity to help narrow your choices, and shop carefully for the styles that flatter your own figure. Bottoms are the foundation of your wardrobe and should be easy to mix and match for business casual or a night at the movies. Jeans are the most versatile bottoms and blend easily with other clothes and accessories. You need a variety of bottoms for different purposes and times of year but stock up on the smart-fitting pants, skirts and leggings that best suit your lifestyle. 

Types of Women’s Bottoms



Capris are casual pants that end at various lengths between your calf and ankle. A mid-calf cut accentuates slim ankles and provides freedom for physical activity. Capris with rolled cuffs let you choose your length. The general rule is to choose a tapered Capri in any length if you have a tall, slender build; or a straight leg version if you are shorter or more full-figured. Avoid wide, flared or drawstring styles if you are short and opt for a longer cut to the top of your ankle. Suitable for cool summer days or spring, you can dress up capris with a pair of heels and a blouse.

Women’s Casual Pants

Everyone has a favourite pair of casual pants, whether for daily errands or just lounging around the house. The common denominator is comfort. Casual pants can have different waistlines, from drawstring to stretch to traditional button or zipper. Khakis, yoga pants, and jogging pants are practical and appropriate for most daily activities that require flexibility and ease. Classic cut twill, linen or knit slacks can make shorter, heavier builds appear taller and still provide freedom of movement.

Women’s Casual Shorts

Women’s casual shorts are practical summer or spring bottoms versatile enough for most warm weather events. Pull-on shorts with an elastic waist or drawstring cord are convenient for the beach, by the pool, or lounging. Dress them up with a pair of heels. Hot pants are cut extra short at the top of the thigh. Save them for the hottest summer days (and nights) for casual outdoor activities. 

Women’s Denim Shorts

Denim shorts are a useful women’s bottom that can be a staple in your wardrobe during the summer. Different shades of blue go with all kinds of tanks and tops for most dress-down occasions. They traditionally feature the signature five-pocket-styling convenient for holding your keys or phone, and belt loops for a fitted belt. Women’s denim shorts are suitable to wear indoors or out. They’re also available in shorter lengths such as hot pants.

Women’s Dress Pants

Presenting a modest and professional look in your work environment is important. Women’s dress pants are appropriate for job interviews, work, or business casual events. Dress pants can feature simple front and rear pockets for a traditional pant style. Belt loops are suggested for dress pants to fit an appropriate belt and complete an outfit. Styles without the pockets are more sleek and feminine. Colours such as black, navy, or grey are interchangeable with many outfits and make your wardrobe more work-friendly.

Women’s Dress Shorts

Dress shorts are for fashionable spring or summer events, similar to dress pants but not usually worn in a work setting. Consider patterned or solid colours that match with tops and tanks in your wardrobe. Dress shorts often feature simple pocket styling and belt loops which look complete with a fitting belt and tucked in tank or blouse. These bottoms are also great for all kinds of outdoor activities like barbecues and picnics.

Women’s Jeans

Jeans are a great year-round choice for any casual occasion. They can pair with all of your tops, tanks, and blouses in countless ways to vary and refresh your outfits. Jeans feature the five-pocket styling with the zip and button closure. There are various types of jeans you can add to your wardrobe such as skinny, boot cut, flare, straight leg, slim fit, loose fit, and stretch. The signature denim blue color is traditional for jeans, but consider other colors or patterns. 


Leggings are stretchy bottoms with an elastic waist without buttons or pockets. They provide comfort and flexibility. You can wear them for a variety of casual activities or for lounging. You can even wear them as yoga pants due to their slim, elastic fit. Some leggings feature a rolled waist that may be more comfortable in active settings where stretching is necessary. Detailed or faux denim leggings are great for daily outings while still remaining cozy.


A skirt is the most feminine choice and offers many variations in style and length. The sheer scope of the selection should allow you to find the shape and fit that’s right for your body. Pencil skirts are narrow and form-fitting for a professional business wardrobe. Maxi skirts are long and end at the ankles. Denim, and pull-on skirts are useful wardrobe items for casual outings. Miniskirts look great on petite frames and can work well on hot summer days or at the beach.

Jean Styles for Women



Types of cuts include boot, skinny, flare leg, and straight leg. The boot cut is designed to comfortably cover boots; narrow at the thighs and wider below the knees. It flatters a figure with wide hips. Tight-fitting, skinny jeans showcase long legs but should be avoided if you’re bottom-heavy. Flare leg jeans are similar to boot cut and hug the waist. This fit is great for creating symmetry if you have wide shoulders and narrow hips. 


Fit refers to how your jeans will flatter your figure. A pair of slim fit jeans will conform closely to your backside and tend to flatter a shapely figure. Loose fit jeans are more spacious and roomy. Stretch fit jeans hug the thighs, bottom, and stomach. This fit tends to complement all body shapes. 


The rise reflects where the jeans sit on your waist. High rise jeans stop right above the belly button and accentuate your curves. A regular rise sits below the navel and tightens your stomach. Low rise jeans sit about three inches below the navel and flatters women with small curves. Super low rise comes to about five inches below the navel. 


The wash indicates the wear and colouring of the jeans. Acid wash is an extreme, faded style resembling a tie-dye pattern, but has distinctive splotches that look more like bleach stains. Stone washing is a light wash with a grey colouring. Dirty wash jeans are a bit faded with a darker colouring and a grungy look. Vintage wash looks rugged with a light fade. Choose a wash based on your personal preference regardless of body type. 

Women’s Bottoms Buying Tips:

• Focus on styles that complement your body shape
• Choose bottoms that highlight your best features
• Know your body measurements to help speed your search
• Choose the rise you feel most comfortable wearing
• Avoid trendy looks that limit your options to create different outfits
• Jeans in solid colours blend with more items in your wardrobe

Women’s Bottoms Features

Flare Cut +

The flare cut applies to more than just jeans. These pants are tailored at the waist, then expand down the knee, and slightly cover the shoes. This style is a good look for dress pants and adding heels can highly complement the cut. A flare cut is also recommended for business casual attire.

Pockets +

Pockets differ for all pants, but are traditional on jeans, casual pants, and casual shorts. Dress pants and dress shorts look more professional and feminine without pockets. Cargo pants are especially designed to feature several multi-purpose pockets. Leggings do not have pockets and wouldn’t look flattering due to the stretchy, thin material. Slit pockets are often found on dress bottoms and look appealing on any form-fitting bottoms like pencil skirts. Faux pockets, which are not functional, are often added for detail.

Straight Cut +

Dress pants, casual pants, and jeans can feature the straight cut style. They start at the crotch and run down to the ankles in a parallel fashion. A pair of heels can compliment the simplicity of the style. They emphasize long legs and camouflage bulges. Roll the cuffs up one or two times for a stylish way to reveal the tops of your shoes or heels.

Stretchy +

Stretchy pants hug all of your curves throughout your legs and can showcase your shapeliness. They’re versatile enough for business casual and informal wear when combined with different tops. You should avoid these pants if you do not feel comfortable showing off your legs or stomach. The stretch allows flexibility and comfort.

Wide Leg +

Wide legged pants are relaxed on the thighs and wide from the crotch to the feet. The fit is supposed to be loose, except at the hips or waist. High waist and wide leg can balance nicely and accentuate a small waist. High heels look best with this style to give some lift between the leg cuff and the floor. These are comfortable pants that can be worn in formal settings.

Zippers and Buttons +

Zippers and buttons are supposed to be simple, functional features on women’s clothing. Invisible zippers are discrete and complement all skirts where the closure is in the back or hip. Metal zippers are appropriate for jeans because of their durability. Buttons should serve as a functional closure at the top of zippers or as a full button closure on jeans. Sometimes buttons can be a fashion detail but rarely on bottoms since they tend to protrude.

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Care and Cleaning Tips:

• Lay denim inside out and flat to dry after washing
• Put denim in the dryer for a short time only to preserve shape
• Fold the end of maxi skirts over the top of the hanger to prevent stretching and tearing
• Wash leggings inside out and lay them flat to dry
• Wash new denim items alone
• Avoid filling your pockets to prevent misshaping and fading

Best Bottoms for Your Body Type

Triangle body shapes have a trim waist and slender upper body with wide hips. The bottoms that accentuate this shape best are boot cut jeans with dark colors and simple details. An A-line cut skirt will cinch your waist and rest nicely over your hips. A round body shape has trim legs and a petite rear. If this is your figure, highlight your legs with a boot cut, straight leg, or slim pair of pants. Consider heels with these pants for a trimming effect. An hourglass shape has full curves with a slim waist. This figure can pull off pencil skirts and skinny jeans. Ruler body shapes have a slender figure with parallel waist to hips. Browse through high waist pants or wide leg style for a look that will add shape. An inverted triangle body shape typically has more volume on the upper body. Consider long skirts or wide leg pants to balance your lower body and show off your trim legs.
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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