Every season there’s a severe shortage of casual pants that can be interchanged with jeans. Well, things are improving because there are definitely more choices now than in previous years. Here are your options by style.

  • Skinny Cargos: Also known as utility pants and available in many variations. Some are super skinny, while others are a little baggier and elasticated at the ankle. Overall, the silhouette is slim and not relaxed like cargos were in the 90’s (see picture 1).
  • Coloured and white jeans: These are technically still jeans, but they feel different because they aren’t blue or black. Some are made of denim and others of cotton twill. They come in pastels, brights and white. I’ve only seen the colours in skinny silhouettes, but white jeans are available in all silhouettes (see picture 2).
  • Cropped Cargos: The style is sweet when rolled up to just below the knee (see pictures 3 and 4).
  • Bermudas: The classic shorts silhouette that finishes on or above the knee. You’ll find really comfy pairs with 2% stretch (see pictures 5 and 6).
  • Clamdiggers:  Clams are longer than bermuda shorts, and a lot more tapered from thigh to knee. They are like a pair of short skinnies. You’ll also see this style referred to as tapered bermudas. Purchasing a pair of capris and hemming or rolling them to clamdigger length is effective, something I’ve encouraged clients to do for several seasons (see picture 7).
  • Knitted Harem pants: An acquired taste! The knitted varieties are casual and adorable with the right top and shoes (see picture 8).
  • Short shorts: With killer legs and youth on your side, these are “the” casual bottoms of the season in all sorts of style variations. Surprisingly, even places like Ann Taylor are selling short shorts. They are that big. Solid, printed, pleated, tight, baggy, bright, neutral, you name it (see picture 9).

I haven’t included casual pants like leg shortening capris and cropped pants, which happen to be everywhere this season, but give me heart failure. This silhouette can be worn in flattering ways, but it’s so hard to do, especially with flat shoes. I have also left off classic “Dockers” style khakis because they still look blah to my eye. In the spirit of this year’s 70’s fashion revival, extra wide-leg khakis are all over the show. They require height, long legs and platform wedges, making them an option for a minority of women.

From the above list, I’ll wear casual bermudas, white jeans and clamdiggers. I have those styles covered and don’t need any more. I’ll also continue to wear my very 80’s black and cream micro check skinnies from Spain, which I have had for years and still love to bits. I’d like to get a pair of baggy red jeans, but no luck so far. Along with blue jeans and leggings I have plenty of casual and smart casual pant options.

Skinny cargos almost made it into my wardrobe. I did not bite because I prefer wearing dressier, fashion forward trousers and instead bought a couple of pairs of those. I also like to wear skirts and dresses, which means I generally, need fewer pants.

This post contains affiliate links.