Few things are more frustrating than struggling to get dressed in the morning — or before a night out or special event — simply because your wardrobe is lacking the range you need to complete an outfit. And, while tops and jackets often steal the show, it’s easy to underestimate how important bottoms are in terms of making or breaking a look.
Had enough of standing in front of your closet and shaking your fist at the sky because you don’t have bottoms in the right fabric, shape or color to complete your outfit? Getting dressed should be fun and fulfilling, not a chore.
Here are seven types of bottoms every well-rounded wardrobe should contain. Taking inventory to identify what you’re missing will make your next shopping trip really count when you add these essential pants, leggings and skirts to your collection ASAP.
Jeans can do a lot of the heavy lifting of your daytime wardrobe — provided you have the right shapes and colors on hand. Start with your everyday, go-to classic jean based on whatever style and brand fits you the best. Then look for a dark wash jean appropriate for day-to-night wear. You can accomplish a lot by adding a slouchier boyfriend fit, flare jeans and at least one pair of colored denim pants to your closet too.
Your first thought when you hear the term leggings might be athleisure, but there is a wide range of leggings for women available today — ranging from casual to flowy and sophisticated fits. Adding more leggings to your wardrobe will help you prepare for any occasion and stay comfortable no matter what. You really can’t go wrong pairing a cropped legging with a sweater and a pair of sneakers.
The term “utility pants” is essentially a trendier way to say cargo pants. But forget the bulky side pockets of yesteryear. Utility pants today are versatile and — dare we say — chic. They come in colors ranging from white to green to khaki to black and come in a variety of shapes, too.
Perhaps the most iconic example of wide-legged trousers is found in Katherine Hepburn’s old Hollywood look. As one author writes for Glamour, “Hepburn was a pioneer of genderless style at a time when women were expected to dress up for occasions as small as a grocery store trip.”
Wide-legged trousers with a high waist are a great way to make a statement or elevate a casual outfit.
Think of colorful and patterned trousers as your chance to show off your personal style and spice up an otherwise neutral- or monochromatic outfit. Reach for seasonal colors, follow the trends or simply pick your favorite shades.
The sky is the limit in this department.
Mini, Midi & Maxi Skirts
Having skirts that hit at every length will allow you to dress well for the seasons and have a skirt on hand for any top you can imagine. You’ll likely want at least one above the knee, one around or slightly below, and one around ankle-length — letting your personal taste dictate the exact cuts and materials, of course.
Paper Bag-Waist Shorts
Paper bags don’t have the best connotations. But paper-bag waists — cinch-tied at the waist with a long silhouette — are actually famously flattering. Paper-bag waists tend to pair well with oversized sweaters, form-fitting shirts and everything in between.
Every well-rounded wardrobe has an interesting array of bottoms to accompany the selection of tops. Mixing up fabrics and shapes here will help you compose stunning outfits for every occasion.