Straight leg refers to pant leg silhouette, which is straight, as opposed to skinny, tapered, wide leg, bootcut, or flare. A classic women’s pant, this style is usually fitted through the waist, hips, and thighs and then hangs straight through the knee and lower leg. This type of pant is sometimes referred to as trousers, dress pants, or slacks.
Like so many women’s fashions, we have menswear to thank for this style. Pants, or trousers, which were originally worn by men, have transitioned through many silhouettes. Straight leg pants were first worn in ancient China, after which the style was modified and men were seen wearing leggings, breeches, crops and tighter or baggier pants. While women sported pants as work wear thousands of years ago, religious modesty prevailed and several centuries passed before it became acceptable for women wear pants instead of dresses or skirts. In the 1930s, stars like Katharine Hepburn started wearing trousers, and World War II helped to usher in the popularity of the menswear-inspired garment. Today, women wear pants or trousers of every style, with straight leg being one of the more classic, or traditional silhouettes.
Women’s straight pants, despite being so well defined by their straight leg silhouette, come in a wide variety of styles and fabrics. Straight leg makes for an excellent dress pant, or part of a suit. This trouser style, often in a wool blend, usually features a button and tab waist, and pairs well with pumps, a blouse, and a blazer for a professional look. Casual straight pants often come in stretch cotton or twill, linen, or khaki, and may have pockets or drawstring waists. Cropped straight pants are popular, as are ankle and regular length. And, of course, straight leg denim is another great way to sport this style.