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Plus Size white denim jeans

How to find plus-size pants that fit

Shopping for pants can be a challenging task for anyone, but it can be especially daunting for those in the plus-size category. For many women, finding pants that fit right takes a lot of work – sometimes so much so that it can be a very daunting task. Because women have such varying body types, it can often seem like every pair you come across fits differently. Plus, stylish and comfortable aren’t usually in the same thought.

The good news is that a little bit of knowledge about your own body and pants in general can go a long way toward easing the process. If you struggle with finding pants that fit right, you are most certainly not alone. Luckily, though, stiff dress pants and thick denim aren’t the only ways to fashionably dress your bottom half. Here’s a guide for finding pants that fit well, are still comfortable, and make you feel amazing, followed by some great wardrobe options.

Don’t be attached to a specific pant size

Any mental blocks you have about sizing should be the first thing to go when looking for pants. Because many brands cater to “vanity sizing,” their clothing will likely run much smaller than other brands. If you find a great pair of pants that are three sizes larger than what you typically wear, don’t refrain from buying them because of the number on the tag. That’s why it’s so important to know your measurements before shopping. Use them to find the right size, no matter how big or small it is.

plus size model wearing a floral long-sleeve with jeans.

Find a plus-size brand you love

Sizing isn’t the only thing that differs between brands. If you’ve spent a lot of time pants shopping, you’ve likely noticed that some brands offer trousers that fit perfectly around wider hips but are a little tight in thighs, while others cater to larger thighs and smaller waists. Because every woman carries weight differently, a pair of pants may fit one woman amazingly and another terribly – even if the ladies are similar in size.

Be aware of the brands and styles that work well on you. Look through the pants you wear often to find what brand they are – you’ll almost always have an easier time finding new jeans and trousers from those brands than from others.

If you find a great pair of pants that are three sizes larger than what you typically wear, don’t refrain from buying them because of the number on the tag.

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plus size white jeans

Important aspects of plus-size pant fit

When it comes to finding pants that fit perfectly, there are some aspects of the fit that matter more than others. The rise and hips on a pair of pants will typically matter the most, whereas tailors can easily alter pants that are too long or that gap around the waist.

The rise of pants refers to where the waistband sits on your body. It’s crucial to choose a rise that complements your body shape and provides comfort. Plus-size individuals often find mid-rise or high-rise pants to be more flattering and supportive. High-rise pants and trousers are particularly effective in smoothing and shaping the midsection while providing a secure fit. Realize that pants with a low or high rise only work on very particular body shapes.

You should also keep in mind which leg styles work best on you (see more options below). Boot-cut pants complement the majority of body types, so you may have more success looking for that style than slim-cut or wide-leg pants that could potentially be unflattering.

dark wash jeans

Shop Plus-Size Jeans

Monroe and Main offers high quality denims specifically developed for the plus-size woman!

Opt for fabrics with stretch

When shopping for plus-size pants, pay close attention to the fabric and stretch factor. Fabrics like cotton, denim, and twill can provide structure and durability, while spandex or elastane blends offer flexibility and comfort.

No matter your size, looking for pants with small amounts of spandex is an easy way to get the right fit. It will allow them to stretch more easily around larger areas of your lower body, while still fitting closely to the smaller areas. A combination of these materials can offer the best of both worlds. Opt for pants with a bit of stretch to ensure they hug your curves comfortably without feeling constricting.

Starting with stretch, here are some of the most fashionable bottoms that are still comfortable:

Plus size model wearing denim jeans and jacket

Stretch jeans

Denim is so much more versatile these days. In addition to being able to choose from a wide variety of cuts and washes, there are so many different levels of stretch. When shopping for slimming jeans, take the stretch factor into account. When you try them on, bend over, sit down, and make sure they’re stretchy enough to comfortably move around in all day. If you don’t like the look of stretch jeans, you can still comfortably wear denim by opting for a looser fit, like a boyfriend cut. Feminize the outfit by pairing looser jeans with heels.

blonde plus-size model showing backside of jeans

Gauchos

Depending on how you style them, gaucho pants can be casual enough for a weekend afternoon, or professional enough to wear to the office. The flowy legs can give you an effortless boho look, or that you’re wearing a flouncy skirt. For casual days, pair the pants with a comfy pair of sneakers or pointy toe flats and a T-shirt and cardigan. For the office, simply toss on your favorite heels and one of your work blouses. When the rest of your outfit is tailored, you don’t have to worry about you figure being lost in too much fabric. Who said you can’t be chic and comfortable? 

plus size gaucho jeans

Leggings

There is a never-ending debate about whether or not leggings are pants. If you’re comfortable and confident, go for it! Just make sure the leggings are a proper fit and aren’t see-through. While leggings are  typically casual, like when worn with your favorite quarter zip sweater or tunic top, the occasional pair can be office appropriate—such as a sleeveless sheath dress with comfy leggings beneath and a sweater over the top. For leggings beneath a dress, wear boots instead of flats or heels. If you have a long, asymmetrical tunic top or sweater that’s work appropriate, try wearing a pair of full-length leggings with zippers or other embellishments along the ankles. 

black plus-size model wearing a black & silver athleisure suit

Yoga pants

While some people claim that they wouldn’t be caught wearing yoga pants outside of the gym, others think that athleisure is the greatest gift to fashion. To successfully rock yoga pants in a stylish way, make sure you’re wearing the correct size: not hanging off of your body nor see-through. Outside of the gym, wear them like you would leggings, with appropriate-length tops and casual shoes.

Now that you know your options, here are some additional tips to ensure you LOVE your new plus-size pants:

Try Before You Buy

Online shopping has become increasingly popular, but when it comes to plus-size pants, trying them on in-store is often the best way to ensure a proper fit. Take the time to visit brick-and-mortar stores that offer a wide range of sizes and styles. Don’t be discouraged by sizes; focus on how the pants feel and look on your body. If you prefer online shopping, check the store’s return policy to ensure you can exchange or return items that don’t fit.

Tailoring is an Option

If you find a pair of pants that you love but need some adjustments, don’t hesitate to consider tailoring. A skilled tailor can make alterations to the waist, length, or fit to create custom-made pants that suit your body perfectly. While tailoring may add extra cost, it can be a worthwhile investment in achieving pants that fit like a dream.

Now, go find your ideal plus-size pants!

white denim plus size jean

Shop Plus-Size Pants

Monroe and Main offers a wide variety of bottoms specifically developed for the plus-size woman!

Shopping for plus-size pants that fit right doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. By understanding your body shape, taking accurate measurements, considering fabric and stretch, paying attention to the rise, and experimenting with different styles, you can find pants that make you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t be discouraged by sizing labels, and always prioritize how the pants make you feel over the number on the tag. With these tips in mind, you can navigate the world of plus-size pants shopping with confidence and style.

With all this information to help you, now comes the fun part: finding the perfect pants for comfort, style, and compliments! 

Plus size model wearing a navy floral long sleeve top with jeans, holding a blue purse.

Comments (4)

I cannot find slacks that fit. I am a plus size but I have a fairly flat stomach. I carry most of my weight in my hips and backside. Except for one workout pant they are all very loose and baggy in front. Can u send your catalog and make any suggestions

Hi, Helen! Thanks for checking out our blog. To request a catalog, please go to this link:
https://www.monroeandmain.com/cm/catalog-request/

Finding pants that fit just right can be extremely frustrating! Try starting off by taking your measurements so you have an idea of what to look for size-wise. If you need some assistance with that, follow this helpful guide:
https://www.monroeandmain.com/cm/how-to-measure.html

We suggest checking out some of our most popular pants, such as our Audrey Trouser or Lola Jean. We hope this is helpful!

There need to be more plus petite items. All large women are not 5’9″. Unless we want knee length dresses there are hardly any longer dresses that will look good on us. I am 5’2″, a size 20-22 and I can wear an inseam of 26-28 so all the 36″ skirts are out.. I am older, had knee replacements and can’t wear heels anymore. If it doesn’t look good with flats I am SOL.

Hi, Karen. We can see how that would be frustrating. Thank you for letting us know. Our customer feedback is very important to us, and we’ll be sure to pass this information along to our team.
We do have a few skirts that might work for you currently. Try taking a look at our Crinkle-Border Skirt, Aztec Knit Skirt, Colorful Knit Skirt, Inca Skirt, Mesh Trim Skirt, or Tatiana Printed Skirt. We hope this helps for now!

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