I'm Trying to Branch Out From Denim, and These 28 Chic Pants Are Calling My Name

I grew up in Southern California, so denim is practically part of my DNA. It's typically my baseline for every outfit, so the thought of building a look around anything else honestly doesn't even cross my mind. But after spending a few weeks in Paris and admiring all the über-chic French women in such a range of sartorial choices, I vowed to branch out from my denim uniform and push myself to experiment with new styles. 

So off I went on my search for cool alternatives to jeans, and to my surprise, I found a treasure trove of options that are chic and wearable. As someone who's just dipping a toe into the new world of pants, I wanted options that I felt confident styling to ensure I won't get discouraged. From high-waisted trousers to fun printed pieces to trendy utility pants and elevated leather styles, the 27 options below are the best pant alternatives to jeans I've found—it would be rude not to share. 



(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Tailored, high-waisted trousers were the first pant style that crossed my mind on this little mission. They're flattering and easy to style and always look polished. I also love that they can be dressed up or down with the simple switch of heels for sneakers. 



(Image credit: @ali_tate_cutler)

Nothing says cool like leather or vegan-leather pants—they're foolproof. Leather adds an interesting texture to any outfit and works double duty by actually keeping you warm while looking chic. 



(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

As someone who usually shies away from prints, I decided to face my fears and fully embrace them this year. With so many cool styles and vacation-ready prints trending hard for spring, adding fun printed pants to the rotation is a no-brainer. 



(Image credit: @claire_most)

After a few years of working from home, knit pants are here to stay. I personally could not be more thrilled because they rival my beloved jeans in terms of comfort and can be styled with everything from a graphic T-shirt to a button-down to a matching knit top. 



(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

Utility- and cargo-pant styles are bubbling up in the trend cycle this spring, and I'm here for it. They add instant edge to an outfit and can be styled with virtually anything in a similar way that jeans can. 

This story was published at an earlier date and has since then been updated. 

Caitlin Burnett
Contributing Editor