What are Flat-Front Pants?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

Flat-front pants are basically any pants that don't have pleats in them. These pants are designed to lie close to the body and don't have the bulk caused by the extra fabric of pleated pants, which might have one or two pleats. They also generally have smaller pockets to help them lie flatter; some styles might not have any pockets or will have mock pockets, which are features that have the look of a pocket without being an actual pocket.

Most jeans have flat fronts.
Most jeans have flat fronts.

Pants of the flat-front design for men, women and children are very popular and are found at clothing retailers worldwide. They are found in both casual and dressy pant styles. The term "flat-front" sometimes is used in descriptions of pants written by clothing retailers, and sometimes it isn't, but generally if the pants don't have pleats, they are flat-front. This style of pant comes in a multitude of cuts, fabrics and colors.

Flat-front pants can be boot cut.
Flat-front pants can be boot cut.

Pants with flat fronts might have straight or wide legs, be boot cut or have other leg shapes. Fabrics they come in include cotton, wool, linen and any other fabric used to make pants. It is fairly standard for denim jeans to have flat fronts, although they usually are not advertised as flat-fronted pants.

Flat-front pants often are considered beneficial to people who wish to appear slimmer and flatter through the stomach and thighs. The pants don't have the extra fabric of pleated pants, so they don't bulk out in the front, which might add the appearance of extra weight. Generally, flat-front pants are considered by style aficionados to be a more modern look than their pleated cousins, which are a more traditional style of pant. This feeling is especially true when it comes to men's pants. Some men, though, might find pleated pants to be more comfortable.

For women, flat-front pants generally are considered more stylish than pleated looks, but there can be more considerations related to specific cut and current pant trends. There are some trendier women's pant styles that use pleats. As many stylists believe, though, not everyone can or should wear the latest trends. Consideration should be given to body type, with pleated pants usually looking best on those who are long and lean. Flat-front pants, with their myriad cuts, fabrics and colors to choose from, can be flattering on just about everybody.

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Discussion Comments


I think women's and men's flat front pants are much more attractive than pleated pants. They are more slimming, and have a smoother appearance than pants that have pleated fronts. I totally agree with this article, and I can see why flat-front pants are considered in style today.

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