7 Best Plus Size Women’s Elastic Waist Pants

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7 Best Plus Size Women's Elastic Waist Pants

I know that pants with an elastic waistband aren’t always received positively by plus-size folks, mainly because of the “grandma vibes” they can give off. But, there’s something to said about how fashion changes with time.

It seems that the elastic waistband is getting a modern reboot, and I’m here for it!

There are some serious issues that regular pants with a zipper and a button don’t have the ability to solve. Plus, an elastic waistband is super comfy, especially if you’re a big girl. It helps keep your pants in place without them cutting into your skin.

And, for girls with thick thighs, you don’t have to worry about the waistband being too big for your waist.

I’ve actually have talked about jeans with an elastic waistband quite recently, but this time I want to expand my list and add some regular pants into the mix.

I’m also going to go over some tips for selecting plus size elastic waist pants, but if you’d like to skip right ahead and see my top picks then you can do so here:

Best For Work
Hanna Nikole Women’s Plus Size Cropped Paper Bag Waist
  • Available in sizes from 16 plus to 24 plus.
  • The super stretchy elastic waistband makes it a comfortable choice for desk jobs.
  • If you want to a well fitted you can remove the belt, or use it to compliment your belly instead.
  • The side pockets are large enough to hold your phone without adding too much unnecessary bulk.
Best For Outdoor Activities
Columbia Women’s Storm Surge Waterproof Rain Pant
  • Available in sizes up to 3XL, with regular and short options.
  • They have an elastic closure and a drawstring on the inside to keep the pants in place.
  • The waterproof material works great for outdoor activities, but also if you live in an area where it rains often.
  • The flexible material and the elastic waistband offer mobility without stretching the pants.
Best For Casual Wear
Briggs New York Women's Stretch Pull On Pant
  • Available sizes from 16 to 24 plus.
  • The color won't fade after being washed so these pants are long-lasting.
  • Slimming panel that will help hide a FUPA.
  • Thick enough to conceal any bumps and texture on your legs.

Let’s get started!

Why Pants With An Elastic Waist Work Great For Plus Size Figures?

Odds are some of you have avoided the elastic waistband, so I’m going to give you a few reasons why fuller figured women might want a pair of good pants with an elastic waistband. For starters, comfort.

No matter how cute a garment is, having the waistband dig into your skin and press against your belly throughout the day can be a painful experience. Unfortunately, it’s a feeling plus-size people with large bellies are fairly familiar with.

Next, when you wear elastic waistbands, you really do breathe easier. There’s no digging waistband to restrict your breathing, plus you have more freedom of movement.

Whether you’re a plus-size lady hiking up a mountain or simply working at a desk job, the elastic waistband will sit comfortably in place. And, you know that you won’t have to spend your day pulling your pants up.

Let’s not forget that an elastic waistband doesn’t simply make a garment plus-size inclusive but it can also work better for different body types.

For example, if your hips are much wider than your waist, then the elastic will hug your waist without a gap caused by your larger hips. For ladies with bigger bellies, the same waistband won’t squeeze you.

I also want to point out that plus-size people with mobility issues that need help with getting dressed or who experience chronic joint pain can struggle with pants that have multiple buttons or zippers while a pair with an elastic waistband can easily be pulled up causing less struggle.

So, why wouldn’t pants with an elastic waist work for plus-size figures?

How To Choose The Right Pair Of Elastic Waist Pants?

Clothes can make you feel at ease in your body, they can make you appreciate certain parts, and uplift the parts you were trying to hide.

Fashion magazines often talk about rules, the right proportions and while I’m going to mention some of these rules, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them, and you can break them if you want.

But until you’re brave enough to venture outside of these rules, let’s take a closer look at some of them!

Consider The Fit

When looking for a well-fitting pair of elastic waist pants, understanding your proportions is a good place to start. Depending on your body shape you might have different needs when it comes to where the garment offers support and where it is looser-fitting.

For example, when you have wide hips and a small waist, you need enough space and sturdiness in the leg area while still maintaining a well-fitted waistband to avoid any gaps or looseness.

Then again if you’re like me, and most of your weight is gathered in your belly area then the goal is finding a pair of pants that has plenty of ease in the waistband without being baggy in the leg area.

I do think that an elastic waistband can help solve most of these fitting issues, so let’s take a moment to look at the anatomy of the perfect elastic waist pant that will help hug each part of your body without distorting or warping it!

The Waist

No matter our size, large folks can have a multitude of different body types and all of them have unique needs when it comes to clothing.

Depending on your weight distribution you might have a wide or narrow waistline that can affect how a garment will sit on you. Or, if you’re like me and you have more volume in the midsection, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good pair of pants with a comfortable waistband that doesn’t bite into your belly and sides.

While women with smaller waists and thicker thighs, usually look for a well-fitting waistband to avoid gaping when sitting down or bunching when wearing a belt.

Whether you want to accentuate the smallest part of your waist or you’re looking for a snuggly fit, a good pair of elastic waist pants can fit well most body types since their waistband is super stretchy and offers more flexibility.

But not all elastic waistbands look or feel perfect. Some elastics might not be stretchy enough so it can be difficult to pull them over your hips or they might not lie smoothly at your waist and create unnecessary bulk.

Certain elastic waistbands can twist as you pull them up, which not only can ruin the fit of the pants, but they also can be extremely uncomfortable as the elastic moves and bulges in different areas throughout the day.

The Hips

Not only should the waistband feel comfortable and fit your body, but the rest of the pants should also have the same function. As most women with full figures know, the hip area can be equally frustrating when it comes to pants.

If your hips and thighs are the widest part of your body then you’ve probably familiar with the struggle of pulling a nice pair of pants over your curves only to discover that the waistband is too wide.

Then again those of us with narrow hips have seen similar pants hang loosely over our hips and thighs while the waistband was painfully tight around our belly.

The elastic in the waistband can definitely help solve some of these fitting issues and you can concentrate more on whether the actual pants are hugging your curves properly instead of suffocating you or making you look like a sack.

The Rise

I think no matter your shape or size low-rise jeans are simply not flattering, at least in most cases. On the other hand, you’ll find mid-rise and high-rise pants looking particularly good on plus-size figures for multiple reasons.

First, they offer more coverage. So, whether you’re standing up or sitting down, you don’t have to be afraid of your belly hanging out and they won’t be exposing certain areas you don’t want to expose.

A higher waistline can also help accentuate your curves, and lengthen your legs. If you have long legs and a shorter upper body, then you can also go for a mid-rise pair instead to create more even proportions.

More so, with elastic waist pants, you don’t have to worry about the waistband poking you in the ribs or the hips, which can give you more options.

The Cut

Another thing you might want to consider before getting any pair of pants is the cut.

While the waistband does play a major role in the comfort and overall fit of the garment the cut can also visually affect your proportions.

If you’re tall with an hourglass figure then a fitted waistband and a bootcut or flared bottom will elongate your leg and soften your proportions.

For shorter women, straight-leg pants with a belt or a tucked-in shirt will actually help accentuate your curves and make your legs appear longer.

Since I have quite narrow hips I usually go for high-waisted and loose-fitting pants that are tapered at the ankle to help me create a more voluptuous silhouette. This tapered cut doesn’t always work though, because they can sit a bit tight around my calves that are already quite large and I don’t always want to accentuate them.

If I’m dressed for the office or a more professional setting I love straight-leg pants with a discreet elastic waistband to create a lengthening effect.

The type of cut you’ll go for can also depend on your own personal preference, comfort levels, and the shoes you’re going to wear. Flats, sportswear, or a pair of heels can actually open up some options if you’re shorter or taller.

The Length

Finding the right length can also be tricky and it also depends on the style and effect you want to go for.

I usually prefer my pants to reach my ankles because if it’s anything longer than that then it looks like I’m drowning in them.

On the other hand, I do love short-length pants as well, and nothing beats a nice pair of capris. These can be really cute, and they can add some variety to your wardrobe.

The elastic waistband can additionally affect the length of your pant since they usually sit tighter around your waist and can appear a bit shorter, so for tall ladies, this is something you might want to consider.

Consider The Fabric

Different materials work better for certain weather conditions, and this can dictate what type of fabrics you gravitate towards.

Wool pants are usually warm and likely lined so not only should they sit smoothly over the wider part of your booty, but also your whole leg. On the other hand, wool can be itchy if not lined, and it’s not always easy to clean. Plus, it’s better suited to cooler weather conditions.

Linen pants are made of natural fabric that’s good on sensitive skin and it’s all flowy and can sit beautifully on a multitude of body types. But linen is usually worn during the warmer months and it tends to crease like crazy.

I usually prefer a blend of different fabrics, usually cotton with a mix of rayon and a bit of spandex to make them stretchy but still hold their shape.

Polyester is not a fabric that I usually go for because it can feel cheap and unpleasant on the body, but a cotton-polyester blend can work for some people and it’s usually a budget-friendly option.

Sturdy materials like denim can help the pair of pants hold its shape but they’re not always flexible even with an elastic waistband, so they can sit too tight on those who have wider hips or a large belly.

At the end of the day, the kind of material you’ll gravitate to might also depend on your day-to-day needs. If you’re leading an active lifestyle then you need to avoid fabrics that get easily worn out and those that turn see-through when stretched.

For office wear, I try to look for materials that don’t crease easy. That way, at the end of the day, I don’t look like a baggy mess.

When shopping online you can’t always be sure what the material or even the fit will look like, but with time you’ll find what truly works for you.

Our Top 7 Women’s Plus Size Elastic Waist Pants

As I’ve already explained, the suggestions above are here only to help you understand why these elastic waist pants for plus-size bodies made it to our list. So, let’s explore each one of them and see if they will be the right fit for your unique figure and style! Here’s a quick look at three of them we’ll talk about.

Best For Work: Hanna Nikole Women’s Plus Size Cropped Paper Bag Waist

Best For Work
Hanna Nikole Women’s Plus Size Cropped Paper Bag Waist
  • Available in sizes from 16 plus to 24 plus.
  • The super stretchy elastic waistband makes it a comfortable choice for desk jobs.
  • If you want to a well fitted you can remove the belt, or use it to compliment your belly instead.
  • The side pockets are large enough to hold your phone without adding too much unnecessary bulk.

This might just be my favorite pair of work pants that I own and if you’ll take a moment to look at the silhouette I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.

So, let’s break this down.

First of all, I want to praise this company for creating the most comfortable waistband without making it ugly or bulky. You can see the room for stretch in this photo.

The whole thing is elastic and very stretchy so at the end of the day, you won’t be left with red marks around your belly and waist.

The belt itself is more decorative, but it can add some support. If you’re self-conscious of your belly then I think this little detail might actually help you appreciate that body part. You can see how this belt looks on a plus size body in this video.

Next, we have the thigh area which can be a problematic area for plenty of plus-size women. And I want to make it clear that the thighs aren’t the problem but the awkward fit that many pants have.

Well, this pair of elastic waist pants should give you a proper relaxed fit, without looking baggy and as the rest of the fabric tapers down it will help elongate the leg.

Instead of looking bulky, with this Hanna Nikole elastic wast pair, you will look curvy, presentable, and unbelievably cute.

Even if you don’t have large thighs and most of your weight is distributed on the upper body, these pants can actually create a more defined waistline and add a bit of volume to your bum and thigh area. Plus, you can see in this photo that the pockets are functional without being too bulky.

These are clearly made with a plus-size shape in mind, and they can look flattering on any body type. If you’re looking for more dress pants options you can also check this list but these pants don’t all have an elastic waistband.

For people who want the comfort of an elastic waistband, you should definitely check out all 12 colors and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here!

What I Love About Them: These elastic waist pants are great for most occasions where you want to look presentable and stylish, not just work.

What I Wish They Had: The material might not be for everyone since these pants are made from 95% Polyester and 5% spandex, and they might also crease from heat and high humidity.


Best For Outdoor Activities: Columbia Women’s Storm Surge Waterproof Rain Pant

Best For Outdoor Activities
Columbia Women's Storm Surge Waterproof Rain Pant
  • Available in sizes up to 3XL, with regular and short options.
  • They have an elastic closure and a drawstring on the inside to keep the pants in place.
  • The waterproof material works great for outdoor activities, but also if you live in an area where it rains often.
  • The flexible material and the elastic waistband offer mobility without stretching the pants.

I haven’t always been the “active” type and I understand that getting into sports or activities that require lots of bodily effort can be super scary for larger folks.

Part of my anxiety came from the lack of proper clothing. Being anxious about my panties showing because of the sheerness of a fabric terrified me.

But there are clothes out there that can fit plus-size bodies and the Columbia Storm pants with an elastic waistband are one of them. These are perfect because they have large sizes for tall and short women, which means that more plus size women can actually enjoy a comfortable outdoorsy experience.

These are of course wind and waterproof and you can wear them to protect yourself from intense weather even during activities like skiing.

The elastic waistband and the adjustable leg openings will keep the cold wind from coming through or any warm air escaping.

Some of the reviewers have actually suggested going a size bigger so you can wear thermals and a warm pair of pants underneath to keep you warm. So, plan appropriately depending on what type of activities you plan to do in these all-weather pants.

If you want to read more of these reviews you can click here and check today’s price on Amazon!

What I Love About Them: These Columbia Storm pants have a mesh lining to protect you on extra cold and dump days.

What I Wish They Had: There are no pockets on the outside. These pants do have a little pocket on the inside, though it’s not big enough for a phone.


Best For Casual Wear: Briggs New York Women’s Stretch Pull On Pant

Best For Casual Wear
Briggs New York Women's Stretch Pull On Pant
  • Available sizes from 16 to 24 plus.
  • The color won't fade after being washed so these pants are long-lasting.
  • Slimming panel that will help hide a FUPA.
  • Thick enough to conceal any bumps and texture on your legs.

Everyone is different when it comes to casual wear, some people prefer a pair of well-fitting jeans, while others will look for their favorite sweatpants.

Nothing wrong with both of these options but if you’re like me then you might want to have a pair of pull-on pants that look a bit more professional without taking away your comfort.

If that’s the case then you should try the Briggs stretch pull on pants.

I love that these don’t dig into your skin. They make you look classy, sure, but they feel like luxurious pajama bottoms.

The elastic waistband isn’t chunky, but instead, it sits flat around your waist and over your belly. It’s also thick enough to offer a little support, which you can see here.

Because the waistband is so thin and discreet you won’t have to feel uncomfortable tucking a shirt underneath and revealing the waistband. Plus, there is a slimming panel in this area, which helps with hiding a FUPA if you have that problem like I do. You can see how flattering it is in this video.

These pants are also quite long with a slim but relaxed fit, and you can additionally lengthen your leg by putting on some high-heeled shoes.

The only downside is that the material is mostly synthetic, which might irritate some people’s skin. And, it has fake pockets in the back. While I don’t mind that the pockets don’t add volume to your backside, I just don’t like fake pockets. You can see one of them in this photo.

If you want to look professional but feel causal then check the wonderful reviews from other plus-size ladies and also check today’s prices on Amazon.

What I Love About Them: I love how versatile these pants are, all you have to do is change your shirt to a fancy blouse and add some accessories and you’re ready for a night out.

What I Wish They Had: The material is mostly synthetic, 78 % rayon, 19% nylon, and 3% spandex which might not be ideal if you have sensitive skin.


Best For Dressing Up: Hanna Nikole Women’s Plus Size High Waisted Palazzo Pants

Best For Dressing Up
Hanna Nikole Women's Plus Size High Waisted Palazzo Pants
  • Available sizes up to 24 Plus.
  • The elastic waistband is stretchy enough for someone with a larger belly.
  • There are two discreet side pockets so you can have your phone with you even when you're out on a date or at a party.
  • These pants also come in black and white stripes that will look great on shorter plus-size figures.

When it comes to dressing up or wearing a cute outfit to work I can always rely on Hanna Nikole’s plus-size pants line.

This is a similar pair to our first piece on this list and they both have the same elastic waistband with a removable belt.

In this case, the belt can once again add some additional support and the bow can be a cute detail to hide your belly if it’s something that you’re self-conscious about.

If you are mid-heavy like me then this waistband is definitely for you because it’s soft and won’t bite into your skin or leave red marks at the end of your night out.

While I do love the waist detail I also can’t get enough of the wide-leg cut. These can truly look good on anyone because they can add some volume if you have narrow hips and long legs, or they can drape softly over your curves.

If you’re on the short side you can pair these pants with a tall shoe, and tuck your shirt inside the waistband to elongate your leg and create that narrow hourglass shape.

If you want to see the colors and patterns that these elastic waist pants are available in click here and don’t forget to check today’s price on Amazon!

What I Love About Them: Depending on your accessories you can dress up these pants up and down, and the elastic waistband will always leave you feeling comfortable.

What I Wish They Had: These pants are made of 95% polyester and 5% Spandex and while this does mean that they’ll have lots of stretch without creasing, the synthetic fabric might feel a bit thin.


Best For Working Out: Zerdocean Women’s Plus Size Jogger Workout Pants

Best For Working Out
Zerdocean Women's Plus Size Jogger Workout Pants
  • Available in sizes up to 5XL.
  • The 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex blend makes these pants breathable and stretchy.
  • The side stripes elongate the leg and keep your proportions curvy and not bulky.
  • The elastic cuffs are suitable for big girls with swollen ankles.

As much as I love dressing up I do end up wearing leggings and sweatpants with an elastic waistband on a daily basis, especially when I’m working out. That’s why I expect my workout wear to be made out of breathable material that’s soft on my skin and that has lots of stretch as I’m exploring new yoga poses.

The Zerdocean Jogger pants offer me both since they’re mostly made of cotton and a bit of spandex. This material also doesn’t become sheer as you move and it’s thick enough to be worn during most seasons.

The stretchy elastic on the waist is not bulky, instead, it sits comfortably around your waist and there’s also a drawstring for additional support.

Plus, I love all the color options. These have a thick stripe that runs down the side of the pant, which I think looks flattering on a curvy body.

These also have nice deep pockets where you can keep your phone and other valuable items while jogging, lounging around the house, or even running errands. There’s also one back pocket that isn’t necessarily that functioning, but it also doesn’t add extra volume to the back area, which is something you generally don’t want when you’re plus-size.

You can check the 8 different colors Zerdocial elastic waist pants are available in as well as today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

What I Love About Them: I love the tapered leg because not only does it give me some curves, but they also keep the warmth from escaping.

What I Wish They Had: To be honest there’s not much I’d change in these sweatpants, they are comfy and don’t leave me wanting for much.


Best Stylish Choice For Wide Hips: Kunmi Women High Waist Skinny Stretch Ripped Jeans

Best Stylish Choice For Wide Hips
Kunmi Women High Waist Skinny Stretch Ripped Jeans
  • Available sizes up to 5 XL.
  • The stretchy material and the elastic drawstring waistband are perfect for women with thick thighs and a narrow waist.
  • The tapered cuffs aren't too tight so they won't hurt your ankles or calves.

This is definitely a pair of elastic waist pants that all my curvy girlfriends have and swear by.

Of course, I understand that ripped jeans aren’t for everyone but this pair is just so modern and sexy and you know that these Kunmi jeans were created with thick plus-size women and girls in mind.Here’s a look at the distressed design.

First of all the fabric itself is stretchy and hugs your curves instead of suffocating them. Second, the elastic waistband sits tightly around the waist without gaping. And just look at the style.

At first, I thought since these pants stretch so much then these must be completely synthetic, but to my surprise, these are 65% cotton and only 35% polyester which means they are super lightweight and breathable.

These elastic waist pants will look perfect on an hourglass and pair-shaped body type, but since they are so stretchy someone with narrow hips could also rock them.

I also love that these can be dressed up or down. You can see how they look with a nice top and heels, as well as with a flannel and boots in these videos.

They also have a drawstring that can keep the waistband lay even flatter if you have a really small waist compared to your hips. These pants really will look great on any body type, as long as they align with your personal style.

The only downside? I don’t always like when I can put my fingers through the hole in clothes, I prefer those with a patch just because my toes poke through while I’m putting them on. This is a matter of preference though- here’s a look at what I’m talking about.

Click here to check out all 7 different denim options along with today’s price on Amazon!

What I Love About Them: These pants won’t stretch throughout the day so the fit is always the same and they won’t shrink after you wash them.

What I Wish They Had: The elastic waistband can twist when you pull them up so this can become annoying.


Best Size Options: Chic Classic Collection Women’s Plus Size Stretch Elastic Waist Pull-On Pant

Best Size Options
Chic Classic Collection Women's Plus Size Stretch Elastic Waist Pull-On Pant
  • Available sizes from 18 to 26 with petite options.
  • They are 79% cotton and 21% spandex so they offer a super comfortable fit.
  • The elastic waistband offers lots of mobility.
  • The pockets are deep and your items won't fall out when sitting.

If you have a hard time finding plus sizes, especially if you’re short like me, then the Chic classic collection with its petite selection is the one for you.

Of course, they have regular sizes as well, but being short with a full figure can make it really difficult to find something that doesn’t turn out too baggy and too long.

These also come in a slim fit with a slightly tapered cut that can help elongate your leg and together with the high-waist rise, you can create more defined proportions.

Unlike many elastic waistbands, this one isn’t too thick, instead, it’s quite discreet the way it hugs your belly area without accentuating it or adding extra volume.

They also come in four different colors, light and dark blue denim, khaki, and black that you can check on Amazon by clicking here!

What I Love About Them: These are so versatile and they can be worn at work, casually, or to a party, if paired with a nice shirt and accessories.

What I Wish They Had: I’d rather these had no pockets or side pockets instead, since the front pockets can add some bulk to the belly and front area if you overstuff them.


Closing Thoughts

As big women, we are expected to keep our bodies hidden as much as possible, with dark colors, vertical stripes, and all that jazz.

But we don’t have to do that anymore.

We can wear modern clothing, that will make us look cute and help us feel happy and welcome in our large bodies with all their glorious curves.

We can also go for something comfy and snuggly like a pair of pants with an elastic waistband and even a drawstring that keeps them in place without suffocating us.

Just know that when it comes to fashion rules are meant to be broken and I know I can be an apple, a pear, and the whole fruit salad if I want to, and no one can stop me.

At the end of the day, we simply need to live life big, preferably with an elastic waistband sitting neatly around our soft belly.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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