Welcome to the ultimate guide to scrunch butt bottoms!
However you found your way here, I’m going to assume you are interested in the magical properties of these pants and/or what the heck they actually are or what all the fuss is about.
Rest assured, we are here to answer all your nagging questions when it comes to this important topic! In this article, we’ll also take a closer look at how these pants work, where to get some if you’re interested, features to look for when shopping, and even how you can even make your own if you’re that way inclined.
So without further ado, let’s get into the deets!
Scrunch Bottom Pants 101 – Commonly Asked Questions
Let’s answer some basic questions first:
What are scrunch bottom pants?
As the name suggests, scrunch butt pants/leggings have a special seam at the rear which essentially gathers up the fabric along the butt seam (usually following around the same path as your butt crack) causing more glute cheek separation and the illusion of more voluminous buns.
This seam type or style is also known as (AKA): scrunch bum, ruched bottom (sometimes), pucker bottom, tiktok leggings (due to them blowing up and going viral on tiktok from posts like this one:)
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What is the point of scrunch butt leggings?
The scrunch bum seam style is mainly to flatter one’s booty. It does this specifically by separating the glutes and emphasizing the curvature of each cheek individually. The overall effect? Bootylicious buns!
Do scrunch bum pants work?
This is a valid question, but it depends on what you mean by ‘work’. If you mean do they work to flatter your butt, the answer in my humble opinion is ‘yes’ – but fair warning, not everyone likes the look that this seam style gives.
Does everyone like the look of scrunch bum seams?
When I asked my boyfriend what he thought about this style/trend, he told me that he actually found it more amusing – and not in a good way. Sure, they accentuate your butt (I feel like we can’t really dispute that part), but in his opinion, “They look like you have a permanent wedgie, or like your butt crack is eating your pants”.
I saw a classic example of this in the wild the other day and had to resist the urge to take a photo for demonstration purposes on this site. But let me tell you, this scrunch was in DEEP. From an observer’s point of view, I can only assume it can’t have been comfortable, unless you enjoy or are already accustomed to the wedgie feel…
I’m sure he can’t be the only one who doesn’t particularly like this style. Me? I’m undecided… I don’t mind the booty-flattering benefits that this style has promoted, but I can’t get the image of my butt crack eating my pants out of my head after it was pointed out to me too.
Why do people wear scrunch butt clothing?
We kind of covered this one earlier, but it’s most usually for the booty-accentuating benefits. This is not for everyone folks. Some might find this style a little too provocative and revealing for their liking. I wouldn’t class it as modest clothing if you’re flaunting your glute assets, even if they are technically covered in fabric.
Scrunch butt swimwear?
Yes, it exists! Because of this flattering cut it definitely features on bikini bottoms and even some one-piece swimsuits.
Along with ruched bikini bottoms, scrunch butt bikinis are somewhat popular and more companies are making these, presumably due to popular demand.
It’s worth noting that in some of the more revealing ‘cheeky’ cut styles, you don’t get as much emphasis on the individual butt cheeks that the scrunch bum seam would usually afford. If possible, make sure you check out how the overall style looks on a person before purchasing, or you may end up disappointed.
Do they give you a wedgie or feel uncomfortable?
Surprisingly, no. Not the well-made ones anyway. Despite looking like they are all up in your butt crack, it’s often just an illusion. A well-fitting pair of scrunch bum leggings will more closely follow your glute cheeks and only lightly dip into your gluteal fold a little more than leggings with a conventional seam, but they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or wedgie-like.
A Scrunch Bum Seam Breakdown
Let’s break down the scrunch bum seam in great detail here, well, just because we can.
There’s no one universal way to implement a scrunch bum seam. The only real qualifiers seem to be that it involves some kind of gathering of fabric around the center seam on the rear of the article of clothing.
The best scrunch bum leggings though, give optimal gluteal flattery via what is essentially an optical illusion.
This illusion of booty popping is created and enhanced by the following factors:
- Waistband curving down to the tailbone
- Scrunch seam’s visual enhancing of the gluteal fold
- Visual enhancing of butt cheek volume due to a more prominent gluteal fold
- Patterns or textures that enhance volume of the butt cheeks (e.g. honeycomb)
- An advertising model with an amazingly stacked booty such as the example below… -oops, this one doesn’t come with the leggings you purchase sorry 😉
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For optimum cheek-boosting effect, the scrunch seam should sit basically directly where your ‘intergluteal cleft’ (aka: butt crack – be sure to check out our buttocks anatomy post if you need a refresher) would be.
For that matter, the top of the scrunch seam shouldn’t really go much higher than your natural butt crack. Most styles have this starting from around your tail bone area.
In my opinion the best seam length to enhance your butt is when the scrunch seam closely matches where your actual butt crack, ahem, “inergluteal cleft” is. Most scrunch butt garments are typically leggings and therefore made of some kind of stretchy material, so the seam may sit differently on different person’s bodies.
If in doubt, try it out, and see how it looks on you. How would you know if your booty looks good? Oh, you’ll know. If you’re trying on a few different pairs of pants and trying to choose between them, try taking pics or short video clips of how your butt looks in each pair. That way you can review them ‘side by side’ on your phone to help you make the decision.
Ah, the ‘scrunch factor’. This can be a dividing feature depending on what you think looks good!
I used to not mind a bit of subtle scrunch myself, but once someone pointed out to me that they thought that looked like “your butt was eating your pants”, I got a bit turned off the look (personally). I can’t deny that it does accentuate one’s butt cheeks though. To each their own. You may like the scrunch look. As an out-of-the-ordinary feature, it definitely draws the eye to that area (if that’s what you’re hoping to achieve, then go for it!).
Counterintuitively, not all scrunch butt garments have a visible scrunch going on at the seam. Some use types of fabrics that don’t necessarily visually bunch up at the seam, but nonetheless the seam is condensed/tightened by stitching. The fabric further out from the seam is left free to expand out, and the contrast between the two is what gives the overall cheek-enlarging effect that is the whole point of these garments.
Think honeycomb-type fabrics here:
The waistband of any pants plays an important role in butt-flattery, whether you’re aware of this or not.
We explained this in detail in the post on jeans features that make your butt look good.
Most (all?) scrunch bum leggings would be made from a stretchy material. After all, the main point of these is to mould to your booty and hug it closely.
As with any type of fitness or yoga pants, you way want to beware of and possibly steer clear of these possibilities:
- see-through and/or VPL! (visible panty line)
The see-through factor is usually determined by how opaque (not see-through) or thick the fabric is.
Be aware that with most types of material, as they stretch, they become thinner and more see-through.
You can only really check on see-through factor if you have the leggings in front of you, by doing a simple stretch test which is explained below.
Unfortunately with the rise of online shopping, it’s not really possible to know if a particular product would be see through or not until you physically receive it and can try it on.
Your best bet here is to read through product reviews (if they exist) as often other consumers may comment on the quality of the product and this sometimes includes some commentary on if they are opaque or see-through.
Alternatively, check the returns policy before you buy – some brands offer free returns or exchanges if you’re not happy with your purchase.
Fabric Thickness and Support
Here’s another key fabric tip that anyone who is a legging fiend would likely already be aware of: fabric thickness matters!
Thicker fabrics give more support and can suck things in, and give the illusion of firmness. Anyone who’s tried on a pair of thick, elastic leggings will know the feeling of support that I’m talking about.
Thicker, more elastic fabrics are great, but they can cause a flattening (instead of a flattering) of the booty in some cases. This is why some leggings with a ‘flat’ butt (no scrunch seam) can basically minimise and literally flatten one’s butt.
Some scrunch bum leggings use different fabric thicknesses strategically in different areas, so that you get support in the thigh and hip area, but the gluteal butt cheek area is let free with a less-restrictive fabric weave. These are often marketed as butt-lift or butt-sculpting. It’s a great idea, but in my opinion, these tend to work (or not) differently for different people depending on their individual body shapes and how the garment sits on their body. You’ve basically got to try it out and see if it feels flattering for you.
The See-Through Test
This can be a time saver if you’re not able to actually try on the leggings, but still have them in your hands. Of course, nothing beats trying something on to see what it actually looks like when you’re wearing it, but this can be a good initial filtering test.
To test leggings or yoga pants to ensure opacity, you can grab a section of the fabric and stretch it out using two hands.
A good test is to eyeball the size of the butt area of the pants (unstretched) and then try stretching it with your hands just as much as you think your actual butt would if you were wearing the garment (you can always test by stretching a little more if you want to make extra sure there’s no see-through qualities going on with the garment). Of course, don’t go too crazy or you may end up with a damaged or torn product on your hands!!
Try stretching it on top of a different colour fabric and your skin, to simulate underwear) and make sure you can’t visibly see where that other coloured fabric and your skin meet.
Color and Patterns
Here’s a basic intro to colors as they relate to clothing and the effect of our human perception – lighter/ brighter colors tend to draw attention, while darker colors fade into the background.
Similarly, large and busy patterns have the effect of drawing the eye, versus a plain/unpatterned fabric which won’t be as attention-drawing.
What does this mean for you when it comes to choosing a pair of scrunch butt pants?
Well first of all, keep in mind what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to draw attention to your leggings, or rather them be more subtle?
For attention grabbing – go for bright or light colors, and patterns which grab the eye and draw it to this area.
For a more subtle look – try darker or neutral colors and avoid large flashy patterns. Smaller uniformed prints may have the effect of being fairly plain from a distance and so these will be less attention-drawing than large irregular patterns.
Popular Scrunch Butt Pants – Products and Brands
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There are so many options for buying these kind of leggings now, with all number of retailers now producing the ‘magical’ leggings. Amazon has a multitude of variations, so you can pick whatever style, fabric texture, color etc. takes your fancy.
And, with free returns offered on a lot of eligible Amazon products (be sure to check before you purchase), it makes it a lot easier to trial something without having to feel like you’ve wasted your money if they don’t happen to work well for you.
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Okay, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably pretty well sold on how flattering this style of pants can be… and maybe you’re even all hyped up to get yourself a pair to try.
Here’s where a lot of the manufacturers and social media let us down. Scrunch bum pants aren’t a magic bullet, despite what the online world might be saying!
One main thing to keep in mind is that this particular style might only be flattering for some butt shapes or types.
I have seen countless customer images and reviews of products where people tried on a scrunch bum legging and it just didn’t look that great. Why? A few reasons. You have to have a garment that works with your individual butt type! If you try and cram your unique booty into a particular style, maybe the seam doesn’t sit right, or maybe it accentuates a less-than-flattering aspect of your booty.
Another thing to realize is that these aren’t actually like a magic pill (unfortunately). There is a limit to what they can do!
If you’ve got a saggy or droopy butt, scrunch butt leggings might just draw attention to it and though they might flatter what you’ve got, it may not be enough for your liking. Put simply, you most likely won’t be looking like the models they use for the legging adverts if your butt is completely different and needs some work to perk it up.
Make Your Own Scrunch Booty Pants
If you’re the crafty, hands-on type, you can also create your own scrunch bum seam in existing pants or leggings that you have! There are plenty of youtube tutorials on this, check out this one that doesn’t even need a sewing machine:
Scrunch Bum Summary – Scrunching it all Together
I’ve given you a lot to think about in this comprehensive guide. I hope it covers any possible question you could have on all things scrunch bum. If not, please ask your questions in the comments below!
To sum it all up: the rise of the scrunch-butt style pants went viral somewhat recently and now you see this booty-feature in garments very commonly – mostly fitness or leisure leggings, but it can feature on swimwear too!
Scrunch bum seams are a gathered seam in the seat of pants/leggings/bottoms, that is supposed to flatter and draw attention to your bottom. This gets achieved by the twin effects of a visual illusion plus clever fabric choices and cuts that promote separation and emphasis of the wearer’s individual booty cheeks.
Buyer beware though – as not all scrunch bum leggings are necessarily flattering, and not all are made equal! Where you can, be sure to try before you buy, or, if shopping online, look for a solid return policy that you won’t be disappointed by.
If you want to flatter your booty with scrunch bum pants, go for it! But also, don’t forget that one key to flattering your booty is to work hard on it to build yourself a good one too. That’s what we’re here for, to inspire and help you out on your booty-building goals! Be sure to check out our best butt exercises if you feel like your butt could use a little tune up!