he words “work pants” might conjure up images of stuffy black slacks and boring wool trousers, but you won’t find those here. The 10 pairs of fashionable trousers (and one pair of jeans) I found, below, prove that yes, cute work pants do exist. Whether your HR department dictates your dress code as corporate or relaxed, there is a bottom for everyone, all office-appropriate yet stylish enough that you don’t feel the need to change before happy hour. Get shopping and then own that meeting.
If your office is more conservative, a great place to start shopping for work pants is business-casual favorite Banana Republic. The retailer offers a range of tailored, skinny, and flared trouser styles within most people’s budgets. Instead of picking up yet another pair of black slacks, go for a subtle pinstriped navy pair that’s just as versatile and subtle.
Dark colors are key to looking buttoned-up in the office, which is why I love this deep moss-green hue. Even though it hits at the ankles and has a little waist tie, you can easily make this appropriate for corporate settings by styling with a pair of pumps and a button-down. Alternatively, for the more creative folks, wear with a thin sweater and mules for that transitional weather look.
There’s something about being able to pull off white pants at the office. Although, yes, prone to stains and spills, a crisp ivory trouser—like this one from Veronica Beard—is, simply put, elegant. These bottoms are made from a lightweight linen-blend, just in time for the rising summer temperatures, and are lined in cotton so they pass the bend over test.
For sophisticated and affordable pieces, my go-to is always Mango. This fast-fashion brand is geared towards the career-driven woman, offering year-round staples in the pants, button-down tops, silk blouses, and flats departments. Case in point: this herringbone trouser, which can be worn with pumps and this blouse, but look equally as good with sneakers and a hoodie for casual Fridays.
The sister store to Suit Supply, Suistudio is where women go to get suits, trousers, and other power lady separates tailored to the female body. For the spring collection, the label’s introduced this blue checked trouser, which is made from pure Italian cotton and has a high-waisted fit with a lightweight feel. The print provides just enough detail and style without feeling overly flashy while you’re in a meeting.
For a twist on pinstripes, try polka dots (you’ll likely be able to get away with wearing them in most offices). This pair of trousers was inspired by a jacket worn by actress Monica Vitti in a Michelangelo Antonioni film. The golden polka dots are meant to catch the light (so definitely wear these to a post-work date) for a little shine and come in a wide silhouette if you’re sick of skinnies. These bottoms prove you can be serious and stylish at the same time.
According to reviewers, these pants are downright the comfiest office-appropriate trousers ever. They come in four colors (my favorite is the bold red), and are composed of thin material so you can wear from spring into fall. Style with a tee and a matching red blazer for a full-on suit look. You’ll be ready to conquer that presentation.
For those who work in an environment where you can wear anything, take advantage of that with these snakeskin printed pants. Sure they’re a little bold, but fashion mavens shouldn’t be afraid to show off that side in the office. They make a statement and look super comfy, thanks to a breezy fabric. Trend-setter status achieved.
A challenge for you: Put away the black jeans and try a pair of leather trousers. I know you might be imagining a Ross Geller moment here, but these will shimmy on and off right away. The soft leather features a front split detail, to show off your shoes, and look so sleek and professional. Since they’re 100 percent leather, the price is a bit luxe, but worth it! Many of the sizes are already sold out, so you should get your pair while they last.
Gingham has been the print of summer for the past few seasons and by now, it’s as classic as stripes or polka dots. This black-and-white trouser shows off your classy but trendy side. Use the bottoms as a base to play around with your shoes and tops. A cool kitten mule or a colorful bag keeps the pants from looking mundane.
Jeans your work pants of choice? Same. You’ll want to have newly launched denim brand Decade on your radar. They have four pairs of denim styles right now, with more to come, and they all look like the vintage jeans you’ve been scouring your local thrift stores for. The brand’s mission towards a social and environmentally responsible impact is another reason to love this label.
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