This post on perfect work pants is part of The Five Must-Have Pieces for Your Work Wardrobe series.
Shopping for work pants that fit and flatter can be overwhelming. Unwilling to endure the trying search for the “perfect” pair, a lot of women end up wearing the same threadbare black pants to work for years.
Stop the madness! Use our guide to the best pairs in the market for a range of budgets. Although not all-encompassing, this blog will help you find a fresh, comfortable, and well-fitting tailored pant with the least amount of stress. Yes, we know you need comfort after a few years of sweat pants and leggings!
Comfort and style can coexist. Remember, one perfect pair is worth more than eight mediocre pairs. Do the work. We promise it will be worth it.
What are your favorite work pants? Let us know if you try any of our recommendations and what you think.
Boden makes high-quality ponte (a super flattering, polished knit fabric) pants in a range of styles, colors, and sizes. Best of all, they come in petite and long, up to a size 22. If you are looking for a full suit, Boden also makes matching ponte jackets.
Eloquii is a bit famous for their Kady pant. This well-fitting, tailored pant in a stretch fabric comes in three different body fits for women size 14-28. The Kady pant comes in fun fashion colors, as well as the basics. Eloquii is rocking the market with trendy, wearable, affordable plus-size clothes.
For an amazingly flattering, skinny cigarette pant that feels like a yoga pant, we love the Foster pant from MM.LaFleur. It’s the first pant they released and one of our most reliable picks, with a side zip and an adjustable hem. The Foster pant comes in a range of colors up to a size 18. If you prefer a front zip pant in an even more tapered style and the same washable Everstretch fabric, MM.Lafleur now makes the Curie pant. The Curie pant also comes in a range of colors up to a size 18.
Nic + Zoe
Nic and Zoe Wonderstretch pants are a pull-on pant available in many styles. Our three top picks are the original Wonderstretch Straight Pant, the Polished Wonderstretch Slim Ankle Pant, and our newest favorite, the Polished Wonderstretch Wide leg Crop Pant. A lot of the styles come in petite and plus sizes. Wonderstretch pants are one of our favorite pant options for a business casual workplace. They come in seasonal colors but always have the basics in stock. Ladies, these pants are magical.
L to R; Nic and Zoe Wonderstretch Straight Pant, $96 (Available in petites and plus up to size 24W), Polished Wonderstretch Slim Ankle Pant $138 (Available in petites), and the Polished Wonderstretch Wideleg Crop Pant $138 (Available in petites and plus up to size 24W)
NYDJ ponte trousers have been a stylists’ staple for years. They come in petite and plus, and have a nice bootcut silhouette. They run a bit big and have a lot of stretch, so make sure the size you buy is nice and snug. These pants feel super cozy but look really professional. Hard to fit? These are your pants. The first pair pictured below, the Stretch Knit Trouser, was one of our mainstays for a long time. They are comfortable but professional.
Recently, we’ve been loving the NYDJ Pull-On Flared Trousers, which is part of NYDJ’s Sculpt-Her line. Who doesn’t love a leg-lengthening silhouette that feel like leggings? Because of their popularity, both styles can go in and out of stock, so check the NYDJ and Nordstrom websites regularly.
Pari Passu makes plus size clothing for three different body types: straight cut, hourglass, and curvy cut. These are made from a high quality suiting wool with a bit of stretch. Think of this brand as the Theory pant for plus size.
Quince makes low-cost basics available to you straight from the factory, cutting out any middle-man inflation. Each time we’ve sent Quince options to clients, they’ve reacted skeptically to the low prices. “Would we ever tell you to buy clothes that were bad quality?” we countered. “Just trust us.” Each time the client was pleasantly surprised and went back to order more!
The magic of Spanx now comes in pants. If you’re looking for a smoothing pant that looks modern and stylish, these are your friends. All styles come in regular, plus, and tall! We love their Perfect Pant in the Wide Leg, as well as the matching Perfect Blazer. These pieces together are the cutest travel suit. The navy and pinstripe are our favorites!
Theory has long been a go-to for us for work pants for all clients. Interestingly, Theory especially fills a need for both petite and tall women. We recommend the Treeca Pant for more petite women, and the Demetria Pant for taller women. Both styles come in their classic suiting wool, and the Treeca is also available in crepe and seersucker, plus as a comfy pull-on in crepe and linen. Theory typically runs small, in sizes from 00-18.
We recommend Uniqlo pants for many clients, but most often for our new mothers who don’t want to spend the money on a new wardrobe at their temporary post-baby size, but need a comfortable and polished option. Don’t be fooled by the price, the quality and fit are pretty terrific!
Don’t be discouraged by low stock now. Uniqlo restocks this pant all the time!
Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.
Once in a while, you can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Mostly, they are happily busy serving their fabulous clients, not hanging out online!