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Work Wardrobe

Your Wardrobe Workhorses: The Best Work Pants

Pants can be so overwhelming to shop for that a lot of women just end up wearing the same threadbare pants for years, unwilling to go through the trying process of finding the elusive “perfect” pair. Use our guide to the best pairs in the market, which is by no means all-encompassing, but should get you a fresh, well-fitting tailored pant in your closet with the least amount of stress. All of these pants have stretch and are comfortable, which is what every one of our clients asks for in their everyday pants. One perfect pair is worth more than 8 mediocre pairs. Do the work. We promise it will be worth it.

What your your favorite pants? Let us know if you try any of our recommendations and what you think.

Happy Shopping!


Theory has long been a go-to for us for work pants. Although they lost their way for a few years, they are back now with some great styles and fabrics. Recently, we had a few clients with long inseams that needed full-length pants. If you want to splurge on a pair that will highlight your legs and give you an amazing figure, the Demetria is your pair. For a pant with less of a flare, the straight leg trouser could be for you. Theory typically runs small, in sizes from 00-16.

Theory Demitria Pant, $295


For an amazing skinny cigarette pant that feels like a yoga pant, we love the Foster 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. Plus it comes in plus-sizes!

MM.LaFleur Foster Pant, $195

Nic + Zoe

Nic and Zoe wonderstretch pants are a pull-on style with either a straight or skinny leg. They come in petite and plus, and are some of our favorites for a business casual work place. They come in seasonal colors but always have the basics in stock.

Nic and Zoe Wonderstretch Pant, $134

Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto ponte pants fit so many different body types and feel like heaven on. These also come in plus sizes. These pants are good if you would really prefer to be wearing sweats but need to be dressed business casual. The price point is great too!

Vince Camuto Ponte Ankle Pants, $74


NYDJ ponte trousers have been a stylist’s staple for years. They come in petite and plus and have a nice bootcut silhouette. They run a little 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 for a pointe pant.

NYDJ Stretch Knit Trousers, $119


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.

Uniqlo Women Stretch Pants, $40


Boden makes ponte pants that look great, as well as matching ponte tops and blazers! They come in petite and long, up to a size 22.

Boden Hampshire Bootcut Pants, $98


The magic of Spanx now comes in pants. If you’re looking for a smoothing pant that also looks great, these are you friends in regular, plus, and tall!

Spanx Flare High Waist Ponte Pants, $148

Old Navy

Old Navy is another great option if you’re trying to save money while in-between sizes. Don’t expect these to last forever, but they work in a pinch!

Old Navy Mid-Rise Pull-On Straight Pants, $32

Pari Passu

Pari Passu makes plus size clothing for three different body types: a straight cut, an hourglass, and a 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.

Pari Passu Greer Classic Pants, $350


Eloquii also makes pants in a stretch fabric for women size 14-28. They always have fun fashion colors, as well as suiting basics. Eloquii is rocking the market with trendy, wearable, affordable plus-size clothes.

Eloquii Kady Fit Double-Weave Pant, $80

This is a post in our series of Work Wardrobe Must-Haves, a companion to our e-book “Your Work-Week Wardrobe with 10 Powerful Pieces.” Subscribe to our email newsletter for more information on how to style these pieces.

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.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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