Work Style

5 Types of Dress Pants to Wear to Work

by Camryn Rabideau


When most women think of work pants, they usually picture plain black trousers. Although these are surely a quintessential style, there are many other types of dress pants that you can add to your work wardrobe for diversity and flair.

The following are five styles of professional pants that can help round out your workwear collection.

1. Traditional Trousers

For those times when you want to look polished and professional, traditional trousers may be the best way to go. These classic pants come in a variety of cuts, from bootcut to slim, and they’re a must-have for those who work in formal offices.

When it comes time to style traditional trousers, you can’t go wrong with a blouse and blazer on top. In terms of shoes, choose neutral pumps or flats for a boardroom-ready ensemble.

Slim fit trousers

2. Wide Leg

For a more modern silhouette, you may want to invest in a pair of wide-leg pants. This style of work pants is still professional, especially when they’re in a neutral color, but they’re a bit more stylish than traditional trousers. You may even be able to find a pair with a fashionable tie waist.

Because this style is wide and flowy, it’s often best to balance them out with a simple, form-fitting top. If you wear a flowy blouse with wide-leg pants, the overall look may become a bit messy.

3. Cropped Hem

If your office tends to get hot during the summer, you might want to invest in a few pairs of cropped work pants, which will help keep you cool while still looking workplace-appropriate. This style of pants has a hem that lands just above the ankle, and they’re often available in a variety of colors and patterns.

You can wear just about any top with cropped pants, and during the summer, you may want to opt for a professional tank top to stay cool. In terms of shoes, you can still wear these pants with your favorite work pumps, as well as with trendy sandals—assuming your workplace is more casual.

White House Black Market Cropped Slim Pants

4. Paperbag Waist

Introduce one of the latest trends into your work wardrobe with a pair of paperbag-waist pants. This interesting style features a ruffled waist that’s usually cinched with a belt. Not only are these bottoms incredibly fashion-forward, but they’re also extremely comfortable. It’s a win-win.

The key to styling a paperbag waist is to pair it with a blouse that you can tuck in. This lets you show off the cool waist detail, all while keeping your look professional.

White House Black Market Paperbag Pants

5. Colored Pants

Who said work pants have to be black or blue? If your workplace has a more lax dress code, spruce up your look with a pair (or two) of colored pants—you can usually find all types of dress pants in colored options. Shades like purple, pink, or even yellow can make your outfit feel vibrant and happy, especially during spring and summer.

What’s great about colored work pants is that you can wear them with all your favorite blouses and tops. Then, just slip on a pair of neutral pumps or polished sandals, and you’re good to go.

Colored pants

Featured in this article:

Comfort Stretch Slim Pants, $89

Patterned Slim Crop Pants, $89

Pull-On Crepe Ankle Pants, $79

Comfort Stretch Slim Ankle Pants, $79

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