Vince Camuto Straight Leg Pants ($79, also in petite)
Classic black pants are a must-have. My figure isn’t well-suited to wearing skinny trousers, so I prefer wider cuts like these straight leg pants. I also found these Halogen pants in a heavier fabric with a diamond-weave pattern.
If you’re pear shaped or you want to give your hips and thighs a more slender look, don’t be afraid to buy a wider-leg pant, like a flare or bootcut. Try these Anne Klein flare leg pants or these mid-rise, wider leg trousers from T Tahari. Both pairs are under-$100.
I also like these Ann Taylor trousers and these J.Crew 1035 Trousers.
Plus-size? Check out these Sejour curvy-fit pants and these Vince Camuto trousers. Tall? Try these Liz Claiborne pants or these Ann Taylor pants.
Have you tried these IRL? Just wondering how they hold up. I would love to buy sub-$100 pants (and I also happen to be pear-shaped) but obviously I don’t want to have to buy 5 of them. Are they decent quality?
I’m tall, so I always like to see tall options…but I have to question the Liz Claiborne recommendations. From the picture, those pants appear to have nothing in common with the rest of the recommendations aside from the fact that they’re black. My mom wears Liz Claiborne. Can you *honestly* say that you endorse those Liz Claiborne pants? I’d also point out that they only have a 34 1/2″ inseam, which I wouldn’t even consider “tall.” The Ann Taylor and J.Crew options (both of which come in tall) have 36″+ inseams.
On an unrelated note, what is your opinion on hemming pants to the top of the heel, exposing the entire foot as the Ann Taylor pants are shown? I’m always paranoid about looking like I’m wearing high-waters, so I have always had mine hemmed as long as I could get them without touching the floor in the back or bunching up on the front of my foot.
My Theory Max C pants are the best pair of black trousers I own. They’ve been replaced by the Max 2, available in wool and other fabrics, black and other colors. If you haven’t tried Theory pants yet, you should! The Max is an instant classic!
dani, I agree with you on the Theory pants. There is something about the cut and the way they drape that makes them so elegant and flattering. They are my go-to pair and even though they are pricey, I spend the money without remorse.
In the two pairs I have own, both have split down the seam across the seat of my pants. This only happened after wearing them each at least twice a week for two years. Fortunately, both times this happened was in the morning before I left the house for work. I know they are not too tight but I’m wondering if it is a problem with the wool material or the dry cleaning? Just wanted to see if you ever encountered the same problem with your Theory pants?
It’s the fabric change from mostly wool to mostly cheap polyester.
I’ve never had any of my Theory pants rip on the seam, but I did stick a heal through the leg of a pair of pants a few weeks ago (regrettably, not on the seam). My pants are at least two years old. Some are in the Tailor fabric, some in the Broadway fabric. Both fabrics are comprised of 94% wool. I think you might be right that the chemical agent your dry cleaner uses is weakening the fibers in your pants.
Dani, thanks for the response.
Christine, I saw your post down below after I made my initial comment. You may be right, seems like I should do a little more research regarding Theory and their materials. Thanks for the input.
Correction: 96% wool. 4% lycra.
I love my Theory Max C pants. Do you think the Max 2 fits similarly to the Mac C? I’ve been searching everywhere for Max C pants without any luck and don’t want to spend money on a pair that does not fit the same.
Another great plus size option is the Michael Kors Gramercy pant – https://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/plus-gramercy-fit-straight-leg-dress-pants. You can usually find them at the Lord and Taylor in Friendship Heights.
Belle, I have been meaning to ask your opinion on skinny trousers in the workplace (day with no meetings). (1) Is it okay for anyone? (2) If so, is it okay if you have hips, as part of a fit and proportionate figure? (3) How skinny is skinny? Please advise. Love the blog!
I think there are workplaces where skinny ponte trouser is fine, business casual or casual offices, etc. Skinny wool trousers or crepe trousers that are not flesh-tight are fine for most conservative offices provided you are wearing a) a blazer or b) a long cardigan. Once the blazer comes off, the outfit looks too casual.
Belle, I know you hate the hippy side pockets as much as I do, can you comment on that in this pair? It looks like they’re sitting right on the danger zone. Thanks.
I take out the pockets and sew them shut on all my pants. I don’t need the extra bulk making things worse.
Have to disagree with the Theory recommendation. Theory USED to be great about 10 years ago and unfortunately has steadily declined since. The pants used to be 98% wool with a bit of stretch and now the Max 2 are less than 45% wool and more than 50% polyester. YUP that’s right – $275 polyester pants. No, thank you. They are ill-fitting, poorly made and way too thin. I hate what they’ve done to their fabrics and design and I no longer buy anything from them.
My go to black pant is the St John Emma. They are very well made, feel great, and I wear them all the time. I thought I was being foolish when I bought $400 pants but I don’t regret it one bit now.
I saw those Halogen pants in store last week. They look really nice and the fabric feels good. I did not try them on though. I am tempted to buy the entire set – jacket, pant and skirt.