Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Let’s Talk About Pants

It is freezing in Montana.  My poor knees, protected by a thin layer of polyester, are so over the skirt life.  Before hypothermia sets in, I should probably buy a pair of pants.  Luckily, several readers had questions about pants that helped fuel my shopping.

Hi Abra –

Any thoughts on best brands for black suits and/or work pants? I’m having the hardest time finding anything that isn’t ankle baring and/or super slim/legging adjacent by design, or a classic fit that isn’t too high rise, which I find results in too much fabric in the crotch area.

Thanks, Renae

As I’ve mentioned before, Dillard’s is the best place to buy pants.  They have the widest selection of styles and price points out there.  I’m not sure why they seem to have so many more than other retailers, but they do.

The first pair of black trousers that caught my eye are these Preston & York Crepe Pants.  Affordable at $59, the tab front is always a nice addition to a pant.  I find it more flattering than pants with a hook fly because you avoid that unsightly bulge when the clasp doesn’t lay flat.

These mid-rise Calvin Klein pants with a tab front also caught my eye.  A former co-worker endorses the Eileen Fisher pull-on option, which she swears “look like suit pants, but fit like leggings.”  Plus-size?  Try these Sejour bootcut pants.


I’m looking for a wider leg jean for work.  Something with a dark wash.  I have $150 to spend.  Love that you’re going back to CapHillStyle!


I’ve always liked the 7 for All Mankind Dojo wide-leg jean.  I find the fit flatters most figures.  I’ve tried to branch out beyond the Dojos, but since most “wide leg” pants these days are ankle length (which flatters almost no one), I end up back in Dojos.

I found a handful of pairs from other retailers, but pickins were somewhat slim.  WHBM has a wide-leg trouser jean with a high rise.  NYDJ also makes a trouser jean in both misses and plus-sizes.


How do you hold your pants up when commuting?  If I wear heels to work and flats on my walk to work, how do I keep my pants off of the ground?


I used to use a product called Zakkerz.   They were a magnet that allowed your to fold up your hems and hold them in place.  The company is out of business now, but QVC sells a similar product.

Most of the ladies I know now use a product called Style Snaps.  They are adhesive clips that let you temporarily “hem” your pants to hold them in place.

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  1. Carlie says:

    LH- I loveeee MM LaFleur’s Foster pant. They are very flattering and comfortable. They also have a button on the inside hem that allows you to raise the leg up, which would solve your problem.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
    • Em says:

      I desperately need new work pants that will hold up over time and I’m considering the MM LaFleur Foster pant but $190 seems like so much to spend on one pair of pants… are they really worth the investment?

      February 28, 2019/Reply
      • Nicole says:

        Definitely yes. A really great workhorse pant that has held up over 3 years of consistent wear. I also initially blanched at the price, but given how frequently I wear them (at least once a week), cost per wear is basically nothing at this point.

        February 28, 2019/Reply
      • anne says:

        I really like them – very comfortable (like – this is the one pair of pants I’ll wear all day in meetings and then fly home in). They’re also machine washable which is a huge plus. BUT – they’re very slim and I can see how some wouldn’t find them modest enough for work (definite VPL if you’re not wearing the right underthings). I just pair them with a long blouse or tunic and call it a day.

        February 28, 2019/Reply
    • Melanie says:

      I love the Foster pants! I don’t usually wear pants other than jeans on the weekend, so I questioned the price. They are worth every dollar. (And when I lost a significant amount of weight they were my first purchase for my new size.) They have a high waist and a flattering cut. Because of the material, they fit as my weigh has fluctuated or just needed a bit more stretch after an 18 hour day. I added a second set of buttons so I can wear them with heels, flats and showing a bit of ankle.

      March 1, 2019/Reply
  2. Jenette says:

    For anyone who finds themselves drawn to the Sloan pant from BR, seriously give the Pixie pant from Old Navy a try. As we all know, they’re all housed under the same umbrella. Personally, I find that the ON pants even fit me better. And if you’re a cardholder + all the sales ON has, there’s no question for me. I don’t think the “downgrade” in quality is as large as expected either. Wash them inside out and the ON Pixie’s will stay looking fresh for many washes.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
    • RM says:

      I swear by the Old Navy Pixie pant! It is the only style I buy for work. And while they don’t hold up as well as my more expensive pants over time, the price can’t be beat so I don’t mind replacing them more frequently.

      February 27, 2019/Reply
      • Shelley says:

        I went out on my lunch and bought a pair of Pixie pants to try! I love pants that are inexpensive but still look polished and professional and I love the length of these. I used to prefer trouser length but have noticed that ankle length or a little shorter are super flattering! Thanks for the recommendation.

        February 28, 2019/Reply
  3. Carrie says:

    If you don’t mind a skinny pant that shows a little ankle, I really like Everlane’s work pant. I didn’t think I would like them, but they’re fantastic once I sized up. They are a similar quality to pants I’ve bought at Banana or Ann Taylor, but they never bag out in the knee, have a hold you in high rise, and are comfortable. I’ve also had good luck at Talbot’s. Some of their cuts skew old lady, but the quality is good and a number of their pants are lined.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
  4. Becky says:

    I too am on the hunt for work pants. Black and navy pants are my primary wardrobe staple. I have had the same 5-6 pairs for years, and they are really getting worn, plus I’ve recently lost weight. I prefer a boot cut fit. I like skinny pants for summer, but have yet to figure how to make them work for winter without my feet and ankles freezing. I recently purchased three pair from Ann Taylor, but 1) they don’t have belt loops which is a necessity (small waist big bottom). 2) the crotch is too long, and 3) they tend to stretch out during the day. I used to love the Gap’s work pants, but I don’t think they make them anymore. I prefer that they be unlined and machine washable. Any suggestions?

    February 27, 2019/Reply
  5. Lee says:

    NY&Co pants have always fit me well. They usually have a lot of cut and color options. This is my default for trouser jeans –

    February 27, 2019/Reply
  6. Jenny says:

    I love experimenting with pant styles (I have some paper bag waist ones from H&M that always get comments), but sometimes I just want a traditional black trouser. I have had good luck with Banana Republic’s Logan fit. It’s classic, mid-rise, full leg, etc. I am generally a 4 in pants, and the 4 in the BR Logan is maybe a touch roomy, but it doesn’t detract from the classic look. I’m short and should probably try a 4 petite, but haven’t gotten around to it yet…

    February 27, 2019/Reply
  7. Vidya says:

    My holy grail of work pants is the Ryan fit at BR – slim but not skinny, fits well, classic look, always going on sale. I bought it in 4 colors and I’m thinking of going back for more. Looks good in flats and great with heels or even sock boots.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
  8. Pompom says:

    When I need a trouser style—more bootcut and serious looking—I go Loft Julie Custom stretch trouser. On a normal day, j crew factory drapey pull on pants. In between? Loft Riviera ankle pants or ON Pixies/Harpers.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
    • SC says:

      The Loft Julie trousers are life! I have several pairs that I’ve gotten from eBay, in like-new condition. They fit my pear-shaped figure SO WELL.

      February 28, 2019/Reply
  9. Heather says:

    I thought I was the only one who had the “too much fabric in the crotch” problem with high rise pants. This is one trend that just does not work for my body. I like the Vince Camuto Stretch Twill Skinny Pants for work- they are slim but full length.

    February 27, 2019/Reply
    • Anna says:

      YES! I feel like I have a kangaroo pouch.

      February 28, 2019/Reply
  10. Denise says:

    I wear more dresses than pants, especially now that my job does not involve as many client visits (chemical plants require pants…). However I got a pair of NYDJ trousers for Christmas and they are changing my life and my perspective on pants overall. Machine washable, ponte so they are comfortable, and so professional looking. Absolutely perfect for travel. I love them and think they are worth the price tag

    February 28, 2019/Reply
  11. E says:

    I LOVE wide-leg pants that are slimmer in the waist / butt, but since having to give up heels due to an injury I’ve given them up entirely. Do they work with flats? I would love the confidence to return to this style without fear of feeling like an oompa loompa!

    February 28, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Try them with pointed toe flats. It will slim the look.

      February 28, 2019/Reply
  12. Julia says:

    I usually wear dresses to work because it’s almost impossible for me to find a pair of work pants that fit me correctly, but a couple of months ago I discovered that Ann Taylor sells curvy pants. They have boot cut and straight leg styles, and I’ve been able to buy several pairs at a good discount since they seem to have sales frequently.

    February 28, 2019/Reply