The Find: Black Work Pants

Jan 14, 2020

A great pair of black trousers are a work wardrobe essential.  The cut and style of the pants is a personal choice, but I find that most women look best in either a wide or flare leg.

This pair of simple work trousers from Aqua has a high-waist and a slight flare leg.  And at under-$50m they are a steal.  Aqua also has pairs in straight leg-crop.

My favorite place to buy pants is Ann Taylor.  Their seasonless stretch trouser in curvy fit is a great basic.

Plus-size?  Vince Camuto’s flare leg trousers or these NYDJ Stretch Knit Straight Legs are a good options.  Need maternity wear?  A friend raves about these Ingrid and Isabel bootcut trousers.

Do you have a favorite basic work pant?  Sadly, Ann Taylor sold out of the knit pants that so many of us bought last fall.  But if you have one to recommend, please share.

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  1. Rebecca says:

    Black work pants are a staple for me. My favorite pairs are older from Gap. The ones Gap sells currently aren’t cut the same and don’t fit as well. I recently purchased a few pairs at the Banana outlet that are the washable suiting line and have matching washable blazers. So far, I have been very pleased. I have several pair from Ann Taylor that i don’t like because they don’t have belt loops and they get saggy after you wear them a few hours. I am tempted to invest in a pair of Elieen Fisher pants, but they’re pricey. Has anyone else tried the EF black pants? Are they worth the investment?

    • Seventh sister says:

      I have the EF crepe pants in navy and black and love them. I’ve waited for sales but don’t regret the purchases at all. They are basically like wearing pajamas to work. Karen Kane pants are another option, but mostly dry clean only which is less convenient.

      Another option are (don’t laugh) Chico’s pants. The So Slimming ones are particularly great.

      • Seventh Sister says:

        To be honest, I haven’t been in an Ann Taylor in years – the clothes used to be beautiful and sort of expensive, but I was so unimpressed a few years ago I just stopped even visiting the stores.

      • Rebecca says:

        Thanks for the feedback on the EF pants. I have been tempted to try chicos, but their sizing system is weird.

  2. DianE says:

    I wear tall sizes and recently discovered these pants from WHBM: https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/product/effortless+bootcut+pants/570274411?color=190&catId=cat11679551 I have them in white and am ordering them in black. They are heavy ponte, so they have some stretch and are comfortable, but they are structured enough to be polished and professional.

    • kleigh says:

      Wow, those are great looking. And the white is definitely opaque? Trying to decide if I need white work pants now!

      • Diane says:

        The material is thick so it’s more opaque than most. They’re as opaque as white pants can be. I chose a size bigger in the white than in the black so they weren’t as tight in the hips which helped too. These are the first unlined white pants I’ve felt comfortable in.

  3. Jenna says:

    The knit pants you recommended a few months ago are awesome! I don’t really wear pants that much but those are amazing. They are so comfortable.

    I think what made me love them so much is that they don’t require a belt. I always have to buy pants to fit my rear-end and then the waist ends up being huge and always needing a belt.

  4. C says:

    I love a trouser with a wider or flare leg, but it always reads too formal for my office. Do you have any tips on dressing them down, or am I doomed to a closet of just straight and tapered leg pants?

    • Belle says:

      An old office mate would wear wide legs with a concert tee and denim jacket. It always looked so effortlessly relaxed.

  5. BN says:

    Have you tried Betabrand? (https://www.betabrand.com/) Curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    • KLC says:

      I absolutely love Betabrand pants! I have a curvy frame with a small waist and larger thighs. I always found that trousers either fit my waist but were too snug on my thighs, or fit my thighs comfortably and were too big on my waist. Betabrand pants hug my curves PERFECTLY. Every woman I see who wears them looks great in them!

      • Erica says:

        I ordered some last week, so will see how they work out. My coworker has them. She loves them and they looked great on her.

  6. sarah says:

    BR Sloane are my fav

  7. Msmarymary says:

    I just got a pair of J Crew’s Edie pants and I love them. I’m about to check out the Factory version

  8. Chrissy says:

    Do you think flare and wide leg pants should always be paired with heels? I think they would look strange with flats. (I’m under 5 feet tall, so I think I’d look even shorter.)

    • Belle says:

      It helps if you hem them and wear pointed toe flats, the front of the pants should just graze the top of the shoe. But I do think most women look better in them with heels.

  9. Em says:

    I used to be a BR Sloane gal, but I tried the Spanx black pants in the high waisted skinny and immediately put another pair on my Christmas list. They’re all I wear now – so comfortable, professional, and holds in the bloat from last night’s nachos 🙂

  10. Orla says:

    I recently bought a nice pair of black pants from the Anthropologie Essentials line. I really like them!

  11. Katrina Schott McLin says:

    I love a good work pant with heels! It turns out wool lined pants have become a unicorn. Of all the suits and work styles at Ann Taylor, for example, they have 1 style that are lined. Any tips/suggestions?

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