Do you want to know the best workwear trousers you can wear to work today? These classic examples are must-haves in any women’s workwear wardrobe and will ensure you always show up to the office in style.
Office dress codes can sometimes make it seem like your options for what to wear to work are limited.
Sure, those dozen pairs of black workwear trousers in your closet have helped you through the daily morning rush and the last few seasons. But, every morning you experience the same feeling: you have nothing to wear.
Having multiple workwear trousers in different colors and styles will eliminate that aggravating issue of not knowing what to wear to work.
These five trouser styles are the baseline to building a work wardrobe that is both stylish and professional, and that you will be excited to wear.
This post is all about what to wear to work.
What To Wear To Work Women
1. Classic Wool Trousers – The “OG” Wear to Work Pants
As the subject reads, classic wool trousers are the “OG” (Original Gangsta) of work pants. You reach for these pants to look classy, polished, and “ready for the presentation with the top client”.
Wool trousers can be paired with a matching blazer for an uber-professional look. You can also wear them to elevate shirts, tops, sweaters, and cardigans.
The wool material adds weightiness causing the leg of the pant to drape nicely over a boot or shoe. Wool also provides warmth in the cold weather season and in chilly office environments. For a more affordable option, wool-blended workwear trousers will also provide warmth, and comfort, and look more expensive than 100% synthetic fabric trousers.
Opt for classic wool trousers in straight-leg and bootcut/slightly flared cuts for the most versatility. These cuts will always be “in style” which means you can invest in a higher-quality pair to wear for years.
Straight-leg trousers are somewhat fitted around the hips, slightly loose around the thighs, and straight from the knees down. Bootcut trousers are extremely flattering on the body, with a slim fit around the hips and thighs, and a slight flare from the knees down.
Classic wool trousers pair perfectly with boots, heels, and flats. Trousers with back pockets or faux back pockets look more expensive than ones without back pockets. Pants should close with a zipper and button fly (or a similar variation) and should have a belt loop.
Because these trousers will be your “workhorse pant”, I recommend purchasing them in neutral shades such as black, dark gray, navy, beige, or camel. Pin-stripes are an option for workwear, but if you can only purchase one pair, solid-colored pants will match most items in your wardrobe.
My recommendations for the best wool trousers to wear to work:
- Banana Republic 100% Italian Wool Lido Straight Pants (beautiful color options) – click here – I love the cut of these pants – super flatting on all figures!
- MM.LAFLEUR Horton Pant – click here – Investing in these pants are worth it since they’re 95% wool and machine washable! Top-rated and gorgeous colorways.
- Lauren Ralph Lauren Satin-Stripe Wool Crepe Pant – High-waisted, tapered, and cut at the ankle, these pants are a wool-crepe blend, so they won’t be too warm.
- Theory Classic Wool Flare Pants – Impeccably tailored slim-fit trousers from a brand that knows how to do workwear!
- Favorite Daughter The Favorite Pant – Chic pants with lovely pleating and a wide waistband.
2. Ponte Knit Pants – Stretchy And Comfortable WORKWEAR TROUSERS
Ponte (pronounced “pontee”) is a luxuriously woven fabric made out of rayon, polyester, and spandex. It’s comfortable, holds its shape, packs easily, washes well, and doesn’t run or pill. Ponte is affordable but looks elegant.
I have such a love affair with this fabric. I bought my first pair of Ponte-knit pants in high school and wore them through my early twenties. Since then I have consistently owned a pair of Ponte-knit pants that I wear on repeat for both casual and professional occasions.
Ponte-knit pants come in all styles. Ponte is meant to be fitted around the waistband and hips, so a high-waisted style will look sleek and refined. For a mid to lower-waisted cut, look for Ponte-knit trousers with elements like traditional pants such as pockets/faux pockets, a button fly, or belt loops.
This will prevent the notion you’re wearing leggings or yoga pants at the office, but you’ll feel just as comfortable (and can fit that gentle yoga session in after lunch!).
Make sure you wear seamless underwear with Ponte-knit pants. I recommend a seamless thong, especially if your pants aren’t a dark color.
My recommendations for the best Ponte-knit pants to wear to work:
- Reiss Dylan Trouser – click here – Upscape Ponte pants; I love the lines down these pants that help to slim and lengthen your legs!
- Maeve The Naomi Ponte Wide Leg Flared Pants – Chic wide-leg flares, flattering and comfortable!
- White House Black Market Ines Slim Bootleg Comfort Stretch Pant – click here – I’m loving these pants with a slim cut and a baby bootleg!
- Betabrand Straight-Leg 7 Pocket Dress Pant Yoga Pants – click here – The pants you’ve been waiting for to carry you to the office to the studio, then to walk the dog and lounge at home. I own a pair of their leggings in the same material and they are still in great condition after eight years.
3. Travel Work Pants – Lightweight And Versatile Workwear Trousers
If you travel for work or work in a warm climate, travel work pants will be your best companion. These workwear trousers are made of a lightweight, synthetic material that is comfortable, breathable, easy to wash, quick-dry, wrinkle-free, and pack down easily.
I used to work at an office that had a gravel trail surrounding the perimeter of the campus. My colleagues and I would get out and walk the trail at lunch in the warmer months. This is where the perfect pair of travel work pants can keep you cool on a mid-day break (because who has the time to change?).
Travel fashion wear has become extremely popular in the past decade, with more budget-friendly options available than ever. The clothing may fall into the “travel wear” category, but it can be worn on any occasion.
Look for brands carrying travel work wear for the most elegant-looking options. Light-weight polyester trousers can also work well as travel work pants.
Travel work pants in synthetic fabrics will look the most elegant in natural and neutral colors. Skip the neons!
My top recommendations for the best travel pants to wear to work:
- Athleta Slim Stella Trouser – I bought these in mahogany and I love them! So comfortable and sleek.
- Frank & Eileen The Murphy Billion Dollar Pant – Slim & easy to wear, like a legging, these pants are top-rated and travel-worthy, says reviewers!
- ADAY Straight Up Dress Pants – These silky pants are actually made of vegan materials and so easy to care for. I love the high-low hem too!
- Women’s Golf Pants with Zipper Pockets 7/8 Stretch Ankle Pants – Amazing budget option; so many colorways to choose from!
4. Trousers To Wear To Work In The Warm Weather
Warm-weather trousers are what you’ll be reaching for on those hot days or when you want to brighten your mood. Warmer days evoke lighter colors and more airy fabrics. The options below are the most classy and comfortable type of trousers for warmer days.
Silk trousers are the epitome of luxury. I purchased a pair of cropped, silk trousers in navy last year on clearance. The fabric is gorgeous and lightweight, and I feel like a million dollars wearing them.
Silk trousers can be worn any season the weather is warm or slightly cool depending on the weight of the silk. I pair my silk trousers with a patterned silk top or a fitted blazer. Look for a silk blend or high-quality satiny polyester as a budget option.
Linen trousers are growing in popularity and for good reason. The fabric is affordable, comfortable, and looks more expensive than it is. A high-waisted, slim-fitting linen trouser paired with a collared shirt looks chic. Wide-leg linen trousers look fantastic with slim-fitting knit tops.
The heavier your linen trousers, the more high-end your outfit will look. A heavyweight linen blend will look the most luxurious because the fabric will drape beautifully down your legs and move gracefully as you walk.
Avoid linen trousers with drawstrings at the waist as they will downgrade your look.
Cotton or twill trousers are also great options in the warmer months. Another budget-friendly material, these trousers come in every shape, style, and color for you to wear to work. Opt for lighter neutrals such as white, ivory, or beige, or go for brighter colors if they will pair well with your wardrobe.
My top recommendations for workwear trousers for the warmer weather:
- NA-KD Linen Cropped Pants (multiple color options) – Top-rated linen pant that looks incredibly classy (high-waisted)
- J. Crew Kate Straight Leg Pant – These classic style pants are perfect in ivory and have the right amount of stretch to fit your waist
- Lily Silk Tapered Tucked Straight Pants – What’s more classy than silk trousers?
- Everlane The Tencel Way High Taper Pant – Made of lightweight Tencel that’s easy to wash and wear, these pants are relaxed enough to be casual on off-duty days too.
5. Wow Pants – The Statement Workwear Trousers
“Wow pants” are pretty self-explanatory. They’re the pants you wear to work and everyone says “WOW” (because they’re a little different and look amazing on you!).
“Wow pants” are the pants you wear when you want to make a statement. Maybe you have a work party at the end of the day, maybe you’re just feeling bold, or maybe most of the pants you own are “wow pants” (guilty, ahem).
You should have at least one pair of statement trousers in your wardrobe to break up the monotony of office life (white walls, harsh lighting, grey, lots of greys, EVERYWHERE).
Not into flashy things? All good. There are a lot of different ways you can make a pair of statement workwear trousers work for you. Here are some ideas below and you can choose how bold you want your statement piece to be.
- Bold, solid colors like classic red, cobalt blue, or maroon
- Tasteful prints such as plaid or tartan, stripes, florals
- Flowy fabrics such as plissé or high-quality polyester (ensure these are lined or have enough weight to be office-appropriate)
- Velvet fabric (not just for the holidays!)
- Leather, suede, and their vegan counterparts
- Tweed or houndstooth fabric
The most important thing regarding wow pants is that they fit well and do not look cheap.
The wrong fabric, color, or print can easily lead you into tacky territory, so shop for these pants with a discerning eye. The fit must be on-point (not too tight or too loose) because everyone is going to notice what you’re wearing.
If you have doubts when trying a pair of “wow pants” on (even the tiniest doubt), do not purchase them! It’s always good to have a shopping buddy or to text a friend a picture.
Furthermore, make sure you own multiple tops or jackets to pair your wow pants with before purchasing. Smart shopping is about buying pieces that will enhance your wardrobe and not require you to spend money on additional items, because you have nothing else to wear them with.
Once you do find that perfect pair of “wow pants”, you will be set for all occasions at the office!
My top recommendations for statement trousers to wear to work:
- The Sei Silk Wide Leg Trouser (stunning colorways!) – Pair with a collared shirt for a unique, but classy outfit!
- Maeve The Colette Cropped Faux Leather Wide-Leg Trouser – I own these and I’m obsessed…perfect fit and not too tight for the office.
- Mora Brand High-Waisted Wide Leg Tailored Trousers – Stunning palazzo pants that look professional and chic!
- Banana Republic Cruise Wide-Leg Pant – click here – These sturdy wide-leg chinos are so cool!
- FREY Bordeaux Flared Trouser in Pin Stripe – These fly under the radar as flashy pants, but the tailoring is what makes them an undeniable statement.
This Post Was All About What To Wear To Work
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