business casual

Yes, You Can Wear Wide-Leg Pants to Work

Photo: Nabile Quenum

Getting dressed for work shouldn’t be a bore. Welcome to Business Casual — here to make your weekdays easier.

Buying work pants can be tough. Unless you work in a creative, casual environment, you can’t necessarily get away with the awkward style that’s been popular all summer. Even that closet staple, the cigarette trouser, can be tricky — what looks good on someone who’s five-ten might not work on a woman who is five-two. But one style of pants really does look great on everyone: the wide-leg trouser.

With a high waist and flowy fabric, wide-leg pants offer the best of both worlds. The tighter top portion highlights your lower back and upper butt area, while the flared bottom skims your legs. They feel as breezy as your favorite caftan without swallowing your shape. Just make sure to take them to the tailor and have them hemmed so that they skim the tops of your feet, revealing just the tips of your shoes — whether those are flats, heels, or open-toe sandals.

Scroll ahead for our nine current favorites, from a $40 pair to the nice black ones that’ll be your job-interview secret weapon.

For When You're Sick of Black Pants

If you’re trying to expand your pants collection beyond black, a jewel-toned dark green is a nice baby step.

The Eco-Friendly Option

From H&M’s conscious line, these are made from lyocell, a sustainable fabric that drapes nicely against your legs.

For When You Feel Schlumpy

Some days you wake up in a funk. Shake it off with a pair of rich red pants, a crisp white top, and your favorite pretty desk shoes.

A Nice Printed Pair

Another way to move away from plain black: Try a dainty floral print. Skip the matching blouse to look more professional.
Original Price: $395

The Ones That Make Carrying a Tide Pen Worth It

Yes, these are going to be a pain to keep pristine, but nothing’s more striking than crisp white trousers.
Original Price: $348

The Ones That Feel Like Pajamas

These minimalist gray pants feel relaxed without looking sloppy.

The Smart Investment

Buy these now, wear them for years.

The Fashion-Girl Option

If your office dress code permits a little bit of fun, try a printed purple pair. Copy Zara’s styling with a silk blouse and sandals.

The Ones That Are Bright But Still Wearable

Cornflower blue might seem overly bright with a matching top, but swap in a neutral-colored shirt and pumps and you have a classic work look.

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Yes, You Can Wear Wide-Leg Pants to Work