Best Work Pants For Women 2023

Dressing for work has felt like a lost art in recent years, but it’s time to reevaluate the beauty of a slick work wardrobe. While every office has a different take on the level of formality required, you can build endless looks around certain key pieces—especially a great pair of slacks. The best work pants for women can be dressed up or down easily: Pair a wide-leg style, for example, with a crisp button-down shirt for meetings or loosen it up with a white t-shirt and sporty sneakers for more casual, less corporate days.

You’ll want to keep a few pairs at the ready in your closet, and to find ones that last, focus on the fit, quality and comfort. To narrow the options, we asked stylists for their advice on the best work pants for women and found eight pairs that earned good performance reviews. Everlane’s The Way High Drape Pant is our best overall pick for its flattering silhouette and elegant draping while Old Navy’s High-Waisted Heathered Pixie Straight Ankle Pants give you a similarly polished look with a more basic, slim cut for under $50. Here’s what else to put on your checklist:

Best Work Pants For Women Overall

Classic High-Waisted Style

Sizes: 00-18 | Fabric: Lyocell, cotton | Colors: Black, Sandstone, Ash Brown, Lily Pad | Inseam: 30, 32 inches

Constructed out of comfortable yet structured Lyocell (a form of rayon) and cotton, these top-rated pants have a versatile drape and wide-leg silhouette that makes them easy to pair with fitted dress shirts or slim sweaters. The size range is inclusive, up to size 18, and they come in four neutral-to-bold colors.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable, sustainably sourced fabric 
  • Available in a wide size range 

Cons: 

  • Some of the most popular sizes and colors sell out quickly 

Other Options: We also like the The Dream Pant for a more casual, office-ready look.


Best Affordable Work Pants For Women

High Quality Yet Budget-Friendly

MOST POPULAR

Sizes: 0-30 | Fabric: Cotton, rayon, spandex | Colors: Black Jack, Mocha Taffy, Raisin Arizona, In The Navy | Inseam: 25, 27, 31 inches

For affordable, versatile basics, Old Navy is a reliable source for work pants in different fits, from tall to petite to curvy. The Pixie pant is a bestseller, with smoothing pockets in the front, which eliminates unwanted bunching, and darting in the back to create a comfortable waistband. The stretch fabric provides flexibility, so you can wear these all day.

Pros: 

  • Available in three inseams 
  • Comes in a wide size range 
  • Accessible price point 

Cons: 

  • Some reviewers find the sizing inconsistent  

Other Options: The High Waisted Heathered Pixie Flare has a similar fit in a light grey and the High Waisted Skinny Pixie offers an ultra tapered cut.  


Best Women’s Dress Work Pants

Elegant And Refined

Sizes: 0-24 | Fabric: Lyocell | Colors: Army, Black, Green Stripe, Khaki, Mushroom, Navy, Stone Stripe, Palm Green, Oyster, Sunshine, Toffee| Inseam: 32 ⅜ inches   

Fashion stylist Traci Franklin considers Reformation a top choice for work pants. “It’s the first brand that comes to mind,” she says. You can shop a variety of slim to wide-leg silhouettes; the Mason pant is a bestseller for its relaxed fit, variety of colors and eucalyptus-based Tencel fabric that can be recycled and feels soft on the skin.    

 Pros: 

  • Multiple colorways 
  • Stretch fabric 

Cons: 

  • Available in only one inseam length 

Other styles: Franklin also likes The Vesta Pant and The Montauk Pant features a similar fit to the Mason. 


Most Comfortable Work Pants For Women

Fitted Style With Built-In Stretch

Sizes: XS-3X | Fabric: Rayon, nylon, elastane | Colors: Black, Navy | Inseam: 26 inches

Professional stylist Audree Lopez reevaluated her wardrobe during the pandemic. “While working from home, I ditched every uncomfortable pair of pants and opted for pairs that felt like sweatpants but could also pass as dress pants,” she says, “These Perfect Pants are stretchy and have an elastic waistband and hidden tummy control panel in the front.” You can choose from a few silhouettes (flare, tapered, slim straight and jogger) and length (petite, regular, tall length) and sizes go up to 3X.” 

Pros: 

  • Available in three different inseams
  • Multiple colorways 
  • Stretch fabric  

Cons: 

  • Runs a little big 
  • Only two color options

Other styles: The Faux Leather Leggings look like leather leggings, but slightly more elevated. 


Best Plus-Size Work Pants For Women

Streamlined Pockets And Multiple Lengths

Sizes: 14-28 | Fabric: Cotton, nylon, spandex | Colors: True White, Cobalt, Classic Navy, Black, Espresso Brown, Scarlett Sage, Verdant Green, Juniper Green, Dune | Inseam: 27, 29, 31 inches 

Eloquii’s bestselling Kady pants are structured but with stretch for comfort and come in three different inseam lengths depending on your height and fashion preferences. The fit is designed for an hourglass-shaped body type, with two flat pockets each in the front and back with button closure waistband.

Pros: 

  • Three different inseam lengths
  • Multiple colorways 
  • Stretch fabric 

Cons: 

  • Some reviewers found that the fabric stretched out a bit

Other Options: The Ultimate Suit Pintuck Pant is another bestseller for the super soft fabric. 


Best Petite Work Pants For Women

Designed For Shorter Frames

Sizes: 00-14 | Fabric: Wool | Colors: Black, Transition Cream | Inseam: 31 inches  

“Banana Republic is my go-to for dress pants because they offer so many silhouettes and lengths,” Lopez says. “They offer a larger size range (up to 20 in some styles) and also have petite options with various lengths.” The extra long Lido silhouette is specifically designed for shorter figures and is cut from 100% wool.

 Pros: 

  • Chic high waist
  • Luxurious fabric 

 Cons: 

  • 31 inch inseam is still a bit long
  • Only two color options

 Other styles: The Cruise Wide Leg Pant offers a dramatic silhouette and The Heritage Explorer Pant offers a more modern cargo look. 


Best Black Work Pants For Women

A Wear-Everyday Staple

Sizes: 00-18 | Fabric: Merino wool, elastane | Colors: Black, Charcoal Melange, Truffle, Blue Granite, Nocturne Navy, Butter Yellow, Wisteria, Soft Sage | Inseam: 21.5 inches  

Twenty five years ago, an expertly tailored pair of women’s pants put Theory on the map, and the brand still excels in this category. The Treeca Pant offers everything you think of when you picture a work appropriate pant, i.e. slim cut, muted tones, cropped leg, but without all of the bad stuff, i.e. uncomfortable fabric and bulging pockets. Lopez recommends this style to nearly all of her clients. “This pant offers a classic fit that works for so many women,” she says.   

Pros: 

  • Sustainably sourced fabric 
  • Multiple colorways 

Cons: 

  • Only available in one inseam 
  • A little pricier 

Other Options: The Demetria Pant is made from a similar material and The Pleated Treeca Pant offers a slightly more relaxed silhouette.


Best Khaki Work Pants For Women

A Comfortable Classic

Sizes: 00-18 | Fabric: Polyester, Rayon, Spandex | Colors: Black, Dominican Sand, Sweet Basil | Inseam: 25 in. and 27 in. 

Lopez loves these trousers for their classic yet modern fit. The high-rise waistline helps create an hourglass shape while the straight leg cut is roomy enough for daily movement. We love the subtle khaki shade (a.k.a. Dominican Sand) for its practicality, but it also comes in black if that is more your speed.

Pros: 

  • Available in two different inseams
  • Sophisticated color palette
  • Stretch fabric

Cons: 

  • A more limited size range 

Other Options: The High Waist Everyday Ankle Pant and the High Waist Easy Ankle Pant offer a similar silhouette. 


What To Look For In The Best Work Pants For Women

  • Material: “The right material depends on the style of pant,” Franklin says. “For a slim leg silhouette, look for a polyblend or fabric that has stretch.” For a pleated wide-leg pant, Franklin recommends options that allow movement, such as a linen blend, silk or satin. Lopez also prefers finding a wool-blend or cotton-based pants for comfort. Or consider triacetate, which is wrinkle-resistant, and elastane or spandex to create stretch in pants.
  • Silhouette: “Thanks to suiting and menswear-inspired trends, there are a ton of trouser options out there,” Franklin says. Silhouette is largely based on personal preference. Slim legged pants are the most classic fit while wide-legged pants are a slouchier, more relaxed option.
  • Care: In order to keep your work pants pristine, Lopez recommends washing in cold water, hanging dry or putting in the dryer on low to medium heat, if absolutely necessary. “You can also dry clean, if the pants are made from a delicate fabric,” she says. “Hot water will fade colors, shrink and break down the fabric over time.” To avoid creasing in the leg and waistband, Franklin suggests clipping pants at the bottom of the leg on your hanger.

What Is The Difference Between Work Pants And Slacks?

“Dress pants and slacks are essentially the same exact thing,” Lopez says, “Dress pants typically are part of the suit and semi-formal pants family, and slacks embody a wider demographic of pants that are worn by themselves without a suit jacket or blazer— mainly cotton or wool work pants, chinos and khakis.” That being said, the terms are largely used interchangeably.

What Are The Most Comfortable Work Pants?

Traditionally, work pants required a button and a zipper, but nowadays, there are so many more options out there. For an extra comfy fit, Lopez suggests looking for a pant with an elastic waistband, some stretch to the pant leg or a loose silhouette so it’s not tight on your stomach or legs when you sit down.

How Do You Find The Right Work Pants For Your Body Type?

Franklin recommends playing with different proportions to find the style that works for you. “I think a lot of people are afraid to try new things out,” she finds. For a petite silhouette, Lopez suggests looking for a more fitted, tapered leg. “If your largest area is your thighs or butt, consider a high-waisted trouser that will elongate your legs with a straight or wide pant leg,” she says. If you want tummy control, she adds, “look for a thicker and higher waistband with a wide or flare pant leg so the eye is drawn down your body. To create curves, go for a flared pant leg, jogger or culottes to add volume and dimension to your lower half, advises Lopez.

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