Hands Down, These Are the 18 Best Black Work Pants Out There

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Black Work Pants

Byrdie / Kevin Liang

When it comes to putting together the perfect office wardrobe, you can think of black work pants as your sartorial bread and butter. A versatile base for any work ensemble, they’re easy to mix and match with a variety of different tops and accessories and, depending on how you style them, can be just as apt for after-work drinks as they can for a Monday morning meeting.

But there isn’t just one singular style of work pants. From wide-leg to slim-fit, high-rise to low-slung, tapered to flared, there are countless cuts and silhouettes—not to mention fabrics—to choose from, which makes searching for the perfect pair all the more daunting. That’s why we set out to find the very best options out there; those that are chic enough for both work and play. We scoured the internet and tapped a handful of expert stylists, creatives, and textile specialists for their insights to narrow down your options.

Best Overall

Everlane The Way-High Drape Pant

Everlane The Way-High Drape Pant


These Everlane pants check all our boxes, which is why we’re giving them top honors. The pleated wide-leg, extra-high-waisted style—which stylist Dione Davis considers a great silhouette across all body types—is simple enough for everyday wear and can easily be dressed up or dressed down. What’s more, they’re crafted from a soft and breathable fabric derived from sustainable sources and come with a pretty reasonable price tag. What’s not to love?

Price at time of publish: $128

Material: 60% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 40% cotton | Size Range: 00–20 (inseam is 30–32) | Care: Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, then hang to dry, or dry clean

Best Budget

Uniqlo Wide-Fit Pleated Pants

Uniqlo Wide-Fit Pleated Pants


When it comes to quality basics that won’t break the bank, Uniqlo can do no wrong. We’re currently eyeing these wide-leg, pleated pants, which ring in at just under 50 bucks. They feature a smooth elastic waistline and two-way stretch for the perfect fit, plus they’re wrinkle-resistant. Excuse us while we grab a pair in every color. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: 66% polyester, 29% rayon, 5% spandex (61% uses recycled polyester fiber; 100% polyester pocket lining | Size Range: 2XS–2XL | Care: Machine wash cold on a gentle cycle or dry clean

Best Splurge

The Row Marcellita Pleated Wool and Mohair-Blend Piqué Wide-Leg Pants

The Row Marcellita Pleated Wool and Mohair-Blend Piqué Wide-Leg Pants


Does anyone do tailoring better than the Olsens? These trousers from the twins’ luxury label The Row will cost you a pretty penny, but in our opinion, they’re a worthy investment; their sharp pleats and dramatic wide-leg cut are timeless. Plus, according to textile expert and Steamery co-founder Frej Lewenhaupt, natural fibers like this pair’s wool and mohair blend pique tend to maintain their quality and hold their shape over time better than synthetics. In short, you’ll own these for years to come, so they essentially pay themselves off—at least, that's what we'll be telling ourselves.

Price at time of publish: $1,620

Material: 95% wool, 5% mohair; 100% horn (buffalo) button; 100% cotton lining | Size Range: FR34–42 | Care: Dry clean

Best Fashion-Forward

The Frankie Shop Maesa Cargo Pants

The Frankie Shop Maesa Cargo Pants

The Frankie Shop

Considering the revival of all things Y2K we’ve seen over the last few years, it should be no surprise that cargo pants are having a full-on moment in 2023. Leave it to The Frankie Shop, purveyors of the chicest trousers on our social feeds, to give us an office-appropriate iteration. Crafted in a sturdy suiting fabric and tailored to perfection, the traditionally rugged workwear style gets a luxe upgrade.

Price at time of publish: $225

Material: 77% polyester, 18% rayon, 5% spandex | Size Range: XS–L | Care: Dry clean

Best Wool

COS Straight-Leg Crossover-Waist Pants

COS Straight-Leg Crossover-Waist Pants


When it comes to fabrics, Lewenhaupt considers wool one of the best options for work pants in terms of quality and resilience. “The durability of wool makes it very practical for a garment you’re using often,” he says. “With proper care, natural textiles tend to age better than synthetic materials. And since wool is a naturally antibacterial fiber, you can clean it less frequently.” This option from COS is constructed with responsibly sourced wool and features an asymmetrical waistband for a stylish twist.

Price at time of publish: $150

Material: 100% RWS wool | Size Range: 2–12 | Care: Wash only with non-chlorine bleach as needed and line dry, or dry clean

Best Cotton

Arch The Black Line Trousers

Arch The Black Line Trousers


Like wool, cotton is another natural fiber Lewenhaupt recommends for its ability to hold its shape longer. This pair from Korean label Arch The, a favorite of Davis, is made from cotton twill with a relaxed fit and slightly tapered wide legs. Elevated without being overly trendy, they’ll be your office go-to season after season.

Price at time of publish: $485

Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: S–L | Care: Not listed

Best Leather

Rag & Bone Simone Flare Leather Pants

Rag & Bone Simone Flare Leather Pants

Rag & Bone

Black leather pants are, by far, one of the most versatile pieces to have in your wardrobe, and this sleek pair from Rag & Bone will easily take you from work to happy hour. Featuring a subtle flared leg and concealed back zipper, they’ll look just as sharp paired with a silky blouse and blazer as they would a slinky going-out top.

Price at time of publish: $1,095

Material: 100% leather | Size Range: 00–16 | Care: Dry clean (professional leather clean)

Best Faux Leather

Babaton Command Pant

Babaton Command Pant


There’s a reason Artizia is beloved for its vegan leather: It’s super soft and looks and feels like the real thing, sans the hefty price tag. This mid-rise trouser is the perfect option for the office; straight-legged with a darted waist for a smooth fit. Bonus? Unlike real leather, these can be tossed in the washer when they need to be cleaned.

Price at time of publish: $148

Material: 100% polyurethane; 100% polyester lining | Size Range: 00–16 in short, regular, tall sizing | Care: Machine wash

Best Size Range

Universal Standard Cigarette Pants

Universal Standard Cigarette Pants

Universal Standard

While most sample sizes tend to fall somewhere between a size 0 and size 4, Universal Standard engineers all of its pieces off of a sample size of 18 to ensure a truly perfect fit across its 00 to 40 size offering. The brand carries a wide range of size-inclusive work pants, but we’re partial to these slim, cropped cigarette pants—they’re clean, comfortable, and pair well with just about anything. 

Price at time of publish: $138

Material: 68% rayon, 29% nylon, 3% elastane | Size Range: 00–40, regular and long | Care: Machine wash cold, then hang dry

Best Wide-Leg

Reformation Mason Pant

Reformation Mason Pant


Flattering on virtually everyone, wide-leg pants are the most comfortable way to look put-together—especially if your job involves more than just sitting at a desk all day. This pair from Reformation features a relaxed leg that gives shape without being too snug or too oversized, and it’s made from 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell, an eco-friendly fiber derived from eucalyptus trees.

Price at time of publish: $178

Material: 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell | Size Range: 0–24, 0P–12P | Care: Dry clean

Best Slim

Good American Scuba Slim Flare Pant

Good American Scuba Slim Flare Pant

Good American

The closest you can get to wearing leggings to work are these sleek, slim-cut pants. They're made from a stretchy double-knit scuba fabric that helps to smooth and shape. Comfortable and flattering? Don’t mind if we do.

Price at time of publish: $99

Material: 92% polyester, 8% elastane | Size Range: XS–5XL | Care: Hand wash, then line dry

Best Cropped

Eileen Fisher Washable Flex Ponte Lantern Pant

Eileen Fisher Washable Flex Ponte Lantern Pant

Eileen Fisher

If you want to show a bit of ankle or your favorite boots, consider opting for this comfy but structured cropped pair. “These work pants are my secret sauce,” says Tracy Breslin, Creative Merchant at Eileen Fisher. “They are in such heavy rotation that I would be lost without them. The fabric is sleek but incredibly soft, plus they never wrinkle and wash well.” She also loves how well the tapered leg works with her favorite shoes, lace-up brogues.

Price at time of publish: $198

Material: 68% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 29% nylon, 3% spandex | Size Range: 2XS–3XL | Care: Machine wash cold with like colors, or dry clean

Best Flared

Tove Simone Trouser

Tove Simone Trouser


Every garment from London-based label Tove is meticulously crafted and designed to transcend seasons—take these pants, for example. More low-key than a traditional flare, the subtle kick flare on this cropped, slim-fit trouser makes them the perfect pared-down option for both day and night.

Price at time of publish: $390

Material: 64% cotton, 34% viscose, 1% polyamide, 1% elastane | Size Range: FR34–42 | Care: Dry clean

Best Pleated

Anthropologie Maeve The Avery Pleated Wide-Leg Trousers

Anthropologie Maeve The Avery Pleated Wide-Leg Trousers


With a double pleat and a dramatic ultra-wide leg, these pants will be the pièce de résistance to any office ensemble. Style them with a simpler top, like a fitted mock neck sweater or bodysuit.

Price at time of publish: $148

Material: Polyester, viscose, elastane blend | Size Range: 00–16 with additional tall and plus sizing | Care: Machine wash

Best High Rise

Re Ona Bobbi Trousers

Re Ona Bobbi Trousers

Re Ona

High-waisted trousers are a timeless shape worth investing in. We’re partial to this minimalist pair from womenswear label Re Ona, a relaxed straight-leg style complete with center pleats. We also love that the waist is elasticated, ensuring a snug fit without sacrificing comfort. For versatility, Davis recommends sizing up so you have the option to wear a belt with them at the waistline or low-slung on the hips.

Price at time of publish: $185

Material: 100% polyester, 5% spandex | Size Range: XS–XL | Care: Machine wash

Best Plus-Size

Eloquii The 365 Suit Straight Leg Pant



Yesenia Torres, Creative Director at Eloquii, considers these her go-to pant for work and beyond. “The fabric feels so luxe and had the perfect hint of stretch,” she says, adding that the straight leg is easy to style with both sneakers and heels.

Price at time of publish: $90

Material: 65% polyester, 30% rayon, 5% spandex | Size Range: 14–32 | Care: Machine wash cold on a gentle cycle with like colors; use only non-chlorine bleach when needed; tumble dry low; use a cool iron as needed

Best Belted

& Other Stories Belted High Waist Cropped Trousers

& Other Stories Belted High Waist Cropped Trousers

Other Stories

These ankle-grazing, high-rise trousers from & Other Stories come complete with a chic gold belt, ensuring the slim-fit, press-creased silhouette cinches you in all the right places. What’s more, the wool blend has a bit of stretch, making for an extra-comfortable fit.

Price at time of publish: $99

Material: 54% polyester, 44% wool, 2% spandex | Size Range: 0–12 | Care: Dry clean, then use a warm iron (maximum 300 degrees)

Best Pinstripe

Ganni Stripe Mid Waist Pants

Ganni Stripe Mid Waist Pants


Looking to bring a subtle print into the mix? Opt for pinstripes, which, despite having a reputation for being formal, can be 9-to-5-appropriate depending on the silhouette and fit. Scandi-chic brand Ganni does it well with a slim straight fit and slightly tapered ankle for a look that feels modern and fresh.

Price at time of publish: $295

Material: 61% certified recycled polyester, 33% viscose, 6% elastane | Size Range: EU32–52 | Care: Machine wash cold, then line dry and iron low; do not bleach, tumble dry, or dry clean

Final Verdict

You can’t go wrong with Everlane’s The Way-High Drape Pant; they’re flattering, sustainable, and reasonably priced. If you’re willing to splurge on a pair that’ll last you for years, opt for The Row’s Marcellita Pleated Wool and Mohair-Blend Piqué Wide-Leg Pants.

Meet the Expert

What to Look for When Buying Black Work Pants

The right fit

When shopping for black work pants, you should always start by reaching for styles you feel the most comfortable wearing, but knowing which shapes will best flatter your body type is also helpful to keep in mind while shopping.

Not sure which styles will suit your body best? Plus-size stylist and consultant Michaela Leitz suggests opting for straight-cut trousers, which she considers a great choice for all body types. “The straight cut allows for comfort and versatility, as it sits at the natural waistline and falls in a neat, slim line to the hem,” she says, adding that this versatile style can also be easily dressed up or dressed down and offers a clean, classic look. You also can’t go wrong with a chic high-rise pleated trouser. “I think this style works for everyone; you’ll just need to alter the waistline [to fit properly] and possibly have it hemmed for an elegant break in the pants,” adds Davis. 

According to Leitz, pants with a higher waist and wider legs are great for round body shapes. “They help to balance out the curves of the body, creating a more streamlined look,” she notes. If you have an hourglass shape, she recommends silhouettes that emphasize the waist to create a balance between the hips and the shoulders. “Look for a slim or tapered fit in fabrics that don’t add bulk, as well as fitted waistbands, pleats, and center creases to create definition around the middle area,” she says.

Additionally, high-waisted and mid-rise straight-leg, wide-leg, and slightly flared shapes are key for triangle body shapes, as they help create a more balanced silhouette, while bootcut trousers can also help elongate legs. For inverted triangle body shapes, Leitz suggests styles with pleats, gatherings, and volume. “Flared trousers balance out wider shoulders and create a more flattering silhouette, while wide-leg trousers and culottes add volume around the hips for definition,” she says. Rectangular body shapes will also benefit from paper bag waists, which provide definition, and pleating, which adds volume to the hips and legs. 

Silhouette aside, Torres stresses the importance of looking at a brand’s size chart. “Every brand’s sizes run differently, so always measure your natural waist, [or the narrowest part of your torso,] and the fullest part of your hips to find the best fit,” she says. “It’s important to measure the hip accurately, so make sure you’re standing in front of a mirror where you can see the tape measure and ensure it’s parallel to the floor.”

If you have the time and a bit of extra cash, Davis recommends buying one size up and getting them tailored to ensure you get the perfect fit.

Quality fabrics

“Fabric is key when choosing the best work pants,” says Torres. “I recommend something with the right balance of structure and stretch so you feel comfortable.” Work pants can be constructed from a variety of different fabrics, and one material isn’t necessarily better than the other. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

According to Lewenhaupt, natural fibers (think wool and cotton) tend to be more durable and maintain their quality better than common synthetics like viscose and polyester. However, while they’re great for structure, these materials tend to be stiffer and less forgiving—and, in some cases, can be more costly than their synthetic counterparts.

Of course, this doesn’t mean synthetic fabrics should be ruled out. In some cases, a quality synthetic can be even more resilient than a natural fiber. Plus, textiles like elastane and spandex can give a garment stretch. But there are other drawbacks: “Synthetic textiles are more likely to catch unwanted odors and, therefore, will require more frequent washing, which can result in the pants losing their original fit and color,” says Lewenhaupt.

Whether you opt for natural, synthetic, or a blend, the fabric of your work pants should feel substantial. Anything too thin or flimsy may not last you beyond a season or two—or worse, fall apart as soon as you clean them for the first time. 

A comfortable feel

While quality is important, so is choosing a style that feels as good as it looks—especially if they’re something you’ll be wearing a minimum of once a week. “The material should look sleek and feel soft, be stretchy yet appear structured,” says Breslin. “They need to be both flattering and comfortable.” And if you’re day job requires you to run around rather than sit at a desk, reach for something that you can move in, like a wide-leg silhouette with a comfortable waistband.

  • How do you style black work pants?

    “The great thing about black work pants is that they are a blank canvas—they become whatever you make of them,” explains Breslin. To her, shoes are what allow you to transform them. “I pair chunky brogues and a simple half-tucked crisp white shirt for a menswear vibe, but if I’m wearing a serious jacket, I might add a little edge with boots. If I’m putting on an oversized sweater, I might give them a hem-roll and throw on a pair of Converse.” 

    Torres adds how easily they can be dressed up, dressed down, and worn anywhere and everywhere. “If you’re going for a more formal look, pair them with a matching blazer and a satin blouse,” she says. Alternatively, they also give casual looks a put-together feel. “My go-to work formula is a sweatshirt, tee, or a tank tucked into trousers with a belt and loafers or ballet flats,” says Davis. “I’m no longer in a corporate office, but I want to look polished on set while still being able to get my hands dirty when I need to.”

  • Can you put work pants in the dryer?

    As with any article of clothing, whether or not you can throw your work pants in the dryer will depend on the fabric it’s made of and how it’s constructed—but, in general, Lewenhaupt doesn’t recommend tumble-drying washable styles. “This can damage the fabric and make them lose their shape much faster,” he says, adding that air drying is the most gentle way to dry any garment. 

    When it’s time to wash your work pants, he stresses the importance of a gentle washing cycle and low-temperature setting, as well as choosing the right type of detergent for the material (for example, a detergent developed for wool and silk should be used with delicate materials, while a color-specific detergent will prevent synthetic materials from fading). “For delicate materials labeled ‘dry-clean only,’ steaming can be a good alternative to dry-cleaning, as the hot steam will kill bacteria and reduce unwanted odors,” he adds.

    When in doubt, he recommends you always check the care label for washing and drying instructions to avoid any potential fashion casualties.

  • Are work pants the same as slacks?

    The word “slacks” and “work pants” are typically used interchangeably to describe a dressier pair of pants with a loose-fit construction, but not all work pants are necessarily slacks. For example, casual or trendier pants (think pull-on trousers with elasticated waists or slim-fit leather styles) might not fit the traditional definition of “slacks,” but they can certainly fall into office-appropriate territory.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Jenna Igneri has been working in fashion and beauty media for over a decade, and you can find her work in Refinery29, WhoWhatWear, The Zoe Report, Vice, Coveteur, and more. While she typically sports leggings while working from her home office, she prefers dressing up or dressing down a chic tailored trouser whenever leaving the house—and she has the collection to prove it.

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