The 25 Best Work Pants for Heading Back to the Office

Channel your inner 9 to 5.

Best Work Pants for Women The Frankie Shop

@thefrankieshop/Design by Cristina Cianci

Work pants get a bad name. College job fairs and last minute jury duty dressing have done enough damage to the versatile clothing item’s brand. But what makes work pants (trousers, slacks, or dress pants) so brilliant is their instant polish. Paired with a vintage T-shirt? Amazing. Worn with a cashmere sweater in the same color? Super chic. They’re wardrobe workhorses with entirely untapped potential, until now. 

Invest in work pants that you can dress up for summer weddings or play it cool in on weekend mornings with a bright sweatshirt from peak quarantine. And when it comes to making an entrance back at the office, imagine yourself as Diane Keaton and powerfully embrace the trend once reserved for sweaty-palmed interviews.

It’s time to reclaim the work pant as an easy way to say, “I mean business,” while still keeping it cool. Keep reading for the 25 best work pants for women that strike the perfect work-life balance.

La Ligne Le Tuxedo Pant
La Ligne Le Tuxedo Pant $325.00

Leave it to La Ligne to create the work pants we didn’t know we needed. A slight flare and an ultra-cool side stripe signal anything but corporate monotony. Try pairing these with a plain white tee and taking the look out to a baseball game, or try it all the way dressed up with a silk button-down.

Cos Tapered Pants
Cos Tapered Pants $115.00

If you're a seasoned pro when it comes to the magic of trousers, up your game with this side-tie detail. In dusty light green or black, the choice is yours: will you go timeless or embrace the season’s favorite color?

Eloquii Kady Fit Double-Weave Pant
Eloquii Kady Fit Double-Weave Pant $80.00

Hundreds of five-star reviews and a longstanding status as Eloquii’s best selling pant don’t lie. Choose your length and one of 13 colors, knowing the double-weave material won’t stretch out during the day. Many reviewers remark that they own multiple shades, a true mark of dedication to these being some of the best work pants you can buy.

Rachel Comey Rotation Pants
Rachel Comey Rotation Pant $450.00

If you love a work pant but can’t seem to get out of a straight-leg rut, look no further. Rachel Comey has reimagined the cuffed pant, with a modern crop and classic pin-tuck seams. The result is unexpected and chic—begging to be paired with a ribbed white tank and sunglasses for brunch.

Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pant
Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pant $98.00

Summer in a business casual dress code can be brutal. Swap wools and cotton blends for moisture-wicking material like these pants from Outdoor Voices. Worn with a button-down and loafers, no one will be in on your sweat-free secret. Athleisure might have had its moment, but there’s something satisfying about a little ease in an outfit.

Míe Lamu Trousers
Míe Lamu Trousers $150.00

Another key for warm-weather dressing is 100% linen. And in a strong black or white, these pants are totally workplace-appropriate, though that doesn’t mean they won’t moonlight on your beach vacation with a bikini top for afternoon drinks. It just means they’re about as versatile as a wide leg trouser can get.

Mango 100% Linen Pants
Mango 100% Linen Pants $60.00

Now that we’ve declared linen as the hero material for keeping cool while dressing the part, it’s time to have a little fun. Experiment with Mango’s on-trend color offerings like sage green and subdued lavender. Bonus points for wearing the matching linen button-up with these work pants for a pulled together look that borrows from the pajama dressing trend without feeling too dressed down.

Everlane The Easy Pant
Everlane The Easy Pant $60.00

Let the pants' name do the talking and go with the flow. What makes these work pants for women so easy, exactly? It starts with a pull-on waistband. The silhouette couldn’t be more laid back—mid-rise with a straight, cropped leg. Cut from cotton twill fabric, these pants are even easy to wash.

Aday Portfolio Pant
Aday Portfolio Pant $180.00

If your preference is a high waist, meet the Aday Portfolio Pant. Every detail of this pair of work pants is intentional: the asymmetrical waist wrap detail gives the look a modern feeling, while side pockets and a V notch at the back waistband prove that fit is everything. The pants come in black, oat, and midnight navy, perfectly pragmatic choices for your new go-to meeting outfit.

Madewell Drapey Pleated Taper Wide-Leg Pants
Madewell Drapey Pleated Taper Wide-Leg Pants $92.00

The ultimate cool factor in work pants is the perfect drape to the leg: nail this and the rest of the look is set. Madewell makes it easy with these no-frills, high waisted trousers. Pair them with a striped tee if you’re still obsessed with the French-girl aesthetic, or try them with a crop top if you’re looking to get weekend mileage out of the pants.

Lattelier High Waisted Pleated Pants
Lattelier High Waisted Pleated Pants $68.00

If Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail is your style icon, try a take on her look with a strong pleat. These from Lattelier feel perfectly nostalgic, without reading as outdated. Plus, with pockets and pleats like these, you’ll feel like the star of your own rom-com, maybe sans struggling bookstore.

Reformation Vesta Pant
Reformation Vesta Pant $178.00

Nothing stands out in the office like gingham pants. These work pants are fitted in the waist and loose through the leg. Command the room without sacrificing your personal mission to own a checkered version of everything this summer.

J.Crew Hayden Kickout Crop Pant
J.Crew Hayden Kickout Crop Pant $60.00

While a kick flare can feel a little 2017, there is something to be said for it. First, it keeps things from feeling too tailored or too stiff. And second, it’s just fun. Play it safe in navy or tan, or kick it up a notch in sky blue or radiant orchid.

Loulou Studio Gray Moretta Pleated Pinstriped Stretch-Wool Straight-Leg Pants
Loulou Studio Gray Moretta Pleated Pinstriped Stretch-Wool Straight-Leg Pants $155.00

Let Loulou Studio’s expert tailoring transform what you thought you knew about dress pants. Pinstriped wool plus an elastic waist? A modern match made in heaven. Pair with the coordinating blazer for an effortlessly clean silhouette.

Wilfred Effortless Pant
Wilfred Effortless Pant $148.00

When “effortless” is in the name, it’s hard to argue. Front knife pleats create movement toward the wide leg without feeling obvious, while Japanese matte-crepe fabric promises minimal wrinkling and maximum breathability. The drape of the leg begs to worn with tiny heels, sneakers, or maybe even boots. Read: effortless as endless outfit pairings.

The Frankie Shop Harriet Belted Trousers
The Frankie Shop Harriet Belted Trousers $135.00

Woven suiting fabric and a built-in belt mean these work pants from The Frankie Shop are anything but starter trousers, but it doesn’t take an expert to appreciate this amount of detail. The cut-out effect that occurs thanks to the attached belt plus the slim leg makes these trousers the remedy to all the street style pictures you’ve been saving on Instagram.

Old Navy High-Waisted StretchTech Wide-Leg Crop Pants
Old Navy High-Waisted StretchTech Wide-Leg Crop Pants $35.00

First foray into work pants? Keep it super simple in this affordable option from Old Navy. The wide-leg silhouette elevates any outfit, while the crop keeps things fresh. Experiment with an all-black ensemble or use the straightforward pants as an anchor for your puffiest sleeved top.

Violeta by Mango Flowy Suit Trousers
Violeta by Mango Flowy Suit Trousers $60.00

Available up to a size 22, these pants from Mango take every variable and perfect it. The high waist with a V notch: check. Flowy fabric and a wide leg: double check. Bonus points for a color that’s so much better than khaki, but just as easy to coordinate with.

Mara Hoffman Eldora Pant
Mara Hoffman Eldora Pant $295.00

These trousers are constructed of 100% hemp, one of the most environmentally responsible materials available. It’s similar to linen, softening with each wear and wash. Available in lime green, white, black, and red, it’s hard to think of a day that wouldn’t benefit from a little pick-me-up in the form of a high-waisted double-pleat.

Levi's Premium Tailored High Loose Taper Pant
Levi's Premium Tailored High Loose Taper Pants $54.00

A subtle nod to utilitarian workwear with silver hardware feels contemporary when coupled with a straight leg and cloth belt. The best work pants will do the heavy lifting of any outfit, and the rest is simple: plain t-shirt, easy slides, you’re done.

Frame Le Tomboy Trouser Cuffed
Frame Le Tomboy Trouser Cuffed $238.00

This pair of work pants from Frame sits somewhere between a white jean and a white trouser, and the gray area is a good thing here. Keep it office appropriate with a darling white blouse, or pack it for a trip upstate with a fraying button-up: this cuffed crop has you covered.

Tove Knox Slim Leg Trousers
Tove Knox Slim Leg Trousers $460.00

Workwear doesn’t have to translate as boring. Exhibit A: These split-front, slim pants from Tove. These are the kind of trousers to wear into work when you know you have a chic reservation or date later that night. They’re good enough to skip the outfit change in the office bathroom.

Re Ona Joey Suit Trousers
Re Ona Joey Suit Trousers $165.00

Practically speaking, these trousers feature an elasticated waist and deep pockets. Aesthetically speaking, they’re the perfect shade of chocolate brown, especially for those nervous to re-embrace the neutral. Opt for a monochromatic look or flex your color-blocking muscles with a cobalt blue or power red.

Filippa K Jan Trouser
Filippa K Jan Trouser $310.00

Leave it to Filippa K to cut a trouser in micro-houndstooth that feels entirely fresh, which is ideal for the work pants fanatic looking to branch out or for a first-timer intimidated by a solid color. This pair is like the AF1s of trousers—always cool, matches everything, wildly comfortable. 

Daily Paper White Kohan Pants
Daily Paper White Kohan Pants $165.00

It’s the little tailoring details that take a pair of trousers from looking stiff to feeling glorious, and this Daily Paper pair does just that with modern inseam splits at the hem. Four hidden pockets keep the lines long and lean. Add those sunglasses you splurged on last season, an iced coffee, and next thing you know, the workday is over.

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