The 15 Best Pairs of Office-Friendly Pants Everyone Needs in Their Closet Right Now

Business casual has never looked so cool.

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Best Work Pants

InStyle / Kristin Kempa

Is anyone else guilty of going to the office just to show off their outfit? Anyone? Well, if you’re anything like me, you love creating an office-friendly look that is still true to your personal style. You also probably know that it means acknowledging the power of good trousers: They’re versatile, breezy, and appear polished and put together, even on days when you might feel otherwise. Say your office code is anything from formal to super casual; chances are you’ll still spot a trouser during your nine-to-five because of their endless stylistic opportunity. Plus, thanks to their nonchalant silhouette, they’re the ultimate foundation for a work-appropriate fit that’s still cool enough to wear on the weekends. Really, if a pant pairs well with a buttoned-up blouse and a baby tee, I consider that a huge win. 

Great pairs of pants have the ability to transform an outfit, and we’ve found a bunch of pairs that do just that. Because just like your job, you want your pants to follow a similar suit — AKA, you want them to be a good fit. So, scroll on to find options we think belong in the boardroom, from tailored-to-perfection trousers to cropped flares and lightweight linens.

Best Overall

Aritzia Wilfred Effortless Pant

Wilfred Effortless Pant


What We Love: There are many lengths and endless color assortments. 

What We Don’t Love: These have a looser fit.

I’m currently commuting to my Manhattan office, and I’m in Aritzia’s Effortless Pant. This is exactly like the day before, except I was wearing an ivory pair — today, it’s a rich mocha brown. I’m not alone in my love for this wide-leg pant from the brand, as reviewers give it the same praise that I do: It’s comfortable, versatile, and exceedingly lightweight, which are only a few of the reasons it earns our top spot. The brand offers regular, short, and tall sizes, and — if you’re not into the color shades mentioned — there are 21 color options, making these an easy closet staple to rotate. And to give even more proof of the practicality of these pants, the fabric is soft on the body and pairs well in any season. These pants also provide a draped effect that looks refined and gives that desired, tailored look while remaining breezy, proving an excellent selection for those who prioritize comfort and ease during the workday. 

Price at time of publish: $148

Size: 00-16 | Material: Polyester | Fit: Relaxed  | Length: Regular, short, tall

Best Budget

UNIQLO Wide-Fit Pleated Pants, Loose Fit

Wide-Fit Pleated Pants, Loose Fit


What We Love: Uniqlo offers a hemmed option if you’re shorter. 

What We Don’t Love: They appear baggy from the back.

Snug at the waist with just enough hip room — it’s a sentence that often does not come with tailored pants. However, these wide-fit pleated trousers from UNIQLO prove the myth that properly-fitted pants don’t exist wrong. They’re ideal for long workdays where you need a little extra comfort, with a longer rise that doesn’t ride up in the gusset. They also feature a drop that gives an illusion of longer legs, and the brand offers a hemmed version with a 26-inch inseam if you're on the shorter side. Overall, these are an easy-to-maintain and versatile purchase: They fit well, and the material is super soft and fits comfortably on the body. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Size: XXS-XXL | Material: Polyester, rayon | Fit: Loose | Length: 28.5-inch inseam

Best Splurge

ANINE BING Carrie Pant

Carrie Pant


What We Love: The high-quality look and feel of the fabric.

What We Don’t Love: They run a bit large.

Oh, Anine Bing, how we love you. The LA-based fashion brand, started by husband-wife duo Anine Bing and Nicolai Nielsen, was built to create timeless, classic pieces while emulating a cool-girl edge. “They’re a brand I often recommend to my virtual styling clients for their high-quality wardrobe pieces,” fashion stylist Naina Singla tells InStyle. This wide-leg trouser from them naturally drapes for a carefree, lightweight shape while being with an exceptional viscose-wool blend. They have a soft twill texture — meaning more comfort throughout those long nine-to-five hours — and are equipped with highly functional features, like belt loops, back pockets, slanted front pockets, and four-button closure. We suggest sporting these with a white tank, like the brand’s Eva Tank or Girlfriend Collective’s Ivory Coco bodysuit, for a model-off-duty look. Our only advice is to size up, as they run on the larger side. 

Price at time of publish: $350

Size: 30-42 | Material: Viscose, wool | Fit: Loose | Length: 33-inch Inseam

Best Plus Size

Universal Standard Moro Pocket Signature Ponte Pants

Universal Standard Moro Pocket Signature Ponte Pants

Universal Standard

What We Love: This is a great pant for work and going out.

What We Don’t Love: These run long — so you might need to get them tailored, if you're not particularly tall.

Whether you opt for a subtle statement pant in a dark green or a classic shade of black, these trousers by Universal Standard can do no wrong. For one, they don’t skimp on coziness: They look refined but are soft to the touch. (Not that those two things don’t go together — it’s just, usually, in the pant world, refined is sometimes synonymous with rigid.) They’re easy pants to grab when you want a pulled-together look but do not forgo comfort. In addition to their soft-on-the-body feel, they’re well-fitted, thick enough that they don’t cling, and wash without shrinking or pilling. They also feature a high-waist band that doesn’t twist and turn, and discrete pockets, all while coming in a size-inclusive range of 4XS-4XL. What’s not to love?

Price at time of publish: $94

Size: 4XS-4XL | Material: Rayon, nylon | Fit: Fitted | Length: 26-inch or 28-inch inseam

Best Petite

LOFT Petite Peyton Trouser Pants

Petite Peyton Trouser Pants


What We Love: They’re the right amount of flowy for a shorter frame. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish there were more color selections.

Loft knows a thing or two about cute workwear. These relaxed-through-the-hip and wide-leg trousers from the brand are flattering and impressive. Impressive, of course, because of the high-quality fabric and how effortlessly tasteful they look on the body. The brand sent me a pair to try, and I couldn’t be more obsessed. They feature sleek pleats from the waist down that elongate the legs, functional belt loops, and back and front pockets. But aside from their practicalness, they create a smooth, sculpted look on the backside that accentuates the body in all the right places, giving confidence to anyone that wears them. They come in sizes 00-18 and in a beautiful, powdery blue and khaki, just in time for spring. 

Price at time of publish: $80

Size: 00-18 | Material: Polyester | Fit: Relaxed | Length: 28.5-inch inseam

Best Tall

Ann Taylor Trouser Pant in Seasonless Stretch

Trouser Pant in Seasonless Stretch

Ann Taylor

What We Love: The brand offers curvy and classic sizes, as well as petite, regular, and tall lengths. 

What We Don’t Love: They fit a bit snugly.

It’s a no-brainer that another member of the retail chain Ann Inc.— the umbrella division for brands like LOFT, Lou and Grey, and Ann Taylor Factory — made our list. Like LOFT, Ann Taylor makes great workwear with a more corporate flare (Think tailored-to-perfection slacks, linen midi dresses, and ruffled blouses). These trousers from the brand withstand the test of time — both in quality and versatility. They have a streamlined fit with a classic bootcut that drapes elegantly. They’re also machine washable and don’t pill or wane with wear. They’re an ideal pair for taller bodies, as they have a 33-inch inseam in regular sizing, but they even offer an even taller option for those who need a little more length. 

Price at time of publish:

Size: 00-16  | Material: Polyester, rayon | Fit: Fitted | Length: Regular, petite, tall

Best Curvy

Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love Tailored Relaxed Straight Pant

Curve Love Tailored Relaxed Straight Pant

Abercrombie & Fitch 

What We Love: These are so incredibly soft. 

What We Don’t Love: Sizing is sometimes inconsistent, so you might have to try on in-store.

“Abercrombie is one of my favorite brands because their trousers always give me a put-together look while still being casual,” content creator Delaney Mills, who regularly films outfit inspiration videos for curvy bodies that feature the label, tells InStyle. “I could wear them to the office or to brunch.” She notes that this pair is comfortable and feels like she’s “wearing sweats” while sporting them. “My favorite part about these is that they come in various sizes and lengths,” she adds. She’s right: Abercrombie has a healthy assortment of lengths (they come in short, regular, and extended sizes, with well-balanced inseams that accurately fit the body) while also offering plus-size and curve options. We especially love these because of how easily they slip on the body and how beautiful they hug your natural curves. Plus, they’re so easy to style — and Mills’s videos prove it.

Price at time of publish: $90

Size: 24W-33W | Material: Polyester, viscose | Fit: Regular | Length: Short, regular, long 

Best Linen

& Other Stories Relaxed Pull-On Linen Trouser

 Relaxed Pull-On Linen Trouser

& Other Stories

What We Love: These don’t have the typical trouser silhouette and feel. 

What We Don’t Love: The sizing could be more inclusive.

Shopping for linen is tricky — and even tricker when trying to find a linen trouser that isn’t sheer or see-through, à la work appropriate. However, these pull-on trousers from & Other Stories pass the test by providing coverage without being too heavy. They still have all the redeeming qualities of regular linen pants (ultra-lightweight and featuring a relaxed silhouette) while still looking polished and on-trend. Accoutered with an elastic topstitched waistband for comfort, these pants have a sweatpant-like feel while still qualifying as workwear. And while they might not resemble your typical business-professional attire, we think these are a great take on reinvented workwear that doesn’t feel stuffy. Our only wish is that they offer more sizes.

Price at time of publish: $129

Size: XS-XL | Material: Tencel lyocell| Fit: Loose | Length: 31.5-inch inseam

Best Dress

Modern Citizen Ahh Wide-Leg Stretch Pant

Ahh Wide-Leg Stretch Pant

Modern Citizen

What We Love: This is an eco-conscious alternative to classic wide-leg pants. 

What We Don’t Love: There are no pockets.

Modern Citizen is an ethically conscious women-led brand that encapsulates that cool-girl edge. To own a piece from them is to be on-trend — the two go together seamlessly. This is because they’re a label that prides itself on making luxurious basics that’ll stay in your closet for years. And that’s what they’ve done with their “Ahh Wide Leg” stretch pants. The pants are not only a solid basic (literally and figuratively — they only come in a solid black) that withstands the test of time; they’re made with sustainable EcoVero fabric that ensures they do. Because of this, they appear incredibly high-quality, giving a formal feel to otherwise comfortable trousers. We only wish it had pockets.

Price at time of publish: $138

Size: XS-3XL | Material: EcoVero fabric, viscose, nylon | Fit: Relaxed | Length: Regular, tall

Best Denim

FRAME Triple Stitch Detail Wide Leg in Naples

Triple Stitch Detail Wide Leg in Naples


What We Love: Tailored denim is all the rage, and Frame does the trend effortlessly well. 

What We Don’t Love: They’re pricier for denim.

On the other end of the workwear spectrum — miles away from business and dress-pant-land — enters the Casual Friday favorite: Denim. But this wide-leg pair from Frame isn’t like any ‘ole jeans. They’re much more refined and appear much more polished. This is thanks to their tailored silhouette, designed with a double-button waistband and triple-stitch detailing. With a high-rise waist and a wide leg fit, they’re comparable to the shape of a classic ‘70s trouser. This element makes them feel work appropriate, though we think they wouldn’t look so bad at an after-hours happy hour. As for comfort, they feature an ultra-stretch fabric that’s great for all-day wear, and the brand offers tall and regular sizes. 

Price at time of publish: $258

Size: 23-34  | Material: Cotton, elastane | Fit: High-Rise, relaxed | Length: Regular, tall

Best Skinny

J.Crew Skinny Trouser

Skinny Trouser


What We Love: You can show off your shoe with these.

What We Don’t Love: They run small.

J.Crew is known for its classic pieces with modern twists, and that’s why fashion editor Karine Laudort considers the brand a no-fail when shopping for business-friendly pant options: “J.Crew is known for its classic and sophisticated styles,” she tells InStyle. “Plus, they offer a variety of dress pants in different fits and fabrics.” This pair, in particular, is ideal for those looking for a more form-fitted look; these skinny trousers have a tailored look while still having the feeling of leggings due to their ponte knit. The bottom of the pant features a crisp leg that shows your ankle — or, even better, your favorite pair of heels. They just run a teeny bit small, so keep that in mind when choosing the right size for you.

Price at time of publish: $168

Size: 00-24 | Material: Viscose, polyamide | Fit: Skinny | Length: 26.75-inch inseam

Best Slim-Fit

Spanx The Perfect Pant, Slim Straight

The Perfect Pant, Slim Straight


What We Love: These pants beautifully hug and figure-shape the body. 

What We Don’t Love: They’re tight around the bum and the thighs. 

Spanx deserves all the hype they get. Not only are their popular products uber-comfortable and flattering (and we’re talking everything, from bralettes to classic shapewear), but did you know they carry bodysuits, jeans, and trousers that are equally worth the praise? I know this because the brand sent me this pair to try, and while I’m a wide-leg favorer through and through, I might’ve converted once I put this slim fit on my body. Not only are they figure-hugging in all the right ways, but their material is also stretchy, easy to get on and off, and gives a professional look while remaining contemporary. Plus, they’re a solid style for those who don’t want all of the embellishments that come with statement pants — you know, flares, slits. 

Price at time of publish: $148

Size: XS-3XL | Material: Rayon, nylon | Fit: Fitted | Length: Petite, regular, tall

Best Wide Leg

Madewell The Harlow Wide-Leg Pants

Madewell The Harlow Wide-Leg Pants


What We Love: These have a unique weight of fabric where they return to their original form easily.

What We Don’t Love: They run big on petite bodies, even in petite-specific sizing.

A wide-leg pant has some wide requirements to be considered top-notch trousers. First, they can’t overwhelm smaller bodies; The inseam can’t overburden the wearer because the silhouette is already a statement piece itself. It also has to have the ability to have a smooth and drapey material, but not one that is bulky, incredibly becoming a parachute pant. This pant from Madewell checks both of those boxes — and so much more. Not only do they have the functionalities people look for when shopping for an excellent wide-leg bottom, but they also offer a sleek and polished shape on the body while featuring fun, sailor-inspired button tabs at the high pleated waist. 

Price at time of publish: $118

Size: 00-16 | Material: Tencel lyocell, linen | Fit: Loose | Length: Petite, regular, tall

Best Flare

Aritzia Babaton Publish Pant

Babaton Publish Pant


What We Love: They have such a flattering and versatile silhouette. 

What We Don’t Love: These are dry clean only.

Yes, Aritzia makes our list twice — for a good reason. They have an extensive range of bottoms to throw into your closet rotation, from leather to cargo, but their workwear is where the brand shines. This “Publish Pant” from their Babaton collection is ultra-soft and sleek, made with a flexible fabric that allows for movability all day — an essential feature when you have 8-hour long days to clock. We especially love the color assortment in these subtle flares, which include everything from magenta to forest green, and their fabric selections. Not very often can you choose between the same pant in leather, wool, or their traditional textile (a polyester blend), but with Aritzia, you can. This means someone can wear the Publish Pant in so many different styles or buy in so many different styles. 

Price at time of publish: $148

Size: 00-16 | Material: Triacetate, polyester | Fit: Fitted | Length: Short, regular, tall

Most Comfortable

Everlane The Dream Pant

Everlane The Dream Pant


What We Love: They feel exactly like sweats. 

What We Don’t Love: They run short on taller bodies.

It’s like the person who thought, “Why can’t we just wear sweatpants to the office?” made a work-appropriate version of joggers with this select from Everlane. They’re made with soft double-knit fabric and have an elastic waistband, meaning they’re as close to your WFH-comfy-pants as possible. These relaxed-fit pants are even equipped with pockets at the hidden drawstring waist. But while they don’t sacrifice comfort, they still appear polished. They feature a tapered leg and are wrinkle-resistant. They’re ideal for those trying to reimagine a return-to-office wardrobe or want to look elevated without compromising a casual feel. They also come in sizes XXS-4XL, with six cool-toned colors to pair with a mule or loafer

Price at time of publish: $88

Size: XXS-4XL | Material: Cotton, modal | Fit: Relaxed | Length: 27.5-inch Inseam

What to Keep in Mind


“The first thing to consider when determining if pants fit is how long they are,” stylist Naina Singla tells InStyle. She notes that while there is no one right length for pants — as they depend on your body type and personal style — many styles vary in length, ranging from slim ankle to straight leg and longer wide-leg pants.  


Again, like the length of a pant, there is no right or wrong selection, though trousers typically come in skinny, slim, fitted, regular, relaxed, and loose styles. Skinny is the tightest around the thigh and the ankle, with loose being the most breathable and flowy alternative. 


According to Singla, cotton and polyester ensure that trousers are durable and comfortable. “These materials are made for daily wear and usually easy to clean,” she tells InStyle. Other great fabrics for trousers are linen or linen and cotton blends, which are breathable and work well in the warmer months. “If you're in an office job, you will want to wear a fabric that can withstand the demands of an eight-hour workday which typically means thicker and higher quality fabrics. These fabrics will not crumple and tend to wrinkle less as the day progresses,” Singla tells InStyle. 

Your Questions, Answered

What are considered work pants for women?

“Traditionally, work pants would be any dress pants with a zipper and a button at the top,” Singla tells InStyle, “But the current definition of work pants these days incorporates elements such as an elastic band or a more loose and relaxed silhouette that is not so tight when you sit down.” She also notes that the currently on-trend style for office allows for a wider variety of styles such as leather pants, cargos, or denim trousers — all depending on work dress codes, of course.

How do I style work pants?

“Classic high-waisted bottom pants are stylish and professional for work,” Singla tells InStyle. “They can be styled with a tucked-in button-down shirt and belt or a fitted blouse and matching colored blazer. This traditional look appears put together and is an easy go-to daily uniform when getting dressed in the morning.” If you’re investing in straight-leg trousers —- a classic silhouette that elongates the leg — Singla suggests pairing them with a heel, like these from Mango. Conversely, wide-leg pants offer a relaxed fit that’s comfortable for work and that you can pair with a varied-length boot, such as these from Duoboots. To further your look more casually, pair it with a denim or leather jacket.

Why Trust InStyle

Morgan Sullivan is an experienced fashion and beauty writer who has covered trends for readers in publications like The Cut, ELLE, Teen Vogue, and more. She joined the InStyle e-commerce team in July 2022. For this piece, she researched the best work pants based on previous expertise in writing about garments for various body types. She also contacted plus-size content creator Delaney Mills, stylist Naina Singla, and fashion editor Karine Laudort for their expertise and trouser recommendations.

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