Do you tend to wear more pants, or skirts and dresses for work? While every workplace has its own norms on how formal or casual your professional outfits need to be, you can create countless looks around a stylish pair of pants. This article has the best work pants for women that you can dress up or down as you want.

What you need from your work pants

If you’re looking for the best work pants for women, what features do you need your work pants to have?

Comfort

Best work pants for women - Fonda in navy ankle pants | 40plusstyle.com

First of all, comfort. You don’t want to spend all day at work in ill-fitting clothes. Make sure you get a pair of pants that fit well when standing and sitting. You could look out for a pair with an elasticated waist, or with a bit of stretch.

Fonda @savvysouthernchic above chooses a pair of navy ankle length pants that would be a great base for so many tops in your closet.

Recreate her outfit with this similar blouse, blazer, pants, pumps, earrings and belt.

Do you want to wash or dry clean?

Your professional wardrobe can need a fair amount of upkeep, depending on your choice of fabric. Perhaps you’re happy to drop off your pants at the dry cleaners each week, or maybe you prefer washable options. Check the label before making your choice.

Can you wear them time and time again

Best work pants for women - Greetje in black ankle pants | 40plusstyle.com

The best work pants will form the basis of your work capsule wardrobe. If you choose a neutral pair, they will go with all of your tops and jackets.

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) chooses black ankle length pants to go with her two-tone blazer.

Check out this similar top, colorblock blazer (another option here, plain options here and here), trousers, pumps, handbag (another option here) and earrings.

Best work pants for women

Now let’s look at some of the best choices in stores if you’re refreshing your work wardrobe.

J.Crew

J.Crew is often a good place to start for your work capsule, as they have so many classic pants and blazers to choose from that won’t go out of date. The flare pants (below) come in either black or beige. They have a little elastane for comfort and so they retain their shape.

J.Crew Willa Full Length Flare Pants | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Willa Full Length Flare Pants

Green and beige work outfit | 40plusstyle.com

BOSS Iore Stretch Silk BlouseJ.Crew Willa Full Length Flare PantsTory Burch Georgia Square Toe Ballet FlatMedea Hanna Leather ToteKendra Scott Elisa Birthstone Pendant Necklace

M.M.LaFleur

Another good stop for workwear is M.M.LaFleur, where you’ll find plenty of timeless pants in professional cuts. The houndstootht pants (below) have a subtle print and would go well with your block color t-shirts, shirts and blazers. They also come in plain colors if you prefer and you can machine wash.

The Horton Stretch Houndstooth Pant | 40plusstyle.com

The Horton Stretch Houndstooth Pant

BOSS

For a classic, timeless pair of black pants, how about the pair from BOSS below? With a flattering bootcut, they come in regular or petite lengths.

BOSS Tulea Side Zip Tropical Stretch Wool Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

BOSS Tulea Side Zip Tropical Stretch Wool Trousers

Monochrome work outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Urban Coco Open Front BlazerBOSS Efita Short Sleeve T-ShirtBOSS Tulea Side Zip Tropical Stretch Wool TrousersSARTO by Franco Sarto Tabitha Pointed Toe d’Orsay FlatKate Spade New York Knott Medium Leather SatchelKarine Sultan Pearl Collar NecklaceKarine Sultan Imitation Pearl Stud Earrings

Everlane

Wide pants are perfect for wearing with your t-shirts or shirts tucked in. The Everlane pants (below) have a slight drape for a flowy look, and a high-waist to make your legs look longer. They come in a choice of neutrals and prints.

Everlane The Way-High® Drape Pant | 40plusstyle.com

Everlane The Way-High® Drape Pant

Mango

The straight pants (below) from MANGO come with center creases for a smart look. They have 3% elastane which gives them a good amount of stretch.

MANGO Seam Detail Straight Fit Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

MANGO Seam Detail Straight Fit Trousers

Crease pants and blazer outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Massimo Dutti Suit BlazerBOSS Iore Stretch Silk BlouseMANGO Seam Detail Straight Fit TrousersSARTO by Franco Sarto Tabitha Pointed Toe d’Orsay FlatKate Spade New York Knott Medium Leather SatchelKarine Sultan Imitation Pearl Stud Earrings

COS

COS prides itself on creating clothes that are still on trend season after season. The COS pants (below) are 100% wool for a luxurious look.

COS Pleated Wide Leg Wool Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

COS Pleated Wide Leg Wool Trousers

SPANX

SPANX may be renowned for its shapewear, but it is adding more and more clothes to its range. The high-waist pants (below) are designed with leg-lengthening in mind.

SPANX High Waist Flare Ponte Pants | 40plusstyle.com

SPANX High Waist Flare Ponte Pants

Outfit for work: cardigan, tee flare trousers and pumps | 40plusstyle.com

MANGO Striped CardiganBOSS Efita Short Sleeve T-ShirtSPANX High Waist Flare Ponte PantsAachcol Block Heel PumpMedea Hanna Leather ToteKarine Sultan Imitation Pearl Stud Earrings

Massimo Dutti

Massimo Dutti is another favorite for workwear and luxurious weekend looks. The black straight cut pants (below) are lined for a quality, warm finish, and they have a stylish matching blazer.

Massimo Dutti Straight Fit Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

Massimo Dutti Straight Fit Trousers

Express

Have you tried Express for your clothing? They have a good choice of brands so you can find casual, formal and workwear. The wide pants (below) come with a turned up hem to give them a subtle point of difference.

Express High Waisted Pleated Wide Leg Pant | 40plusstyle.com

Express High Waisted Pleated Wide Leg Pant

Gray and black work outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Express Satin Peak Lapel Tie Waist BlazerZeagoo Cross-Front Cap Sleeve TopExpress High Waisted Pleated Wide Leg PantSteve Madden Minka Lug LoaferKate Spade New York Knott Medium Leather SatchelKarine Sultan Imitation Pearl Stud Earrings

St. Agni

If you’re able to add a little casual flare to your work outfits, you could try the drawstring waist pants (below) from St. Agni at Moda Operandi

St. Agni Relaxed Drawstring Wool-Blend Pants | 40plusstyle.com

St. Agni Relaxed Drawstring Wool-Blend Pants

tops

So, now that you’ve chosen the perfect pair of work pants, what should you wear with them? A selection of long-sleeved shirts and short-sleeved t-shirts will give you versatility depending on the weather and the jackets you want to wear with them.

Tops to wear with your work pants | 40plusstyle.com

BOSS Iore Stretch Silk BlouseMassimo Dutti Silk ShirtBOSS Efita Short Sleeve T-ShirtZeagoo Cross-Front Cap Sleeve Top

Best work pants for women - Barb wears a pink jacket and black pants | 40plusstyle.com

Barb @barb_styling above opts for bright pink with her black pants.

Steal her look with this similar shirt, jacket (anther option here), trousers, pumps, belt and earrings.

jackets

For your work jackets, a selection of blazers, cardigans and shorter jackets will be perfect. Choosing open, single-breasted or belted styles for a flattering effect.

Blazers to wear with your work pants | 40plusstyle.com

Massimo Dutti Suit BlazerUrban Coco Open Front BlazerExpress Satin Peak Lapel Tie Waist BlazerMANGO Striped Cardigan

Best work pants for women - Jess in beige pants | 40plusstyle.com

Jess @elegantlydressedandstylish above (read her style interview here) opts for an all-neutral look, and adds texture with her bag.

Check out this similar blazer (another option here), pants (another option here) booties, handbag, necklace and earrings.

shoes

For your shoes, you might want heels or smart flats. You could choose pointed or round toes, or opt for a pair of on-trend chunky loafers. Even if you tend to wear neutrals for the rest of your work outfits, perhaps you could add a pop of color to your shoes.

Shoes to wear with your work pants | 40plusstyle.com

SARTO by Franco Sarto Tabitha Pointed Toe d’Orsay FlatTory Burch Georgia Square Toe Ballet FlatSteve Madden Minka Lug LoaferAachcol Block Heel Pump

Best work pants for women - Beth wears white pants | 40plusstyle.com

Beth @styleatacertainage above (read her style interview here) chooses a monochrome outfit and a pair of low-heeled slingbacks.

Get her look with this similar shirt (other options here and here), pants, slingback pumps, handbag and sunglasses.

accessories

For your accessories, you’ll want a work bag that you can fit your essentials in. How big it needs to be will depend on your commute and whether you need to fit a laptop or tablet in. You could add a statement necklace and stud earrings to elevate your work looks.

Accessories to go with your work outfits | 40plusstyle.com

Kate Spade New York Knott Medium Leather SatchelMedea Hanna Leather ToteKarine Sultan Pearl Collar NecklaceKendra Scott Elisa Birthstone Pendant NecklaceKarine Sultan Imitation Pearl Stud Earrings

The best work pants for women and what to wear them with | 40plusstyle.com

Boma @mrs.gaf above shows off a perfect look for a work conference, featuring a stylish weekend bag.

Check out this similar blazer, coat (another option here), flared pants (another option here), pumps, handbag and earrings.

Below, you can see all of the work pants looks from above, together in one capsule. You can easily change the tops, jackets and shoes around to give you different looks for your work days.

Pants for work - a capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

I’d love to hear your recommendations for the best work pants for women. If you’ve found a great pair, let me know in the comments below.

shop the best work pants for women and other items mentioned above below:

Continue reading:

  1. Classy Business Outfits For Women Over 40 – Your Work Capsule Wardrobe Sorted
  2. How To Wear Jeans To Work And Still Look Professional
  3. The Most Comfortable Work Dress Shoes For Women

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The best work pants for women and what to wear them with | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Boma @mrs.gaf

Sylvia

Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. She is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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