In theory, shopping for work clothes should be an easy task, given the fact that there’s no shortage of great stores for you to peruse online. But when it comes to work pants, finding a pair to round out your 9-to-5 wardrobe that make you look and feel great is a surprisingly tall order — especially when you’re dealing with the body changes that come with menopause and the style evolution that naturally begins to occur as you age and adopt a more mature look.
Since wearing skirts and dresses every single day is bound to get old after awhile, having a few pairs of the best work pants that you love on hand is essential, regardless of what you do or your personal style preferences. Keep reading for more on how to pick the right pair and shop the styles your closet has been sorely missing.
How to Find Work Pants
Whether you hit the mall or browse online, shopping for work pants can become overwhelming between the crowds, potentially limited sizing options, and the dreaded fitting rooms.
To help make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up a few quick tips for picking a pair that will elevate your weekday wardrobe.
1. Take stock of what you’ve got: If you’re in need of new duds, it’s never a bad idea to go through what you already own and take note of what’s working for you, and more importantly, what isn’t.
Trying on all the pants you own might seem like a daunting task, but it’ll be worth it to help you find your perfect pair. Do you find that you tend to wear the same style, color, or fabric? If so, you might want to stick to what you know you like. On the other hand, it might be worth venturing into new territory and trying something totally different to breathe new life into your favorite blouses, blazers, and sweaters.
You may also find that styles you once loved no longer suit you as you view them through older eyes. Whether they’re no longer age-appropriate, are ill-fitting where they once flattered, or don’t suit your coloring, it’s a good idea to donate any pants you haven’t worn in a year. You’ll leave room for work pants you’ll love, which is the ultimate goal!
2. Think about how your style blends into your office’s dress code: Unfortunately, most of us have some guidelines to abide by when it comes to dressing for the workplace, so you’ll want to find a way to infuse your personal style with items that still look professional and polished. Even if jeans or leggings are fine for your day-to-day, having a few pairs of more formal pants on hand is crucial for those last-minute important meetings and presentations.
3. Read the reviews Nearly every retailer features online reviews these days, so be sure to heed advice from women who have already bought — and adored — the pants you’re currently eyeing. Check for user photos or videos, which will show how real women look wearing the pants versus a model, who may not match your body shape.
4. Buy in multiples: Ordering multiple sizes of an item you’re on the fence about with regard to measurements is never a bad idea: You can always return anything that doesn’t fit. If you do find a pair you love, but the fit is still slightly off, tailoring is an excellent (and often affordable!) way to alter items to go on flawlessly.
Ready to shop? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the, ahem, legwork, to find the best work pants for women over 50 for a range of body types and styles. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s top picks.
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Best Work Trousers
Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Everyday Ankle Trouser Pants
Where to buy: $59.50 (Originally $119), Nordstrom
NYDJ is a brand beloved for its stylish and sleek options for women of all ages, and its black ankle trousers are no exception. With a universally-flattering high-rise fit and innovative lift-tuck technology to make your lower half look the best it’s ever looked, these LBPs (that’s little black pants, FYI!) will make you wonder how you lived all these years without them in your arsenal. Plus, the stretchy fit ensures you’ll never feel the dreaded tightness after enjoying a meal with your colleagues, making them the just the pair you'll want to reach for when you’re clocking those long days and need to feel as comfy as can be.
Best Wide Leg Work Pants
Leith High-Waist Belted Pants
Where to buy: $69, Nordstrom
With a gorgeous high-waist and a flowy, fun cut, these sash-tied trousers make for a lovely, leg-lengthening option any day of the week, but especially on those days when you’ve got to dress to impress. Several reviewers especially liked that they work well for petite ladies, for whom wide-legged pants can be overwhelming due to lithe frames. The removable belt makes for an extra-bold fashion choice, ensuring you'll be the style star of the office.
Raved one shopper: “This is a fantastic pair of pants. Great deep color and flattering fit. I always get compliments when I wear them.”
Best Cropped Work Pant
Eileen Fisher Slouchy Cropped Pant
Where to buy: $148, Eileen Fisher
Cropped pants are essential for casual Fridays, particularly when the temps are so high, you simply can’t deal with a full-length pant leg. This cozy cropped pair by Eileen Fisher comes in a wide range of sizes for standard, petites, and plus, and is designed with a longer rise for an easy, slouchy fit. They taper off at the ankle, making them a breeze to style with your favorite work tops and go-to sandals, flats, and ankle booties. They're also made from a luxuriously soft organic cotton jersey fabric that supports third generation New Mexico farmers, so you can feel good about supporting this woman-owned brand and its commitment to sustainability. It's a win-win all the way around!
Best Ankle Pants for Work
Talbots Easy Travel Collection Plus-Size Ankle Pants
Where to buy: $149, Talbots
This classic workwear find from Talbots is a versatile office staple that will look great with any top in your wardrobe. Available in a range of sizes in both plus and plus petites, these trousers are lightweight and comfortable, but will still look perfect for that big board meeting or lunch with your boss. And, since they’re machine washable, there’s no need to worry about taking them to the dry cleaners. What could be better?
Best Skinny Work Pants
Amazon Essentials Skinny Ankle Pant
Where to buy: From $7.34, Amazon
When you think about places to look for office attire, Amazon may not immediately cross your mind as a top contender. But don’t count the online superstore out when you’re shopping for bottoms! With 12 colors and prints that range from classic blues and blacks to fun polka dots, these skinny ankle pants from the Amazon brand make for a super affordable way to stay on-trend at work. And, with four-way comfort cotton stretch, you won’t be itching to get them off the second you get home. Really, who could ask for more in a pair of work pants?
Best Leggings for Work
Apt. 9 Tummy Control Pull-on Ponte Leggings
Where to buy: $19.99, Kohl's
While regular leggings may not be apropos for work, this sleek polyester set from Apt. 9 is so tailored, your coworkers will be none the wiser to your comfy style choice. There's an elastic waistband to help eliminate gapping or a too-tight fit around your tummy, and they come in a wide range of sizes and multiple lengths, so you’re sure to find yours without much fuss. You can even stock up on multiple pairs, since they come in nine fashionable solids and prints (we’re partial to foil shine and olive ourselves!).
As one reviewer between the ages of 45 and 54 boasted recently, “As soon as I tried them on, I knew these were THE ONES! I have been searching for leggings that have the tummy control these have! They are so comfortable and the length is perfect! And they are more stylish than the plain black leggings I've worn for years now. I already jumped back online and ordered three more pairs! If I could give these 10 stars, I would!!”
Best Work Pants for Curvy Figures
Talbots Essex Ankle Pant Curvy Fit
Where to buy: $39.99 (Originally $89.50), Talbots
There’s a reason Talbots has remained a go-to brand for women of all ages and body types, and these curvy fit ankle pants demonstrate exactly why. Featuring the brand’s signature cotton bi-stretch "Magic" fabric to help you feel cozy all day long, these heather gray bottoms are perfect for those with an “hourglass shape." They've got a smoothing, pull-on waistband, so there's no need to worry about a zipper snag or achy fingers from buttoning, and come in "misses" and petite sizes. They're also neutral enough to go with everything in your closet without being boring, making them serious a workwear win.
Best Full Length Pants for Work
J. Crew Full-Length Cameron Pant
Where to buy: $89.50, J. Crew
We can always count on J. Crew for elegant, well-made pieces that will never go out of style, like brand’s full-length Cameron pant in four-season stretch. Boasting a slim fit to make your legs look miles long, these full-length trousers will go with every shoe in your closet, from your cutest kitten heels to your beloved ballet flats. They're also great for year-round wear, since they're heavy enough to keep you warm during the coldest winter chill, but lightweight enough to work in during sweltering summer.
Plenty of reviewers are sold on these work staples, with one gushing, “I really like these pants for work. I drive to professional meetings and these keep their shape and don’t wrinkle due to the little bit of stretch. Comfy and cute. I bought them in gray and I’m ordering in black as well.”
Best Tapered Work Pants
J. Crew High-Rise Tapered Pant
Where to buy: $168, J. Crew
Menswear is a trend that will always be en vogue, and we love these plaid pants, which play with a masculine fit for a seriously fierce style statement. The ultra-flattering high waist, polished pleats, and cropped leg allows you to seize the moment with any unexpected twist you choose, so getting dressed in the morning will be fun again — not another boring task on your to-do list.
Best Flare Work Pants
Spanx The Perfect Black Pant, Hi-Rise Flare
Where to buy: $148, Spanx
Sure, you know and love this iconic brand for its shapewear, but it also has an amazing line of pants that will give you the same smooth, sleek look you expect from Spanx — somehting we’ve been waiting for all our lives, to be honest. These high-rise flared finds come in petite, regular, and tall sizing up to 3X, and have a pull-on design that makes them easy to get on and off during harried moments. With four-way stretch and a silhouette that's sure to flatter any body shape, you’ll be thanking the Spanx gods for these the moment you try them on for size.
Best Bootcut Work Pants
Rekucci Plus-Size Bootcut Pants
Where to buy: $39.99 (Originally $54.99), Amazon
Trends may come and go, but bootcut pants are timeless, especially for work. Reviewers can’t stop raving about this pull-on style from Rekucci in particular, which come in a whopping 30 colors and prints and feature an elasticized, contour waistband that makes them every bit as comfy as they are chic.
Wrote one of the more than 560 five-star pleased customers: "These pants are a dream. I've been searching for months for work pants that don't look frumpy, yet are comfortable. These pants look great."
Best Palazzo Pants for Work
Tronjori Palazzo Pants
Where to buy: From $25.99, Amazon
Flowy palazzo pants will make you feel like you’ve stepped off the runway, even if you’re just schlepping into the office. This pair by Tronjori is effortlessly cool while still being totally age-appropriate, making them the surefire subject of compliments galore from your coworkers. They'll look equally great with flats and your best heels and the elastic waistband and breezy, loose fit are as comfortable as it gets. Be prepared to turn heads no matter where you go!
Best Paperbag Pants for Work
find. High-Waist Paperbag Pants
Where to buy: From $24.57, Amazon
Another pair of belted beauties, these paperbag pants come in four chic colors (black, green, grey, and pink) and are soft enough to wear from morning until night. With a high-waist and a slim fit through the leg, they check all the boxes when it comes to being a perfect work pant: stylish, comfortable, and professional-looking. Don’t blame us if you don’t want to take them, because they’re just that good.
Best Slim Straight Work Pant
Chaps Solid Straight-Leg Pants
Where to buy: $39.99 (Originally $59), Kohl's
SAVE NOW: Use coupon code FROST at checkout to save an extra 15 percent on your order through Jan. 20.
If you’re on the hunt for a pair of pants that looks polished enough for your morning meetings, but just as great for a sit-down dinner, look no further than this structured pair from Chaps. Fitted through the hips and thighs, these pants are stretchy, but won’t lose their shape, so they’ll look just as fabulous first thing in the a.m. as they will after-hours. They're made from a cotton blend and come in white, navy, or black.