Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
Elizabeth posted last week about wide leg trousers from Express, and there are SO MANY out right now that I thought we’d do a mini Hunt for the best wide-leg pants to wear to work right now. Readers, how do you feel about the trend? What are the best wide-leg pants to wear to work? What are your best tips on hemming them, and which shoes and tops do you pair them with?
For my $.02, I still feel like the proper hemming for full-length, wide-leg pants should be with a slight break on the vamp of your shoes, without pooling or dragging in the back. (I really have to redo the graphics on this post about hem lengths, but I generally still agree with my older advice.) I like them styled with sneakers or other flat shoes — getting a heel right with them can be a bit tricky, although I’d love to hear your tips! (Another possible issue to be on the lookout for: can you wear shoes without the pant leg getting caught and tucked in the strap, laces, or vamp of the shoe — kind of like in this picture (source)? Boots can be ideal for this reason.)
The main thing about full-length pants, though, is that you really do have to know which shoes you plan to wear them with when you get them hemmed — and then stick to that general height of shoe every time you wear the pants.
I’m seeing wide-leg pants styled with a lot of crop tops — for the office I’d switch it to a work-acceptable bodysuit or other close-fitted top.
Just another note on fabrics: I feel like either a drapey fabric, or a heavy fabric like tweed or flannel is better for these kinds of pants because cotton or linen will wrinkle — in fact, if you’re planning on wearing the wide-leg pants to work I’d avoid those fabrics.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Have you bought any great wide-leg pants for work or play lately? How have you hemmed them, and what are you wearing them with?
Pictured at top: beige / pink / beige
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I bought these $35 Amazon pants after seeing them on some TikTok influencer, and liking that they had them in shorter lengths. The pros: they do fit me, and the hems aren’t dragging at all — and the fabric, while cheap, is drapey and fluid. The cons: they are very wide. Also in this very affordable price range: Target (regular and plus sizes), Banana Republic Factory ($45+).
This is something else I’ve seen on TikTok, especially with mid-size bloggers: Abercrombie pants for the win, apparently! Every time I’ve gone to the website they have extremely limited sizes left, but are still available, so I suspect they’re just being restocked in uneven ways. (You may have better luck at your local store.)
The pants are $90 at Abercrombie in sizes XXS-XXL in long, regular, and short sizes. Also in this price range: 1.State, NYDJ, Gap, and Express.
These Everlane pants look fabulous for $118. They come in 30″ and 32″ lengths, sizes 0-16, and 4 colors. For a similar casual/drapey feel around this price point, look to Madewell (petite, regular, tall sizes 0-16), and Norma Kamali (highly rated, lots of reviewers note they’re great travel pants). These Anthro pants are $140 and come in regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes.
Another plus-size friendly brand with great wide-leg pants to wear to work: Reformation, available in TONS of colors in sizes 0-12 and in less colors in sizes 14-24. You can also find a few colors at Nordstrom and other retailers. They’re $178.
These $218 Favorite Daughter pants look great, and are also available in a bunch of colors (and fabrics) at Nordstrom and FavoriteDaughter.com (ooh, and they have short lengths). They’re available in sizes 0-18. Also in this price range: MMLF (plain front, $295), Reiss (more flared pants than wide, $245+).
Readers, what are the best wide-leg pants to wear to work in 2022? What are your best tips on hemming them, and which shoes and tops do you pair them with?
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Social media images via Deposit Photos / JANIFEST (woman leans against blue velvet chair, she wears wide-leg pants to wear to work in white).
Am hoping that non-pleat front pants come back sooner than later.
I’m still dealing with postpartum pooch and pleated pants make me look like I’m smuggling hedgehogs.
Would love some thoughts on this… I have a 401k which I max out and also a Roth IRA. I haven’t contributed to the Roth this year because I was in the process of buying a house but now that that is done, I’m trying to decide whether to contribute the 6k now all at once or space it out over the next 6 months or so up till the April 2023 deadline. So far it seems like experts are divided on what’s best. I’m 38 and have about 45k in the account. Thoughts? TIA!
My opinion: if you have the entire amount available, contribute & invest it in something besides cash now. Trying to time the market is not the way to go.
I guess my understanding is that spacing out the contributions is the opposite of trying to time the market because that way you spread out the risk more and have a better chance of hitting some lows? I am not very well educated on this. It’s only recently that I’ve been in a position to choose (ie had enough money that I had the option of one large contribution vs several small ones over time).
It’s all about what you can stomach. If it’s easier for you to just plop all the money in now and not worry that you’re “missed the bottom” or something, then just do it and be happy. If you’re worried about market variability then you may feel better about adding $1000 monthly in an automated way. The main thing is: make the contribution! So you’re doing great!
I agree with the other posters. Just contribute now. It’s possible that markets will drop more, but you’re investing for the long term and time in market beats trying to time the market.
The current BR Factory bootcut pants are more of a wide-leg than true bootcut, IMHO. Just throwing another option out there if you like the look and want to try it in a work-friendly way. They are also looooong, so suitable for taller ‘rettes!
What are y’all wearing as shoes for these? Wide legs with flats/sneaks make me feel frumpy. I’ve been wearing my standard point toe heels. What are other options?
I wear low leather boots with an almond toe.
I love wide-leg trousers with a block heeled loafer pump for the office. It’s a 90s throwback look (and was a 70s throwback in the 90s), but it totally works.
I like the “look,” but I’d have to have a style without front pleats. They are not my friend.
I can’t do the pleats. Just doesn’t look right on me. I’ve always loved wide leg pants! That’s basically all I wear these days. I have pants for heels and pants for flats. For the office, I love classic pointy toed stiletto pumps with the toes just peeking out in front and the heels hidden with a floor grazing hem. Heels are seen only when walking or sitting. Fashionable and sexy. For tops, can’t go wrong with a thong bodysuit. I have lots of them! No VPL and super comfy!
Ann in Austin
Would love for retailers to list the actual rise measurement in their online catalogs so I can screen pants before heading out to try them on. Saying the pants fit “below the natural waist” is useless. Everyone’s measurement from crotch to natural waist is different. If the rise is not long enough, the pants cannot be altered, so there is no point in investing. I was excited to see high waisted pants and love the wider ones, though no pleats for me. I may have to go back to custom tailoring after wasting time visiting stores with nothing suitable.
I’m surprised Aritzia effortless pants didn’t make this list! Many color options, lengths, and usually some seasonal fabrics (though some more popular colors sell out and are slow to restock).