Not quite a chino, not quite a suit pant; work pants can be tricky to identify… But it’s even trickier to find a comfortable pair that’s also stylish enough to rock in the office. If you’re after a pair of ‘work pants’ but you’re not sure where to start, and you definitely don’t want to get stuck with another pair that’s too tight, or ill-fitting, or just downright look like they’ve been purchased at Walmart, we’ve done the hard yards for you.
The ideal fit of a work pant
Work pants should be widest at the waist, and then taper down to the ankles, just like the natural shapes of men’s bodies. They should be worn just above the hip, allowing plenty of room for you to tuck your shirt in (without worrying about the shirt exposing your belly when it inevitably pops up).
Expertly tailored work pants should never have excess fabric, but they should be a little loose to comfortably allow for all-day movement. However, if your work pants wrinkle or bunch around your thighs, they’re too tight. Whether you choose a pair with or without pleats is your call; although pleats do add flexibility and extra comfort through the leg.
Work Pant FAQ
What are 'work pants'? Are chinos 'work pants'?
As a general rule, work pants are just a pair of tailored trousers or slacks, usually made from cotton, that are durable and are on the dressier side of the men's pant world. Chinos are not business casual, and are NOT considered 'work pants'; they're a much more casual pant suited for work where the dress code is slightly more informal than traditional offices.
How many pairs of work pants should I own?
This is very much dependent on your work schedule; for example, if you work in an upscale office five days a week and you're expected to wear work pants for all five of those days, you should really own a minimum of five pairs; one for each day, so you never have to worry about having enough time to get your pants to or from the dry cleaners.
However, if you're not required to wear work pants or trousers that often, then you should have at least two pairs that you can rotate.
What colour work pants should I get?
We recommend owning at least one or two classic block colours like black, navy, or grey, as they're timeless and will go with any and every shirt. If you wear work pants regularly and want to branch out (but you're still a tad apprehensive of rocking say, a hot pink work pant) experiment with plaid prints in navy or grey.
However, if you're a confident or bold gent who wants all heads in the office to turn and look at you, go for those bold colours and prints; we salute you!
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All of the brands featured in our guide have been specifically chosen as they’re renowned for their quality tailoring skills and expertly crafted fits; you’ll definitely get a pair of work pants that fit like a dream when purchasing from one of the brands mentioned below.
Today, the company is a global fashion empire and produce men's & women's fashion lines as well as fragrances (and we promise they are no longer affiliated or condone Hitler's actions in any way, shape, or form!). Hugo Boss' range of work pants is large, and will meet the demands of your fast-paced lifestyle. All of the work pants will pair nicely with every type of shirt and footwear, and will give you a classic workwear look. Plus, no matter your profession, you'll definitely find a pair of pants that'll suit; Hugo Boss has everything from sharp slim-fit pants to relaxed silhouettes.
Although Rhone is primarily an activewear brand, their Commuter Pant is definitely sophisticated enough for any office or profession. Available in a regular, slim, or skinny fit, and six timeless colours, as well as seasonal colours, the Commuter Pant is tailored yet comfortable. Made with Rhone's Flex-Knit fabric that gives you exceptional four-way stretch and recovery, these work pants are stylish for your 9-5, but are so comfy you'll happily wear them even after work hours.
They only have work pant on offer, but it comes in both navy and charcoal; both very debonair, office-appropriate shades. The great thing about Everlane is their clothing is very affordable but nevertheless still premium quality, and the Italian Wool Trouser is no exception. Crafted from wool sourced from Tollegno, Italy, featuring a breathable lining, cut in a slim tailored fit, and available in three different leg lengths, these work pants are ever so comfortable; making them perfect for long days at work.
Bonobos' dress pants are available in multiple fits such as slim fit, skinny, athletic fit, and regular; plus, you can even choose the leg length. The most impressive thing about Bonobos work pants (aside from how comfortable the fit is) is that they are all machine washable and wrinkle resistant, meaning your number of trips to the dry cleaners will be reduced.
Their range of men's work pants feature razor-sharp looks, including heritage-inspired angles and tailoring, and modern skinny fits. Available in classic colours and playful plaids, you'll look smarter than ever in a pair of River Island work pants; plus, they also have tailored work pants for the larger gentlemen too.
AllSaints has a smaller range of work pants than other brands featured on this list, but they have a versatile range. AllSaints work pants can be worn to work (duh) but when paired with a graphic tee or short sleeve shirt, a pair of AllSaints tailored trousers can also give you some serious street style cred. Available in slim or relaxed styles, full or cropped lengths, and a range of neutral colours.
Reiss believes that work pants are a foundation of a well-built wardrobe, so all of their work pants are afforded the same dedication to design and craft, ensuring that when you purchase a pair of Reiss pants, you're making a smart and savvy wardrobe investment. With a large range, Reiss offers work pants to suit every taste and every fit.
Tyrwhitt pants are designed to give gentlemen of every size the best fit; they accommodate in the bottom and thighs for a comfortable fit. But Tyrwhitt work pants are also elegantly tailored and stylish; available in different styles and fits, as well as classic colours, any pair of Tyrwhitt work pants will elevate your work wardrobe.
Todd Snyder's collection of Dress Trousers are perfect for any office or work setting, especially if you like to get a bit more playful with your workwear. Blending classic style with modern tailoring, Todd Snyder trousers are available in bolder colours and plaid prints (although they also have the classic colours; black, navy, grey).
Taking a modern approach to tailoring, Ted Baker's range of work pants are incredibly suave. They have a varied range of styles, including pleated pants, and a wide range of fabrics, like wool and cotton; Ted Baker even has linen work pants that will keep you cool in the warmer months without compromising on style. No matter what pair you choose, you're sure to impress in a pair of Ted Baker work pants.
Today, much of Brooks Brothers' pants range will appeal to many a corporate worker, with the essential colours of grey, black and navy all ticked off and available in various styles such as plain and pinstripes. Collections such as the BrooksCool line are made in Italy from 100% wool with stretch for ultra-lightweight, breathable, and both crease & water resistant work pants.
Suitsupply have a huge range of impeccably made work pants that can easily rival the more prestigious and expensive brands on the market. You even have the option to create your own trousers; you can choose everything from the fabric to the pant construction to the hem finishing. Custom made work pants at an affordable price? Yes, please!
All of Drake's work pants are made in Italy and are tailored with a mid-rise and a gentle taper below the knees, to create a graceful, flattering silhouette. Drake's has a huge range of work pants, and include many different styles and fabrics including pants with five-pockets or single pleats, and cotton, wool, or corduroy. Drake's also have a number of linen and linen-blend pants that are perfect for warmer days spent in the office.
Preppy outfitter J. Crew has just one pair of work pants in its repertoire: The Ludlow. A slim fit, and a great low-cost option that is updated every few years to remain on-trend, the Ludlow pant has been kicking about since 2008, remaining popular ever since. You can have the Ludlow work pant in almost any colour, and in either structured or unstructured variants, with the latter, naturally being a more casual option.
If you’re really feeling bold, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Paul Smith’s work pants. Not afraid to add pleats or crop the leg, the wide range of expertly crafted designer pants are available in playful and bold colours that'll make you stand out (in a good way, of course) at work.
Banana Republic's range of work pants are well-constructed and are available in flattering slim fits, in a range of classic, very office-appropriate colours, and both with and without pleats. Most are made with Italian wool for durability and comfort, and will keep you looking sharp during your daily grind.
The range of work pants that Uniqlo offer are simple; slim and regular fits, with just a little tailoring for structure. Available in timeless block colours, these work pants are the most affordable on this list, so if you need a bunch of work pants, or don't have a huge work pant budget, Uniqlo is the way to go, as while they are on the cheap side, they still look like a high-quality pant.