With pants out about town in the streets, during the spring and summer, and for nightlife, anything goes. You can get away with any prints, fabrics, cuts, and more. But when it comes to the pants you wear to work, there are some elements that have to be addressed in order for you to make and maintain the right impression.

Workpants are meant to be both stylish and resilient, and they also need to be versatile enough to go with anything you can throw at them, year after year. So what kinds of cuts and colors can you depend on to get the job done right?

picking the right workpants

Choose Wool and/or Cotton Blends for your Workpants

You need slacks, trousers, and pantsuit bottoms that do well at the cleaners, but you also need backup pairs that will fare just as well at home if you have a budget crisis and can’t make it to the cleaners or a time crunch that keeps you from getting back to the cleaners in time for that early morning conference.

Wool blends for the cleaners, cotton blends to be handled at home. Naturally, we don’t have to tell you to follow the instructions on the label when you care for your workpants at home… shrinking and color bleeding in the dryer can be disastrous, especially if you dropped a lot of coin on those sweet slacks. If you purchased black slacks, you want to keep them that way—follow the instructions and all will be right with your work world.

When you find the right fit, buy it in every color

This might sound a little nuts, but good, quality workpants that look good on a given body type can be very hard to find. Whether your issue is having short legs, long legs, a short or long torso, or an issue of being a size zero or plus size, if you see a great flat front pair of pants and they happen to have them in black, navy, khaki, and other office appropriate colors in your size, scoop every last one of them up.

If they are quality pants, this is an absolute must. You won’t regret it because even when/if you change workplaces, you’ll have pants that work with your body type. There’s nothing like slipping into a pair of pants and thinking, “I wish they had a hundred colors of these!”—If you’re lucky enough to have this happen, go for the gold and get them all.

Hem or Otherwise Alter to make them Last

Sometimes you find the absolute perfect pair of pants—they’re the right blend, the right color, they’ll go perfectly with your collection of tops and shoes… but they are just too long. If you have stumbled upon quality pants and especially if you have found them at a good price, buy them and have them hemmed instead of saying no. In addition, if you have gained or lost weight, you can generally have a quality pair of workpants taken in or let out an inch or two.

When you have spent a decent amount of money on a pair of career-making slacks, there’s no reason to have them hiding in the back of the closet because you gained or lost 10-15 pounds. Real, high quality workpants are so much a staple that we as an entire working culture complain about never being able to find the perfect pair. If you have them on your hands and just need an extra inch or two taken in or added on, your local alterations shop can do this at a price that will bring your workpants back to life.

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