They say that the one who wears the pants makes the rules. Well, times have changed tremendously from those simple, cut-and-dry days, and if you weren’t wearing pants in public you’d probably get arrested anyway. Potential legal problems aside, having a streamlined, versatile pant arsenal is not only a great way to keep you covered both literally and figuratively for all style scenarios, but also the easiest way to keep your decision-making process quick and easy. So let’s take a hard look at your closet and get your lineup dialed it.
1. Dress Pants
The right pair of dress pants are an invaluable dressy option. They can be dressed up with a sharp blazer and tie for dressy occasions where you want to give your suit a break, or can be the perfect go-to in more casual offices. They’re also going to give you the ability to transition from the office to your evening plans without skipping much of a beat. It also helps to consider the fabric. For the warmer months, go for lighter wools, blends, and crisp cotton as the temperatures rise. Do remember, though, to keep the look and fit as simple as possible. Don’t get sucked in by pleats, experimental cuffs, or tight fits that might make you feel uncomfortable.
Go-To Look: Dark patterned dress pants, white/blue shirt, navy blazer, burgundy or navy tie.
2. Dark Denim
As the war between dressy and casual work environments rages on, there’s one power player that’s still the anchor of your wardrobe: dark denim jeans. Week or weekend, a crisp pair of dark denim is always going to be there for you. By keeping them dark you’re increasing their dressiness and they’ll take to a blazer and a tie just as easily as they will a t-shirt and your favorite sneakers. Whatever vibe you go with, selvedge, with some stretch, indigo, blue or black, just make sure they maintain a comfortable, yet fitted, look. Even though they’re denim, you’re still on the clock (even when you’re off it).
Go-To Look: Indigo selvedge denim, grey patterned blazer, oxford, knit tie
3. Basic Chinos
Is there anything a great pair (or three) of chinos can’t do? Just as versatile and useful as a great pair of denim, a fire chino game is easy to pull off and stylish. Get the big three colors dialed in first (tan, navy, grey) then focus on the next step. When looking for the right fit, keep your body type squarely in mind, while opting for something that fits like your dark denim, but has a taper similar to your dress trousers. Cuff or no cuff, it’s up to you but just make sure the length is proper. Nothing is going to make you look like a corporate drone quicker than an oversized pair that’s too long.
Go-To Look: Navy chinos, grey sweater, print or patterned shirt, blazer or overcoat
4. Bold Chinos
There are times when the corporate blues and greys just aren’t going to cut it, and you want to sport something with a more contemporary hue. Colors like olive, dark green, or burgundy will have you standing out in just the right way and are a super stylish next move when you’ve got the basics mastered. Pair up the colors just as you would more basic hues, and keep things simple, the bolder colors will do all the talking.
Go-To Look: Burgundy chinos, blue and white patterned shirt, grey blazer or sweater
To Sweatpant or Not To Sweatpant?
Tough call these days. They’re definitely everywhere and can be a sweet advanced move to mix up the rotation. But, we say proceed with caution. If you insist on a pair, keep them slim, soft, and reserved strictly for the after hours and weekends. Keep the remainder of the look casual and don’t try too hard. They’re sweatpants afterall.
Go-To Look: Grey patterned sweatpants, white sneakers, simple t-shirt, navy sweater or overcoat