You’ve got dress pants, we’ve got outfit ideas. And not just the same old dress pant outfits you’ve been assembling for years. First, start by taking stock of what you have. We recommend having a few great pairs of dress pants on hand. Think: A wide leg trouser, a skinny dress pant, one with a straight leg, a classic Editor pant and one with a kicked-out flare. You’ll also want to diversify your color palette. In addition to basic black, consider white and khaki dress pants, too. Now that you’ve got the basics covered, ahead are dress pant outfit ideas you’ll want to get into rotation, stat.
Wide Leg Trouser
1. Go with a fitted top. The exaggerated proportions of a wide leg trouser look excellent with something body-skimming on top, like a bodysuit or tight-fitting tee. If you want to add a blazer or denim jacket on top for warmth or modesty, go ahead. A scarf or a great necklace could also work.
2. Go one note. And by one note we mean one color. If you’ve got black wide leg trousers, try a black blouse, top or blazer. Same goes for white or for tan. The monochromatic look is both simple and dramatic, and looks immediately sophisticated. (Of course, you’ll want to select shoes in the same tone, too.)
3. Consider heels. Anyone who’s ever wished their legs were a little longer need just try a pair of wide leg dress pants and heels.You’ll want to make sure the hem of the pant falls just about at the center of the top of your foot, though, and not above the ankle. (Highwater pants and heels are a different look altogether.)
Skinny Dress Pant
1. Slip into something silkier. A soft shiny fabric like satin or silk can take a regular pair of skinny dress pants to a new level. Try a light-catching shirt in a contrasting shade, like ivory with black pants, or magenta with navy pants.
2. Go long. Long cardigan sweaters and dusters give weekday dress pants a cozy weekend vibe. We like one in a neutral shade like camel or tan, layered over a white tee shirt if you’re really kicking back, or a flouncy blouse for dressier days.
3. Break out a blazer. One needn’t wear a full-suited set to pull-off a professional ensemble. If you are going to pair a blazer with dress pants, be sure the color and fabric match as closely as possible. For instance, you wouldn’t want to pair black wool dress pants with a navy cotton blazer.
Editor Dress Pant
1. Suit up. A perfect bodysuit—either long-sleeved, short, or tank—is a pleasingly unexpected pairing with our classic Editor Pant. Add a belt to draw the eye to a nipped in waist, or a blazer for a dash of professionalism.
2. Dress down. An oversized hoodie, a bulky sweatshirt, or a slouchy tee gets a hint of upscale cool when paired with the clean lines of the Editor Pant. Throw on a fresh pair of white sneakers and you’re good to go.
3. Size up. Editor Pants have a near-perfect fit, and that’s by design. Which is why adding a piece to your ensemble that doesn’t fit quite as well, like say, an oversized sweater, a boyfriend blazer or a drapey tee, can be a stylish sartorial surprise.
Flared Dress Pant
1. Try a tuck. Flared pants are all about that kicked out, bell-shaped ankle. As such, you won’t want to distract with loose, drapey tops. Tuck your top when you’re wearing flared dress pants to make sure the best part of your outfit gets its due. Even a cropped cardigan sweater could look cute tucked into flared dress pants.
2. Boxy is best. A cropped, boxy t-shirt has a vintage appeal when paired with your favorite flared dress pants. You’ll want one that hangs loosely from your shoulders, and hits just at your hip bone. (Depending on the rise of your pants, you could tuck the tee, too.)
3. Pick a print. Sometimes, the overall heft of a pair of flared dress pants can be overwhelming if your top is the same color. (This is especially true for those with a shorter stature.) Instead, opt for a printed or patterned top, like stripes or dots, which can help break up the look.
Straight Leg Dress Pant
1. Layer up. Straight leg dress pants are some of the simplest and most straightforward pants in your wardrobe. That means you can feel free to do a little more with your outfit without feeling like you’re going overboard. Now’s the time to try a lace-trimmed cami and your favorite boyfriend blazer. Or a soft sweater over a blouse with a floppy bow. The two pieces will never compete as a straight leg dress pant is an ideal outfit wingman.
2. More is more. To that end, now’s the time to try shirts with extras. Have a peplum top you’ve been dying to try? Your straight leg dress pants are the perfect companion. Have a shirt with embroidery or ruching, a loud print, or an interesting cut-out? Now’s the time.
3. Raid your coat closet. On days when you’re running errands or attending a handful of meetings, what you wear on the outside counts. That’s why a long dress coat works so well with straight leg dress pants. Try it with flat Chelsea boots for a downtown cool vibe.