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For most of us, there’s a distinct divide between our work wardrobe, and our ‘life’ wardrobe… which is composed almost entirely of comfy sweatpants (and even comfier sweaters). Because when you’ve worn tight, fitted, possibly very uncomfortable or restrictive clothes all week, the first thing you want to do is slip into something super-cozy when you get home. But what if the dream was possible — all the comfort of sweatpants, with the smart aesthetic of work attire? We took a deep dive, and discovered that with some savvy accessorizing, well-chosen fabrics, and smart tailoring, there are more than a few sweatpants-inspired pants you can get away with in the office.
PALAZZO CASUAL WIDE LEG PANTS
Proving the trend for wide-legged, palazzo-style pants is well and truly going nowhere are these striped beauties. With a gorgeous high waist and pockets, for, y’know, actual functionality, these pants will see you through a sleepy Monday, and looking sharp whilst you’re at it. As well as white and grey, these are available in navy and white, for a more nautical vibe.
Sumen Women’s Palazzo Work Pants, $10 at Amazon.
HIGH WAIST STRAIGHT LEG CAPRI PANTS
These army-green pants will go with almost anything, from a casual tee, to a silky blouse, which make them an essential staple of your smart but comfy wardrobe. Featuring a straight leg for a sleek silhouette, these cut off mid-calf for a summery look, and will easily pair with your favourite sandals, wedges or even comfy heels for a smart-casual day in the office. They’re also available in black, for those happier in seriously neutral, neutrals. Just be sure to hand wash, or stick in a cold wash for longevity. They’re also under $9 bucks, so you can’t really lose.
Sumen High Waist Straight Leg Capri Pants, $9 at Amazon.
COTTON LINEN BEACH PANTS
On those hot, stuffy summer days, these are the type of pants we live for. With a high waist, and good tailoring, they look smart enough for meetings, and being made of cotton and linen, are hella breathable. In fact, if you were to find yourself at a summery locale apres-work, you might not even have to change. As with more delicate fabrics, these are best to wash with cold water for durability.
Sumen High Waist Cotton Linen Beach Pants, $14 at Amazon.
LOOSE COTTON CROPPED WIDE LEG PANTS
These classic pants are perfect for any wardrobe – work, home, play or beyond. They’re loose enough to allow for movement, and being 100 per cent cotton – and if you follow the care instructions – these should last a good long while. In keeping with the trend for wide leg pants, these’ll see you through a regular work day (and with an elasticated waistband, through a slightly overindulgent lunch too). Think pairing them with a simple white tee, a bright lip, and fabulous accessories to dress up, or simple flats and an oversized shirt for dressing down. And with pockets, too? We’re all in.
Eccuper Loose Cotton Cropped Wide Leg Pants, from $34 at Amazon.
If you’re after a minimum effort, maximum impact office look, these printed pants might just be the ticket. They have pockets – hallelujah – and come in plain colours too for those that prefer their trousers printless. These will go beautifully with some smart brogues, dressy sneakers, or even block heels. Throw in some smartly placed gold jewellery, and you’ll be all set, but with all the comfort of the couch.
Mordenmiss Women’s Casual Corduroy Pant w/Unique Pockets, from $45 at Amazon.
PAPER BAG WAIST JOGGER
These faux-denim paper bag style pants are sure to have you feeling like you’re working from home. Low-slung, and with generous pockets, these joggers are made of tencel, a responsibly-sourced, super soft and lightweight fabric. With a tapered ankle and drawstring for the waist, it doesn’t have as much room for movement as compared to a wide legged fit, but what it lacks in spaciousness, it makes up for in comfort, quality, and style. Just be sure to machine wash cold, and hang to dry when you’re done.
Suko Jeans Paper Bag Waist Joggers, $20 at Amazon.