6 Slacks for Work: A Comparison Across Different Price Points

Most Comfortable Slacks for Work: Comparing 6 Brands at Different Prices

Comparing 6 Slacks for Work

Since I’ve been trying to provide more business casual outfits for you, I’ve developed a little workwear section in my closet.  (One that I otherwise have no need for.😜)  Through that, I’ve tried a number of pants from various brands and price points, and I thought it might be interesting to compare some side by side!  I’ll tell you which ones are the most comfortable slacks for work, what size ranges or color options they come in, and talk through the differences between pants at different price points.

I’ve got pants from 6 different brands to share today.  I know there are great pants from other retailers, but for today I’m just comparing the pants I already have on hand rather than ordering and trying a ton of new stuff.  Since there’s so much info to share, I’ll write a bullet point list with quick notes for each pair of pants.  My categories are:

  • Stretchiness – You guys know I love comfy clothes.😄
  • Softness – Are they itchy, buttery, or smooth?
  • Stretchy Waistband?
  • Thickness/Thinness of Material – Usually thicker conceals lumps better.  It tends to look more polished, too.
  • Breathability – How suffocated my legs feel in them 😅 Spoiler alert, less expensive pairs generally feel more suffocating while more expensive pairs breathe better, regardless of how thick or thin the material is.
  • Dressiness Level – If they are better suited for more relaxed environments, or if they look sharper, more expensive, and more polished.
  • Fit of Legs – How skinny or fitted the legs are
  • Hold Shape – Do they retain their original shape well, or do they get baggy and saggy and start to look sloppy?
  • Size Range – Which size groupings are available
  • Color Options
  • Price

In regards to Dressiness Level, in the Starter Kit Wardrobe Guides I describe three levels of dressiness that are all considered “business casual” by different employers.  I call them Relaxed Business Casual (Level 1, the most casual of the three), Business Casual (Level 2, the middle level), and Elevated Business Casual (Level 3, more polished, leaning towards Business Professional).  I might use those terms in today’s post to describe some of these pants.

P.S. I’m using the term “slacks” loosely.  Some of these might actually be trousers–honestly, I don’t know. 😜

SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.

 

business casual + leopard print top + black pants + black heels + maroon tote business casual + black pants + leopard print top + black heels + maroon tote

Vince Camuto Pants
I’ll start with these Vince Camuto pants that were part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  A bunch of you got them, and I loved receiving messages from all of you gushing over how much you love them!  These are $89 which is one of the most expensive of all of today’s pants, but for good reason.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Stretchy: EXTREMELY
  • Soft: Extremely.  Feels buttery!
  • Stretchy Waistband: Yep
  • Thick/Thin: thicker material
  • Breathability: Great, even though the material is thick.
  • Dressiness Level: Looks expensive and very polished.  Great for dressier and mid-level dressiness.
  • Fit of Legs: Legs are fitted but not super skinny.
  • Hold Shape: Yes
  • Size Range: Regular & Petite for this exact pair.  Plus in OTHER Vince Camuto pants HERE, but I’m not sure they’re as thick or stretchy, etc. as these.
  • Color Options: black HERE, dark grey HERE
  • Price: $89

These feel absolutely AMAZING.  They also look expensive, sharp, and polished–how you’d want to look if you had to command a room in a workplace!

Now, of course, not all pants fit everyone the same, and these may not work for you.  But at least in terms of quality and how these feel and look, all of that is 👌🏼.

One note is the legs are fitted but not super skinny.  Many of you might prefer that, but sometimes I personally prefer a skinnier fit, especially if I wear something with more volume on top.  Also, these MIGHT be harder to dress down for more relaxed business casual looks.  Check them out in black HERE and dark grey HERE in regular and petite lengths.  I wear size 4 as these run large.  Vince Camuto offers plus sized options, but not for this exact pair of pants.  They may not be as thick or stretchy, etc. but give them a shot since Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-wearing size M)
Pants: Nordstrom (exact-wearing size 4)
Bag: Sole Society (similar)
Shoes: H&M (similar)

Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (similar-wearing size M)
Necklace: Dear Mushka (exact)

 

Liverpool Los Angeles Kelsey Knit Trouser Super Stretch Ponte
I’ve tried two different trousers from here, a plaid pair and the maroon pair above.  While the plaid pair was pretty comfortable, they paled in comparison to this Kelsey pair.  This Kelsey trouser fits and feels basically just like the Vince Camuto pants above, but they come in more sizes and colors.

  • Stretchy: EXTREMELY
  • Soft: Extremely.  Feels buttery.
  • Stretchy Waistband: Yep
  • Thick/Thin: thicker material
  • Breathability: great, even though the material is thick
  • Dressiness Level: Looks expensive and very polished.
  • Fit of Legs: Legs are fitted but not super skinny.
  • Hold Shape: Yes
  • Size Range: Regular, Petite, Plus
  • Color Options: black, maroon, navy, sometimes other colors depending on the season
  • Price: $89

These pants feel fantastic!  See all the colors HERE in regular lengthPetite HEREPlus HERE.  Remember, it’s gotta say “Super Stretch Ponte” for it to be the thick, soft, buttery ones!

Shop The Outfit
Top: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Pants: Liverpool (exact– wearing size 2; more colors HERE)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Shoes: Nordstrom (exact – wearing size 8.5)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)

 

business casual + navy and white floral top + navy pants + maroon pumps + maroon purse business casual + navy pants + navy and white floral top + maroon pumps + maroon purse navy pants + business casual + navy and white floral top + maroon pumps + maroon purse

LOFT Skinny Ankle Pants
LOFT is a trusted place for trousers that are in the mid-tier to more affordable price range during one of LOFT’s many 40-50% off sales.  (Be sure to wait for a sale!  I almost never buy anything full price there.)

  • Stretchy: some stretch to them
  • Soft: Material is smooth and feels fairly good against your skin.  But the overall structure feels kind of stiff, especially around the waist because…to the next point below…
  • Stretchy Waistband: No 😭
  • Thick/Thin: medium thickness
  • Breathability: Decently breathable
  • Dressiness Level: Level 2, could be Level 3 depending on what you pair it with.
  • Fit of Legs: Fairly skinny fit
  • Hold Shape: Mostly, yes
  • Size Range: Regular, Petite, Plus, Tall.  See them all HERE.
  • Color Options:
  • Price: $69.50 but often on sale for 40-50% off making them around $35-$41.

While these don’t feel luxurious the way the two pairs above do, these are a more affordable option when on sale, and they still feel pretty good and look polished.  The one thing I don’t love is that the waistband has little to no stretch.  Whyyyyy? 😭 But even without a stretchy waistband, they’re still good enough to have a place in my closet.  I wear size 4.  Find them HERE.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Amazon (exact-wearing size 6)
Pants: LOFT (exact–size 4)
Bag: Sole Society (similar)
Shoes: c/o Naturalizer (similar)

Necklace: Dear Mushka (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (similar-wearing size M)

 

business casual: grey and white blazer + white blouse + black pants + black flats + maroon pursebusiness casual: grey and white blazer + white blouse + black pants + black flats + maroon purse business casual: grey and white blazer + white blouse + black pants + black flats + maroon purse

Old Navy Pixie Ankle Pants
I’ve mentioned Old Navy Pixie Pants several times as an affordable option that comes in many colors, prints, and size ranges.  The breakdown:

  • Stretchy: yes
  • Soft: Kind of, but also kind of not.  They’re soft in the sense that they’re really flexible.  But they’re not soft in the sense that they kind of feel scratchy, especially compared to the Vince Camuto or Liverpool pairs which feel like butter.
  • Stretchy Waistband: Somewhat, yes.
  • Thick/Thin: thin
  • Breathability: Not great. Even though the material is thin, my legs feel kind of suffocated, especially compared to the previous pairs.
  • Dressiness Level: Level 1 or Level 2 in most colors as the texture and colors make them feel more relaxed, less corporate, and friendlier…? if that makes sense.  The exception is black which hides the texture of the material better and can be dressed up to an Elevated Business Casual look with a black blazer.
  • Fit of Legs: skinny fit
  • Hold Shape: Loosen up after a few hours, most noticeably around the knees.
  • Size Range: Regular, Petite, Plus, Tall
  • Color Options: Lots of colors and LOTS of prints
  • Price: $34.99 regular price.  Much cheaper on sale, around anywhere from $20-$25.

Above I showed the Pixie Ankle Pants in black, looking sharp with a super comfy plaid knit blazer.  That thing feels like a sweatshirt, BTW!  It runs huge–I’m wearing XS and it’s still large on me.  Comes in regular, tall, and petite HERE.

I also showed the pants in teal and red.  The thinness of the material shows a little bit more in those colors.

I like these if you need a more affordable option, need more sizing options, or want to add more patterns and prints.  Or, if you want slacks that feel less corporate and can be dressed down for a more relaxed environment.  But, if you want outfits that are crisper and more polished, or if you want pants that are breathable or feel better against your skin, I’d recommend one of the previous three pairs.  I’m usually size 6 in these.  See color options for regular, petite, and tall HERE and a million prints HEREPlus size options HERE.

Shop The Outfit
White Top: Nordstrom (exact-wearing size M)
Plaid Blazer: Old Navy (exact-wearing size XS)
Black Blazer: Old Navy (similar)

Pants: Old Navy (exact-wearing size 6, a billion prints HERE)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Grey Tote: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Black Pumps: H&M (similar)
Leopard Pumps: Nordstrom (exact – wearing size 8.5)
Nude Pumps: Target (similar)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact-wearing size M)

 

business casual + green slacks + mustard sweater + checkered shirt + maroon pumps + maroon purse mustard yellow sweater + green slacks + checkered shirt + maroon pumps + maroon purse + business casual

J.Crew Factory Winnie Pants
These feel similar to Old Navy pants IMO, except they they have a higher rise and no button or zipper in the front–just a zipper on the side. They’re expensive at full price, but I almost never pay full price for J.Crew Factory since they run 40-50% off sales regularly.  Just a note that I don’t have these pants anymore as they became too loose for me after FASTer Way to Fat Loss, so I’m doing this based off memory and not having worn them much (since I don’t actually regularly wear business casual outfits).  I LOVED the color, so it’s a bummer they don’t fit anymore.

  • Stretchy: yes
  • Soft: Kind of, but also kind of not.  They’re soft in the sense that they’re really flexible, but the material isn’t smooth or luxurious feeling.
  • Stretchy Waistband: can’t remember
  • Thick/Thin: thin
  • Breathability: Can’t remember for sure, but I’m guessing they’re kind of like Old Navy pants.
  • Dressiness Level: Level 2, could dress down to Level 1.
  • Fit of Legs: skinny
  • Hold Shape: Loosen up after a few hours, most noticeably around the knees.
  • Size Range: Reg length sizes 00-24.  Petite length sizes 00-8.
  • Color Options: Varies depending on season
  • Price: $69.50 regular price, around $35-ish during sales.

Shop The Outfit
Top: c/o J.Crew Factory (similar)
Sweater: c/o J.Crew Factory (exact-wearing size S)
Pants: c/o J.Crew Factory (exact–size 6)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Shoes: c/o Naturalizer (similar)
Necklace: c/o J.Crew Factory (exact)

 

 

Target A New Day Skinny High Rise Ankle Pants
Okay, first…oops, the shoes.  I meant to shoot these with a leopard print flat or darker nude pump but forgot to bring either of those when we shot this outfit.  I just ended up using what I had that day.  Ah well, this is about the pants, so here’s the breakdown:

  • Stretchy: Some stretch but not a whole lot.
  • Soft: Yes, in the sense that they’re flexible and not stiff.  But they’re kind of itchy.
  • Stretchy Waistband:
  • Thick/Thin: thin
  • Breathability: Not great. Even though the material is thin, my legs feel kind of suffocated.
  • Dressiness Level: Level 2 or Level 1 (because they get loose and do not look polished with really baggy knees)
  • Fit of Legs: Fitted through hips and thighs, then straighter from calf down
  • Hold Shape: Loosen up after a few hours, most noticeably around the knees.
  • Size Range: 0 to 18
  • Color Options: Grey, Black, Navy
  • Price: $24.99

I LOVE the color of these pants, which is the main reason I have them in my closet.  I had a pair from LOFT that were this color but they became too big for me after doing FASTer Way to Fat Loss and have never come back in stock.😭 This is my temporary pair until I find something better quality.  That said, these are a fine pair if you are just starting out, need a budget-friendly pair, and don’t need Elevated Business Casual looks.  I would just definitely do the 3 Hour Stretch Test to see HOW baggy they get on you as they may be baggier for some but not so bad for others.  But, if I could find a pair of pants in this color from elsewhere like LOFT, Nordstrom, or Liverpool, I would definitely trade these for those instead.  These have 300+ reviews and 4+ stars, but I think there are better pants out there, both in the same price range and slightly more expensive.  Read the reviews HERE.

Shop the Outfit
Top: LOFT (similar, similar)

Pants: Target (exact–size 6)
Shoes: c/o Macy’s (exact-wearing size 8.5)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)
Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)

In general, it seems that get what you pay for with pants.  (Though of course price is not always the best or only indicator.  We all know you can get some great pieces for much less!)  The ones from Old Navy, J.Crew Factory, and Target, which can all easily be found in the $25-$35ish price range thanks to regular sales, are all noticeably thinner and less breathable.  LOFT is a great middle tier that, when on sale, is only around $10 more than that tier–or even sometimes the same price as J.Crew Factory on sale–and feels thicker, more breathable, and looks better quality.  Both the Nordstrom and Liverpool pairs at $89 each blow the other pants out of the water in terms of comfort, quality, and feel.  If for some weird reason I had to sleep in either of those pairs of pants, I would honestly not mind AT ALL because they are THAT comfy! 😆

I know there are tons more pants out there.  Share your VERY FAVORITE pairs in the comments below to help others in search of pants for work!  

 


Starter Kit Wardrobe Guides Casual and Business Casual
Need help with a wardrobe and don’t know where to start? Check out PMT Starter Kit Wardrobe Guides!  They give you a simpler plan for building wardrobes from scratch, starting with just 9 pieces that become 9-15 outfits, then helping you identify which kinds of pieces to focus on next.  You’ll end up with about 15 pieces that become 30+ outfits!  We’ve got guides to help you put together workwear or casual wardrobes from scratch, so read all about them HERE.

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