Workwear pants! As we’ve been talking about business casual style, I have been building my own little business casual capsule so that I actually have proper pieces to show you workwear looks. As a result, I tried on a bunch of pants for work and want to review them for you today!
In case you missed it, read the post What Is Business Casual Style? to lay the groundwork.
SIZING INFO: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or size 6.
Old Navy Pants
Note that most of these come in regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes! Regular, petite, and tall are listed together. Plus sizes are listed separately. But YAYYYYY for an array of sizes!
EDIT: Several commenters below said Old Navy pants faded upon washing. Something to keep in mind!
Old Navy Pixie Ankle Pants – size 6
I’ll start off strong saying these were my favorite of the bunch! They are a great middle ground for workwear pants that are not too dressy but not too casual. In black, you can’t really tell them apart from dressier black slacks. However, in other colors you may be able to tell the difference more. In other words, if you need more professional pants for work, these would be great in black but perhaps not great in other colors.
The pockets are NOT super angled–YESSSS! Pockets on pants always flare out with my wider hips. These pockets don’t, though! There is a good amount of stretch to them, so they are pretty comfy! They’re not crazy thick but not terribly thin–good for the price point. I think the rise is between 9-9.5″.
I wear these in size 6. They come in tons of colors, and colors change every season. Check them out HERE.
Old Navy Harper – size 4
Here’s a straight legged pair, which is important during fall/winter when you want to wear boots to work. (Tricky to wear boots/booties with ankle pants sometimes.) I’m 5’6” and these were a little short for heels on me, but there is an extra inch of material that you could let out.
The material is smoother than the Pixie pants, but they are also a little thinner. They have slanted pockets, and I’m concerned that once I take out the seam, the pockets will flap out awkwardly given my wider hips.
I thought these made a pretty flattering leg line though! Unfortunately for me they were a bit too tight in the waist and thighs for me in size 4, but I had tried size 6 close to when I had started FASTer Way to Fat Loss, and that was too big for me even then.
These are on the thinner side and though sizing didn’t work for me, these are still worth trying for an inexpensive pair of flattering straight leg pants. Maybe your luck will be better than mine!
Come in navy and black HERE.
Old Navy Pixie Sculpt – size 6
These Pixies are the “Sculpt” kind, so they are basically like VERY thick leggings. They are extremely stretchy in the legs with a stretchy waistband, except with buttons and a zipper.
The ankles are super skinny which basically gives the effect of skinny jeans and is easier to pair with ankle booties. The pockets are NOT super angled, so they shouldn’t flap out on ya!
Comes in 3 colors HERE.
Mid-Rise Bootcut Khakis – size 6
Bootcut khakis! Again, helpful for winter and fall when you want to wear boots or booties to stay warm, and for those who just don’t like skinny cuts.
These have a decent amount of stretch, and they are long enough for me to wear with heels which is necessary with bootcut pants! The pockets are slanted, but they weren’t closed up and don’t seem to be sticking out on me.
This material is khaki, which is usually more on the casual end. In black you can’t really tell it’s khaki, however the color is *slightly* faded which would keep it from having that sharper professional look. Just things to keep in mind. Would be better for a more casual or middle level of business casual.
They come in 5 colors HERE!
J.Crew Factory Pants
JCF Winnie Pants – size 6
These Winnie pants from J.Crew Factory are similar to Old Navy Pixie ankle pants, but personally I like the ON Pixies better. I really liked these in the green color I got a few months ago, but for some reason when I tried these in the other colors this time around, they seemed really different.
These have decent stretch to them, but they’re thinner than ON Pixies. The material is in the same casual-to-middle-ground like Pixies. But again, you can’t really tell in black but can see more of a difference in other colors. They have a side zipper and don’t have front pockets at all. The most notable thing is that I felt they ran pretty short, and specifically the proportion of length below the knee seemed kind of awkward for me.
However, tons of people love these. Like ON Pixies, different colors are available depending on the season. Personally, I like the ON Pixies better as they’re thicker, have front pockets, look better in terms of length, and overall just fit me better. But if those don’t work for you, try these.
These do stretch out a bit upon a few hours of wear, so be sure to do the 3 hour stretch test.
They come in many different colors, depending on the season. See them all HERE.
JCF Effortless Slim Crop – size 4
These are smoother material than the Winnie pants above, so they look a little dressier. They are also slightly thicker. Good amount of stretch in the legs, from what I recall.
The rise is higher than Pixies–10” as opposed to a 9-9.5” rise on Pixies (I’m estimating on the latter). The pockets are angled. They were slightly tight on me yet were a tad looser around the knees than ON Pixies.
One note–all of these are the wrong size on me! I tried size 4 and only learned after reviewing these that I needed size 2. Never in a million years did I think I’d fit size 2 pants, and though I did lose some weight thanks to FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I think size 2 is absurd and these just run really large. Especially when I’m still size 6 in the Old Navy and J.Crew Factory pants!
Though these don’t fit me very well, I can speak to material and other features.
Overall, the material in LOFT pants are noticeably better than Old Navy and J.Crew Factory which makes complete sense based on each brand’s reputation and price points. If you need more polish or more professional looking outfits, pants in this material would be better than ON or JCF, especially in colors other than black. But if you want to stay more in the middle or relaxed (ie not be too dressy), Old Navy and JCF are great.
LOFT Julie Trouser – size 4, need size 2
Again, wrong size and therefore bad fit, but the material is great. Thicker than ON and JCF. The pockets are horizontal and super super super short, but at least they won’t flare out on wider hips. As far as length, I’m wearing heels and the pants barely skim the floor.
These come in regular, petite, tall, and plus. See them all HERE!
LOFT Julie Skinny Ankle – size 4, size 2 below
These are the same pants as I tried in navy, except the navy pair was Marissa cut in size 2. These are Julie cut in size 4 and they’re a little roomy in the waist and not as fitted in the legs. The material is great–thick and stretchy. Size 2 definitely fits my legs better.
For comparison, here is the navy pair in Marissa size 2 from my other LOFT try-on:
Turns out they look much better when they’re the right size! 😛 In size 2 the waist was a tad tight on me mid-day after eating a lot but fit fine in the morning. Those darn food-babies! 😂
These come in regular and petite, and in the Marisa cut or Julie cut (for curvier figures). See them HERE.
LOFT Plaid Julie Trouser – size 4, need size 2
This plaid pair is so cute and I know it’d look even better were it the right size! The legs are very soft, and the material is thick and smooth. This one also has those tiny little pockets which are not very useful but at least your pockets won’t flap out. Plaid pants are a great way to mix up your workwear. Pair them with any solid colored top or sweater, and if you want even more visual interest, choose a solid top or sweater that has interesting details like lace, cutouts, ruffles, etc.
Overall, I felt LOFT’s pants were the most professional looking. Old Navy’s Ankle Pixies were still my favorite in terms of fit and comfort, and they’re more affordable. However, the potential fading is worrisome! Sounds like it might be worth it to pay a little extra for LOFT’s pants.
A lot of people mentioned their favorite work pants were from Gap. I had already ordered these before hearing that, but if Old Navy and LOFT don’t work for you, try Gap!