The 9 Best Women's Dress Pants of 2020

Find the perfect pair for your workweek wardrobe

This illustration shows a woman admiring the best dress pants for women in a department store.

Image by Colleen Tighe © The Balance

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Every woman needs a pair of dress pants. And if you work in an office, you probably need several pairs to rotate throughout the week. Flattering and super functional, the right dress pants can add an elegant and professional flair to any outfit. But with so many styles to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Think about the fit and style you want: Are you looking for a classic, structured pair of trousers, or are you more interested in the comfort of a stretch waistband? Do you have a tall or petite frame? Narrow or curvy?

Regardless of style, it’s important to choose pants that fit. Make sure that there are no creases or pouches of fabric across the front of the pants when you put them on. The former indicates your pants are too small (and may quickly steer into the realm of “office inappropriate”). The latter indicates they’re too large, which will look sloppy in more structured styles. Also, if you’re at your desk most of the day, choose a waist size that feels comfortable when you’re sitting. Unless the manufacturer indicates a sizing discrepancy, it probably isn't wise to gamble on a too-small waist — when in doubt, go a little larger. 

It’s also a good idea to consider your shoes when buying dress pants. Are you a flats person, or do you usually wear heels to the office? Different pants styles and hem lengths look better with different styles of shoes, so it helps to consider the kinds of outfits you normally wear and how these trousers will fit in with your current wardrobe.

With those things in mind, read on for our picks of the best women’s dress pants available online today. Be sure to also check out the best leggings for work

Best Overall: Anne Klein Flare Leg Suit Pants

Anne Klein Flare Leg Suit Pants
 Courtesy of Nordstrom

Every wardrobe needs at least one pair of classic dress pants that are versatile enough to suit (no pun intended) a variety of office settings. The Anne Klein Flare Leg Suit Pants are the perfect go-to, especially on days when you don’t want to put too much thought into your outfit, but you still want to look professional. These mid-rise pants are made from a lightweight woven blend that’s both comfortable and breathable, and the flat-front, flare-leg style elongates your figure and looks super polished. Add a blazer or suit jacket to instantly dress up for an important meeting, or wear them with a blouse for a more business casual look. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Gramercy Acclaimed Stretch Pants

Gramercy Acclaimed Stretch Pants
Courtesy of Nordstrom

The pintuck center seams on the front and back of these Gramercy pants highlight their sleek silhouette. They're made from a thick jersey material and have a hidden side zip that keeps the front of the pants looking streamlined and stylish. Plus, they're stretchy enough for all-day comfort.

The Gramercy Acclaimed Stretch Pants are available in nine different colors: black, cammello, ink, maple, nougat, olive, partridge, sand, and white, in sizes 0 to 18. These pants can be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. In terms of styling, they are best paired with a simple top that doesn’t clash with the clean lines.

Most Comfortable: Vince Cuffed Jogger Pants

Vince Cuffed Joggers

Jogger pants aren’t just suited for street style — you’ll be able to wear this cuffed pair from Vince in the office as well. The dress pants have a high-rise finish, giving the legs an elongated look. Additionally, the elasticized back waistband feels comfortable on the body and won’t be constraining for all-day wear at your desk. The subtle front pleats drape nicely and give the pants extra dimension, plus, they feel nice and loose on the legs. The cropped cuffs also give you a stylish appearance, as they allow you to flaunt your footwear. Best of all, the trendy style meets functionality with front pockets where you can store small items.  

Most Versatile: Red Hanger Bootcut Dress Pants for Women

The Red Hanger Bootcut Dress Pants are both stylish and comfortable, something most women are looking for in a pair of dress pants. These classically-styled, high-waisted pants aspire to fit women of all ages and body types and are designed to provide a comfortably wide leg without creating the dreaded gap in the pack of the pants. They have a pull-on, elasticized waist for comfort without sacrificing style: the bootcut leg elongates your silhouette and falls nicely around the ankle. Choose from 14 colors including black, brown, burgundy, charcoal, indigo, and navy. Sizes small to XXL are available. You can care for these best by hand washing in cold water and letting them air dry.

Best for Tall Women: NYDJ Stretch Knit Trousers

NYDJ Stretch Knit Trousers

A clean, slim fit is always fail-proof if you’re a tall woman. NYDJ’s stretch knit trousers have a high-rise waist that is perfect for those with long torsos, but they're also flattering and accommodating for those with long legs. Style-wise, their skinny design and black color make them versatile for both in and out of the office. They’re relatively comfortable, built with a waistband that sits at your navel. These chic pants also have a lift-tuck technology that holds your belly from within without feeling restrictive. Plus, washing them won’t require a trip to the dry cleaner’s or an expensive kit — you can throw them in your washing machine and put them on tumble dry afterward. According to the retailer, you’ll want to order one size down since they stretch with wear.

Best for Petite Women: Topshop High Waist Cigarette Trousers

Topshop High Waist Cigarette Trousers
Courtesy of Nordstrom

The Topshop High Waist Cigarette Trousers have a high waist and hems and are both comfortable and chic. These pants are a slightly trendier option than some other on this list, but they can easily be dressed up for the office by pairing them with a blouse or blazer (or both). They have a zip fly with button closure, front pockets, and faux back pockets for a sleeker silhouette. The creased crop legs are a very fashionable length and can be especially flattering on a shorter frame.

The Topshop High Waist Cigarette Trousers are easy on your wallet so you can look stylish at work without breaking the bank. According to the website, they tend to run large, so ordering a size down will help you achieve the best fit.

Best for Curves: Louben Straight Leg Pants

Louben Straight Leg Pants
Courtesy of Nordstrom

The Louben Straight Leg Pants come in sizes 14W to 22W and are available in both black and navy — two of the most useful pants colors for a work wardrobe. These mid-rise, straight-leg pants are made from a tasteful crepe fabric and tailored for a smooth, clean fit that's super easy to dress up and can be worn just about anywhere. The front is designed with a zip fly with hook-and-bar closure and the back of the waist includes a hidden elastic inset for added comfort and flexibility.

Runner-Up, Best for Curves: Rekucci Ease into Comfort Bootcut Pant (Plus Size)

These plus-size pants are designed with all the great features of Rekucci's original boot cut pants while adding a hidden tummy control panel and actual functioning pockets (a rarity on most dress pants). Plus, the waistband contains hidden extra-wide elastic for greater stretch and comfort as you put in a full day’s work. This barely-bootcut design is cut with a subtle flare that isn’t too dramatic or overwhelming.

Rekucci Ease into Comfort pants are available in sizes 14W to 24W in both regular and short, and 76 percent of reviewers say the pants fit exactly as expected. You can choose from 20 different colors including black, oatmeal, desert rose, and white. And if you want to move away from the plain black pants, there are even a few options for prints, like checkers and pinstripes. The price is reasonable enough that you can purchase a few pairs to add to your professional wardrobe.

Best Ankle Pants: Vince Camuto Ponte Ankle Pants

Vince Camuto Ponte Ankle Pants
Courtesy of Nordstrom

These ankle pants from Vince Camuto are a perfect combination of comfortable and professional. They're made from a ponte knit material, which means they're wonderfully stretchy without looking like it. They also have a slight high rise and are hemmed to a contemporary ankle length that’s flattering for a variety of body shapes and looks good with many different shoe styles. They come in black and dark heather grey and are available in sizes 00 to 14 in both regular and petite lengths.