The Best Work Pants for Every Body Type

Work pants are kind of the worst but also kind of the best. The worst because it’s really hard to find the right pair for your figure. (Trust us: We’ve tried every color, crop and pleat.) But once you find that perfect pair, they’re the best because you can literally wear them with every sweater, blouse and jacket until they fall apart. Here are a few tips for shopping the most flattering silhouettes for your body.

How to Wear a Suit and Not Bore Yourself to Tears

If You're Petite...try Straight-legged Crops

Want to fake miles-long legs? Wear shorter pants. These should hit just above your ankle to draw the eye to the flash of skin. Since you’re not likely to find the perfect length right off the rack, expect to take these babies to your tailor to get the perfect fit. We promise, if you go with a neutral color and sturdy fabric, you’ll wear them constantly.

Get the look: Banana Republic ($98); Everlane ($115); J.Crew ($158)

work pants tall
Melody Jeng/Getty Images

If You're Tall...try Culottes

Tall gals are well aware that almost every pair of regular-length pants ends up looking cropped on a longer frame. That’s why culottes are perfect—they’re supposed to be shorter. Plus, where unintentionally short pants look awkward with heels, culottes look amazing with a showstopping pump.

Get the look: 1.State ($79); Michael Stars ($108); Ayr ($285)

If You're Apple-shaped...try High-waisted Skinny Pants

Many apple-shaped gals are blessed with slender legs, making them the perfect candidates for skinny pants. Where the waist is concerned, look for a rise that hits your narrowest point and smoothes everything out. Et voilà: the perfect pair.

Get the look: LOFT ($70); Eloquii ($80); 1.State ($99)

If You're Pear-shaped...try Wide-legged Pants

For gals with small upper bodies and larger lower bodies, it’s all about balance. Here, the trick is to choose pants that are more voluminous at the bottom, which plays nicely with wider hips and backsides. As with hourglasses, look for pairs that sit at the smallest part of your waist and don’t be afraid to tuck, tuck.

Get the look: Catherine Catherine Malandrino ($78); Nic + Zoe ($118); Vince ($207)

If You're An Hourglass...try Something With A Tie-waist

Well, look at you and your perfect proportions. Highlight your small middle with pants that have some sort of detail—like a paper-bag tie—at the waist. The hem is pretty much up to you (straighter crops look just as great on hourglass ladies as wider legs), but whatever you do, tuck in your top to maximize your trousers’ waist-flaunting powers.

Get the look: Avec Les Filles ($68); Rachel Rachel Roy ($99); York Street ($162)

If You're Boyish...try Cuffed Trousers

If creating the illusion of curves is your goal, choose pants with pleats (which give your lower body some shape) and any details, like cuffs, that draw the eye to your ankles. It sounds weird, but cuffed or tapered trousers fill out your hips and make it look like you’re less straight up and down.

Get the look: Mango ($80); Tibi ($350); 3.1 Phillip Lim ($395)