How to Wear Colored Pants to Work

colored pantsAre you tired of the repeatedly wearing your black, navy and grey pants to work?  Are you craving something new but don’t want to look like a clown?  Summer is the perfect time to consider colored pants as an alternative.  Not only are they more widely available in the stores, hot weather and color go hand-in-hand.

How to Wear Colored Pants to Work

If you’re still concerned about abandoning our stalwart neutral bottoms for colorful ones, I am giving my tips on how to wear colored pants to work in  sophisticated ways.

#1- Wear neutrals on top

colored pants

To tone down the brightness of a pair of colored pants, imagine flipping an outfit upside down by wearing the color on the bottom, not the top.  Colored pants can be quite helpful in cases where you have black or navy tops and blazers that you don’t know with what to wear them.

In the outfit above, I styled these green pants from J. Crew with an ivory summer blazer from Lafayette 148, a basic navy t-shirt and finished the look with a pair of navy heeled work sandals from Halogen, a cognac bag from Madewell, navy drop earrings from Talbot’s and necklace from Nordstrom.

#2- Pick up the color of the pants in the print

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Another way to wear colored pants to work is to wear them with prints that pick up the color of the pants you are wearing.  Doing this creates a cohesive look without going overboard with color.  Typically, these prints work best when they are on a neutral ground.

In the outfit above, I styled these coral pants from Banana Republic with a printed top from L.K. Bennett which picks up the shade of the pants.  Finishing the outfit, I added this summer weight scarf in blue from Nordstrom, which is another color found in the print, and styled the look with grey flats from Marc Fisher, a Rebecca Minkoff bag and silver earrings from Madewell.   With all the color in this look, I kept the accessories neutral.

#3- Choose bottom friendly colors

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There is color and then there is COLOR.  If you can’t fathom wearing colored pants but find yourself craving some variety, there are colors you can wear without going overboard.  Shades like burgundy, deep plum, deep greens are much more understated.

In the outfit above, I styled these spruce green cropped pants from L.K. Bennett with a short sleeve sweater from BOSS Hugo Boss, a pair of leopard d’orsay pumps from Sam Edelman, yellow bag from Tory Burch and statement necklace from Bauble Bar.

Don’t be afraid to try adding colored pants to your wardrobe.  There are plenty of ways to do it that won’t look clown-like.  With these tips you’ll be off to a great start.

Shop for colored pants

Still shopping?  Take a look at these additional styles.

  • Patricia

    I get really daring and wear brown. #risktaker

    • Ha! I think the fact that you can find brown pants is the stores is a miracle in itself. I was just discussing this with a client yesterday. Brown has been scarce!

      • Heather

        I’ve been surprised to see brown a couple times lately, though I think it was tops both times. But I’m hoping this means brown is making a comeback. I love all the gray, but some brown to mix with it would be great, then I can get really wild with my color (or neutral) mixing. 🙂 Understated colors, both top and bottom, work best for me. I’m loving all the teal, burgundy, olive, and blush (in addition to the gray) but I do miss brown. I love suggestion #3 here!

  • JanieBabes

    Bridgette, on point # 3, burgundy’s, plum’s and deep green’s are often colors that older ladies wear. How does one avoid looking like they are dressing way older? I may be in my mid 40’s, but certainly don’t want to age myself further.

    • Snorks

      As a guy i’d definitely go with the mankini. It would certainly get people to stop talking about my age.