You’ll Never Look at Khaki Pants Or Black Trousers The Same Way

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Khaki pants and black trousers.  God, I know.  If there’s one way to kick off an article with a big WOMP WOMP…it’s to start talking about khaki pants and black trousers.


But seriously – I get emails from readers (to the tune of several times a year) asking specifically about plain black pants or khakis.  Most of the inquiries can be summarized thusly:

Hi S.  Do you actually own any plain [black pants/khakis]or do you just wear ripped jeans every day?

Uh, yeah.  Pretty much.  But there are times (school functions, the occasional blog meeting that isn’t virtual, Mike’s work functions etc etc) when I’d like to look a little more…..polished, without resorting to a dress.  So it’s time to fill that big, glaring hole in my closet with….

…khaki pants and black trousers.

Serendipitously, I found two pairs (both part of the #nsale, and NOT yet sold out), that would be perfect in an office environment (read: no saggy bums), yet cool enough to be dressed up or dressed down, making them work for work, play, AND date night.  Keep reading to see these two wonder pants, along with an explanation of what makes these two pairs so…wonderful.

Khaki Pants

Vince calls these pants the Stretch Cotton Boyfriend Trousers (#ohsofancy), but make no mistake: these are khaki pants.  The boyfriend silhouette modernizes the fit, and the bit of stretch makes the bum…..good.  It’s good!  It’s not a denim bum, but it’s a really decent khaki-pant bum.  I also love that the color is reminiscent of army fatigues.

PREDICTION:  All things army (including cargo pants) will make a comeback this Fall.  Exhibit A – JBrand Houlihans have been re-released….

Now back to khakis.

Khakis At Work

With a simple silk blouse and heels, you have a pretty darn perfect office uniform.  Slip on a blazer to take it up a notch.  (In the winter, these pants can be paired with a sock-boot like these Dolce Vitas.)

NOTE:  Khaki pants are insanely hard to photograph – they always look MUCH more wrinkled in the pics than they do in real life.  Just FYI.



Outfit Details

shirt: an old Frame Denim silk blouse, but any of Equipment’s silk blouses would be amazing.  I like this one (on sale!).  See the Shop The Post below for more of my top picks of tops to wear with khakis….

pantsVince Stretch Cotton Boyfriend Trousers, normally $195 on sale for $129 (wearing a size 0 for reference, but they’re pretty tight)

heels: Vince Claire Pump


Khakis At Play

I love the juxtaposition of khaki pants with a really romantic, frilly, or feminine top.





boyfriend-khakis Outfit Details

top: old Free People – this black lace off-the-shoulder is similar, as is this pale blue lace top, or see below for more options….

pantsVince Stretch Cotton Boyfriend Trousers, normally $195 on sale for $129 (wearing a size 0 for reference, but they’re pretty tight)

shoes: Splendid Candee Wrap Around sandal

bag: Rebecca Minkoff Medium Julian in khaki

bracelet: old Chan Luu – here’s a similar one

necklace: old, here’s another open collar option in silver (or a full collar, in gold)

sunglasses: old Salts, but these Maui Jims are almost identical


Black Trousers

My favorite black trousers right now are Vince’s Wide Leg Trousers.  I adore the wide, flowy leg.  Why?  This dramatic silhouette makes these a cinch to dress up for date nights, office parties, and other events….not to mention that they’ll make your 9-5 suit feel a little more fresh.

One note: I didn’t yet hem these trousers because I wanted to show how long they are (I’m 5’2″ and wearing 3-4″ heels).

Black Trousers at Work

My fav trick?  Slip a plaid flannel shirt on with a black suit.  As long as the shirt is thin and drapy, the combo is both polished and cool.  (I like the shirt buttoned to the top with the cuffs peeking out.)





Outfit Details

jacket: last year’s zip-pocket blazer – but this Vince Camuto Zip-Pocket blazer is identical and part of the #nsale!

shirt: Paige plaid flannel (part of the #nsale and NOT sold out!  Wearing an XS for reference….)  See more of my favs below…..

pantsVince’s Wide Leg Trousers (wearing a 0 for reference)

heels:  haha doesn’t matter….

Black Pants At Play

See what I mean about the wider leg making the whole outfit dressier?  Sometimes YOU NEED THE DRAMA.  Also, the menswear vibe is just plain sexy.





Outfit Details

shirt: so old, but this metallic blush strappy tank or this lace inset plunge cami would both look amazing with these pants.  See more below….

bra: even older – before Raines, even.  But this Honeydew intimates bralette is pretty enough to show, without being sheer (and part of the #nsale).  For a racerback bra, I’m totally loving this one (and only $18).

pantsVince’s Wide Leg Trousers (wearing a 0 for reference)

bracelets: old, but this black and gold bangle ($160) would look cool high on the arm, or try the silver Lagos Caviar bangle ($150), or Kate Spade’s knot bangle ($78).  The other is an old stretch bracelet, like this (rose gold) or this (yellow gold or silver).  Both under $20.



Gang, I’m thinking it might be interesting to try and style basic work pants for holiday parties this year.  Any other special requests?  And lastly, I want to know if you prefer these shopping widgets (where you have to click to page through) over my usual ones (where they’re all listed out).




A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  Your continued support of The Mom Edit (and of all of my crazy ideas – seriously thank you) has really helped us grow and flex our styling muscles.  As always, all thoughts, opinions, product choices, and styling ideas are my own.  And readers, thank you for support.  There are so many blogs you can be reading, thank you – so much – for taking the time to read this one. (And seriously let me know about this year’s holiday style posts, or any other styling conundrums.  I’m all ears.)


About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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  1. Christy Hartman on

    I prefer it all listed out. I have lazy thumbs.
    I would love to see more black pants. Or just pant tips and tricks. Pants are the HARDEST thing to fit!
    I see why you don’t have many of this type of pant. You just don’t look like “you” wearing these pants. With the exception of the wide leg pant and unapologetic bra flamboyance. 🙂

    • I also like it listed out. Having to click through to see if there is anything you like takes more time then a quick visual glance at everything. I also am more likely to just not click through and will miss things I might have liked.

  2. Tell me your hemming those pants. Because as cute as they are, they would be a royal pain to walk in and you’d trash the bottoms instantly.

  3. You look fab in these….but are you hemming the black trousers? I love the idea of wide legs because it’s so dramatic but are the pooling pants back in? I totally remember back in the day having them super long so they would pool up at the bottom. Also you look great in khaki pants, but I just can’t wear them without thinking of my Mom. Maybe I need to just try a different fit?
    ps the bra/shirt thing you can just totally rock!

  4. Shana, I love ALLLL these outfits! So good! (And I might be the only one, but I prefer the widget above, at least on my phone.)

  5. 5’9″ and pear shaped, I wrote off “pants” that aren’t jeans years ago. Luckily I work in a fairly casual school where black jeans can pass as work pants, otherwise I wear dresses. I liked the khakis but I doubt I’ll go there.

  6. You mention wearing the khakis with sock boots in the winter. Do you think they would work with the Stuart Weitzman Perfection Ankle boots from the Nordstrom sale, or are those too dressy for the casual pant?

  7. I didn’t even realize that the new widgets had side arrows (they’re small and kind of blend into my dirty laptop screen…) until you mentioned it at the end. Listed out pretty please! I much prefer the old style widget for the same reasons that others gave above.

  8. Love this article!

    When I was a working mom my pants were either work trousers or jeans, but since becoming a stay at home mom I struggle with styling on days when I need a non-jean trouser situation that’s less serious than the trouser/blouse/pump combos that made up my previous work uniform.

    Have you checked out James Jeans boyfriend cargos? They are my current secret weapon for “not-quite-trouser” styling. I’ve been wearing an army green pair for summer and just bought a pair for fall that’s a delicious raisin purple/brown with grey stretchy cuffs and just a hint of sparkle. Am thinking they’ll rock with navy oxfords and a blouse for fall, and with a black cashmere sweater and booties for winter.

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