Workwear Edit: Black Pants, But Make ‘Em Spring

2
12371

While there are few things that vibe “spring” less than a pair of black work trousers, hear me out: We’ve already got ’em in our closet. So in the spirit of Shop Your Closet, let’s see if we can tweak our usual black-pants-office-outfits in a way that feels fresh and breezy for spring.

The challenges? Black pants don’t always play nicely with spring colors. I know common thought is that black goes with everything, but it really..does…not. So. Figuring out how to incorporate some lighter, pretty tones into our 9-to-5 outfits while balancing out the dark bottoms will be the trick.

I also find spring trends exciting, especially after a long winter, so I wanted to try to figure out if any could work for the office.

Lastly, I’m a huge fan of all-black outfits, especially for the office. They look chic and are super-practical too. In winter, this is a cinch: black pants, black sweater, done.

I'm a huge fan of all-black office outfits. They look chic & are super-practical. In winter, this is a cinch: black pants, black sweater, done.
Image source: Everlane, MM LaFleur, MM LaFleur

So, how could we take this same easy outfit idea into spring?

Wear Black Pants To The Office, Even In Spring: 7 Breezy Work Outfit Ideas

Below are seven solid office outfit ideas, all using black, wide-leg work pants. Some incorporate new spring trends, some incorporate from fresh spring colors and/or prints, and a few just tweak some existing winter outfit ideas with a springy little twist.

And since trousers are the sort of pants that one — typically — has to commit to a hem length, I’ve included options for both heels or flats, depending on how you like to wear your black pants.

Happen to be in the market for new black pants? I have some solid recommendations at the bottom of this article (or click here to jump).

Black Pants Outfit 1: With A Denim Shirt + Dainty Slingbacks

If you’re as old as me, you’ll likely remember that we’ve done black pants and denim shirts before…but the fresh, new twist is that this crop of denim shirts are in really unique silhouettes.

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

NOTES: While your old standby chambray shirt will work, if you’re feeling an upgrade (and I very much am), try finding a denim shirt that’s a little more feminine — a peplum waist, a pussy bow. Or, conversely, look for a denim shirt that’s short & boxy (and layer over a bodysuit). That AGOLDE top (#4 in the collage) is seriously calling my name.

THE SHOES: Finish off the look with a pair of dainty slingbacks. The contrast between the shoes,black + denim is so fun.


Black Pants Outfit 2: With Neutral Stripes + Dark Shoes

This is spring’s answer to winter’s black-pants-and-a-sweater: stripes. Feels fresh and springy, classic enough to be worn year after year, and warm enough for days it’s not reallllly spring.

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

NOTES: Technically, one could wear a striped sweater of any color with black pants, but I do love a chic, neutral palette. It also helps balance the sportiness of the sneakers, and makes black boots more intentional, less boring.

THE SHOES: I apologize in advance for linking to almost-always-sold-out adidas Samba sneakers. I rounded up other options here.


Black Pants Outfit 3: With Breezy Crochet + Classic Shoes

These crochet knit sweaters are having such a moment, and they’re the kind of piece you really can wear all summer. The versatility is great: Wear them to the office, as shown (over a conservative bodysuit), on date night (over a bra), and at the beach (over a swimsuit).

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

NOTES: I’m almost always going to go for a monochromatic look (it’s the texture play that keeps it interesting), but I love the idea of some of the more vintage-esque crochet sweaters coming out to play. Adds a cool, new dimension to black work pants.

THE SHOES: This outfit can be either subtly interesting or wildly interesting — depending on your choice of crochet. In either case, classic white sneakers or classic black pumps are a safe bet.


Black Pant Outfit 4: With Pretty Prints + Matching Shoes

The trick is to find pretty, printed tops that are saturated enough to stand up to black trousers. No shrinking violets here!

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

NOTES: When in doubt, go blue. A vibrant, bright blue is one of *the* best colors to pair with black. For example, men do this all the time – the shirt is called “french blue,” and it’s the most traditional shirt to pair with a black suit (except, of course, for white). But even a white-based printed top can work, as long as the colors are vibrant enough to stand up to black.

THE SHOES: Matching shoes aren’t required, but they do help bridge the vibe gap between staid black pants and pretty floral blouses. Besides, they give the outfit more personality.


Black Pant Outfit 5: With Linen Tops + Taupe Shoes

One easy way to transition black pants to spring? Lighten up both the palette and the texture.

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

NOTES: Linen tops are my go-to all summer, but they also can be worn to the office when they’re done in such work-ready silhouettes. The texture play with the black pants is perfect for a monochromatic look, and one that will work through summer too. Layer something under the linen tops until the weather warms up.

THE SHOES: Because the idea of this outfit is to look light & breezy visually, don’t pair this one with dark shoes — they’ll be too heavy.


Black Pants Outfit 6: With Navy Print Tops & Fun Shoes

Ahoy, matey! No, but seriously: Navy + black is a great combination. Unexpected and almost playful (yet still reads professional).

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

NOTES: Navy + white tops pair the best with black pants, but if you realllllly want to try pairing a plain navy top, just make sure it’s more blue than black, so the whole thing looks intentional. I have an urge to finish this look off with big, black-framed glasses.

THE SHOES: You don’t have to do red shoes (almost any color would work), but it’s so fun, right?


Black Pants Outfit 7: With Bright, Playful Sweaters & Black Shoes

Once again, think super-saturated colors to stand up to black.

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

NOTES: This is such a fun, irreverent look for work yet will still read professional. I also love how all of these bright sweaters will look amazing with light-wash jeans on the weekend too.

THE SHOES: Because we’re letting the sweaters take center stage, I’d let the footwear fade into the background — not too much, not too little. Pumps or ballet flats are exactly right.


Need Some New Black Pants? These.

Lastly, in case any of you are currently in the market for a new pair of black work trousers, I do have some recommendations.


I know you guys have been asking for office outfit ideas, so hopefully this helps! That said…what piece should I tackle next?

Xo,

S

I'm tweaking my usual black work pants to be fresh + breezy for spring in 7 office-ready outfits. Think: fun colors + prints, linen tops, playful sweaters, & more.