- Dress pants are the workhorse of a professional woman’s closet, but the perfect pair is something like a unicorn in women’s workwear.
- The ideal dress pant is comfortable, versatile, flattering, and doesn’t stretch out after frequent wear. Ideally, it’s relatively affordable, comes with a variety of customization options, and doesn’t require dry-cleaning.
- We think MM. LaFleur makes the best dress pants for professional women overall, but there are great options to consider at Boden, J.Crew, Universal Standard, and Everlane as well.
Few workwear staples see as much use as the right pair of dress pants, but the perfect pair can be difficult to hunt down.
When shopping for dress pants, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: formality, fit, price, and diversity of options. You probably don’t want pants that are so tight they’re uncomfortable during an eight-hour workday, and if you’re expected to wear a suit every day, you may want to prioritize pairs that mimic the material and style of your blazers and blouses, so you get maximum versatility out of the pieces you own. And while you may be willing to splurge on the right pair of dress pants, not everyone’s budget accommodates luxe options – nor does every office dress code necessitate high-end clothing.
Below, I’ve rounded up a few of the best places to shop for dress pants online. All of the picks are flattering, comfortable, retain their shape, and don’t require high-maintenance care. Some are pricier than others, but all of them are valuable purchases. No matter which brand fits your needs best, we feel confident that you’ll be able to find your perfect pair of dress pants at one of the places we’ve chosen.
Here are the best places to shop for women’s dress pants:
- Best dress pants overall: MM. LaFleur
- Best dress pants for petite women: Boden
- Best dress pants for tall women: J.Crew
- Best size-inclusive dress pants: Universal Standard
- Best affordable dress pants: Everlane
The best dress pants for women overall
- MM. LaFleur
MM. LaFleur’s Foster Pants are the perfect mix of elegance, wearability, and versatility. A concealed button in the hem means you can adjust the pant legs to cater to different heights and shoes without needing a tailor. They’re pricey at $195, but they’re worth the money if you can spare the expense.
MM.LaFleur is a women’s workwear company that’s helmed by the former head designer of Zac Posen, Miyako Nakamura. Nakamura expertly blends simplicity and the demands of a 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. work schedule and frequent travel with clever design hacks. The company makes luxe work clothes that are so flexible you could literally perform a ballet in them, and a wrinkle-resistant suit designed specifically for travel, which performed well during our testing. In other words, MM. LaFleur clothes are a rare intersection of elegance, comfort, and low-maintenance care. If you can comfortably spring for the higher prices, we’ve found them to be worth the splurge.
MM. LaFleur makes a slew of dependable work pants in sizes 0P to 22W, but we’d recommend checking out the Foster Pant ($195) first. The Foster Pant is a cigarette pant made from a cotton, nylon, and elastane blend that feels substantial but stretchy. With a thick material and a side zipper, the Foster pants smooth and streamline your shape, but balance out the close tailoring with slightly wider legs. They’re also machine-washable. (Machine wash cold, no tumble dry for best results).
The best part is that the Foster Pant has a concealed button in the hem that allows you to adjust the length of the pants, so you can cater to different heights as well as different pairs of shoes. If you’re trying to pack light for a work trip, the Foster pants’ adjustable hem make them compatible with heels, flats, or a pair of sneakers. Find a full review of the Foster Pant here.
If the Foster Pant isn’t quite your style, we’d also recommend the Hockley Pant ($145), which has similarities like being machine-washable, travel-friendly, and including a concealed snap to allow hem adjustment. Unlike the Foster, the Hockley Pant is made of a lightweight cotton blend, is slightly longer, and has a center front zipper and back pockets. They’re also very flattering. Since they’re thinner, they’re a better option for hot days – but that also means they’ll show more stretch over many wears than the Foster Pant. Since they’re machine-washable, that’s not necessarily a major drawback.
MM. LaFleur tends to be pricey, and $195 or $145 for a pair of dress pants may turn some people off. But, if it’s a comfortable purchase, we think they’re the best option overall in performance, fit, wearability, and versatility.
If your workwear search includes more clothing needs than dress pants, we also recommend MM.LaFleur for their Etsuko Dress ($195) and Morandi Sweater ($265). The former is a closet workhorse that never disappoints, and the latter is the perfect drapey desk sweater.
Pros: stretchy but doesn’t lose shape; elegant; machine-washable; adjustable hem heights
The best dress pants for petite women
Boden’s dress pants typically come in three inseam lengths, and the company’s classic $98 Richmond Pants are a flattering option made out of a power-stretch fabric that moves with you but won’t totally stretch out.
Boden is a UK-based clothing retailer with a history of prioritizing responsible sourcing, eco-friendly options, fair trade, and ethical practices in the almost 20 countries where its factories are located. And most of its dress pants come in petite, regular, and tall inseam lengths.
Boden’s Richmond Pants ($98) are the company’s hero dress pants, with over 800 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars. They’re a straight-leg pair that sit at your natural waist and have a good mix of structure and comfort. Made from luxe power-stretch fabric with elastane, they’re good at adapting to your day – stretching and snapping back into shape repeatedly. The silhouette is smooth and streamlined with faux back pockets and a concealed center zipper and hook. The front pockets are usable, and they’re machine-washable.
However, some customers note that the Richmond Pant can run large. If you’re in between sizes, we suggest sizing down.
Boden’s Richmond Pants also come in multiple colors, patterns, and multiple styles: classic, bootcut, and a 7/8 option. Sizes range from 2 to 18 usually. The company’s petite dress pants offer more style options.
We also recommend the best overall option, MM. LaFleur’s Foster Pant ($195) as a great pick for petite women, thanks to its adjustable hem that can shorten the pants without the nuisance of tailoring. Though they’re almost $100 more expensive.
At $98, the Richmond Pants are still pricey, though most of our favorite petite dress pants are listed at similar price points. If you’re looking for petite options that may cost less than Boden, we recommend checking out our other favorite stores like LOFT, Ann Taylor, and J.Crew and searching for their petite styles specifically. The initial prices tend to hover around $98 on average, but these stores are more likely to offer deep discounts of up to 40% to 60% off, so you’ll likely find them to be cheaper.
Pros: flattering; classic style; stretch without bagging out; machine-washable; multiple inseam options
Cons: slightly pricey; run large
The best dress pants for tall women
- J. Crew
J. Crew offers nicely tailored dress pants in three inseam options and a range of colors. Thanks to the company’s frequent sales, you may also be able to save yourself money on a closet staple.
J. Crew is a good stop for both tall and petite women since the company generally offers three inseam options for dress pants. It combines tailored classic styles, both neutral and adventurous colors and patterns, and sizing from 0 to 20 to make its options as versatile as possible. Plus, thanks to frequent sales that tend to include bestsellers, you can save yourself up to 40% off on closet staples by buying at the right time.
J. Crew offers a wide range of dress pants. You can find “tall” options with a variety of rises, silhouettes, fabrics, and colors. While some smaller specialty stores offer fewer options, J. Crew can cater to trends and unusual fabrics without sacrificing fit.
The company’s bestselling Cameron pants are a good baseline.
The Tall High-Rise Cameron Pant ($89.50) is a high-waisted, slim-fit pant that’s made from an all-season stretch material so they’re a good option every day of the year. It has a 28.25-inch inseam. Along with a flattering back-seam, its 11-inch rise elongates your legs. J.Crew’s “Perfecting Pockets” in the front lend additional support and coverage. Overall, they’re flexible without losing shape, well-tailored, and are machine-washable.
If you’re looking for a classic dress pant without a high-rise, you may want to check out the Cameron Slim Crop Pant ($89.50) or Cameron full-length ($89.50), both in the all-season stretch material and with “Perfecting Pockets”.
As with the petite options we listed, we’d also recommend tall shoppers also scope out Ann Taylor and LOFT for tall options, like Ann Taylor’s Tall Ankle Pant in Cotton Twill ($89). LOFT also offers the option of choosing your fit (modern or curvy, for example) and size type (regular or tall) for added customization. But, both LOFT and Ann Taylor tend to have lower inventory and fewer style, fabric, and color options than J.Crew.
Pros: all-season stretch fabric that doesn’t bag out; multiple inseam options; variety; frequent sales that include best-selling styles
Cons: some stores offer more customization in fit and length
The best size-inclusive dress pants
- Universal Standard
Universal Standard makes high-end clothes in sizes 4XS (00) through 4XL (40) and has a collection that comes with a guarantee of a free replacement if your size fluctuates up or down within one year of purchase.
Since over 67% of women in the US reportedly wear a size 14 or above, Universal Standard makes clothing in sizes 4XS (00) through 4XL (40) in an effort to create high-end style that’s more universally accessible. In the past, it created the largest size run of denim in the world. And if you buy a piece from its Fit Liberty collection, the company will also replace your clothes for free if your size shifts either up or down within one year of purchase.
Universal Standard’s dress pants range in style and fabric options but generally come in classic colors and patterns. Prices range from $50 to $180.
The company’s classic, go-anywhere Cigarette Pants ($110) are one of its best and most versatile dress pants. They’re a sleek, straight-leg option with an ankle-length hem. They’re eligible for Fit Liberty, machine-washable, and also come in a petite style – though no tall option. They have belt loops, front slant pockets, and fit true to size.
At $110, they’re slightly pricey, and Universal Standard doesn’t have frequent sales. But the splurge for a well-made pair of pants that fits you – and which can be replaced if your size fluctuates over the course of the year – is a worthwhile investment if it’s within your budget. Business Insider reporters who wear up to a size 16 had positive experiences with the brand’s $90 denim, and frequently recommend Universal Standard for its ongoing ability to blend comfort, trends, and size inclusivity into one relatively affordable online shop.
Pros: Sizes range from 00 to 40; versatile style; machine-washable; Fit Liberty will replace your clothes for free if your size changes within one year of purchase
Cons: limited color options; pricey
The best affordable dress pants
Everlane’s transparent pricing means you can stock up on stylish, high-quality basics like the Side-Zip Work Pants for less than comparable styles sold elsewhere. The Work Pant is a flattering, versatile, under-$60 staple.
Everlane is one of the Insider Picks team’s go-to stores for buying high-quality basics. The company freshens up classic styles with on-trend updates and offers transparent pricing that makes high-quality materials like cashmere and leather more affordable to own. And thanks to ethical practices like using the world’s cleanest denim factory and winnowing out single-use plastic, you can feel good about where your clothes came from.
Everlane’s Side-Zip Work Pant ($50) is a bargain that compares to styles four times the price. The fitted pant is made from four-way stretch cotton that is deceptively supportive and structured, but stretchy enough to move with you. If you’re concerned the fit will be too tight for your office, we suggest sizing up, as one Insider Picks editor did during our testing period.
Per Everlane’s specialty, the classic straight-leg shape has a handful of flattering updates: a high waist, a hidden side zipper, and elongating seams along the back of the legs for added polish. They’re also machine-washable and come in a variety of colors. You can grab them in ankle-length or regular-length, and in sizes from 00 to 16.
For $50, you’re getting a pair of flattering, versatile pants that have stood up to over a year of consistent wear with minimal change in fit and performance. They can be too tight for some tastes in your true size, and they don’t have pockets or adjustable hems, but they’re one of our favorite options for work regardless of price, and the silhouette is flattering on different body types and heights (from 5’2 to 5’7 in our testing).
Pros: affordable; flattering; good variety of color options and okay variety of length options; structured, stretchy material
Cons: true size can be too tight for some office dress codes; no pockets