So you have these work pants that you can wear just about all year round. They’re neutral enough in color that they are versatile and can get you tons of mileage.  The only problem you have found is, because these neutral colors are in basic colors, like grey, brown, navy, olive or black, they don’t exactly look or feel summery during the warmer months.  In today’s wear to work post, I am going to show you how to make these stalwart trouser basics summery for work so you can feel just as bright and cheery as the season itself.

It’s important to have pants like I described about in your wardrobe, often referred to as nine month pants because, with the exception of the coldest of coldest days (where you might grab a pair of flannel pants or very heavyweight wool) and the hottest of hottest days (where you would probably grab a skirt, dress or lightweight pairs of pants in more summery fabrics) you can wear them.  Most working women have several pairs of pants like this in their closets and most of them are made out of lightweight wools or wool blends.

How to make basic work pants summery

As you move into the warmer months, these basic work pants can often look drab,  lifeless and not exactly like summer.  Who wants to wear heather grey or brown in July?  Yet, particularly in more corporate business environments, colors like this are year round and very appropriate, making the goal to wear them in a way that doesn’t look “dead of winter” blah.

The key is to pair these classic pants colors with brights and vibrant color combinations.  As a result, the pants will fade into the background, almost like a backdrop to the more colorful pieces you are wearing.  When putting work pants outfits together in the summer, the pants basically become an afterthought.  It’s what you build around these classic neutral basics that count.

Take a look at the outfits below for more tips and inspiration.

How to make work pants look summery

 Outfit #1- With a basic button down shirt

Taking the look of a basic business casual look of a white shirt from Alice + Olivia and brown pants from  T Tahari, which would look great during colder months with richer and darker accessories, the outfit gets summerized with brights.  Here, a coral belt, turquoise and coral necklace from Bauble Bar, turquoise Coach handbag and turquoise Modcloth flats are all it takes to make the brown pants less dark and more of a background player.

Outfit #2- With a bright blazer

Another way to brighten your basic work pants is with a brightly colored blazer.  Let’s face it, just because it is summer doesn’t mean that you won’t be sitting at your desk without icicles hanging off your nose.  In fact, it is probably colder in your office during summer than it is in the winter.  If your place of work seems to store meat as a side business, it’s perfectly normal to want to wear a jacket at work, especially if your environment is conservative.

Here a bright pink Tory Burch blazer brightens these grey J. Crew basic pants and grey tank.  Added to the outfit is a pair of two tone pink Boden pumps a multi-colored necklace from Kate Spade and a teal tote from MICHAEL Michael Kors.

Outfit #3- With a print

Adding a summery print is another way to make a neutral pair of work pants look more warm weather appropriate.  Here, a pair of grey Jones New York pants gets brightened with a floral tank from Boden and a turquoise cardigan from J. Crew.  The outfit is finished with a pair of blue and green earrings from Stella & Dot, an icy mint handbag from Ivanka Trump and a pair of mint slingbacks from Jimmy Choo (on major sale).

The key to making your basic work pieces more seasonal is all about what you add to the outfits through accessorizing.  All it takes are the right colors and components to get the most mileage from the clothes you expect to get you the most traction.