Is your closet filled with an endless sea of black pants? Is it like a funeral in there? If this is the case and you hoard black pants like a squirrel thinking that they are the only versatile pants color you can own, in today’s wear to work post, I am going to show you that, yes, your black pants are very versatile, but so are other colors.
I always say that any color you can wear with black pants you can wear with any other neutral colored pants, like navy, brown, olive, khaki and grey. What I have realized, however, is that I have never really proven this point. Below, I will.
Tailored Pants That are Just as Versatile as Black Pants
Here are five looks where I created an outfit using this pair of basic black pants from J. Crew. In each look I then swapped out the black pants for the same exact pair in different colors. Nothing else besides the pants colors are different. This means that, in order to expand your wardrobe, you don’t need to buy a whole new one. For the most part, whatever you have been wearing with your black pants you can simply swap out with a different shade of neutral bottoms.
One thing to keep in mind are your shoes and handbags. If in addition to a ton of black pants, if you also exclusively own black shoes and bags you may have to consider bringing in some additional colors. However, as you will see in below, these new purchases can easily be worn with the black pants you already own. This is why I say that black shoes should be an option, not a necessity.
Outfit #1- Grey Pants
Starting easy, in this first look, I swapped out the black pants for the grey pair. Both looks are styled with a green top from French Connection, an ivory cardigan from Reiss, coral handbag from Marc by Marc Jacobs, tan flats from Ivanka Trump, and coral earrings from Bauble Bar. Not only does with outfit still work with the grey pants but a softer look is created.
Outfit #2- Brown Pants
Brown pants are just as versatile as black pants, as evidenced in this photo. In fact, for people like me who don’t wear black, brown is often the replacement. Instead of a little black dress I own a little brown dress. Never once have I felt limited using brown instead of black. Truly any color that can be worn with black can be worn with brown.
In this outfit, I decided to work with purple. On the left, the outfit is perfectly acceptable and lovely looking consisting of a light purple top and deeper purple cardigan, both from Boden, a mauve handbag from Big Buddha and purple pumps from Nordstrom. For jewelry, I added a layered necklace from Stella & Dot, stud earrings from Gorjana and gold bangle from Banana Republic. On the right, all I did was change the color of the pants. That’s it.
Outfit #3- Olive Pants
One of my favorite pants colors is olive. I just love the way it works with all colors, from rust and camel to soft pinks and purples. It’s a rich shade and the great thing about olive pants is that they are worn nowhere near the face. If olive isn’t your most flattering face color, try them on the bottom.
In this outfit, I styled both the olive and black shades of these pants with a rich red polka dot top from Modcloth, cognac booties and handbag, bold pendant necklace from Stella & Dot and Bauble Bar bracelet. Both outfits are pretty but I find there is more cohesiveness in look with the olive pants.
Outfit #4- Navy Pants
The only difference between these two looks are the pants. On the left the outfit is styled with black pants and on the right I used navy. With the blue top from eShakti, when styled with the navy pants, there is a chance of looking a bit like a police officer. To fix this potential problem, I added some additional colors, including a pair of pink Sperry flats, a green Vera Bradley handbag and multicolored necklace from Bauble Bar. Not only does the outfit look less cop-like, but it also proves that any color that you can wear with black pants you can also wear with navy.
Outfit #5- Camel Pants
Admittedly, most women find camel pants to be the hardest to wear simply because they can show a lot more figure flaws than darker ones. However, if you can find a well fitting pair of camel pants they can be an invaluable wardrobe staple.
In this outfit, I styled both the black and camel pants with an Alice + Olivia intarsia sweater, red wedges from Modcloth and blue earrings from Max & Chloe. Lastly, in both looks, I used a beige handbag from Ann Taylor. No bag change is required when you use shades of tan.
If your black pants are working for you then stick with it. However, if you’re feeling like your wardrobe needs an update and you don’t want to trash the entire thing, try buying a few pants in some other neutral colors. You’ll get the same mileage from your new pairs while creating more versatility.
Still looking for more wear-to-work tips? Check out my online course Why Dress For Success Doesn’t Work by visiting courses.bridgetteraes.com.