Skip to Content

StarFREE! Wardrobe Checklist Download + Weekly Newsletter DOWNLOAD

3 Ways to Wear Ankle Pants for Work

This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant

When I create our style content, I try to find a balance between showcasing new ideas and keeping it practical. Today, I’m leaning heavily into the practical side of things with a breakdown of how to wear ankle pants for work

I love a blog filled with trendy street style and high fashion images. Scrolling through them is fun, it’s fantasy, and a break from the everyday. But, they don’t translate in my daily life, and I imagine they don’t in yours either.

I hope that as you read through these posts, you think, “oh, I have something similar to that!” and can take our ideas and recreate them in your real life. So today, I took what I consider one of the most basic spring pieces, black ankle pants, and explain how to easily create a simple, yet composed outfit.

If you don’t have a pair of ankle pants, consider picking a pair up. They are incredibly versatile. They can go from casual to business casual to business formal with the right combination.

When looking for your best pair, keep a few things in mind. First, ankle pants are NOT cropped or capri pants. They should hit at your ankle.

Second, some are cut like trousers; others have more of a tapered leg, and a few are “skinny.” Buy what works best for you.

Finally, you can wear any shoe with almost any height heel. Unlike traditional trousers, you can wear a flat or a heel without having to worry if the length of the leg is too long or short. The only thing to avoid is extra high heels. Keep them to about 2 -3 inches. Any higher and you will look off balanced.

Find Your Best Fit 

For today’s post, I featured an ankle pant in a ponté knit, so they have some stretch. (These are particularly nice if you have to fly for work and need to be comfortable but still look professional.) 

There are a ton of options right now in stores, like these Vince Camuto’s with a skinny leg, Nic + Zoe has a more traditional style, Nordstrom’s in house brand Sejour has a classic cut in plus sizes, and Banana Republic covers all sizes, including petite and plus with this go-to pair. 

How to Wear Black Ankle Pants to Work 

ankle pants for work

Black Doesn’t Always Go With Everything

Making black pants look intentional takes some thought. We are so used to grabbing a pair and throwing on any old top because “black goes with everything” but the truth is, black looks best when paired with black, white, a neutral, or a strategic pop of color. 

Take a look below for some examples.

Wear To Work: Black Pants

Black and White: Pants, $52  |  Blouse, $124  |  Heels, $60

The first outfit is as simple as it gets and what is more spring-like than a polka dot blouse? There’s a lot to like about this blouse. The v-neckline is flattering, the defined waist will highlight your shape, and the faux wrap style adds some depth.

What I like most is the hem. See how the hem is cut higher in the front? This subtle detail helps elongate your leg and helps you look leaner. 

These heels by J. Renne are gorgeous. They are textured leather, so you get another layer of detail without having to fuss with a lot of layers. The heel is a kitten, which I think is ideal for this kind of pant.

Finally, pay attention to the gold detail on the heel. You hear me say this all the time, but if a part of your outfit has a metal, wear that metal in your accessories to keep your look cohesive. 

Wear To Work: Black PantsSuit it Up: Pants, $52  |  Jacket, $70  |  Heels, $89

Our second outfit can take you to a formal meeting, but first, let me express how much I dislike the blouse under this jacket. I love the jacket; I hate the blouse. So let’s focus on this sweet, pretty and feminine jacket, available at White House Black Market. All you need underneath it is a black tank, and you’ve created a column of color that is oh-so-flattering. 

The jacket comes in “regular” and petite, up to a size XL which roughly translates into a 16. Wear it to work, or with jeans on the weekends. 

For shoes, we used these slingbacks because they feel more seasonally appropriate. They also have a higher heel that still works with the pants. 

Wear To Work: Black PantsPop of Color:  Pants, $52  |  Cardigan, $80  |  Tank, $25  |  Mule, $45  |  Belt, $43

Finally, we go casual with a pop of color. This cardigan by Banana Republic is fabulous. It’s size inclusive and comes in an array of beautiful hues. I went with “mint” because it feels springy. 

Layer the cardigan over an equally lightweight tank (this J. Crew sale tank has been a favorite with readers this week.) 

We included a belt not for function but instead as another way to add a layer without creating bulk. A belt in specific applications adds some much need polish and finishes an outfit. 

Finally, I like loafer mule. It’s casual and still office appropriate. You’ll see versions of these at crazy price points. I wouldn’t splurge here, something under $50 will work just fine. 

3 Ways to Wear Ankle Pants for Work

Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

Never Miss a Post

Enter your email address below to sign up for our newsletter and get your free copy of our Wardrobe Essentials Checklist sent to your inbox.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tracy Baer

Friday 10th of May 2019

Hi Megan! I just ordered the jacket from BHWM... It looks fabulous and classic - in a Chanel style way! Could even pair it with jeans for a casual look. It was on sale for $59.99 when I placed my order :) Always love your style ideas and looking forward to receiving this jacket! Thanks!

Amanda Pandry

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

So, how do you know if your “pop of color” works???

Brenda Fegan

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Megan, I love your suggestions. I have a closet full of tops and jackets and cardigans. I appreciate you giving me ideas on how to create new outfits. I follow some bloggers showing off all kinds of new outfits everyday but realistically who can afford to buy new things everyday?

I appreciate you keeping it real and not trying to paint a picture of perfection and unlimited wealth! Keep it up!



Wednesday 1st of May 2019

I bought some loafer mules at the end of last season (they clicked the "fancy flats" checkbox), thinking I had outfits to wear with them, but now that its spring, I cant find anything that works. Thank you for showing them here with items I mostly own already. I was beginning to despair I had bought them stupidly.