If you’re not much of a dress and skirt kind of girl, getting dressed every morning can feel mundane. You throw on a shirt, some pants, shoes, and you’re good to go. It’s easy, but it’s also boring. But you don’t have to succumb more feminine pieces to change things up — you can easily revitalize your wardrobe by adding a variety of different pants to your arsenal.
Below we have options to add and ditch, consider this your comprehensive guide to pants.
1. Add: black jeans
Nearly every modern woman has at least one pair of crisp blue jeans folded in her closet. But if you don’t have some black denim also lying around, you should get your hands on a pair sooner rather than later. Why? They look great with everything. You could slip them on with a party top on weekends, but depending on your office’s dress code, black jeans will look just as great when paired with a blazer for work.
Since you’re going to get a lot of mileage out of these, pick up a silhouette you would normally wear. For example, if you normally wear skinny jeans, a bootcut pair won’t cut it.
2. Ditch: leggings
Whether you’re an avid runner or take a Pilates class once a year, everyone should have a pair of stretchy, moisture-wicking leggings at their disposal. But you shouldn’t wear these pants to brunch or — cringe — the office.
Try as you might, you can’t make leggings a substitute real pants. Sure, they were socially acceptable back in college, but times have changed. And that means it’s about time you update your closet.
3. Add: printed pants
Countless websites have lectured it’s best to wear a printed top and dark bottoms, but we implore you to throw the rule book out the window. While there’s always the fear that wearing something printed on your lower half will be unflattering, there are many different colors and patterns to choose from that will accentuate your natural figure in all the right places. Whether plaid, floral, or polka dots, adding some unexpected pizazz can be a great way to revitalize your otherwise boring work attire or add a skip to your step on weekends.
If printed pants are a new terrain, we recommend sticking with a slim-fitting pant. While sporting an extravagant pair of pattern flares might sound enticing, the excess fabric and print will likely veer toward costume territory.
4. Ditch: harem pants
Immortalized by MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” music video, harem pants were all the rage in the early 1990s and continue to rear their head every now and then. But this is one trend we can’t get behind. Not only do they look costumey, the dropped crotch and tapered legs aren’t doing anything for your figure.
And what do you even wear harem pants with? They’re too casual for a crisp button-down and too slouchy for an oversized, chunky sweater. Save yourself the headache and faux pas by parting ways with this one, stat.
5. Add: cropped trousers
Depending on your office’s dress code, you might not be able to wear jeans to work. Enter the cropped trouser. These pants have the comfort of your trusty jeans but are actually office-appropriate. Plus, they’re among the most versatile options you could own. Whether you dress them up with a silk blouse or keep it casual with a T-shirt, you’re bound to get a lot of mileage out of this pair.
When selecting a pair of pants, you want to make sure you pick a length that will look great with flats, boots, and heels. In our experience, a pair that hits nicely at the ankle is a safe bet.
6. Ditch: pants with the tags still on
Do you have a pair of pants you’ve never worn and no matter how many times you promise you’ll sport them, they just hang in your closet (with the tags on)? It’s OK, you’re not alone. While it’s easy to believe you’ll eventually wear them — especially if you shelled out a small fortune for the pair in question — you probably won’t if you haven’t ripped off the tag by now. There are tons of great resell stores, so instead of letting them collect dust in your closet, why not get rid of them and make some extra cash?
7. Add: flared pants
And no, we’re not talking about bell bottoms. Over the past few years, a sleeker, more fashion-forward iteration of the flower power trend has been seen on the runways and industry tastemakers alike. Unlike your go-to skinny jeans and trousers, we like how the subtle flare at the end offers a new silhouette as well as a fun kick to your wardrobe.
From a peppy kick-flare pair of capris to sophisticated trousers, this is a trend you can embrace all year-round. Whether you wear them with a trendy off-the-shoulder blouse or a simple tee, one thing’s for sure: You’ll look like fashion royalty.
8. Ditch: low-rise jeans
There are only two places where low-rise jeans are actually appropriate: On the set of Coyote Ugly 3 and 2002. Don’t get us wrong, we believe a woman should flaunt her natural figure and feel sexy, but there’s something very unsettling about this type. Regardless of your size, low-rise pants give the sensation that your stomach is hanging over the jeans, and who want’s to feel that way? And if you don’t choose your underwear with care, there’s a chance your embarrassing polka dot briefs will show. Um, we’ll pass.
9. Add: boyfriend jeans
You may not want to wear skinny jeans every single day, and that’s okay. If you want a more casual and forgiving option for weekends and vacations, invest in a pair of boyfriend jeans. Regardless of your sexuality or relationship status, there’s something effortlessly chic about rocking that borrowed-from-the-boys look. Baggy in just the right places, and more fitted in others, a pair of boyfriend jeans has an air of nonchalance without looking sluggish. For the ultimate cool girl look, pair this option with a fitted long-sleeve shirt, motorcycle jacket, and some white sneakers.
10. Ditch: anything pre-ripped
Back in the early aughts, nearly everyone treated themselves to denim shorts, skirts, and jeans that were sold pre-ripped. If then-fashion icons Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan wore them, why shouldn’t you? But it’s 2017, and we sincerely discourage you from buying pants that already have tons of rips before your first wear.
We all have those favorite pair of jeans that naturally rip over time and we love them so much, we continue to wear them, flaws and all. That’s fine. But let those rips settle in over time, not while they’re hanging at the store waiting to be purchased. If we’re being honest, it no longer looks professional — and did it really ever?