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Black Doesn’t Have to Be Boring (or Scary): 15 Black Pants Outfits

This post on ways to wear black dress pants to work was originally published as part of my 9 to 5 Style series in 2020. It’s worth revisiting because black pants outfits will always be classic and in style.

Does wearing black make you fear you will look too gothic? Too plain? Do you think black is boring? Black pants in particular? 

Black pants can be a staple in a work wear wardrobe and they don’t have to be boring. Black pants are also a great way to wear black if you think it’s too harsh against your face and skin. Keep reading for 15 ways to wear black dress pants to work. 

15 creative ways to wear black pants to workPin

My favorite black pants are from Loft and I wear the curvy fit. I’ve had my Loft trousers for several years and they have held up to repeated wear and washing. They are no longer available and I had to replace them.

I also like Ann Taylor pants for work. They also come in a curvy fit. The Loft trousers are pictured in these outfits, as well as a pair of ankle pants from JCPenney, similar to these. I also like these curvy bootcut pants from Macys, and have them in navy.

What to Wear With Black Pants

Wearing black pants without being boring requires a little creativity. Rely on cute jackets, interesting cuts, patterns and accessories to keep the doldrums away.

Color block with solid tops and jackets, or pick patterns with a little black in the background if you want to stay on the safe side.

You may also like: 9 to 5 Style- Black and Navy or What I Wore Lately: Camel and Black.

What Color Shirts Go with Black Pants

Black is the absence of color and absorbs all light without reflecting in. I can’t think of a color that doesn’t go with black. You can wear any color shirt with black pants. The key is to make sure both pieces are in good condition and not faded.

Black Pants Outfits for Work

1 Kelly green jacket + leopard top

The black pants base lets the jacket have center stage. Pairing a bright color with a print like leopard is a great way to wear the brighter color in the fall season.

Kelly green blazer and black pants office outfitPin

2- Kelly green jacket with black and white top

Another pairing of the jacket but with a patterned black and white top. You can sub any bright colored blazer or jacket here. The patterned top adds more interest than a plain white blouse would.

women's work wear with black pantsPin

3 Gingham blazer + patterned top

If you want to give pattern mixing a try, use black pants as a grounding piece for the patterns. Make sure your patterned pieces have some black in them so that it ties together nicely. This makes a fun and interesting black pants outfit.

Pattern mixing with black pantsPin

4 Teal blazer + patterned top

Similar to the kelly green jacket outfit. A pop of color keeps black from being boring. The length of the blazer helps to keep you from being chopped into two “blocks” the way you would be with just a solid color blouse and black pants.

Colorful fall work wearPin

5 A plaid blazer + black pants

Yes, you can wear black and brown together. A pop of color in between helps to coordinate the black and brown. Leopard shoes add even more interest.

plaid blazer office outfitPin

6 Khaki blazer + with polka dot top

This top is a blue/grey color. It still goes with black and the khaki blazer brings out the polka dots.

women's work wear black pants outfitPin

7- A solid top + plaid blazer

Again, the same formula as before, but with different colors. Pumps in a similar shade as the top help bookend the outfit and create more of a flow than black pumps do.

Plaid blazer with black pantsPin

8 With grey and burgundy

Grey also work with black and is softer against black than the contrast of white. Add a colored blazer for color.

winter work wearPin

9 Khaki blazer + animal print top

Create a neutral look with khaki and black but use a patterned top like an animal print to create interest.

neutral work outfit with animal print topPin

10 Gingham blazer + colorful top

Another example of pattern mixing. A solid color top would work with this black pants outfit as well if you aren’t comfortable with the two patterns together.

gingham blazer work outfitPin

11 Grey pinstripe blazer + ivory lace top.

The texture in the top provides some interest and the grey and ivory soften the stark black a bit.

grey and black work outfitPin

12-Floral blouse+ sleeveless blazer/vest

Sleeveless blazers are back this season. A black vest with black pants is a great way to go.


13- Create a column of black with a black top and black ankle pants.

Top it with a patterned blazer- in this instance, leopard print. All black is always chic (as long as those blacks are not faded and are in good condition). Adding a fun patterned piece to an all black outfit is a great way to step it up a notch.

leopard print blazer Pin

14 Blush blazer and burgundy/blush cami

Another way to soften black is to pair it with blush.

black ankle pantsPin

15 Grey blazer+ red shoes

Create a monochromatic look with grey, black and white and add a pop with a pair of colored shoes.

black ankle pants with red shoesPin

It’s pretty obvious now that black doesn’t have to be boring. Black pants go with everything. Black pants outfits should definitely be part of your rotation of outfits.

Ground bright colors and patterns with black.

When possible, choose a patterned or colored shoe vs a black shoe with black bottoms for interest. If you are more concerned with creating a continuous line to appear taller or slimmer, wear the black shoes.

And make sure your black pants and all pieces fit well. Nothing will look dumpier and frumpier than an ill fitting pair of black pants.

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