Nobody likes heading out the door for work in the morning only to be greeted by a blast of winter weather. That's an unfortunate reality when you live in a cold climate. However, just because you have to protect yourself from the elements doesn't mean you can't look smart doing it. Whether you need to wear a business uniform , scrubs, or just want to look good while keeping warm, there is a fine balance between staying warm and looking professional. Here are the best work-appropriate pants for cold weather.
Sure, style and fabric are big factors that make work pants appropriate for cold weather, but color is also a factor. Light-colored pants, like khaki, tend to show any bit of wetness from rain and snow. Although they do dry, it can take a while, meaning you have to walk into work looking like you've already been defeated for the day. Black pants are very forgiving when they're wet with snow. Just make sure you tuck them into some winter snow boots so you don't get stains on your lower legs from salt and slush.
Corduroy pants have been around for years, and when they're in style, they are great for winter weather. Their texture hides water stains and they can also be soft and warm. When going with corduroy, don't be afraid to experiment with color, as long as it isn't anything too funky.
If you don't like the texture of corduroy but appreciate the warmth, velvet may be more your cup of tea. The way velvet pants reflect the light gives them a little something special, visually. The way they move with you and feel against your skin provides physical comfort as well. If you wear a quality pair of velvet leggings to work, you're also less likely to change into something else as soon as you get home since they're so comfortable.
Wool has a reputation for being warm, but it also has a reputation for being difficult to wash. However, a wool-blend pant doesn't necessarily have to be dry-cleaned. Wool blends also tend to feel less scratchy than pure wool. Since they have just the right amount of wool, they can keep you warm while also looking professional and being comfortable.
As we mentioned before, looking professional is important, but so is being comfortable. For that reason, leggings are a great match for winter weather, especially fleece leggings with a fuzzy inside. If you pair them with a tunic or a long sweater and necklace, you'll earn respect at work while feeling great.
Wide-legged pants are coming back into style, whether you like it or not. However, those of us in colder climates might want to wait until spring to hop on the wide-leg bandwagon. Why? It gets windy and blustery in winter, and you don't want to look like a bird in flight when walking through the parking lot on the way to work. Plus, the open leg does nothing to prevent cold air from hitting your legs. Skinnier pants ensure that your legs stay warm and draft-free. Plus, they look great tucked into boots.
If you have to travel for work, you're likely familiar with the struggles of staying wrinkle-free after a long plane journey. It is also difficult to stay comfortable when you have a waistband that doesn't fit well. A pair of travel pants that keeps you comfortable and warm in cold weather is a reliable wardrobe staple, especially if they have an elastic waistband.
Unless your office is very strict, you can totally get away with wearing jeans to work as long as you follow some guidelines. First, stick with women's black jeans, since they look more like work pants than they do jeans. Second, make sure they're straight-leg or skinny jeans; loose jeans tend to look sloppy. Obviously, you'll want to avoid jeans with a distressed look or with any holes as well. Lastly, pair them with a crisp blouse, some heels or booties, some jewelry and even a blazer for that extra-polished look.
Remember that when choosing pants, you also need to pay attention to the socks you wear. Try to avoid mixing brown socks with black pants. Some nude-colored, thin socks work great for when you don't want it to look like you're wearing socks at all. Just remember that the whole outfit, not just the pants, needs to look professional. But once you have the right pants, the rest is easy.