10 Must-Have Pants for Women

Even if you're not a self-proclaimed "pants" girl, having these 10 essential styles in your wardrobe will ensure that when you do skip the skirt, you'll be comfortable and look fabulous.

Dark Jeans

Dark jeans with a uniform wash are a no-brainer because you can wear them for day or evening and they go with everything in your closet. Instead of buying 50 random pairs, search for one that fits you in all the right places and buy a couple of those guys. Not the most exciting shopping trip, but trust us, you'll be glad you did.

Nice Leggings

There are the leggings you wear when you get home from work, and then there are the leggings you can actually wear in public. If you're averse to being seen in such a body-conscious look, opt for legging jeans, which have a bit more structure. Pair them with tall boots and a knee-grazing coat and you'll be comfy without showing off every inch of your shape.

Cocktail-Party Pants

Silk or crepe de chine pants that are cocktail-party-appropriate will also serve you well on evenings when it's too cold to wear a skirt, when you're in conservative company or when you just feel like mixing it up a bit. Feel free to play around with a silhouette to suit your dressy-top lineup and high-heel options.

Office-Appropriate Trousers

Never underestimate the power of slim ankle-length pants and a pair of classic pumps. If you work in a traditional office, this is an especially important combo to have on hand. A neutral color and a not-too-tight fit are what keep this must-have looking professional and sophisticated.

Pants in a Bold or Bright Color

Choose the silhouette and material that suit your personal style and a color that complements your skin tone, and break these babies out when you really want to make a fashion statement. Wear them boldly with a loud top but remember: a white button-down and a pair of black pumps are just fine too.

Rugged Pants (Fit for a Lady)

Having a pair of cords, khakis or cargos in your wardrobe will prove useful when you want to go for more of a rustic vibe with your look. But that doesn't mean you can wear them only in the wilderness. Sometimes they're great for making sleek city blazers, boots and shades look a little more down-to-earth.

Boyfriend Jeans

Do we have to convince you that having a pair of loose, comfortable jeans in your wardrobe is a good idea? Two words for those gals still looking for this must-have: vintage Levi's.

Printed or Patterned Pants

Why should your blouses and dresses have all the fun? Keep a pair of printed or patterned pants on hand to experiment with pattern mixing and give your solid-color tops a bit of instant jazzing up. We love luxe menswear-inspired pairs but more feminine options, like florals and jacquards, also work.

Wide-Leg Pants

We don’t all have long stems, but those perfectly fitted wide-leg jeans certainly don't hurt if you're looking for a leg-lengthening style. Whether you opt for jeans or trousers is up to you; just make sure they fit like a glove up top and pool over your shoes down below. Break 'em out when you need to feel just a little bit more like a supermodel. Trust us, it works.

Persona-Altering Pants

Every gal needs to make room in her wardrobe for fun, I-don't-know-why-I-love-them-I-just-do pieces. Leather skinnies, sequined leggings and lace pants fall squarely into this category. It's OK to experiment with silhouette and fabric—just make sure your persona-altering pants get at least one thumbs-up from a nearby girlfriend or guy. You know, just to be sure.

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