For better or worse, the COVID pandemic definitely changed people's work routine and work wear. I was fortunate to be able to keep my job during the pandemic and was able to return to office once the lockdowns were lifted. I enjoy the office environment and find myself much more productive when I am there. But I enjoy being comfortable at work too. We have a pretty flexible dress code but I'm not the jeans everyday type of person. I find a variety of pant styles and colors to be the best.
For pant style, my go-to is a flex straight leg chino. The straight leg seems to the perfect not too skinny and not too baggy look and feel. Plus that bit of stretch mixed with performance cotton makes the pants so comfortable and so easy to mix and match with different types of clothes. It can be dressed up or dressed down with ease and they wash and travel well requiring minimal to no ironing once hung up or folded.
As for color, here is where my real secret is. You need to have variety, but too much variety leads to extra costs, extra closet storage space, and extra laundry. I try to keep four colors of pants on hand plus a jean suitable for work. This is a total of five pants for work.
My go-to colors for chinos are:
- Navy Blue
- Khaki or Tan
- Cream or Beige
- Nordstrom Rack for a wide variety of economical and trendy brands all at great prices
- Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy (all under the same umbrella family but each with different price points and styles)
- Outdoor brands like Eddie Bauer, Patagonia, North Face
- Other "mall" brands like J Crew, Abercrombie, Scotch & Soda
- Kohls or Macys for Dockers, Dickies, Ralph Lauren or their own private label brands
- Costco.com (less well known online spot for some amazing clothing deals but typically need to work with even number pant sizes like 32x32, 34x34, 36x32, etc.)