Finding the perfect pair of black pants can be quite the adventure. (So many brands! So many silhouettes!) Here, we identify the top three pairs for every fit—skinny leg, wide-leg crop, high-waisted, wide leg, and straight leg—inspired by chic celebrities at every age. But first things first, here a few rules of thumb:
1. Accept the fact that you may need to have your black pants tailored, which will ensure a custom look.
2. Try on a few different sizes to identify the best fit. Pants are the furthest thing from “one size fits all,” so if you’re a 4, try on a size 2 and 6 as well.
3. Stay true to the brands you love. You love them for a reason.
4. Don’t be afraid to drop some extra cash. These are wardrobe power players that can be re-worn and restyled time and time again.
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Skinny Leg (above)
What you’re looking for: A style that will show off your killer frame.
The perks: No matter what size you may be, a skinny leg is ultra flattering, as it masks any unwanted weight by pulling everything in.
How to wear it: Make sure your skinnies aren’t too tight, both for comfort and because you don’t want to create unwanted muffin tops!
Shop it (from left): J.Crew, $90; jcrew.com. Kut from the Kloth, $69; bloomingdales.com. Vince, $265; vince.com.
What you’re looking for: A streamlined (and less intimidating) take on culottes.
The perks: The wide leg crop is trending for spring.
How to wear it: The perfect pair will strike a balance between structured and relaxed. Opt for a pant with a detailed waistline, like figure-flattering seams that will flatten the tummy.
Shop it (from left): Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet, $265; bloomingdales.com. Banana Republic, $90; bananarepublic.com. Rachel Zoe, $325; nordstrom.com.
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What you’re looking for: A flattering silo with a dressed-up vibe.
The perks: The shape accentuates your waist and shows off your backside.
How to wear it: Try a pair with a little room—you want the eye to flow from the waist to the hem. Wear it with your favorite crop top to show a sliver of skin or tuck in a button-front blouse for an office-ready look.
Shop it (from left): Alexander Wang, $695; net-a-porter.com. Vince Camuto, $67; lordandtaylor.com. Halston Heritage, $325; bloomingdales.com.
What you’re looking for: An everyday pant that will stun at work and on the weekends.
The perks: The tapered leg pairs well with any type of shoe—from pumps and sandals to sneakers and flats.
How to wear it: This silhouette is not to be confused with your skinnies. You want a pair with a close fit, but not too tight. The hem should hit slightly above or below the ankle.
Shop it (from left): Ann Taylor, $100; anntaylor.com. NYDJ, $120; nordstrom.com. White House Black Market, $50; whitehouseblackmarket.com.
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What you’re looking for: A trendy yet timeless look. This style is in tune with the ’70s trend headlining for spring 2015.
The perks: This cut will show off your shape by elongating your legs and accentuating your waist.
How to wear it: Tailoring is key; and heels are a must. Find a pair that just grazes the ground with a heel on.
Shop it (from left): Ralph Lauren Black Label, $850; saksfifthavenue.com. Diane von Furstenberg, $420; selfridges.com. Theory, $295; theory.com.
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