Last week on Instagram, our pal John Mayer unveiled his new philosophy for dressing well: always start with your pants. That’s especially wise advice when it comes to getting dressed for the office. It’s pretty tough to get a fit off, after all, when you’re half-heartedly pulling on the same fusty charcoal flannels and plain jane khakis five days a week. If you’re looking to level up your workplace drip, you’re gonna need to diversify the portfolio: we’re talking wide-wale cords, big-mood tartans, and far-out colors—the kind of trousers that’ll make your bosses stop and think, “By George, now there’s a young man with direction.” Here are 26 style-raising, promotion-worthy pairs for every dress code and budget.
Before you go buck wild on hypnotic paisleys and blinding neons, maybe give these classics a whirl first.
Elegant like velvet but tough like denim, corduroy is as adaptable and reliable as it gets.
Bigger, Better Chinos
Chinos are the latest menswear staple to get the dad-style treatment: after a decade of slim-fits leading the way, roomier pleated silhouettes are back to stay.
Stripes of a Different Stripe
Brash, beefy stripes deliver a ‘60s mod vibe that’d make Paul Weller proud.
Comfy weekend pants you don’t have to give up come Monday.
Because plaid dress shirts are so 2010.
(Actual) Work Pants
The tough-as-nails trouser of the moment is the new king of Casual Fridays.
Corner Office Swerves
If you’ve scaled the corporate mountain and can pretty much show up in whatever the hell you want, here are three big swings worth taking.