Styling Trousers Outside The Office Isn't A Hassle With These Tips

Trousers are having a moment, strutting their stuff out of the office and into our daily casual wear. Just like a pair of blue jeans, a pair of neutral trousers is a classic pant to have in your closet. There are so many styles available, from elegant and understated to eye-catching and bold, and any pair can come across as formal or informal depending on how you style them. Go for a neutral color, throw on a preppy overshirt, and slick back your hair to capture that "clean girl" aesthetic. Or throw on some plaid trousers, combat boots, and a grommet belt for a grungier look. A good pair of trousers is truly timeless and the perfect blank canvas to express your personal style, as we'll show with the styling tips ahead.

If trousers haven't quite made it into your daily rotation, you might be finding it hard to come up with looks that aren't your usual work wear. We have some tips for styling trousers outside the office without making them feel stuffy or too formal. Best of all, many of these looks are comfortable and can take you from day to night. If you're wondering how to style trousers, we've rounded up some of our favorite looks to inspire your next outfit.

Half-tucked shirt

If you often wear a blouse and trousers into the office, this is an easy tweak that can make it more wearable outside. It's truly a style you can rock all day. To achieve this look, just wear a button-up shirt and only tuck one half into your trousers. It looks purposefully undone in a way that bumps down the formality and makes it a little more trendy. Depending on how dressed up you want to look, you can pair this with your work pumps or with more casual shoes (like the sneakers in this photo).


Trousers are ideal for fall and winter, which means a turtleneck is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite pair. A nice turtleneck looks elegant, and trousers just elevate the look. For a sleeker silhouette, opt for a form-fitting turtleneck. Or for a more casual and flowy look, go for a looser turtleneck like the one in this photo. Some trousers can be pretty thin, so turtlenecks are also great for layering and keeping warm in the coldest months.

Slouchy sweater

Sometimes, there's no need to mess with the classics — and a cozy sweater and trousers is just a faultless pair. The two make the perfect everyday look. A slouchy sweater makes the outfit much more casual, great for running errands or hanging out with friends. A form-fitting sweater is a sexier choice for a night out on the town in the winter. This is another option that easily leaves the office; just throw your sweater in your bag and pop it on after work to achieve this laid-back look.

Sweater vest

Sweater vests fit right in with the overall preppy feel of a pair of trousers. By layering a sweater vest over top, you can take a turtleneck, long-sleeve shirt, or collared shirt from plain to posh. Since they're usually knitted, a sweater vest is also another great piece for layering and adds that bit of enviable texture to an outfit as well.

Layered sweaters

Layers add some cool factor to your winter outfits, and even better, they help keep you warm. If one sweater feels a bit plain, layer different sweaters to get this cozy and casual look. You can opt for a thin sweater and cardigan or a thicker sweater and a poncho, like in this photo. The two sweater textures and silhouettes add personality to an otherwise regular outfit. Another option to achieve a similar look (but even warmer) is to layer outerwear, like two different jackets.

Oversized blazer

Trousers and a blazer is as classic of a pairing as a jeans and a t-shirt — it just works. While a fitted blazer might be one of your usual office wear choices, to take it outside the office, choose an oversized blazer instead. Oversized blazers are trending, so they look a little more "cool" than fitted counterparts. Paired with trousers, an oversized blazer still looks very put-together, but its boxy silhouette gives it a more nonchalant appeal that's perfect for after-hours. Add a belt if you're looking for more waist definition.

Long trench coat

There's something so effortlessly chic about a long trench coat. Paired with trousers, a trench coat looks even more elegant and can also help keep you toasty if your trousers are a bit thin for the weather. This outfit can also be totally work-appropriate; just swap out the shoes and add more professional accessories, and you have a comfortable outfit to wear to both the office and beyond.

Casual overshirt

Swapping out your blazer for an overshirt is another way to dress down a trouser outfit. It can take a look from professional to casual in just a pinch, and the more oversized, the more relaxed the look. A white linen shirt is lovely for summer and can help protect you from the sun as well. Or go for a pinstriped shirt like this one for a preppier spring look.

Cropped tops

Cropped tops are stylish any time of year, and we're not just talking about cropped shirts. Cropped t-shirts and tank tops are an obvious choice for the spring and summer — as well as in colder seasons under layers — but there are cropped tops you can pair with trousers as well. We love this cropped blazer look that adds a bit of warmth to your outfit, and can even be layered under a jacket. It takes the sleekness of an office look but makes it more flirty and stylish by showing a little bit of midriff.

Collared shirt

To really play with the preppy aesthetic of classic trousers, pair them with a collared shirt. On its own, this staple might look a bit too dressy, so combine it with other layers or accessories to dress it down. We love how the pinstriped shirt really emphasizes the preppiness of this look, while the slouchy sweater makes it look more laidback overall. If it's too warm to wear a sweater, you can also wear this look with a tank top and an unbuttoned collared shirt as an overshirt or with the collared shirt partly tucked.

Neutral head-to-toe

Since they come in so many shades and colors, trousers are a classic for creating monochrome outfits. Neutral monochrome outfits are the easiest (like those in black, white, or beige), since you're more likely to have these pieces in your closet. We love this head-to-toe white look that looks so chic for a daytime spring outfit. For a more distinctive look, you can pair your neutrals with a pop of color, like a bright bag or colorful shoes.

Color scheme

Speaking of color, trousers are also a good choice for a bright tonal outfit, once again because they come in so many hues and shades. Tonal outfits are slightly different from monochrome looks because they blend different shades of one color rather than one same color over all. This mix adds dimension and a little more fun. This outfit is a great example of pairing a single-color outfit with bold accessories for a more unique look — the purple bag and shoes really make the outfit stand out.

Split hem

Just as comfortable as regular trousers, but with a bit of edge, split hem trousers are a unique take on a classic pant. You can essentially style them just like any other pair of trousers, but they add a bit more cool factor to your look. One more bonus? Split hem trousers let more of your shoes peek through, so they're perfect for when you want to show off your new heels or booties.

Colorful trousers

We love the huge variety of colors that trousers come in, especially because colorful trousers just have a certain brightness and vibrancy that is hard to achieve with dyed denim. This light lavender pair is a great example. Along with the color, the lighter texture and flowy silhouette of this pair makes it perfect for a spring outfit. It's refined, but not boring, and it's a great way to add color to your wardrobe in an elegant way.

Plaid trousers

Nothing completes a preppy-punk look like a good pair of plaid trousers. We love this pairing with a band tee, oversized jacket, and combat boots that recalls an Indie sleaze feel. But there are other ways to style a plaid trouser too — a blazer or a blouse makes it much more preppy and work-appropriate. Then you can add some grungier accessories if you want to amp up the cool factor for a fun night on the town.

Pick a pattern

When it comes to patterned trousers, plaid pants are a popular pick, but there are plenty of other options as well. From funky paisley prints to summery gingham prints, there's a trouser to suit your mood. These green checkered trousers are a great way to add some personality to an outfit. They're bold enough to catch your eye, but the pattern is simple enough to pair with a range of spring, fall, and winter staples.

Cozy corduroy

The material of your trousers can give them an entirely different vibe. Corduroy trousers have a softer, cozier look and feel that is so well-suited for cold weather. We love the texture that corduroy gives to a fall or winter outfit. You can pair corduroy trousers with an oversized blazer or jacket to up the comfy aesthetic, or pair it with more corduroy, like with this matching set. When it comes to this plush material, earthy tones (like this chocolate brown color) are the way to go.

Luxe leather

Another trouser material to look for is leather (or faux leather, if you prefer). Leather trousers have a bit of an edgier vibe and feel more in place on a night on the town than in the office. That's not to say they can't be incorporated into office wear as well, when paired with a blazer like in this outfit. We love this look because it can truly go from day to night without any alterations. Black leather trousers are just as versatile as your classic fabric pair — and you can style them similarly — but they just look a little more chic.

Spring styling

While many of us picture trousers as a fall and winter pant, they totally have their place in spring and summer outfits as well. You can find trousers in lighter and airier materials, which makes them perfect for when the weather starts to warm up. Light colors are usually the go-to for styling trousers for spring (though there are plenty of ways to incorporate dark colors as well!). It's really the strappy sandals and patterned scarf top that ties this look together as a sophisticated spring or summer look.

Linens and sandals

Transition even further into hot weather by pairing your trousers with a linen shirt and sandals. This look is so vacation-chic and comfortable. It's one of those versatile options that is so easy to reach for in the summer since it works for a range of settings, whether you're running errands or enjoying drinks with friends on a patio. The flowy materials and fit of the pants and overshirt can help you stay cool and covered up from the sun, all summer long.


If trousers just feel too formal for you, dress them way down with an athleisure-inspired look. This outfit pretty much just swaps out a pair of sweatpants for a pair of trousers instead. It automatically elevates the look, while coming off as effortlessly cool. Accessorizing with a nicer purse really brings the outfit together as an intentional styling. And this fit will pretty much feel as comfortable as wearing a sweatsuit, which is a major bonus in our books.