Even though most women of my generation consider a pair of well-fitted, dark-wash premium jeans to be just as formal as crosshatch-tweed trousers, it's still the case that most workplaces adhere to a "no denim" policy.
Even on Fridays.
With denim out, what is a casual, comfort-seeking DC woman to wear below the belt?
Corduroys, like khakis, are too high school for any self-respecting 22-and-over to wear to the office. Linen is just too Puerto Vallarta for an urban setting, not to mention that it wrinkles like a bitch. What about terry cloth, sweatpant material or nylon track pants?
You're right, now I'm just mocking.
Since I'm very much not a woman who thinks about comfort when she makes any kind of clothing purchase, and the only considerations I have when picking out a pair of pants are price (for jeans, under $160; for trousers, under $200), length (must be long enough to wear with my 4.5-inch heels) and whether the pair in question makes my ass look as fantastic as it is, the task of putting together a collection of casual, comfortable pants was a bit outside my immediate expertise.
Begrudgingly, I imagined myself in a pair of cuffed, pleated Dockers, looked down, and thought, "Why would I wear these?"
Versatility? Thriftiness? A desire to wear the bottom half of my 7th grade choir uniform? An adversity to looking female?
I tried to meet all of these standards when selecting the trousers below.
Well, not the last one.
Or the second one.
Okay, fine, I only considered versatility.
Below are my picks for the best non-denim alternatives to khaki pants:
Top to bottom:
1. Skinny fit zip pants by GAP ($29.99 at gap.com)
2. Ocean liner trousers by Poleci ($98 at anthropologie.com)
3. Bartolomeu trousers ($118 at anthropologie.com)
4. Contoured trouser-leg chino pant ($78 at bananarepublic.com)
5. Tabatha wide-leg pant by BCBG Max Azria ($218 at bloomingdales.com)
6. Cotton sateen pant by BCBG Max Azria ($118 at macys.com)
7. Cross dye Lindsay bootleg ($88 at anntaylor.com)
8. Peg leg pant by Karen Zambos Vintage ($89.10 at shopbop.com)