When thinking about work pants for men, the first word that usually comes to mind is the utility – beyond all else, you want a piece of workwear that gets you through the working day. With that said, modern dress codes change like the wind, so it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the game in terms of aesthetics too.
With young creatives starting to incorporate work pants into their regular clothes rotation, knowing the on-trend work pants for men is crucial. Whether you’re part of that movement or just want to look the part at work, there are plenty of reliable options that also provide a down-to-earth, yet urban look.
Although the men’s pants market is a bottomless pit of options, we’ve highlighted some of the best work pants for men you should consider adding to your wardrobe. From fit to price and style, we considered everything when compiling this list.
Our Top Picks
If you think of men’s work pants as hefty bags that only serve to carry heavy loads, you may reconsider after giving these a try. As professional as you’ll look with these on at your next conference, you don’t have to think twice about slapping them on for a day of outdoor work either. If you’re so bold, you can even throw on a dark-colored shirt and wear these for a night on the town.
The pockets are at a nice angle, letting you conceal them under your top while keeping everything easy to reach. There’s also the extremely subtle button fly to keep things classy, and the hemp construction that gives these pants their remarkable sturdiness.
Material: 53% Hemp, 30% Polyester, 14% Cotton, 2% Spandex | Fit: Regular | Size range: 28-38 | Knee Padding: Yes | Pockets: Yes
For those who might be looking for men’s work pants that can look good on the dancefloor or as a date night outfit,
These pants hit the sweet spot between utilitarian and cool-looking with their four-pocket design, with each one having more than enough space without sticking out too much. For the best possible look, consider styling these with a white pair of sneakers and a white tee.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Regular | Size range: 26-40 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
The definition of work pants for men gets more and more lenient by the day, as made apparent by these affordable chinos that you could wear anytime and anywhere.
While best enjoyed in a casual indoor setting or an informal gathering with friends, the water-resistant construction gives these puppies the kind of durability you’d expect from a trademark baggy pair of work pants.
Beyond the universal appeal of the design, you have over half a dozen colors to pick from here, and the stretchy build of these pants can tolerate light-to-moderate weight gain without any issue. There are also mesh-lined pockets to offer your thighs extra room to breathe and the back zippers that keep everything nice and tucked in.
Material: 96% Nylon, 4% Spandex | Fit: Regular | Size range: 30-40 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
In case you thought all work pants for men make your legs look baggy, these Huckberry wonders are here to prove you wrong. By ordering a slim-fitting version on top of the regular or tapered one, you can make the most of an extremely sleek design that works both as a uniform and an attention grabber at the club.
With phones getting bigger and bigger with each passing year, the fifth zip-up pocket is a much-welcome addition, and with a sea of different colors to choose from, there’s practically nothing in your wardrobe that can’t be combined with these in one way or another.
Material: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex | Fit: Slim, Regular, Tapered | Size range: 28-38 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
Stripping things back to basics, these work pants for men are the product to get if you don’t want to think about restocking in the near future. What really makes them stand out from the competition is the knee pad-ankle cuffs combo, which offers the kind of protection most work pants can only dream of.
Aside from that, this is a very straightforward pair of pants featuring a durable metal zipper and extremely secure pockets, meaning you can rest assured you won’t be dropping anything with these on. The added hammer loop and ruler pocket also leave you with that much more room for whatever else you need.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Regular | Size range: 28-34 | Knee Padding: Yes | Pockets: Yes
Carhartt is one of the champions of contemporary male fashion, so it should come as no surprise that they have some of the best work pants for men you can find today. Made of pure cotton, these pants offer supreme comfort and mobility at an extremely affordable price.
The triple stitch seams ensure that you won’t be tearing a hole in these pants, and the ample utility pockets and hammer loop leave plenty of room for all work essentials. On top of that, the loose fit is ideal for jobs that involve a lot of climbing, and although there aren’t any de facto knee pads, the utility pockets are a great place to stick some protective gear.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Loose | Size range: 28-50 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
If you’re having trouble finding work pants for men in a larger size, you may want to consider this spectacular product. Besides the incredible fit and the ripstop fabric, the biggest selling point of these pants is the gusset, which provides the kind of mobility that’s absolutely essential for most menial jobs.
As convenient as these pants are for people doing physical work, you can definitely get away with wearing them in an informal setting. With six spectacular colors to pick from (our favorite being the neutral slate variant), your best move would be to order several pairs and change things up depending on the occasion.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Regular | Size range: 30-60 | Knee Padding: Yes | Pockets: Yes
Work pants for men need to be able to withstand a degree of abuse, and that’s where these Folk beauties come in. Constructed with outdoor work in mind, these are the kinds of pants with durable twill construction and spacious pockets you’ll want on you for a ten-hour shift of work while exposed to the elements.
Although there’s no conventional knee pad support on these things, the ripstop build practically guarantees no tears even on the most strenuous day of work. If you opt for the tan variant, you can definitely pull these off during your downtime too, especially if you pair them with a plain T-shirt and sneakers.
Material: 100% Twill Cotton | Fit: Regular | Size range: 30-42 | Knee Padding: No (Ripstop) | Pockets: Yes
Evoking the feel of classic denim jeans, these work pants for men are extremely quick to dry and difficult to rip through, largely owing to the mostly nylon construction. In addition to the four pockets commonly found in these kinds of pants, there’s an additional fifth where you can discreetly store your phone or wallet without attracting much attention.
These aren’t the pants for extremely labor-intensive work, but the gusset is guaranteed to do wonders for your ability to move around and do some light-to-moderate work outdoors. While these look spectacular at the office, they can be just as useful during a day of hiking or a night out in the club if coupled with a plain button-up shirt or long-sleeve tee.
Material: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane | Fit: Regular | Size range: 30-36 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
Even if your job doesn’t require them, it can’t hurt to have a pair of men’s work pants that are easy to add to your clothing rotation. The pockets on these pants are quite subtle considering the flaps, and the drawstrings effectively allow you to slim down the fit at a moment’s notice.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of pants to wear with camos, what with the military-inspired design, and despite the aesthetic flair, the durable ripstop will keep them alive and well for months, if not years, on end if you treat them right.
Material: 100% Cotton (Lining: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton) | Fit: Regular/Slim | Size range: 28-38 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
Although they’ve been seeing a fair amount of use in casual fashion circles in recent years, these Carhartt work pants for men are among the most reliable products in their sector. Courtesy of the triple-stitched seams, you don’t have to worry about these dungarees falling apart on you in the middle of a difficult job, and it also helps that you have those nifty knee pads to keep your legs working at full capacity.
These are some of the easiest work clothes to slip into in keeping with the loose fit. You’ll have a bottom-to-top zipper that allows you to get in and out of these Carhartt bibs in no time at all.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Loose | Size range: 28-56 | Knee Padding: Yes | Pockets: Yes
In the event that your workplace is more lenient than most, you can go way back into the past and rock these incredible men’s work pants with some leather black shoes and a white top. These bad boys will leave you looking like a Navy sergeant in every way, from the iconic color to the unassuming chino fly.
These things don’t have the in-your-face outseams that can often ruin a good pair of pants, although the bell-bottom-style hems are guaranteed to grab some attention. Despite the ample breathing room at the ankles, the fabric wraps nicely around your waist and is perfect for accentuating a well-defined abdomen.
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit: Regular | Size range: 30-36 | Knee Padding: No | Pockets: Yes
What to look for in work pants for men
There are a lot of different ways people make their bread, so when picking out the best work pants for men, it’s important to plan around the specifics of your particular field of work. Here are some of the main considerations to keep in mind:
The best fit for men’s work pants varies on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you want to look your best in an office setting, you’ll definitely want something with a regular or slim fit to achieve the best possible figure without looking too out-of-place.
For men working in less corporate circles and whose work involves a lot more motion, you may want to think about a looser fit. The last thing you want getting in the way of your productivity is uncomfortable to workwear, so think about something with a relaxed waistline to ensure all the breathing room you could possibly need.
Work pants for men come in a variety of quality fabrics, and much like the fit, your choice should depend on where you work. Something like cotton or stretch wool, for instance, can be a great pick if you’ll be spending a lot of time behind a desk or meeting lots of people in a relatively formal setting.
If you can afford to dress more casually, linen makes for a great alternative. While it’s usually a step down from wool pants or even plain denim in the sleekness department, you can expect a lot of comfort out of the deal, especially when the heat gets to be a bit too much.
Since plenty of jobs involve getting your hands (and legs) dirty, you may be in need of work pants for men that offer your knees that extra bit of protection. Knee damage has a tendency to creep up on workers who do a lot of kneeling, so if you work as an electrician or any kind of tradesman, it can’t possibly hurt to invest in pants with knee pad support.
From constant climbing to running and heavy lifting, a lot of jobs are practically impossible in a restrictive pair of men’s work pants. Whether you’ve got a behind-the-desk job or are frequently on the move, the hours add up, and leg stiffness is something you definitely want to avoid.
Even outside the workplace, a non-restrictive pair of work pants can also be worn casually or when doing some light or moderate repair work around the house. In general, a good rule of thumb is that, if you have trouble lifting your leg up to around stomach or chest level, you should start looking at other options.
The best work pants for men should, ideally, give you at least some degree of storage space. For example, repairmen should think about a pair of pants with upwards of four pockets to avoid unnecessary back-and-forth.
If you opt for pants with leg protection, you may want to consider a pair of pants with extra knee pad pockets. This makes the process of lugging around basic tools and other necessities much simpler and everything incredibly easy to reach.
Although you can definitely use them to make a bold fashion statement, the great thing about work pants for men is that they can really bring out some of your other, more casual clothes. Since these kinds of pants tend to be monochrome, you can match them with a non-graphic T-shirt and black and white shoes, or even throw on a checkered shirt or flannel up top.
Synthetic materials are generally the way to go if you want work pants for men that’ll last you a good long while. On top of being water-resistant, polyester is one of the harder materials to put a tear in, especially if it’s paired with cotton.
Since a lot of work pants for men tend to be warm and baggy, it can be tricky to find a good summer alternative, although you can always go for a quick-dry material like nylon to keep sweat to a minimum. Also, see if you can find a pair of pants with a gusset and vented knees to keep your lower body well-ventilated.
Even if you’re reasonably careful, a solid pair of work pants for men can get worn out in three to four months, especially if your job involves a lot of physical work outside. Naturally, sturdier materials can last you a longer time, and if you don’t overdo the washing, you can get a pair to last for over a year.