Black Pants for Dressy Occasions

Black Pants for 3 Generations

Black Pants for Dressy Occasions

Quote of the day: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I chose this quote for our post today, because this is how I feel about our clothing choices too. What you wear on the outside should be how you are on the inside. Not that you want to judge a book by it’s cover only. But it’s human nature to use our visual images to tell the story. So my question to you is, what story do your clothes tell others?

I bring up this thought because one of my readers, Gail, asked, “for those of us who prefer not to wear dresses, why not show a how to dress up pants post?” What a fabulous idea, Gail. So here the 3 of us are starting off this theme by wearing black pants for a dressy occasion.

Jodie’s (50+) Outfit: So I realize I must be in the minority because I don’t have a plethora of black pants in my closet.

Even when I was working, black wasn’t my friend as clothing items. Why, you ask? Because the powder from my gloves would always end up on everything I wore. Then I would end up looking like a baker with flour over everything, LOL.

So when we styled black for the summer months this year, I found  my black pants to be too big and baggy. I probably wouldn’t have purchased another pair except I knew this category was upcoming, and I wanted to look nice. Besides, maybe I will wear them for some fun events?

Women 50+ and black pants

I just recently found these black pants and the blouse while some friends and I were thrift shopping.

The closeup photo below is to feature the small earrings, but I also wanted to showcase the gold sheen to this blouse. That’s what made me think it would be perfect for making my black pants appropriate for a dressy occasion. However, you don’t really notice that sheen in these photos.

Black Pants and the accessories

Originally, I was going to wear the blouse & pants alone.

But I seemed to be having trouble deciding whether I should tuck in the blouse or not. So I settled on adding another top over it, and making it look like some of the layered shirts I’ve been seeing at the stores like this one or this one.

By doing this, I also think is shows off the necklace so much better. All of these jewelry pieces were from one of my Rocksbox sets. I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about Rocksbox. You can see the gist of it on this Instagram post.

Black pants & all that goes with them

Since it was cool this morning, I also grabbed my well loved jacket that I changed into a tunic a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve always been a sucker for a fun, statement coat, because here in Denver, you certainly get lots of wear from them. If you are a fan also, then you might enjoy this sweater coat, an animal print one or maybe this deer print coat?

Pants: J. Crew-thrifted (here)~~Jacket: Komarov (similar here)~~Green top: Coverii (similar here)~~Top: Brannan Studio-thrifted (similar here)~~Shoes: Unisa (similar here)~~Necklace: Slate from Rocksbox  use code JTouchofstylexoxo for a free month (here)~~Earrings: Sophie Harper from Rocksbox  use code JTouchofstylexoxo for a free month (here)~~Bracelet: Perry Street from Rocksbox  use code JTouchofstylexoxo for a free month(here)

Nancy’s (60+) Outfit: Nancy chose an all black outfit, that I bet many of you would gravitate to for a fancier event.

Her black pants are a pair that she has been wearing non-stop since she purchased them from Chicos at our girlfriend event. These are from the Traveler’s Collection, and are so perfect for her lifestyle. They travel like a dream, and can be dressed up so easily.

Women over 60 and black pants

Since we were trying to make our outfits ready for a dress up occasion, Nancy grabbed her rhinestone accessories to add more sparkle and shine.

I know that there used to be a rule that you didn’t wear rhinestones before 6 pm. Luckily that is one of those rules that doesn’t apply anymore. Seriously, you should try wearing your bling in the day. It’s quite fun. If you need some more, then this choker is a great price along with this necklace that also incorporates pearls.

Black outfits with black pants

This particular tunic is also a great travel piece.

With the sparkles in it and open shoulders, it can work so great for an evening out, yet really can be worn with jeans too. I do realize that there are many women who do not like the exposed shoulders, so let me find a couple that do not have this feature.

You could incorporate the sleeve detail into your black tunic with this top, or embroidery instead.

black pants for dressy occasions

The shoes add more sparkle since they are not only metallic but have glitter on them. If you think that you need a pair like them, then here’s a lower heel version , a red version or a sneaker version.

And we even added a small fun purse to make it look fancier. There are so many interesting clutches available now, that it could make it fun to change into it when you go out on the town. For instance, don’t you need chili peppers on your purse? Or how about plaid or even fur? Seriously how could you not love the tassels on this one? But if you like your clutches more subdued than this embellished one might be right up your alley?

black pants for every woman

Pants: Chicos (similar here)~~Top: Nally & Millie (similar here)~~Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Ring: (similar here)~~Purse: (similar here in black)

Charlotte’s (70+) Outfit: For my mom’s black pants dressed up for an evening out, she grabbed her red, silk blouse to pair with them.

My mom’s black pants are a pair that she had thrifted also, many years ago. She considers them dressier because they have a side zipper and are a heavier material.

black pants with red

Red paired with black always seems very stylish and dressy. But if you don’t have a red blouse then there are many different varieties that are interesting at the stores. Like the sleeve detail that keeps popping up everywhere you look. Or the ruffles tend to look fancier also.

black pants outfit for 70+ women

To tuck or not to tuck is a question that comes up quite a bit with my mom.

She is in the habit to tuck in most of her blouses, and her proportion seems to work well with it. However, I know many women never tuck in their tops. Even if you don’t tuck in this shirt, it might be more fun with the belt, don’t you think?

Belts are probably just as popular as tucking in your shirts, but they really can be perfect for many of us in certain situations. Even if you don’t think you have a waist. Because truly, putting a belt around your body, makes it look like you have a waist. Especially the obi belts. My mom made all 3 of us obi belts last year and we experimented with them in different ways.

Black pants for older women

Let’s also talk about this “tie” that my mom is wearing. It’s basically a long pearl necklace, and it’s one of those sentimental items that we talked about last week. This piece used to be Charlotte’s stepmom’s tie and when her step mom passed away, my mom requested to have it. It’s from the 1950’s and my mom loves it to death.

Of course I couldn’t find anything like it for you to buy, but we all love our pearl necklaces. So I came up with a couple that were different from the norm like this one or this one.

Women wearing black pants

Pants: Talbots-thrifted (similar here)~~Top: Laura & Jayne (similar here)~~Shoes: Dana Buchman (similar here)~~Belt: (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Ring: (similar here)

All three of us paired up our black pants differently to head out for a night on the town. And if you incorporate shine, shimmer or pearls with your pants, I think they dress up fabulously. I’d love to know if you wear pants for the fancy events, and if so, how do you make it work?

Thanks to one and all of you for your support. It means more than you know!

The Facts

Even if you wouldn’t consider purchasing your clothing online, it can be helpful to look through my links to see what is available! It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings, if you click on them but don’t like them. Just so you know, one of the ways I make money from this blog is through these linked items.

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I rounded up some more black pants, because I know many of you think you can never have enough. Right?

  • Cute fall outfits ladies, my fave would be that mint sweater. Looks so elegant.

    Jessica |

  • To me black pants partners literally all tops. It pops the color or design of whichever top you would like to pair with. Your outfit looks amazing!
    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

    • You’re exactly right, Katya which is why every woman has at least one pair, right? But now that we all have a pair, we should experiment with other colors, maybe??
      Thanks so much for the positive thoughts and have a fabulous weekend!!

  • Eileen Flanigan Sinda

    I have a couple of pair of black pants as they do make it easy to go dressy. They go with almost everything. It is funny, this is the first year in forever that I was buying colors and ankle pants. I always think colors make me look heavy on the bottom but am getting better with that. Ankle pants where to begin? I was a tall girl all my life. When pants were long I struggled to find pants that weren’t at the ankle on me. So I was set against them. Now they are in style and it is working for me. I had a pearl necktie in the early 70s. Not expensive and it broke. But I did love it. Glad to see Charlotte wearing hers. Not big on the whole cold shoulder fashion. If my shoulders are cold, I am cold. But Nancy’s outfit is very nice. Love her bling.

    • I love to hear that you are buying more colors this year Eileen!! I always think that our happiness shows through our clothing choices somewhat (of course I may be full of it, too!)
      And I can totally understand about the ankle length pants when that was such a struggle for so long!! But I always say to my mom, it’s important to realize that we need to change with the times. Just like we don’t expect women to only be teachers and secretaries anymore. We also don’t go by the same fashion ideas!!

  • Mother Daughter

    I love black pants for all occasions. There are times I have 5/6 pr of black pants. lol You all look great. Love the shoes Nancy is wearing.

    • It’s true that these pants really work for almost everything, right, Victoria??

  • Brigid Gallagher

    You all look fabulous but my favourite has to be your floral jacket.

    • Thanks so much Brigid!! It’s one of my faves!!

  • I love me some black pants!

    • They work for everyone, don’t they, Barbie??

  • I’ve always been a huge fan of black pants – whether in denim or a dressier heavyweight fabric like the ones your mom is wearing. Just like jeans, they go with just about anything which is why I love them so much! Your mom’s necklace is absolutely gorgeous!
    The three of you look fabulous – I particularly love how you’ve added a sweater over the top of the shirt to help the ‘to tuck or not to tuck’ conundrum! Gorgeous Jodie 🙂
    Suzy xx &

  • It’s never too early or late to wear sparkle! You all look fabulous in your Black trousers, it’s good to have a lreast one pair in your wardrobe. xx

  • You all three are looking beautiful but my favorite look is yours dear! The light green blouse is my favorite. You all three are doing great job <3
    Kisses <3

  • Judy Gramith

    Im afraid that lateness is just my thing lately… to much to move and find places for.
    Jodie that green top is so pretty on you, definitely one of your colors!! I like the jewelry too. With the floral jacket this is a knock out look.
    Nancys cold sholder stripey top is classically awesome! That little clutch is the cutest!!!
    CHARLOTTE! I HAVE THAT SAME TIE!!! I love it too! I have NO idea where it is right now but it’s a forever keeper!!

    • There is no time limit on commenting, Jude!! I’m so honored that you take the time to do it in the first place. Especially while you are moving across country—you are amazing!!
      Now I need to see you in that tie—-my mom bought a black one in Hong Kong and gave it to me, but I haven’t worn it much. We could be the “tie sisters”, LOL!

      • Judy Gramith

        OMG! Tie sisters for sure! In fact , maybe a post on feminine ties!!
        Your tie would be PERFECT to wear to a black tie event with Rob!!! That pretty greenie gold skirt you bought from Suzanne, with a silky blouse in a watercolor print that has some black in it and sexy, strappy heels. GORGEOUS…?

        • It’s always amazing, how you almost know my closet better than I do!!!

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    those outfits are all spot-on, Jodie! Black pants (all shapes and lengths) make any outfit look elegant or at least professional.

    • Thanks Terri!!
      It certainly is something that everyone can relate to!!

  • I love all these looks. I like yours the most Jodie, but that pearl tie is just too cute!


    • Thanks Mary!!
      I was very surprised that I like how this came together, because by the time I left the house I was a little over it and slightly unsure!!
      And my mom will love it that you think her tie is cute!!

  • I love black trousers! They’re so versatile as you’ve shown! I love how you layered. I love the trousers from Nordstrom that are ruffles on the bottom!

    • Don’t you love those ruffle pants from Nordstrom??? It’s a terrible thing when I buy the items that I showcase—but they are so original and fun!!!
      Thanks Laura!!

  • lol – you don’t wear black pants for a reason similar to why I DO, Jodi – our lifestyle simply doesn’t (or didn’t) suit some colors or fabrics as well as others. Black’s the color where stains can be spot cleaned the easiest – since I always seem to spill coffee or something on lighter ones, then have to change. BUT, to be perfectly honest, I’d probably feel the same way about black pants even if I didn’t spill. Actually, I doubt I’ve ever met a pair of black pants I did NOT like. 😀

    I have collected a black pants line-up to rival Bloomie’s – lol – different shapes, fabrics and weights, some even with matching tops or jackets I mix and match with other pieces in my closet most of the time.

    When my mother was still alive and my private couturier, she made me a perfectly fitting black velvet pants-suit that became my go-to “tuxedo” for quite a few dressy events in New York CIty. Usually paired with sparkly jewelry, fancy heels and a gorgeous low-cut silk paisley vest in jewel tones (which I always wore shirtless), I got a great many compliments on it from women who chose to wear long dresses – which never occupied much room in my particular closet. They would probably *never* get worn in Cincinnati – pretty much a “sweatsuit du jour” kinda’ town, much to my disappointment since I LOVE to dress up, even though I’m not crazy about dresses per se.

    I’m with Charlotte on the wow factor of black and red, btw – and I
    previously commented on how I covet Nancy’s tunic (only half-kidding!) LOVE your look with the statement jacket – one of my favs so far.

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie –
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    • You really hit the nail on the head. I remember in the 90’s when one of my friends lived in NYC. We wore black all the time then, because it was “cool”. (or so we thought). And I tried wearing black pants a couple of times, but it just wasn’t easy to keep the powder off of them….
      And I don’t think I realized that your mom created clothes for you too, Madelyn!!
      Thanks for the lovely, lovely compliments!! I know my mom and Nancy will truly appreciate them too!

  • Franci Hoffman

    Great looks, Jodie! I love the layered look as it adds more interest to an outfit. Black pants, whether dressy or not are always a must have.

    • You are exactly right Franci!! So it’s good that I bought these pants—-although I’m sure I could find something else in my closet to wear otherwise—-ha ha!!

      • Franci Hoffman

        Never feel guilty about buying black pants. 🙂

  • classic essential piece in a closet. love it!
    kisses from the sandpit ❤︎

  • Jodie – I usually wear dresses for fancy events but you have showed me great options here and now I want to look for some black fancy pants! I love all three of your looks! Your layered top is perfect and does showcase your necklace beautifully. And your mom’s pearl “tie” makes me want to hunt one down for my own closet. It’s so unique. Nancy’s outfit is fun and dare I say, a little sexy, with the open shoulders. It works beautifully on her. I also love her clutch! The three of you give me so many ideas! Well done!!

    • What a fabulous comment to read, Cathy!! I even forwarded it to both my mom and Nancy so they could appreciate your comments!!
      Thanks so much for this.
      But I’m with you—I probably wear dresses most of the time too. Although there was one really cold wedding that I went to, and I wore a pantsuit! Funny how that sticks with me even though it was over 20 years ago!

  • I love how you decided to layer, Jodie! And I love the slimmer cut you all selected. It makes all the looks very polished which lends a dressier vibe.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • I agree with you Amy, although someone else just said the opposite. It’s so funny how our perspectives can be so different.

  • mummabstylish

    Wow you all look gorgeous, I love black trousers and all of yours are fabulous. x Jacqui

    • Thanks Jacqui!!
      So the question is, how many pairs of black pants do you have?? Ha ha!!

  • Oh Jodie you all look so beautiful! You know it is funny, I do’t have too many black pants either, but I have been collecting some black leggings so I guess that counts. I think black pants are fun and the most versatile of all pants. Great post!

    • Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one, Cheryl!! They really are good for some many things—maybe I’ll have to keep my eyes open next time I’m thrifting for a different silhouette??

  • You girls are looking fabuolous, and I LOVE LOVE that teal top on look gorg!

  • Goodness, I love all three of these looks! Each of you look fantastic and ready to step out on the town. I really like your layered top look and need to remember this in the future. I used to do this all the time way back in the day, so thank you for the reminder of how great it looks!

    • Thanks Jennie!!
      I almost gave this top away because it’s quite short. But now that I’ve seen how it can layer, I’m so glad I hung onto it!! I guess it’s good to be like my mom sometimes and keep things!!! Ha ha!

  • Yay for black pants! I have a couple of pairs that I love. They are comfortable and go with so many things. Thanks for sharing these options with us, Jodie.

    • They really are the basic, quintessential go-to item, aren’t they, Lisa???

  • Well you ladies all look fabulous this Monday morning! Nancy is so glittery and your mom is so adorable with her tie. I’d love to see you try those black pants from Nordstrom with the ruffle hem Jodie. I bet you could pull them off with such panache! I think I would not!

    • Thanks so much Julia!!
      And I think that sounds like a challenge about those ruffle hem pants?? We should both get a pair and prove that anyone could wear them?? They aren’t that much different than flare jeans??

  • Everyone should have a good fitting black pants in their wardrobe. It’s such a versatile and timeless piece.


    Tamara –

    • And you hit on the important key, Tamara. They should be good fitting. I’ve seen way too many that are too big on women, and then they look sloppy!!

  • Laura

    Jodie, you found some amazing pants for this post! What a great thrifting find and they fit you so well! I really like the variety of colors/neutrals you all wore with your pants. Black pants can be so versatile!

    • I really was super lucky finding these because I didn’t even have to alter them at all!! Now that’s a plus!!
      Thanks so much Laura!!

  • Ok ladies! I have to say these are my favorite outfits from you all! You all always look fab, but I am obsessed with todays post!

    • Thanks so much Kelsey!!
      You are always such a positive and fabulous voice to hear from!!

  • Pamela Graham

    I think you can dress for most occasions with a pair of black pants, couldn’t live without them. Wide legged linens or dressier in bootcut. Skinnies just don’t cut it when you’re 5ft 2″ with HIPS. All looking good ladies x

    • This did make me laugh Pamela!!
      So what do you think of the black pants from Nordstrom with the ruffle hem? Don’t you think those would work nice to balance out the hips???

  • You can never go wrong with a good pair of black pants! Dying over your necklace Jodie!

    • Thanks Kathrine!!!
      I almost purchased this necklace from Rocksbox, but I have found that it really quests my love of buying new things, to be able to wear them and then send them back to get new pieces!!

  • haha…yes I knew about the rhinestone rule years ago and researched it before it was easy on the net to do so. It was like white pants/shoes after labor day…not done. I never did find the same rule for diamonds so I told Mr. that I needed more to not beak any fashion rules! Mum’s the word!

    • Now that’s the best story ever!!! But your secret is safe with me—ha ha!!

  • Love the three variations you showed! I don’t think I ever heard the ‘rule’ about rhinestones. Interesting!!

    • Leave it to my mom, to know all the old rules, Darlene!! Now if I could just get her to forget them, ha ha!!

  • I don’t have many black trousers myself you know? Love all of 3 looks, yours is wonderful and that jacket is adorable. Your mum nailed her look…love it too much, I am a sucker for red and that blouse is perfect on her! Much love and well done girls =)

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion & beauty blog

    • That’s funny that you don’t have many pairs of these pants either, Vale!!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

  • I don’t wear black pants (that aren’t jeans!) nearly often enough. Love these looks!

    By Lauren M

    • But you know many of the black jeans look just as dressy now a days!! I bet many people can’t really tell the difference!!
      Thanks Lauren!!

  • I’m all exited about this post. First of all, I like to wear my black pants exactly like you do. I call it my preppy look. Second, I think this is the most fantastic look on Nancy. This suits her very well! Third, I love that tie! I used to wear ties, on that preppy look, a lot. Not those pearl ones, but the silk ones. Fabulous post!

    • Ahhh…the preppy look!! Now that reminds me of high school, Nancy—and it was some of my favorite fashion!
      Thanks for the lovely thoughts on this post!
      I still have some silk ties—not that I’ve worn them lately, but I have a feeling they will be back in style one of these days!! Do you still have yours?

  • Sarah Denzer

    Such a great post<3

    All of you are very stylish<3

    Have a lovely day.

  • Karen

    I love what you are wearing Jodie. That light blue/green/gray (obviously am not succeeding in describing the color) top over the blouse is such a perfect extra piece. Was that thrifted too? If not, would you share where it is from? I love Nancy’s purse especially and your mom’s shoes! I recognize the size-zip pants your mom is wearing from Talbots, that is the only kind of dress pants I buy anymore because it reduces the bulk in front that is caused by zippers, a fly, etc. Great pants! That blue top though, I just love that over the white longer blouse! Love the short-over-long look! I think that deep navy works just like black as a dressy neutral for those who don’t like to wear a lot of black. I agree that what we wear makes a statement about what’s going on inside, or rather the message we want to send. The messages change depending on mood or occasion, but we definitely make statements with our clothing choices!

    • Thanks so much Karen. It’s a little funny to me how I imagine an outfit and then end up having to switch it up because something didn’t look right. I thought for sure, I’d be basic with black pants and a gold shimmer blouse, but now I’m glad I added this mint top over it. This top is from a local boutique that went out of business a year or so ago.
      Here’s when I wore it as part of our matching set theme: It has a zipper up the back, and I’ve even worn it turned around as a cardigan (but not on the blog). But I’m totally glad I experimented with this, because I’d do it again now!!
      And you’re so right about navy as another option! I don’t have much of that color in my closet (shocking, right), so I’ll have to keep a lookout for it now when I go thrifting!!

  • Stevie Turner

    Yes, black trousers are so versatile! I have loads.

    • Maybe it’s like the little black dress?? Everyone can relate to them???
      Thanks Stevie!!

  • I’m surprised to learn that your Mom’s fun tie is from the 50s! I had one exactly like this but I’m pretty sure it was something I bought back when I shopped at fast fashion stores.

    My favourite here is yours Jodie. Soft pastels really seem to work on you.


    • That’s so interesting about that pearl tie, Suzanne!! But then again, the fast fashion places have to copy things from somewhere I guess??? So I’m thinking you don’t still have yours?

  • Amy K

    Great post! I loved all 3! I especially loved what you did with that top, Jodie, I too have been seeing that look of the layered top with the blouse that hangs out below a fitted sweater, and I think its so cool! I love how you did that, and the beautiful colors in yours! Your statement jacket is really cool too! And I love the story of your mom’s tie necklace, and your stepmom looks great in that top, very flattering! Amy

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Love the black pants. I think every woman should have black pants and a black skirt….so versatile. Still admitting I’m having shoe envy with my recent foot surgery. Sneakers and stretchy sketchers just don’t do it with some outfits lol. Hopefully one day soon I can wear cute shoes again?!
    Bev xx

    • I feel for you Bev—–shoes are my love, so I can totally understand your pain. But there are some cute black sneakers that would kinda camouflage with black pants, LOL!!!
      Thanks Bev!!

  • Black pants are the most versatile clothing item, I actually own a lot of black pants but most are in legging style and a few in wide legged style. All these looks are so good and totally wearable! I loved your look the most, I am glad you decided to go for layering over your blouse. It totally elevates the outfit and makes it look so chic 🙂

    • Thanks Ankita!!
      I may have to consider another pair for myself, because I really see how versatile they can be!

  • I am never without black pants in my closet… I actually have several pair in different cuts.

    They’re a Sunday Mass staple and go-to for many dressier events for me….but as I think of it, more so in the cooler months.

    I do tend to stick with dresses for the really dressy events but the black pants are upgraded middle ground.

    With your love of color it’s no surprise that you needed to find a pair…love how you kept it colorful!

    • I hear many of my friends say this exact same thing, Em!! Black pants are the go-to for them, and I bet for a lot of women!!!

  • Love black trousers and jeans too. You all look fab! Have a great start to your week. Gemma x

    • I probably wear black jeans way more than black pants….but maybe that’s because I’m retired!!
      Thanks Gemma!