The Brief: It’s probably been 10 years since I last owned black pants. I’ve tried dozens of pairs, but something is always off: the waist is too tight, the legs are too long, the hips are weird. I eventually gave up and decided to stick with dresses and skirts whenever the occasion calls. But sometimes, you just don’t feel like wearing a dress or skirt, you know? If only there were a pair of black pants that fit!
Then last month Oprah revealed her latest List of Favorite Things with — surprise! — a pair of black pants by Spanx. Oprah’s recommendation was enough to convince me to give the wardrobe staple another try. Plus, they’re literally called The Perfect Black Pant, so how could I not? With a few clicks, and the magic of Prime shipping, they arrived on my doorstep in two days.
There are actually four different styles within The Perfect Black Pant collection, but I chose the Backseam Skinny pair since it most closely resembles a pair of basic dress pants. When I first pulled them out of the package, I thought they looked like a typical pair of leggings, but closer inspection revealed a nice, thick ponte material and pockets on the front and back. You definitely don’t have to worry about the dreaded see-through effect here.
There’s no zipper, just an elastic waistband, which makes them really easy to pull on, and also reduces the chance of fit issues. I spent a lot of time digging through the reviews before deciding to go with one size up and a petite length (I’m 5 feet, 2 inches tall, for reference). The waistband was slightly loose, so I’d say that they’re actually true to size, but they fit everywhere else, and the length was perfect. No alterations needed! The great thing about these pants is that they come in sizes XS to 3X, and each has the option of petite, regular, or tall lengths.
Even though these are Spanx, they don’t feel constricting at all, and the fit is really flattering. I wouldn’t call them a replacement for slacks in a formal office environment, but for a nice dinner, a night out, or any time you want to look a little more dressed up, they’re an ideal basic. They might be my only black pants, but I can already tell they’re going to be a favorite!
Closing Argument: The Perfect Black Pant from Spanx lives up to its name for a flattering pair of pants that has the comfort of leggings, but looks more dressed-up than jeans.