Ankle pants, which can be worn on the ankle bone or up to four inches above it, are the biggest trend in bottoms. From straight leg silhouettes and slouchy track pants, to cuffed and pleated looks and tight skinnies. Some hem widths are a little wider than a tapered tailored fit. 

Black ankle pants are popular with my clients, especially in business casual settings, because they’re warmer, less formal and more practical than skirts. They also feel more warm weather appropriate than full-length black pants, and are quite versatile. Some of my clients have gone further to add ankle pants in colours and patterns. 

Which style of shoe to pair with black ankle pants is a common question. Personally, I like black ankle pants best when they are paired with shoes that have black ankle straps, because the self-colour strap extends the length of the trousers and elongates the leg line. To my eye that makes the leg shortening ankle pant more flattering. It also makes the length look more fashionably intentional. The photos illustrate how black d’Orsay ankle strap pumps and sandals visually lengthen the leg line on an assortment of black ankle pants.

Emerson Thorpe Emilia PantsCoSTUME NATIONAL Leggings

Rebecca Minkoff Hemmer Embroidered PantsAlice + Olivia Arthur Ankle Pants

KENZO High-Waisted Cotton and Linen Blend PantsTIBI Anson Cropped Stretch Crepe Pants

Wearing heeled black ankle strap pumps and sandals is not your only option. Create a similar visual effect with flats, almost black shoes, and more covered black shoes with black ankle straps. For example, choose an ankle strap flat in a dark grey pattern, a non-black shoe with a black ankle strap, black pumps with ankle straps, cage heels or cut-out booties.

This trick can make it much easier to create flattering proportions with ankle pants. Forum member Diane recently put this concept into action. I put it into action last year by pairing my pants with animal print pumps with black ankle straps. If you’re new to ankle pants, give it a bash.