15 Lightweight Pants You'll Actually Want to Wear This Summer
And no, linen's not your only option
This may come as a surprise, but not everyone loves summer. In fact, some of us (myself included) dread it, hate it and wish we could just go right to fall, and with good reason — summer is gross. And our hatred for summer is further compounded by the daily dilemma of what to wear. For some, the answer is as simple as shorts, but, and this might come as yet another surprise, not everyone loves shorts. Many don’t want to feel the breeze on their calves and instead prefer the full coverage only pants can provide. And in the event there’s some summer soiree to attend, shorts can feel a little too casual.
But pants and summer aren’t exactly synonymous. In a season where it’s all about being easy and breezy, a pair of pants doesn’t necessarily seem conducive to that state of mind (or dress). There are few things less pleasant than quite literally peeling one’s jeans from their sweaty, sticky skin. Any attempts to come off as chill and laidback are rendered futile by the distracting hot mess that’s occurring down under.
But before you resign yourself to just saying fuck it and wearing shorts for the entirety of the season, there’s a whole market of pants crafted with the warmer months in mind. You’d be a masochist to pull out your most rigid, heavy-duty, constricting jeans in 90-degree weather, but a nice pair of linen or 100% cotton trousers (or even lightweight denim) will provide the comfortable, familiar feel of pants, without the added worry of overheating. Even better is these fabrics rendered in a looser, oversized silhouette, allowing for more wiggle and breathing room.
Below you’ll find 15 pairs of pants as stylish as they are appropriate for summer, meaning you won’t have to sacrifice your love of a full leg just to beat the heat.
Todd Snyder The Pleated Pant in Olive Oil
Who doesn’t appreciate an elasticized waistband? These Todd Snyder pants might look like just an ordinary pair of chinos, but features an elasticized waist, providing for more comfort and reasons to go hard at the barbecue. Plus, the detailing of the pleats helps in creating a slightly baggier silhouette that’ll get that air circulating.
Corridor Navy Linen Stripe Trousers
Linen can sometimes a feel a little too casual or beach-y but these linen trousers from Corridor are lent a more buttoned-up feel thanks to the detailing around the wasitband and the subtle white ticking stripe that overlays the navy base. Perfect for when you’re feeling a little fancy.
Alex Mill Pull-On Button Fly Pant
If you can’t be bothered with buttons this summer, and you seek the look of a pant combined with the ease of a sweatpant, it doesn’t get much better than Alex Mill’s Pull-On Button Fly Pant. The pair features an elasticized waist with adjustable drawstring tie, meaning no annoying buttons or hardware digging into your skin. In appearance, the pants are a far cry from the casualness of sweats, but they provide the illusion of trying without really having to do so.
Taylor Stitch The Camp Pant
You don’t necessarily have to go camping in these pants as the name suggests, although they would be suited to both the outdoors and less rugged activities. Crafted from reverse sateen fabric, the interior of these pants is ultra soft (and thus ultra comfortable), while the outside remains durable.
Mango Slim-Fit Linen Pants
There’s always the occasional summer event that calls for getting a little more dressed up, and these linen pants by Mango give the appearance of a nice, semi-formal pair of trousers, all while allowing you to still reap the benefits of the comfortable, breathable fabric.
Everlane The Air Chino Drawstring Pant
Everlane has deemed this “summer’s easiest pant” and rightfully so. The 4.2 oz cotton poplin has 4% stretch, so you’re free to move. Paired with a pull-on style and drawstring waist, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
Mr. P Herringbone Cotton and Linen-Blend Chinos
You might not notice it at first, but if you look very closely you’ll see a small-scale herringbone weave. These pants are cut in a looser fit than the chinos you’re accustomed to, but that just makes them all the more ideal for summer. This deep blue color is reminiscent of a French chore jacket and is perfect for carrying that aesthetic into summer.
Uniqlo Men Linen Blended Relaxed Pants
If you’ve never ventured into the world of linen pants before and are unsure what to expect, Uniqlo’s Linen Blended Relaxed Pants make a nice beginner pair. The fabric doesn’t look too linen-y, especially in a darker color of this this blue-gray pair, but will prove to be much more comfortable than other trousers you’re accustomed to. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they’re only $40.
UO Seersucker Cropped Beach Pant
One of the many joys of summer is that it’s finally seersucker season. Unfortunately the options for seersucker pants tend to get a little monotonous and frequently lean far in the preppy direction. These Urban Outfitters cropped pants take the fabric and render them in a cooler, looser silhouette. It’s seersucker, but for guys who skate. Or at least want to look like they do.
Gap Garment-Dye Slim Jeans
Everyone needs a pair of white (or off-white) jeans in their arsenal come summer, but just the thought of wearing denim while baking in the sun is enough to cause a heat stroke. If you can’t bring yourself to sacrifice the wardrobe staple come summer, consider these ecru option from Gap. All it takes is a couple of wears to break down the denim and combined with the not-too skinny leg, you won’t even notice the heat.
J.Crew 770™ Straight-Fit Stretch Chino Pant
Sometimes you just gotta stick with the classics, like this reliable pair from J.Crew. Have a little fun with them by opting for a color you normally wouldn’t, like this icy blue pair.
Madewell Indigo Relaxed Straight Workwear Pants
While these have the look of jeans they’re actually a faded indigo-dyed herringbone cotton. It’s the easiest way to get your fix of jeans this summer without actually having to wear them.
Bonobos Pleated Chinos
Sure, chinos aren’t hard to come by, but what about a pair of striped pleated chinos, like these from Bonobos? The fine striping is classic and even a little elegant. They’re the ideal solution for wanting to look put together without wanting to put in the effort. Just let them do the work for you.
Onia Carter Linen Pant
It doesn’t get more summer-y than white linen pants, complete with a drawstring waist.
Outerknown Beach Jeans
Outerknown crafted these jeans with the beach in mind (it’s even in the name!) so you can rest assured they’re capable of enduring summer. The jeans are made from a lightweight denim that’s simultaneously durable and breathable.
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