13 Lightweight Pants You’ll Actually Want to Wear for the Rest of Summer
And no, linen's not your only option
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There’s nothing like a sweaty, humid August to remind us that summer style isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. While the perpetual deceasing inseam of shorts is a fun novelty, and we are ecstatic about the return of the beloved penny loafer (underrated suggestion: try pairing the two), summer can also be…gross. The tank top-boxer short uniform that the dog days demand doesn’t exactly fly at the office, or on that first date. And this daily dilemma of what to wear is further aggravated by the fact that, while for some, the answer is as simple as shorts, not everyone is as thigh-forward as we are. 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. This is why you need a pair of lightweight pants for summer.
You’d be a masochist to pull out your most rigid, heavy-duty, constricting jeans in 90-degree weather — the double-knees can wait until fall — but a nice pair of linen or 100% cotton pants (or even lightweight denim) will provide the comfortable, familiar feel of full-coverage pants, without the added worry of overheating or, much worse, ill-placed sweat stains. A looser, oversized silhouette allows for more wiggle and breathing room, as well, so opt for a relaxed fit when pulling the trigger on some summertime pants.
Through blood, sweat and tears — most just sweat, really — we’ve tested out a variety of bottoms on summer’s sultriest of days, and come away with some serious contenders for the best lightweight pants to see out the season in. Below, you’ll find 13 vetted pairs, 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.
We know what you’re thinking — corduroy pants in the summer sounds like hell, but these Corduroy Weekend Pants from Todd Snyder are made from a washed micro-cord that feels as soft (and lightweight) as a pair of sweats.
Woven with a lightweight herringbone fabric, Abercrombie’s pull-on tailored pants are roomy and comfortable, the perfect pairing for a crisp, sized-up oxford, your favorite sneakers and a winning smile.
If you can’t be bothered with real pants this summer, but are also operating under some serious dress codes, Alex Mill’s Madras Standard Pleated Pants are the only way to keep it cool while looking the part. Feathered up in a decadent over-dyed madras and impossibly light, you can pair with the matching Madras Blazer for an all-gas, no sweat get-up.
These pant’s name says it all; crafted from a linen, silk and 100% organic cotton blend that’s been perfected for breathability, durability and luxurious softness. Textured with a handsome herringbone finish, they’re the perfect lightweight pant for every occasion.
Everlane’s jogger-esque Air Pants may look a bit loungey at first glance, but their 100% recycled, stretchy elastane fibers make for an unparalleled feel on toasty summer days.
These Mr P. 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.
Uniqlo offers a relaxed fit pant outfitted with their latest “ultra light” tech (a stretchy, lightweight, and quick-drying fabric, jointly developed with Toray Industries), and let’s just say that we’re fans.
There’s a reason Flint and Tinder’s 365 Pant continues to endure as one of their best sellers — with the cut of a jean, the look of chinos and the feel of performance pants, it’s the perfect pair fit for tackling anything you see fit to throw at it this summer, whether that’s commuting to the office or running errands.
Made from a cotton-linen blend fabric, Faherty sought to make the Essential Pant all the more, well, essential for hot, humid summer days by adding extra breathability, perfect for hanging out by the AC or heading out to brave the heat.
Sometimes you just gotta stick with the classics, like these reliable suit bottoms from J.Crew. They (among other things, like looking good) prove dressy option doesn’t have to mean stuffy.
A take on Madewell’s best-selling Everyday Shorts, these relaxed cotton-twill pants have a comfy elastic waist, tonal drawstring, and tones of room to sashay around in.
Sure, chinos aren’t hard to come by, but what about a pair of striped chinos, like these from Bonobos? As if that weren’t enough, the Off Duty Pant blends the dressed-up chino sensibility with a jogger feel. They’re the ideal lightweight pant for wanting to look put together without wanting to put in the effort. Just let them do the work for you.
Outerknown crafted these lightweight 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.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself of for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.
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