Welcome to Buy Choice, in which we pick one everyday item, cut out all the noise, and present you with nothing but the best options on the market.
“It’s disgusting. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can’t take them seriously.”
That’s culture critic and loveable curmudgeon Fran Liebowitz, on men who wear shorts.
While we do not share this sentiment, we do concede there are certain occasions — work, weddings, the 19th hole — that will require a man to conceal his calves come summer.
But he need not do so oppressively, as evidenced by the 12 summer-weight trousers we have collected here today.
We’re talking paper-thin chinos. Feathery denim by way of Japan. And linen pants so lightweight you may forget you’re wearing them at all.
Wonder how Ms. Liebowitz would feel about that.
The Canvas Pant: Buck Mason Vintage Canvas 5-Pocket Pant
Swapping out your chinos, khakis or jeans for a canvas pant might be the simplest style hack you can make to stay cool on summer’s doggiest days. They’re all cotton-based textiles, but canvas is lighter on the hand than its counterparts. This is especially true in the case of Buck Mason’s signature summer pant, which is garment washed and generously fitted for extra breathability.
The Denim: The Neat by Mother Denim
Like Buck Mason, Mother is based in L.A., which is always a good sign when you’re looking for summer garb. Their just-launched men’s collection blends Japanese and Italian denims with a hint of elasthane, which translates to a super lightweight jean that rides more like linen.
The Denim Alternative: Shockoe Atelier x American Trench Navy Chambray Trouser
Despite appearances, chambray and denim are not the same material. They both combine two different cotton yarns (white in the weft, colored in the warp), but denim’s tighter twill construction gives it more structure. When it’s 90 degrees out, you do not want structure — you want chambray.
The Summer White: Commonwealth Proper White Cotton Pant
Every man should own at least one pair of white pants. Very few men should own many beyond that, unless they have a very, very good cleaner on speed dial. Save them for special occasions, and opt for a pair on the more formal end of the scale. This tailored, pleated number from Philly’s Commonwealth Proper ticks all boxes.
The Work Chino: The Air Chino by Everlane
Like much of the garb on this list, Everlane’s lightest-weight dress pant is made from a material typically reserved for shirts: in this case, a featherweight 4.2-oz. cotton poplin. They’ll feel more similar to track pants than slacks, not that your boss will know it.
The Slouch Chino: Grown and Sewn Independent Slim Feather Pant
Your father would disapprove of these chinos, culled from a paper-thin 5.5-oz. cotton twill that crumples and wrinkles like a set of worn-in sateen sheets. Your father probably also wore a wool blazer in August.
The Linen: Frescobol Carioca Drawstring Trouser
The brand’s named after a Brazilian beach sport, and these pants cut their proverbial jib accordingly: melange linen, no belt loops and a general disdain for anything staid or polished.
The Jogger: The Navigation 3.0 by Kit and Ace
Kit and Ace makes these bike-friendly pants with a 50-50 cotton/synthetic blend, which means they’re a spot more breathable than your average jogger. It also comes in nine jaunty colors for an appropriate dose of summertime panache.
The Golf Pant: BONOBOS Highland Pant
UPF 50 sun protection, water-repellent and tons of stretch. Add pants to the list of excuses you can no longer use when you put up a snowman on 18 and toss your putter in the drink.
Taylor Stitch Telegraph Trouser (2 images)
The Suit or Separate: The Telegraph Trouser by Taylor Stitch
Made in Portugal from a 7-oz. wool-linen blend, these trousers are equally dashing on their own or combined with the matching jacket to realize a singular summer-wedding ensemble.
The Wild Card: INC x Mr Turk Ikat Cropped Pant
If you do not think you can pull off these pants, we’re not here to convince you otherwise. If you can, we simply want to let you know they exist. Godspeed.
Nota bene: If you buy through these links, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.
Main image via Anwar Hussein / Getty Images
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.