During an editorial meeting a couple of weeks ago—right around the time spring temperatures in New York fluttered away and chafing season commenced—our lovely Social Media Manager Amalie announced her dislike of shorts and consequent affection for what she calls “summer pants.” As someone known to sport gingham diapers, I was initially perplexed. But her reasoning made sense: shorts are revealing by design (which can be tiring) and come replete with chores (like shaving or moisturizing, if you do those). Sometimes, you’re just not in the mood.
This is where summer pants come in. As Amalie describes them, summer pants are “non-clingy, breezy, tissue-thin, and most importantly, ankle-length.” And she was on the hunt for more. I love problem solving for my coworkers’ (actually, really everybody’s) dressing woes—and this one sounded fun. You don’t have to wear shorts if it’s hot out; you don’t even have to substitute those shorts for a dress, if you don’t want to. But cut and material are important if you want to stay cool.
Below are seven summer pants options I found for Amalie. I usually cap things off around five looks for stories like this, but that’s how saturated the market is with awesome summer pant styles. Let your hems hang low!
These 100% cotton trousers might as well be pajama bottoms, but thanks to the fun 70s print, they exude more sartorial effort than a simple tuck-and-roll out of bed. It’s very fun to dress them thematically with flatforms and a strapless top (this one’s actually a one-piece ruched swimsuit by Solid & Striped). Groovy.
When summer pants come to mind, I immediately think of when I went to golf camp in middle school and was forced to wear pants. Why did I go to golf camp as a non-golfer? That’s another story. I wore a really cute pair of seersucker ones similar to these though. This pair from Marks & Spencer is tan seersucker instead of the common green, blue, or pink, and I love that they appear sort of like a tan trouser from far away. On Amalie, I paired them with a lightweight short sleeve knit for modesty, and a Repeller bag and red slide sandals for pops of color.
These Zimmermann pants are so lightweight that Amalie felt like she was butt naked. Cool, right? I am a big fan of a patterned linen pant because a) linen pants can sometimes be a bit see-through due to their lightweight nature and a pattern combats this and b) they are sooo breathable! I paired these little kick flairs with an easy commuter sneaker and mock neck tank.
Man, styling this one was so freaking fun. I’ve been wanting to tie scarves around the ankles of pants ever since I did it on a whim when assisting on the Repeller Summer 19 photoshoot back in May. I love the Sir-Scarf-A-Lot doubled up on both of Amalie’s ankles. Paired with dainty kitten heel flip-flops, I’ve created what I call a ~summer hoof~. The pants are an incredibly light, breathable linen and !bonus! they have an elastic-waist in the back which comes in handy pretty much always.
The most magical of the loot, these Missoni Rainbow Fish pants styled themselves. Then I went all-the-damn-way by pairing them with a cropped terry top and Hawaiian shirt. These pants can be found in a range of hues and patterns including zig zags and solid colors. I also found you some more affordable similar options here and here.
6. Fun Pants With Matching Tops
I live for a summer set, and this wave button matching top and pants is the perfect answer to looking thoughtful and put together during hot days. The fabric is so light I could imagine this being worn to an outdoor brunch (you’ll match your mimosa!) or an evening BBQ. Paired with flip flops and a scarf in her hair, Amalie looks so freaking kewl.
First of all, these $36.99 pants are 100% cotton. Second, they have pockets. Third, they are drawstring with an elastic waist in the back, meaning they are more comfortable than any denim cutoff you will ever encounter. I put Amalie in a lurex swimsuit, Adidas slides and a headscarf for a Cool Gal on the Beach vibe. Did I succeed or did I succeed?
Do you have any favorite summer pants? Any other summer dressing woes? I’m here to chat! Meet me in the comments and let’s tackle the season of sweat together.
Photos by Madeline Montoya.