10 Pairs of Summer Pants Every Woman Should Own And How to Style Them

In hot weather, pants are usually one of the last things you could fathom wearing. When it comes to sitting in the scorching sun to walking around in sweltering humidity, jeans, trousers, and leggings don’t often equate to a breezy, comfortable outfit—in fact, they can be quite the opposite. The solution to said seasonal woes? The secret category of summer-ready pants. 

The best pants for hot weather are those that incorporate relaxed and comfortable silhouettes. Garments like rigid jeans and stiff, tailored trousers are definitely a hard pass for any sun-soaked retreats you may have on the horizon. Instead, think lightweight pants like pleated trousers and utilitarian cargo pants but reimagined in fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton. If you simply can’t cut denim from your everyday wardrobe, look to more casual takes on jeans, like those with a slouchy, oversized fit or pairs in a white denim finish.

If you’re planning out a workwear wardrobe that needs to be weather-appropriate, then finding work pants that are suitable for the seasonal conditions is key. For 2020, we’re looking toward crisp white trousers, cropped silhouettes and floaty, lightweight summer pants made from luxe fabrics like silk, which read both professional and polished. Pair these with a minimal top, a sharply tailored blazer, a summer knit or an elegant tank top for an ensemble that’s the ultimate in heat chic. 

Lightweight summer pants—or what we’ve deemed après swim pants—work well for days by the sea, aboard a yacht or even while just luxuriating poolside. When styled with swimwear and delicate jewelry, the effect is both laidback and luxe. We also love a slouchy jean styled with sandals and a simple tank, linen shirt or crochet top, á la surf culture for day-tripping. Alternatively, opt for a summer-weight white jean paired with back to basics like tees, summer sweaters or a chic bodysuit for an outfit that’s both day and night-appropriate

After sunset, our top summer pants pick comes printed—this season, it’s all about animal motifs like zebra, tiger stripes, snake print and leopard. Pair these outré patterned pieces with color-blocked separates and accessories to ensure your look isn’t too OTT.

Lightweight pants for summer are highly versatile—so they’re perfect when it comes to transitioning your wardrobe to fall, too. With a few extra layers, be it a summer jacket, heavier knit or mid-weight outerwear, your summer pants of choice can easily live on with boots, heels and closed-toe flats in the mix. When the weather cools off even further, keep wide-leg summer pants, pleated trousers, and loose summer pants made from more substantial fabrics (like wool-blends and silk) in rotation. When styled with sharp tailoring and leather separates, no one will assume they’re actually from your hot weather wardrobe.  

Whether you’re planning looks to get you through the remaining days of summer, mapping out transitional weather outfits for early fall or investing in timeless pants you can wear year-round, keep scrolling for our guide to the ten key summer pants styles of the season. From linen to cotton, cropped to wide-leg and printed to silk, you’ll undoubtedly find a chic style for you.

We’re providing styling ideas for each essential summer pant, too, from relaxed looks to elegant ensembles and combos combining classic pieces with fresh sportswear—read on for more!