Sometimes you just can’t, or, don’t want to wear shorts. But when it’s blazing hot outside, picking the wrong pair of trousers could leave you cooked. Not all pants are made for the high temps of the hottest season, but here are six types to look for, with affordable examples of each.
Linen or Linen / Cotton Blends
- Jomers Baird McNutt 54% Linen / 46% cotton Trousers – $42
- GAP Slim Fit 55% Linen / 45% Cotton Chinos – $39.20 w/ FORYOU ($69.95)
- Brooks Brothers Slim-Fit Garment-Dyed Cotton-Linen Stretch Chinos – $69.50
- Spier & Mackay Linen Trousers – $98
- Todd Snyder Made in Canada Windowpane Linen Suit Pant – $139 ($198)
Quick, think of a fabric that gets worn almost exclusively in warm weather. You probably thought of linen. Linen’s almost translucent airiness is the choice for many who live year round in tropical climates. The one drawback? It’ll wrinkle like crazy. But that’s part of the appeal. It’s summer, it’s hot, so who cares about a few wrinkles? One way to mitigate that wrinkling is by weaving some cotton into the mix. Usually right around a 50/50 ratio, cotton/linen pants are a great choice for someone who likes the look and texture of linen, but doesn’t want that many wrinkles.
- J Crew Factory Oxford Cloth Pants in Straight or Slim – $30 w/ SWIMMING
- Brooks Brothers Milano or Clark Fit Supima Oxford Chinos – $98.50
- J. Crew Ludlow Suit Pant in Navy Italian Cotton Oxford – $188
Made in the same oxford weave your favorite OCBD shirt comes in, only in a summer appropriate weight. Usually all cotton, and while they are comfortable, they don’t wick like a tech pant will, or breathe quite as well as linen in suffocating heat and humidity. Great for drier climates.
- Bonobos Summerweight Chinos – $73.50 w/ LIGHTWEIGHT ($98)
- J.C.F Lightweight Chinos in Slim, Straight, or Athletic Fit – $35ish
- GAP Wearlight Khakis in Slim or Straight Fit with GapFlex – $38.40 w/ FORYOU ($59.95)
- Everlane “Air” Chino – $58
All cotton or almost all cotton (the rest being spandex) chinos that have lightened up specifically to be worn in the heat. These are not your Dad’s stiff work dockers from 1996. They might wrinkle a bit easier due to the thinner fabric, but your body will appreciate the airy crispness to the material.
Tech Chino (full poly or a cotton/poly blend)
- Banana Republic Core Temp Chinos – $58.80 when 40% off ($98)
- Lands’ End Traditional Fit Stretch Golf Pants – $29.97 w/ SEASHELL & 4278 ($59.95)
- Old Navy Slim Built-In Flex Dry Quick Ultimate Khakis – $35ish
A lifesaver for those of us that run warm. These are made from poly or poly/cotton blend fabrics that have been engineered to breathe, wick away sweat, stretch like crazy, and dry quickly. Some are all polyester, and thus you’ll get the “swish” sound when you walk. Others like BR’s outstanding core temp chinos are a cotton poly blend, and look and feel much more like a true all cotton chino.
- J. Crew Stretch Chambray Pants in 484 Slim or 770 Straight Fit – $75
- Old Navy Slim Signature Built-In Flex Non-Iron Pants – $28 w/ SWEET
- Target Goodfellow & Co Chambray Pants – $24.99
The hyper-lightweight, super breathable cousin to denim. Usually around the same weight as a summerweight chino, these have a bit of texture and can be crisper feeling that other summer appropriate pants. They should be noticeably lighter than a stiff, classically styled chambray workshirt. That’s not the fabric you’re looking for here.
Fresco / Tropical Wool
- Spier & Mackay Fresco Wool Trousers – $118
- Black Lapel – $169 (pictured at top of post)
- Todd Snyder Tropical Wool Suit Trousers – $148 ($199)
The granddaddy of em’ all. Difficult to find but well worth it. Wool is the king of all fabrics. It breathes like crazy, regulates temperature, and has anti-stink properties. Perfect for the warmest months. But this type of wool is the exact opposite of the shaggy winter sweaters you wear on the coldest of days. This is a lean, mean, lightweight, crisp wool that almost feels cool to the touch. A bit spendy, but again… well worth it.