The Best Summer Pants That Should Be in Every Man’s Closet

best summer pants
Courtesy of Lululemon

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There’s quite the important distinction to be made between the ways in which you bundle up for winter, and the ways in which you dress for warmer temperatures, including (but not limited to) finding the best summer pants. Sure, you can wear comfortable jeans in both winter and summer, but we’re of the opinion that there’s a solid dividing line between the best summer pants and the sort of pants you’d wear the rest of the year.

Think lightweight, easy and breezy without getting sloppy. The type of pants you’ll want to wear to lounge around in or to grab a summer rooftop cocktail in. And yet, you’ll also find the best summer pants are polished enough to go to the office, without weighing you down or proving too stuffy to grab post-work drinks. Think of classic summer fabrics, like lightweight linen or helpful cotton blends with plenty of stretch. Thus, you feel cooler while still looking stylish.

Your wardrobe upgrades aren’t limited to just summer pants, to be sure, but your bottom half is a valuable place to start seasonal shopping. Likewise, be sure to check out our list of the best bathing suits for men as well. It’s never too early.

Here are the best summer pants we’ve got our eyes on this season.

  

1. DU/ER Live Lite Slim Fit Pants

BEST OVERALL

What should you look for in a pair of summer pants you can wear when the situation calls for it? First off, start with the fabric: keep it lightweight and breezy, yet not too flimsy. To nobody’s surprise, the performance menswear maestros at DU/ER have nailed that formula with a blend of cotton, polyester, spandex and substantial Tencel for moisture-wicking, stretch-filled wear. The five-pocket design means these can be worn like men’s chinos to the office with a crisp white Oxford shirt, but they can also pass for jeans in a casual pinch. And in a color like New Haven Khaki, they’re versatile enough to wear with just about anything else in your summer wardrobe.

Note that the fit is slim, but not too tight — they’re tapered at the ankle for a clean finish. They check all the boxes in a pair of day-to-night summer pants.

Best overall pants for summer. Courtesy of DU/ER

  

2. Todd Snyder Italian Linen Trousers

BEST SUMMER DRESS PANTS

Look, summer isn’t all about laidback days on the beach or the boardwalk rocking little more than swim trunks and a tank top (no neon colors, please). Sometimes, you need a pair of properly tailored trousers to wear with a polo or a breezy T-shirt and unlined blazer combination. Any time you need to get dressed and look your best, reach for these investment-worthy linen trousers from Todd Snyder.

Part of a refined suit — one that would look plenty dashing dressed up or dressed down — these trousers stand out in a refined way in their own right, especially when worn with a lightweight navy polo and leather loafer. They’re pricier than other pairs on this list, but well worth it given the high-quality fabric and timeless, tailored design.

Best dress pants for summer for men. Courtesy of Todd Snyder

  

3. Lululemon ABC Slim-Fit Pants

BEST EVERYDAY SUMMER PANTS

Now, are you going to rock pants every single day this summer? Probably not, but when you need a solid pair of pants for a slightly breezy summer evening, a long day at the office or a demanding day of travel, reach for a pair with reliable stretch, comfort and plenty of style points top of mind. Lululemon has your workout gear needs covered, but we’ve been impressed with the brand’s expansion into off-duty wear, too.

The key here is the abrasion-resistant proprietary fabric, which makes them durable for day hikes and park hangs, but the unique ABC (or “Anti-Ball-Crushing”) fit is just as important for guys on the go. A hidden zippered pocket is valuable for your everyday carry, and you can even flip up the cuffs to show off reflective detailing if you’re zipping around on a bike all day. Choose from a range of colors to suit every wardrobe need.

Best everyday summer pants for men. Courtesy of Lululemon

  

4. Bonobos Off-Duty Pants

BEST GO-ANYWHERE SUMMER PANTS

Heading to a lunch meeting, then hitting the road on an early Friday? Hitting the town wearing your best summer blazer and a breezy polo? Heading to an outdoor summer wedding and looking for the ideal blend of seasonal comfort and polished style? The remarkable Bonobos Off-Duty Pants are your secret weapon this season and beyond, merging the comfort of a jogger with the styling potential of a chino. It’s these kinds of details that we appreciate in a proper pair of summer pants for men, and we trust Bonobos completely to ace the design — pants are the bedrock of the NYC-founded company, after all.

Key features here include a comfortable elastic waistband with a useful drawstring — and a classic button waist and fly zipper for a polished look. The garment-dyed cotton blend features plenty of stretch, and the wide array of colors turn these into summer pants you can wear with everything from a white pocket tee to a chambray shirt or even a stretch dress buttondown shirt.

Best go-anywhere summer pants. Courtesy of Bonobos

  

5. Scotch & Soda Tapered Fit Cargo Trousers

BEST FASHION-FORWARD SUMMER PANTS

Not every guy can pull off cargo trousers, at least not with older iterations of the pocket-packed style. But lately, we’ve been seeing cargo trousers that use less fabric, that slim things down and offer up a more tailored cut, while still coming off as easygoing and ever-so-slightly fashion-forward. That’s what you’re getting here with these effortlessly cool, surprisingly rugged cargo trousers.

We can’t recommend that you pack your pockets full of EDC gear, seeing as the cargo design is tapered and streamlined for maximum style points. But in a very cool, throwback Army Green, these trousers make a statement — especially when you wear them with simple style picks like a casual white or grey tee and suede chukka boots to let the trousers run wild.

Best fashion-forward pants for summer. Courtesy of Scotch & Soda

  

6. J.Crew 484 Pants in Stretch Slub Cotton-Linen

BEST BOLD SUMMER PANTS

Summer is nothing if not the ideal time to have a little fun with your wardrobe, right? These J.Crew pants, in the brand’s famed 484 fit (nicely tailored but not overly skinny) are a great bet in terms of style, bold color and agreeable pricing. Beyond that, the mixture of cotton and linen gives them nice texture and depth, all the better to stand out in subtle style at the office, a rooftop bar or a BBQ. We prefer the “Dusty Mustard” color, a vibrant upgrade from traditional khaki or olive chinos (although you need a pair of each in your wardrobe). Wear these sub-$100 pants in easygoing fashion with a white henley or with a navy polo for a tried-and-true summer style. Add canvas kicks and a cold beer, and you’ve got the right idea when it comes to seasonal style.

Best bold summer pants Courtesy of J.Crew

  

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