(The Shopping List)

Chic Summer Pants You Won’t Swelter In

Shorts are not the only option.

Shaina Mote summer pants

Jeans and trousers have always been my fashion happy place, which means getting dressed in the winter is so simple for me. Cool pants + a sweater + boots = an outfit formula I can get away with iterating on for months on end without people noticing that that I’m essentially wearing the same thing every day. (Well, I hope.) Summer pants, however, are an entirely less navigable situation. To get away with covered legs in balmy weather you need options that are light and airy despite the extra fabric — and, oh yeah, and will not overheat your body in 80+ degree weather.

I’ve tried and failed to power through July days in no stretch vintage-inspired denim (admittedly cute and summer-y in a picture, but true torture in hot weather) and kept woolen culottes in rotation way too long after Memorial Day. (“But... air conditioning!,” I tell myself, forgetting that my old window unit is a far cry from central AC.)

On the flip side, I’ve also given fully into short-shorts and mini skirts on sweltering afternoons and felt entirely uncomfortable 90 percent of my time wearing them. This is not caused by some sort of belief that I need a certain particular type of body shape to wear these sorts of skin-baring silhouettes, but only because I do not like dealing with my hot, sweaty legs on hot, sweaty days as the humidity invariably causes some manner of razor burn to get irritated. Plus, I just really love how much more elongated my lower half looks in, say, a full-length wide leg design or perfectly cropped-at-the-ankle silhouette.

All this is to say, when it comes to wearing all manner of pants between June and September, I’ve tried it all! And while I still have my fair share of styling mistakes, I have learned a few noteworthy things along the way: Fabrication is key in finding a piece that works, as is opting for a seasonally apropos cut (relaxed and breezy: good; tight and restrictive: bad). Light and bright colors are always an excellent bet as well, although there are still ways to make full on-black work (hello, linen). Which brings me to my final bit of advice: Sometimes you got to break all the rules and wear whatever makes you feel good, forecast be d*mned! Hopefully you’ll find some pieces that fit that very description below — keep scrolling for my picks of the moment.

We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.