Summer is plenty casual, plenty breezy, plenty easygoing – yet not every day is a sunny, sandy beach vacation. What if there was a way to harness that energy even in situations that lean more formal? Situations where you have to wear, y’know, actual pants? I sometimes struggle to stay cool in the heat while looking sharp, but I think I’ve found the proper solution.
It’s a tricky predicament at times even for a men’s style enthusiast like myself, but that’s where linen pants – and not just any linen pants, but the best linen pants – arrive to save a sunny day.
I’ve found that linen pants are an underrated summer style move. They’re more adventurous than light wash jeans, they’re more formal than shorts, and they give off an air of old-world cool.
Think of linen pants not quite like the bread and butter or the meat potatoes of your menswear pyramid, but a valuable source of sustenance all the same. Lighter than thick cotton jeans, cut with a bit more leg room, and less stuffy than dress pants, the best linen pants still can touch on notes both tailored and more casual.
I’ve worn linen trousers with loafers and a polo shirt, along with with a blazer in a contrasting color — that’s just for starters.
The best linen pants are, at times, even suited to wear with a well-fitting T-shirt and leather sneakers (I find that this combination also works more than adequately). I’ve called out a few of my favorites when it comes to this underrated set of summer trousers.
Is there anything Taylor Stitch can’t do? The brand’s excellent Oxford shirt, cozy sweaters and durable denim are all closet staples, but it just got easier than ever to look your best in the sweltering days of summer. The Sheffield Trousers boast a slim-straight fit, 100 percent linen construction and a sense of effortlessly cool style.
Leave it to a famed modern menswear brand to bridge the gap between casual and polished with an expertly cut pair of linen trousers.
These feature a slim-straight fit that looks sharp and streamlined – it’s wearable for multiple body types, in true Taylor Stitch fashion. But the best part (beyond the 100 percent linen build) might be the fact that these wear almost as laidback as your favorite jeans – style them with a Taylor Stitch Heavy Bag Tee or one of my favorite – the brand’s famed everyday Oxford shirts.
As we like to say here at WERD, shopping on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. With larger retailers like MANGO, it’s the name of the game, (quality plus style).
The budget-conscious shopper should also consider versatility – neither too dressy nor too laidback – plus the proper fabric blend (in this case, 100 percent linen).
And if you, like me, tend to shop with a budget in mind, it’s always wise to save a few bucks when trying out a new style.
MANGO’s linen pants feature a modern, tailored fit that still offers up room to breath, and belt loops provide a dressier touch that allows you to show off a finely crafted leather belt if you tuck in your dress shirt. Four easy-to-style color options provide style points aplenty, too.
Cotton can certainly add some depth and durability to linen pants, and that’s what J.Crew has done here.
I’m a huge fan of the famed 484 slim-fit design in multiple styles, from denim to chinos, and that streamlined design results in an office-ready, cocktail hour-approved pair of linen pants.
A variety of sizes, plus cool colors like Dusty Mustard, add to the unique appeal of (arguably) J. Crew’s most popular pants design.
Linen pants often stand apart from typical trousers thanks to the slant hip pockets, similar to dress pants, but these pants use a four-pocket build not unlike denim. The sturdy-yet-soft French linen hits all the right relaxed notes, but the look is a nice way to ease into the world of linen pants while still looking just a bit like your favorite jeans.
And as someone who simply can’t get enough of my light wash denim, I relish any chance to wear pants that mimic jeans even slightly.
When searching for the best linen pants, we considered a few crucial factors–price chief among them, since linen tends to run more expensive in the production process given the finer fibers and more delicate design. Of course, price counts as much as quality–a long-lasting, durable fabric, and the right fit (relaxed but not overly so).
If you want to truly lean into the super-casual nature of linen pants, it’s best to get a pair that already looks like they’ve got some character–like the pleated, relaxed and dusty-hued options on hand from James Perse.
I’ve found that earthen, dusty tones are easier to mix and match than you might think, and they’re a nice change of pace from more vibrant summer colors.
The Mineral Pigment option is visually interesting when paired with other earthy colorways, and back patch pockets provide room for a few EDC essentials. 7 color options available.
Fancy trying linen pants in a dressier setting, like an outdoor summer wedding – it’s probably the optimal time to wear them. Linen pants are one of my go-to style moves, especially when I need to dress up in the heat.
Consider getting a pair you can also team up with a matching suit jacket, like the visually intriguing Light Blue shade on tap here from Joseph Abboud. The tailored fit manages to lean more classic than overly tight, too.
You very well might associate rugged-meets-refined menswear designer Todd Snyder with sporty styles like a heritage crewneck sweatshirt or high-top sneakers. And yet, Todd Snyder steps toward warm coastal climates with his spring and summer menswear offerings, including linen drawstring pants that blend comfort and sharp style.
The Iowa-born designer has never let me down in matters of style and durability, and that holds true here, as well. The garment-dyed and washed Italian fabric is luxe without being overly expensive, and they’re easy to wear with a Todd Snyder polo or even a graphic tee.
If ever you’ve thought pleated pants weren’t all that cool – and I consider myself a part of that group – think again. The pleated pant becomes an easygoing, visually appealing piece that turns the best linen pants into a pair that’s completely different from anything in your wardrobe.
Variety is the spice of life, something I try to keep in mind when building out my wardrobe, and when you throw in a comfortable linen weave, garment-washed fabric and subtle pleats, the overall effect is very pleasing and stylish indeed.
Splurging on something like linen trousers actually makes sense if it’s within your reach–a more niche item, especially one that’s not worn every single day, will take on added meaning whenever you wear it. And a premium fashion label like Aspesi provides exceptional quality and accessible luxury, too.
You can trust the fabric, the tailored style and the streamlined fit, all key considerations when I’m building my own wardrobe. The beige color wears well with summer style staples like a navy polo or a white cotton T-shirt, and also rests pleasantly over leather loafers or luxe suede driving shoes.
For as intimidating as the menswear world can seem, there’s something refreshing about what Alabama menswear designer Billy Reid brings to the table (and your wardrobe).
I’ve long been a fan of the way he makes men’s style essentials – like the best linen pants – more accessible in terms of style and even price.
While this flat front, made-in-Italy pair is an investment, they’re the sort of pants you immediately feel more confident when wearing. They drape handsomely, they come in an array of sizes, and the Grey color can be dressed up or down.
Linen is a time-honored fabric prized for its super-lightweight nature and visually interesting texture, but sometimes, it’s made all the better (and just a touch more sturdy) with the infusion of cotton. It gives these drawstring trousers some nice weight while still keeping them breathable, and vivid color options like Atlantic Blue fall right in line with summer’s best looks.
Plus, I’ve found that a James Bond-approved brand like Sunspel knows a thing or two about heritage quality and iconic designs.
There’s a reason you’ve probably seen so many linen pants on summer style mood boards (hello, Pinterest). My personal mood board absolutely features a hearty dose of linen fabrics and styles.
They give off a polished yet devil-may-care vibe, the kind that looks supremely cool when worn with a little flair. These beige stretch pants exude comfort, yet provide the kind of style points to wear with a faded chambray suit for a coastal summer escape.
I appreciate a brand that knows plenty about tropical style, these versatile drawstring linen pants included. The waist is easygoing and comfortable, yet easy to cover with a Hawaiian shirt – no one will know you’re not wearing a belt.
The black color also isn’t overly loud, a plus if your top half features more color or pattern (and a patterned shirt teamed with neutral pants is a favorite pairing of mine).
Inspiration is never hard to come by for America’s own Buck Mason, as the company looks to the classics of the past – from chinos to T-shirts, polos and henleys – and then updates those staples with soft fabrics and durable construction.
In my experience, the brand never cuts corners when it comes to fabric or design, and that holds true with these military-inspired pants. The front patch pockets are a cool, retro detail, and the loose linen weave proves breathable even in times of high heat.
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