I’ll be honest: I’ve yet to encounter any shorts—no matter how good—that provide the same je ne sais quoi sensation as stumbling across a truly great pair of pants. Shorts, by definition, just offer less to work with. And yes, I’m well aware we’re in the midst of a near-historic resurgence of the style and acknowledge, albeit begrudgingly, that there are more than a few solid options out there these days.
Listen, I’m not saying you should never wear shorts as a rule. All I’m saying is I, personally, rarely wear ’em. I’ll keep my pasty gams to myself, thank you very much, public ridicule be damned. Because don’t get it twisted: By refusing to wear shorts you’re opening yourself up to a lifetime of mockery, and if you don’t have the heart to handle the ribbing, best to stop reading now.
The easiest way to ready yourself for the scorn that’ll inevitably come your way? Cop some seasonally appropriate pants. Investing in a proper pair of trousers—in linen, seersucker, and other summer-ready fabrics—means any time a less savvy “friend” hits you with the old, Yo, aren’t you hot in those? you can glare at him witheringly while saying something like, “Ha, not at all dude, these are literally as comfortable as shorts” and actually mean it. (And then cut that motherfucker out of your life entirely. You don’t need that type of negative energy, man.) I’m not sweating, you are!
Short of saving up the money to invest in some calf implants, seasonally appropriate pants are the best way to beat the heat in style. And if you’re ready to stuff your shorts once and for all into the back part of the closet you use to store shit you don’t have room for anywhere else, I’ve rounded up some of the best summer-friendly pants to buy right now, because as soon as this heat wave dies down there’s no way you’re catching another glimpse of my pale chicken legs for at least another year.
Fashion hurts, fellas. Suck it up.
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Linen Relaxed Pants
One of the best options out there, in a slubby cotton/linen blend.
Gap also makes its signature khakis in a breathable linen weave. (If you don’t know, now you know, etc.)
Straight-Fit Linen Pants
To absolutely no one’s surprise, The Crew (does anybody call it The Crew?) currently offers a pretty damn good take of its own.
Seersucker Dress Trousers
Recent CFDA Award nominee Todd Snyder would like to throw his hat into the ring. And what a stylish hat it is!
Joggers meant for far more than just jogging.
The ’70s: so hot right now. The ’70s.
Striped Linen Trousers
I’d like to live in the ample amount of space between those two pleats. So much room for activities!
Pleated Chino Pants
Linen-blend trousers that look more like dusty military fatigues? Say less, king.
Ogeny Trench Trousers
I’m honestly such a sucker for an old-fashioned, functional belt detail. It’s low-key kind of a problem. (This is a cry for help. Please help.)
Seersucker Cargo Pants
Leave it to the modern masters at Stone Island to render a sleek pair of cargo pants in one of the most conventionally preppy materials around.
And leave it to the modern masters at Jil Sander to cut a pristine pair of lightweight linen trousers just the way you like ’em.
Watercolor Camouflage Cargo Pants
Cotton/linen blend pants that look a whole lot more like some blue-chip contemporary art.
Linen Drawstring Trousers
You can’t spell Vilebrequin without “vibe.”
Linen ’70s Trousers
Maaan, I told you the ’70s are hot right now! Nicholas Daley FTW, ladies and gentlemen.
Pleated Linen Trousers
Mmm. You know what I’m in the mood for? A big BBJ sandwich, baby!
Split Cuff Trousers
Okay, I wasn’t completely honest earlier. I’m also a sucker for completely non-functional design details, like the split cuff on display here. Again, it’s definitely a problem. I’m working on it.
God, these are gas. If you’re a 32, curse you and your cute little waist.
Cotton Wide-Leg Trousers
The best possible thing you can say about any piece of clothing is that they could plausibly double as your grandma’s curtains. HUGE curtain energy here.
Pants that say, “Welcome to the party” almost as ably as the late, great Pop Smoke. (RIP Pop.)
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