I haven’t worn a pair of shorts in at least five years. I don’t have some deep-seated aversion toward them—in fact, I’m pretty into any article of clothing you can comfortably wear during super hot, super humid summer months. The thing is, shorts have never really worked for me. (And thus began my lengthy love affair with summer pants.)
You see, I have long legs. That’s not a #humblebrag so much as it is an explanation of why my relationship with shorts is so damn fraught. Every time my friends and I would go shorts shopping in high school, I’d walk away empty-handed. Every pair of shorts I tried on looked more like denim underwear than anything else—which is definitely a look, but not the vibe I was trying to cultivate at age 15. I spent years trying to find the Perfect Pair of Summer Shorts to no avail—and then, I simply gave up.
But this isn’t a tragedy. In fact, once I freed myself of the burden of shorts shopping, I was able to make sartorial space for other things—summer pants, for instance. It didn’t take me long to realize summer shorts are low-key over-hyped and summer pants are, by extension, high-key underrated; they’re comfortable, breathable and easy to move around in—plus, you don’t have to worry about pants riding up as you walk, so you can rest assured knowing wardrobe malfunctions are out of the question.
Gone were the days of strenuous summer shopping. I now had a simple way to get dressed during the summer (and a way that prevented humidity-induced thigh chafing, at that). If that’s not a gift, I don’t know what is.
1. Flynn Skye Tanner Pants, $275 at Free People
Long live the wide-leg crop.
2. I.AM.GIA Kiki Pant, $150 at Revolve
Aughts-inspired—and too cool to pass up.
3. Belted Peg Trousers, $68 at Topshop
The perfect vibrant summer trouser to introduce to your work wardrobe.
4. Cargo Pants, $39.90 at Zara
Don’t hate on cargos—they’re cool now.
5. Moonshadow Sleep Pant, $78 at Free People
Cozy enough to live in.
6. Jimi Printed Pants, $139 at Free People
The statement pant you’ve been looking for.
7. Done for Me Trousers, $228 at Free People
Breezy enough to keep you going on even the most humid of summer days.
8. Norma Kamali Fringe-Hem Leggings, $430 at Revolve
I own pants just like these, and they’re exactly as fun as you’d expect. (Pretty comfy, too!)
9. Jace Poplin Zip-Front Pant, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Because shirts aren’t the only way to do the trendy tropical print thing.
10. Fleur du Mal Tux Pant, $375 at Revolve
Chic enough for work, date night and any other semi-fancy event on your calendar.
11. Anya High and Wide Pant, $59 at Urban Outfitters
Because gingham isn’t a spring-only pattern.
12. FP One Hide and Seek Pant, $128 at Free People
As breathable as your go-to sundress.
13. Ladytron Bells, $109.95 at Free People
Ruffled bell bottoms are officially my new favorite thing.
14. I Stripe It Like That Straight Pants, $20 at Nasty Gal
Nothing wrong with a little summer pinstripe.
15. Alice + Olivia Dylan Wide-Leg Pant, $295 at Revolve
Pair these with your favorite button-down for statement-making professional style.
16. Ingrid High-Rise Stretch Pin-Up Pant, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Fruit prints are all kinds of cute.
17. Blayne Paperbag Utility Pant, $64 at Urban Outfitters
Because our collective obsession with utility clothing isn’t dissipating any time soon.
18. House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve Odel Pant, $168 at Revolve
Love a vibrant animal print—no matter the season.
19. Batik Citadel Track Pants, $198 at Free People
Introducing: your new favorite vacation pant.
20. Double-Belted Satin Wide Trousers, $95 at Topshop
Fit for any summer party—casual or fancy.
21. Harper Printed Pull-On Pants, $98 at Free People
These are all kinds of cool—and drip with festival season appeal.
22. Crossed Cargo Pants, $49.90 at Zara
A pant fit for the workplace and your next vacation, alike.
23. Adidas Originals x Ji Won Choi Split-Front Track Pants, $120 at ASOS
Adidas just blessed us with a serious statement-maker.
24. BDG Jane High-Rise Cropped Trouser Pant, $59 at Urban Outfitters
Tie-dye isn’t solely reserved for tees anymore.
25. Blast from the Elast Cargo Pants, $25 at Nasty Gal
A cargo pant that feels distinctly sleek.
26. Split Front Flares, $60 at Topshop
A dressier take on retro flares? I’m in.
27. Printed Pants, $49.90 at Zara
Love these pants on their own—and when paired with the matching top.
28. Mes Demoiselles Olympic Pants, $227 at Revolve
Talk about nautical appeal.
29. Textured Weave Openwork Pants, $49.90 at Zara
Pants that take full advantage of the occasional summer breeze.
30. Derek Seamed High-Rise Cargo Pant, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Cargos fit for the office—say it ain’t so.
31. Lovers + Friends Let It Be Pant, $178 at Revolve
A statement-making pant sure to stun at the pool, beach or wherever else you manage to sport it.
32. Flagpole Paulina Pant, $350 at Revolve
Striped pants at their most mesmerizing.
33. Everybody Wrap Your Hands Wide-Leg Pants, $30 at Nasty Gal
Too cute (and frankly, too affordable) to pass up.
34. House of Sunny Prairie Paperbag Pant, $99 at Urban Outfitters
The scalloped detailing is all kinds of adorable.
35. Wide-Leg Beach Pants, $40 at ASOS
Perfect for the beach—and everywhere else you want to go this summer, too.
36. Here Comes the Sun Stripe Wide-Leg Pants, $25 at Nasty Gal
Sure to play well with any top in your closet.
37. Do Your Dance Print Pants, $98 at Free People
Harem pants that make the most of summer’s patchwork trend.
38. Poplin Tie Pants, $39.90 at Zara
A classic cut, color and style—I’m sold.
39. Zara Studio Printed Pants, $119 at Zara
Cool with or without the matching button-down.
40. Tie-Dye Joggers, $48 at Topshop
Tie-dye the lover of edge can get behind.
41. FP One 5-Pocket Slouch Pants, $128 at Free People
Hot pink pants are my new favorite thing.
42. Drop Crotch Pants, $88 at Free People
Camo is still, very much, on the menu.
43. Moonlight Pull-On Pants, $108 at Free People
Veritably cute, and veritably lounge-worthy.
44. Tularosa Native Pants, $158 at Revolve
The ruffled slits on these pants are low-key cooler than I am.
45. Paradise Pants, $98 at Free People
Perfect for your next vacation—and your next vacation Instagram.
46. Taffeta Paneled Joggers, $110 at Free People
47. Psychedelic Jogger, $300 at Free People
Few things feel as quintessentially 2019 as tie-dye joggers.
48. The Fifth Label Viva High-Rise Cropped Pant, $99 at Urban Outfitters
A no-fail silhouette, rendered in a classic color.
49. ’80s Printed Jogger Pant, $69 at Urban Outfitters
A floral for the lover of all-black-everything.
50. Mellow Stripes Easy Sweatpants, $110 at Free People
Sweatpants veritably cute enough to wear outdoors.
51. Tie-Dye Jacquard Pants, $185 at Free People
An edgier take on tie-dye.
A version of this story was originally published in July 2018.