It’s easy to throw on whatever pants are lying around for a day at the beach, since there’s no dress code. The real challenge for a man during summer is trousers that keep him cool while simultaneously looking professional. You must balance quality of fabric with proper cut, color coordinate to avoid any fashion missteps that will cost you that promotion, and find pants that are durable, yet affordable enough to endure the daily wear and tear of hours in an office chair. It’s a tall order with many slacks claiming to do the job, with few actually able to suit up and show up when the time comes.
We’ve got 15 of the best summer pants for men to wear to the office, but first, we’re going to show you how to find your own summer gear that looks good, stays the course, and let’s the breeze through your manly bits.
Tips for Choosing Men’s Summer Pants
Aim for Natural Fabrics
Human beings can put a man on the moon, but all our technology isn’t as effective as natural fibers for letting your body breathe. These also dissipate moisture to keep you cool. Stick to gauze cottons, linen and linen blends, or any other form of naturalistic fiber with a minimum of synthetics. Tropical wools are best for breathability and cut, but lack a bit in durability.
Bob & Weave
A loose, open weave is what you want, though it will cost you a little more. A lightweight fabric is good, but it will feel like you’re donning a set of plastic parachute pants if they’re woven too tightly together. If you’re in doubt, take a breath with the pants over your mouth. The easier the air goes in, the looser the weave. This also provides malleability to the fabric for a more natural drape.
We don’t suggest buying pants that are a couple sizes too large, since that ruins the look. Instead, aim for a baggy cut that has the proper measurements to fit, but hangs off your frame. Air is a great insulator against cold and heat, so the more of it you can get around your legs the better they’ll feel. Loose cuffs promote airflow, and you might want to pull up the bottom of your pants a little under the desk, just so more air can get in.
Lighten the Load
We know that nothing is more professional than strict Jet Black, but that color is also going to absorb heat. Experiment with some khaki or tan chinos, or even go for the full white pants look if you’re feeling up for it. Pastels can also be a festive way to stay cool and bring a little flash to your dire and dour workplace. If none of these are acceptable, go for light grays as much as you can.
Best Summer Office Pants for Guys
Ralph by Ralph Lauren Tropical-Weight Wool Dress Pants
Managing to keep costs to a bare minimum by using a wool and polyester blend, the cut and breathability makes these year-round pants that might be a little sticky on the absolute hottest days, but work well during rain, and are a fraction of the price of many full fiber pants. Purchase: $25
Uniqlo Slim Fit Chinos
Run through a proprietary pre-wash treatment, these develop a slight nap that gives a softer feel that is ideal for after work cocktails as much as board meetings. They might have the name ‘Chino’ on them, but they’re fit for professional work at any level of the corporate ladder. Purchase: $40
Louis Raphael LUXE Men’s Pleated Wool Pant
Fully wool with a slight lining for added comfort, the offset button closure and delicate cuffs look out of place anywhere but the office. The pleats give them a full appearance that is powerful, rather than relaxed, creating solid airflow across the skin that makes stuffy meetings bearable.
Calvin Klein Straight Fit Cotton Pants
100% cotton with a relaxed sport fit through the hips and waist, these can easily be paired with a sport jacket or worn with just a dress shirt for a more casual business barbecue look. Purchase: $40-$50
Original Penguin Men’s P55 Straight Fit Chino Pant
Built to land somewhere on the laid back end of the spectrum, these aren’t going to be ideal for power lunches, but for those days where business and pleasure are being mixed out on the fairway or a casual Friday where comfort is on tap. Purchase: $43+
Non-Iron Clark Fit Supima® Cotton Oxford Chinos
The Supima cotton is grown right at home and dyed in a set of brilliant colors that are sure to get you noticed even as they keep you comfortable while the mercury rises. Purchase: $53
Sean John Cream Linen Dress Pants
Breathable linen fabric builds these to be as gauzy as you can stand while still looking like won money. Accented to be worn without a jacket, they’re also the right look for going out on a boat sans socks. Purchase: $60
J. Crew Bowery Classic Pant
Fine stripes add a narrowing appearance to these chinos which helps keep the relaxed, roomy legs looking built for business. Cotton-linen blend, the Bowery exists at the junction of work and play. Purchase: $88
Club Monaco Connor Chino Floral Jacquard
The black-on-black floral pattern is tough to discern, but it helps set these pants apart from every other pair of dark slacks out there. The vibe is a little more playful up close, but the overall effect is business as usual. Purchase: $120
Theory Men’s Zaine Patton Pant
Cotton and Elastane combine to make a stretch pant you can actually feel good wearing. The added range of motion is welcome and gives you just enough space right where you need it. Purchase: $123+
BOSS ‘Sharp’ Flat Front Wool Trousers
Easily alterable to get the right shark shape for your body, these do not play. They’re wool meant to make you a better predator while on the job. Period. Purchase: $195
Santorelli Flat Front Wool Trousers
Capable of being dressed up or down, the flat front wool and French fly make these into a Swiss Army pair of pants that will do your closet proud. Purchase: $195
Ted Baker London ‘Jefferson’ Flat Front Wool Trousers
Their Londoner pedigree makes these a little more dense than most summer pants, giving you a three-season feel that can last through the winter if you run hot. They’ll go with everything from parkas to polos. Purchase: $195
Canali Grey Firenze Slim-Fit Super 120s Wool Trousers
Made in Italy, where heat and style must go hand in hand, the cut is slimmer than most, but the diaphanous 120s wool makes up for the lack of air pockets on the inside. Purchase: $410
Armani Worsted Wool Trousers
Naturally, Armani is where you go to get your light-bending black. The final word in softness, strength, and deadly good looks, they’re costly, but guaranteed to get the job done in impeccable style. Purchase: $595