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.
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’d tried on made me look like I belonged in The Dukes of Hazzard, which isn’t exactly the vibe I was going for at age 15.
The one time I did commit to a pair of shorts, my friend’s grandmother commented that I seemed to “really like short shorts.” Interestingly, her granddaughter owned the same exact pair—they just fit her the way they were supposed to, rather than looking like a glorified pair of denim underwear (which is precisely how they looked on me).
I spent a few more years attempting to find a pair of shorts that worked for me, to no avail. Cuter pairs tended to be too short for me, and longer pairs tended to look hella frumpy. (I would rather abstain from shorts forever than hop aboard the Bermuda train—sorry not sorry.)
By the time I went to college, I’d abandoned all hope of ever finding an appropriate pair of shorts. So I shifted my focus toward what I could wear instead. I soon realized lightweight pants are just as wonderful as shorts during the summer; they’re comfortable, breathable, and easy to move around in—plus, you don’t have to worry about pants blowing up in the wind or riding up as you walk, so you can rest assured knowing wardrobe malfunctions are out of the question.
This discovery was game-changing for me. I now had an easy way to stay comfortable during the summer, to prevent my thighs from rubbing against each other in the humidity and to dress for the office in a way that felt both stylish and practical.
Pants (usually high-waisted pants, just because they’re my favorite) were the one thing my summer wardrobe was missing, and once I’d discovered them, I couldn’t imagine going back to the days of poring over stores’ shorts collection in an effort to find a single pair that worked for me. Now, I own upwards of 10 pairs of summer pants, and I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection.
Here, you’ll find 27 pairs of delightful summer pants—all of which are high-waisted, super comfy, and incredibly cute—because everyone deserves at least one pair of high-waisted summer pants to carry them through the summer humidity in the most stylish, most comfortable way possible.
Mara Hoffman Audre Pants
Throw these on with your favorite black tank top, sandals and sunglasses for instant comfy-cute style.
Mara Hoffman Audre pants, $350 at Shopbop
Moon River Ribbon Pants
Linen pants are breathable AF, and these would look great with any button-down in your closet.
Moon River Ribbon pants, $58 at Shopbop
PrettyLittleThing Extreme Wide-Leg Pants
Hard to resist a high-waisted, wide-leg pant—especially when it’s bright orange.
PrettyLittleThing extreme wide-leg pants, $32 at ASOS
The Fifth Atticus Check Pant
This check pattern is so low-key it’s practically begging for you to mix and match it with other prints.
The Fifth Atticus check pant, $70 at Fashion Bunker
Alice + Olivia Athena Printed Georgette Wide-Leg Pants
Nothing says “it’s summer” like a pair of tropical wide-leg pants.
Alice + Olivia Athena printed Georgette wide-leg Pants, $350 at Net-a-Porter
The Group by Babaton Kerri Pant
The perfect casual pant to wear on the weekend.
The Group by Babaton Kerri pant, $75 at Aritzia
Petersyn Carlene Pants
Great for your next barbecue, picnic or other go-to outdoor activity.
Petersyn Carlene pants, $168 at Shopbop
Urban Renewal Remnants Striped Paperbag Pant
Like jeans, but more lightweight.
Urban Renewal Remnants striped paperbag pant, $59 at Urban Outfitters
Peony Print Trousers
These will look great during the spring too.
Peony-print trousers, $95 at & Other Stories
& Other Stories.
River Winds Pleated Pant
Will look excellent with literally any top in your closet. (Tie-front blouse? Check. Button-down shirt? Check. Printed tee? Check.)
River Winds pleated pant, $128 at Free People
Current Air Wide-Leg Culotte
Obsessed with this muted-yet-fun color palette.
Current Air wide-leg culotte, $43 at ASOS
3.1 Phillip Lip Ruffle Apron Pants
Because dressy and comfortable shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive.
3.1 Phillip lip ruffle apron pants, $297 at Nordstrom
An ideal comfy-cute pant to wear while traveling.
Relaxed pants, $51 at ASOS
3.1 Phillip Lim Origami Pants
These crisp white pants are delightfully bold.
3.1 Phillip Lim Origami pants, $475 at Shopbop
A Peace Treaty Izeda Pants
Because cropped wide-leg pants are the summer staple every closet needs.
A Peace Treaty Izeda pants, $375 at Shopbop
UO Della Striped Tapered Pant
These pants are a little heavier and edgier than some of the linen finds in this slideshow, because you don’t need a one-track mind (or one-track closet).
UO Della striped tapered pant, $64 at Urban Outfitters
Horn Button Crop Wide Trousers
Can’t you just imagine strutting around the office in these?
Horn Button crop wide trousers, $60 at Topshop
Lost Ink Wide-Leg Pant
Great for casual day-to-day wear—even better for not-so-casual night-out wear.
Lost Ink wide-leg pant, $49 at ASOS
Free People Only Over You Linen Trousers
You can’t go wrong with a pair of black linen pants.
Free People Only Over You linen trousers, $78 at Shopbop
Native Rose Festival Flares
Excellent for musical festivals, beach getaways, and warm-weather vacations.
Native Rose Festival flares, $95 at ASOS
Striped Paper-Bag Pants
Look closely, and you’ll see the subtle millennial pink stripes lining this crisp pant.
Striped paper-bag pants, $95 at Madewell
Moon River Striped Paperbag Pant
Part of the fun of summer pants is that they come in all kinds of bold prints and colors.
Moon River striped paperbag pant, $59 at Urban Outfitters
Embroidered Magdalene Pant
A perfectly tailored staple.
Embroidered Magdalene pant, $128 at Free People
Out From Under Tori Cropped Pant
So lightweight you’ll never want to take them off. (And they kind of look like pajamas, so maybe you don’t have to.)
Out From Under Tori cropped pant, $49 at Urban Outfitters
ASOS Design Harem
Who can say no to printed harem joggers?
ASOS Design harem, $29 at ASOS
Portia Linen Wide Legs
These lightweight blush pants would make any top look cuter.
Portia linen wide legs, $88 at Anthropologie
Urban Renewal Remnants High-Rise Plaid Pant
Pair any of your favorite tees with these high-waisted plaid pants for a look that feels edgy and a little bit dressy.
Urban Renewal Remnants high-rise plaid pant, $69 at Urban Outfitters