6 Summer Trouser Outfits So Good They’ll Rival Dresses

As the temperatures climb steadily higher, there’s only one thing on our minds: dressing to stay cool. And while there are hundreds of dresses and skirts on the market right now that will do exactly that, I want to propose a new summer staple: trousers. The phrase summer trousers might seem like a contradiction, but believe me when I say they exist, whether in light, breathable fabrics or balanced with a sleeveless top. There’s no reason the trousers that we rely on day in and day out have to be relegated to the back of the wardrobe until autumn. 

The perfect pair of trousers has a power that is not to be underestimated, and the right cut and style can become a signature. (Just ask Dakota Johnson.) When you’re in need of a piece that will make any outfit feel polished and put-together, a summery tea dress just won’t cut it, but the humble trouser will look just as chic in the office as it will at a picnic. 

In a bid to convince you of the possibilities of summer trousers, I’ve found six outfit ideas starring trousers.

During the height of lockdown, while we were all comfortably wearing loungewear, the waistcoat made an unexpected return to the runway. Now that we’re back to dressing up and heading out, this tailored look is still gaining momentum and is our first choice for a chic office-appropriate pairing that we can wear on weekends, too. 

We might be committed to blazers, but as the sun comes out, cool off by baring your arms. 

An oversized and slouchy wide-leg fit that looks effortlessly cool with flats. 

Sumptuous suede with a padded footbed and comfortable wide straps for easy wear. 

There’s no reason to fear wearing black in summer, especially not a sleeveless option this good. 

For a subtle kick-flare shape, split-front trousers keep a nice silhouette and can be paired with everything from ankle boots to sandals. 

There’s nothing ugly about chunky sandals, and it just so happens they’ll go with almost anything in your wardrobe. 


Inject some personality into your look with fun, printed trousers—florals, gingham, paisley, you know name it. But one option that always stands the test of time is the stripe. Forget corporate pinstripes; this summer, we want to wear bold brights and plenty of colour and texture. 

Invest in a good white racerback, and you’ll wear it on rotation this summer. 

This is a well-thought-out pair of trousers designed with no side seams to give you a smooth silhouette.

Well, 2022 is Birkenstock’s year. If you didn’t get your hands on the first Manolo Blahnik collab and you’re ready to switch out your clogs, try the old faithful Arizonas in expensive-looking black suede. 

A good tank top doesn’t have to be white. There are plenty of other colours on the market to experiment with combinations.

I’m immediately packing these as part of my holiday wardrobe. 

An influencer, celeb and fashion-editor fave, this is the affordable It bag we’ve been waiting for. 

This summer, it’s time to choose an aesthetic. Throwback references have dominated this year, and there is a showdown between the shine and sparkle of Y2K fashion and the muted minimalism of the early ’90s. Fans of the latter, this trend will speak to you. Cargo trousers are back, so pair them with a strappy top for a nod to the understated decade.  

Wear with cargoes for the day, and dress up with a maxi skirt and strappy sandals for the evening. 

These are currently on sale and fully in stock, so be quick to grab a pair for nearly half of their original price. 

Mules are the ultimate ’90s grown-up shoes. 

An adjustable ruched halterneck is a great option for a fuller bust. 

Khaki colours have serious ’90s energy, but this pair also comes in white for when dark colours feel too heavy. 

Your favourite gold hoops but made even special. 

Monochrome dressers, rejoice. There is a summer alternative to winter’s all-black uniform: palette-cleansing white. Layer up in jersey, cotton and linen to feel (and look) instantly cooler. Just be careful with your morning coffee… 

When wearing one colour, texture and detailing are important, and it doesn’t get more summery than white seersucker. 

Nothing embodies the laid-back feel of summer dressing quite as well as linen.

Add a point of interest with a raffia bag. Loewe’s are cult favourites for a reason.

M&S’s linen shirts are high-street best sellers, so pick up one in every colour before they sell out. 

Yes, these are denim. But rather than tight-fitting, dark-blue jeans, a wide-leg white pair will work for hot weather.

A lot of our favourite off-duty celeb looks have one thing in common: loafers. We love backless slip-ons for a polished alternative to flat sandals. 

For the ultimate heatwave trousers, there is an option that allows your skin to breathe. In fact, it will feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. Barely there, sheer, billowy trousers are perfect for pulling on over a bikini straight from the beach—just pair with statement-making prints.

Missoni Mare is designed for the beach, so expect airy fabrics in plenty of the brand’s signature colours and prints. 

You needn’t worry about what underwear to wear. These sheer trousers come appropriately lined. 

A clean and modern silhouette with a minimalist single strap and toe loop.

A classic black bikini never goes out of style, and this triangle bikini from We Are We Wear comes in sizes XS to 3XL for the perfect fit for every body. 

Wear alone or double up on prints as part of an eye-catching co-ord. 

Make the most of the sunny season in refreshing pastel shades paired with zesty brights. We’re seeing yellow trousers popping up all over our feeds, and the best way to wear them is a bold colour clash to brighten up your day. 

A knitted V-neck tank is the dressed-up alternative to the jersey racerback. 

Well-tailored trousers with a leg-lengthening effect. 

Bottega Veneta was responsible for singlehandedly giving apple green (affectionately known as “Bottega green”) a moment in winter 2021, but the lighter, brighter lime green is on our list for summer. 

Carry a light tweed jacket in a happy shade like peach to wear over your shoulders at the end of the evening. 

A relaxed wide-leg pair for when you want a comfortable, easy option to throw on. 

There’s no need for skyscraper platforms; kitten-heel mules are just enough to lift wide-leg trousers, particularly in a striking hot pink.

Next Up, The Affordable Summer Capsule We Are All Completely Obsessed With

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