Hate Wearing Shorts? 6 Alternatives to Try This Summer

A man wearing pants instead of shorts

A man wearing pants instead of shorts | Source: Outlier

A man should never wear shorts in the city,” designer Tom Ford infamously once said. “Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.”

The good Mr. Ford certainly does have a point. Shorts are rife with potential pitfalls; they can show off too much of a particularly hairy leg. And then there is the shoe conundrum, especially when mandals (man sandals) are out and sneakers and socks can be a mighty big faux pas unless managed very carefully.

But what’s a boy to do in the heat of summer to keep his cool? If you’re a man after Tom Ford’s sartorial heart and cannot stand the thought of shorts, then we have six alternatives for you to wear this summer that are long on style and substance.

1. White Jeans

white jeans

White jeans | Source: Joe’s Jeans

There’s nothing quite so fresh as a pair of white jeans in rays of summer. We know what you’re thinking: Denim is too hot to wear and anything white is a no-go because of its stain potential. But the light hue actually reflects sunlight and the jeans are often constructed in thinner, lighter denim to ensure you keep your cool — making them a great alternative to shorts. We wouldn’t prescribe wearing these for every summertime occasion; a picnic in the park may come with a side of grass stains. But, anywhere else, just make sure to be careful where you fling that ketchup — or red wine, as the case may be. One of our favorite ways to wear a pair is with a dark-blue polo shirt and matching sport coat with sand-hued suede loafers. Try the Straight + Narrow Brixton jeans from Joe’s Jeans, which feature soft denim plus a fan-favorite fit that’s streamlined from the hip to the ankle.

2. Jersey Joggers

Maison Margiela jersey joggers

Joggers | Source: Mr Porter

Joggers — also known as tailored sweatpants — are practically everywhere now — thanks to the rise of the athleisure lifestyle in the sartorial universe. And they’re pretty far from the much-maligned “sweats” that get such a bad rap (and for good reason). But, unlike their sweatier counterparts, these pants are suitable to emerge from the man cave to see the light of day. And thanks to lightweight cotton jersey, they can see the summer sun, too. Indeed, joggers such as Maison Margiela’s slim-fit, tapered versions are more so designed for a casual work day than your work out. Matched to a T-shirt that covers the waistband and a leather moto jacket, they definitely will keep you cool — no sweat.

3. Chinos

men's chinos

Chinos | Source: Jack Threads

Chinos are as ubiquitous as jeans but their lightweight cotton styling is a lot more comfortable in the heat. They’re just as versatile as their denim counterparts and can virtually be worn with anything. Jack Threads makes a good everyday option that you may just be calling your favorite. And, at a very accessible price point, you can afford to snag a pair in nearly every color. They’re pre-washed for softness and the “Skinny” style is extra-modern with a streamlined fit that goes just as well with sneaks and a tee as it does with a blazer and boat shoes.

4. Linen

Ted baker pants

Linen pants | Source: Nordstrom


You may have strayed away from linen because of your wrinkle-phobic tendencies. But embrace the creases; linen is one of the only things you can wear that looks cooler with wrinkles.

It’s also an iconic summertime option — and a perfect alternative to shorts. Get a pair of linen pants that has a bit of viscose and polyester mixed in such as Ted Baker London’s “Fivechi” stretch linen chinos for maximum wearability.

They boast a slim, modern fit that is fresh and polished while maintaining a comfortable feel during the warmer months. A white tee and white sneakers are a shoo-in with this sophisticated shade of blue-gray.





5. Seersucker

Thom Browne Seersucker pants

Seersucker pants | Source: Mr Porter


Seersucker may just be one of the most iconic summer sartorial staples, conjuring up days spent on sailboats in Montauk. The signature puckered texture of the cotton is immediately recognizable, but it’s also incredibly functional. It helps circulate air around the body as you move, making seersucker pants a solid substitute for their shorter counterparts.

The interesting thing about the look is that it evokes a distinctly classic, retro appeal while maintaining a completely modern edge. Try Thom Browne’s white seersucker trousers, which make even more of a dapper statement with cropped hems and tri-color tipping at each leg.

6. The Performance Pant

Outlier OG pants

Performance pants | Source: Outlier

Clothing built for performance has really gained ground with new technologies constantly making advances for your treadmill laps — and the circles you run around town. Shorts may not always be appropriate for your day of meetings. But technical, moisture-wicking trousers will keep you just as comfortable and mobile, especially for all of you bike commuters. Brooklyn-based brand, Outlier has a full range of pants that couldn’t be more perfect for a comfortable yet completely professional and elegant look. The original Outlier pant was designed with four-way stretch, double-weave as a bike-to-work pant but it’s versatile enough to wear almost anywhere. Add in water-resistant properties and a self-cleaning NanoSphere treatment that repels everything from wine and coffee to grit and beer have these pants sitting pretty. You’ll never miss the shorts.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @rachellw and Instagram @rachellwatkins

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