Summer is finally here, and that means so is the heat. And if the humid summer air makes you feel like you’re sitting inside an oven, having a pair of lightweight pants that’ll keep you cool — whether you’re heading to the beach or to an outdoor cocktail party — becomes essential.
But just because it’s hot doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style — and that’s where linen pants come in. “Linen, to me, is a neutral. You can make it funky or you can make it timeless and classic,” personal stylist Holly Katz says of this versatile fabric.
We tapped Katz and other style experts to dish on their favorite linen pants, as well as how to find the perfect material and fit for your body. Keep scrolling to learn more or use the links below.
What to look for | Best overall | Best budget | Best pull-on | Best high-waisted | Best wide-leg | Best pop of color | Best joggers | Best patterned | Best petite | Best plus-size | How to care for linen | How we chose | Meet our experts
What to look for in linen pants
Linen pants are in for the summer, but it can be hard to know if you’re buying a long-lasting pair. Part of the reason is that most linen pants on the market aren't actually true linen, says Suzanne Vinnik, a fashion designer and the CEO of byVINNIK, a luxury lifestyle brand.
“Linen should be the most expensive item. It’s really hard to make,” she says. To help you shop, our experts say to prioritize the following considerations:
Our experts say simplicity is key when buying linen. And simple, in this case, means as close to 100% linen as possible. But pure linen pants can be hard to find, says Catherine Bibeau, creative fashion designer and stylist. If you can’t find 100% linen bottoms, she says that a fabric blend of at least 60% linen is a good bet.
“The best blend is linen and cotton. Sometimes there is rayon or viscose in the blend, but less is best. When you have more linen in the blend, you can wash it without it shrinking or getting fluffy,” Bibeau adds.
Every linen pant is not made equal
- Editor’s Note: While our experts suggest at least 60% linen for the perfect pant, many budget retailers sell a linen blend of about 55% linen. We tried to include reasonably affordable picks that are as close to 60% as possible.
Vinnik suggests holding your linen pant up to the light — if it’s made from true linen or a high-quality blend, you shouldn’t be able to see through it. She and our other experts also advise looking for linen that has a tight weave and coarse texture. Vinnik adds that as you wear and wash linen pants, they will soften.
Additionally, our sources tell us that high-quality linen blends will reduce the look of fading or yellowing in white linen.
Fashion stylist Kenzie Welch suggests first looking at the amount of linen in the pants, then deciding what construction or style of pants works best for your body. Bibeau believes that the best linen pants have elastic and a drawstring waistband.
Best overall linen pant
Material: 100% linen | Size: XS-4XL | Waist style: Elastic, drawstring | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 4
These airy, ankle length joggers are 100% linen and perfect for any summer outfit. (Note that the pockets are made of 100% cotton.) Reviews say these pants are lightweight, breathable and super comfortable to wear because of the stretchy waistband. They come in four colors and won’t break the bank at $35.
One reviewer said, “They’re cool and comfortable for the summer and a great alternative to jeans. I’ll be wearing them a lot.”
Best budget linen pant
Material: 55% linen, 45% rayon | Size: XS-4XL | Waist style: Smocked, elastic, pull-on | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 2
These Time and Tru pants provide quality and comfort at an affordable price tag. The relaxed fit is one you can dress down in an everyday outfit or dress up with heels. They have an elastic waist and have a size to fit almost everyone.
One reviewer even said, “I think if you’re looking at these — you already know you need to buy them, you just want reassurance. So here it is — BUY THEM.”
Best pull-on linen pants
Material: 55% linen, 45% rayon | Size: XS-4XL | Waist style: High, drawstring, elastic | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 5
These wide leg pull-on linen pants are the perfect vibe for any casual outfit, whether you’re running errands or grabbing drinks. As a bonus, reviewers say these are tall girl friendly!
One reviewer said, “When I noticed everyone was saying they were too long I ordered them, and they’re perfect — I am 5’9 for reference.” The elastic waistband and bold colors are also perfect for those summer style trends.
Best high-waisted linen pants
Material: 50% linen, 50% cotton | Size: S-5XL | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic, high waist | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 20
These high-waisted drawstring pants can mix and match easily with other pieces in your wardrobe. They’re also perfect for your capsule wardrobe.
This Amazon favorite is available in 20 different colors and has over 2,700 five-star ratings. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these run small, according to several reviewers — so size up accordingly.
Best wide-leg linen pants
Material: 53% linen, 47% cotton | Size: XXS-XXL | Waist style: Partially elastic, fly closure | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 7
This high-waisted linen blend elevates your closet with the combination of comfort and style. The trendy pleated design makes it perfect for the office. Plus, it comes in three different lengths: short, regular and long.
Abercrombie & Fitch has had a recent revival on social media, but their pieces have always been an office favorite among the Shop TODAY team — and this pick is no exception.
Best linen pants with a pop of color
Material: 100% linen | Size: 0-26 | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 6
Athleta’s wide-leg linen come in pops of color that give a twist to those who love timeless fashion. While reviews say these pants run a little large, they also highlight the pair’s unique side slits, zippered pockets and airy, lightweight construction, making it trendy and functional for those on the go.
One reviewer said it best: “They’re perfect when you don’t want to put too much effort in but want to look kind of nice. They’re my go-to weekend pant during the summer!” This pair is available in petite, tall and regular.
Material: 100% linen | Size: XS-XXL | Waist style: High, elastic, ruffled trim | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 3
The vibrant colors and patterns of these H&M ankle-length linen pants are sure to make a statement. Bonus: Shoppers who are petite or have shorter legs note that these are the perfect length.
One reviewer also noted that these pants are “so comfy, lightweight, perfect for summer. I live in the desert, so I know I will be wearing these so much.”
Best linen joggers
Material: 100% linen | Size: 0-26 | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 5
These Athleta joggers add a fun spin to any casual outfit. Made of the same uniquely textured but lightweight material as the Retreat linen pants, these joggers’ drawstring waist makes this semi-fitted pair easily adjustable. The pants also include the brand’s signature zippered front pockets, cinched ankles and back pockets, and they're available in three lengths.
One reviewer reported, “You may call them jogger pants, but to me they are my everyday yoga and meditation pants. Comfort is what counts, and these pants more than fill the need.”
Best patterned linen pants
These floral linen pants from Yllw the Label were made for the maximalist in your life. The lightweight, sustainable fabric is perfect for summer.
The brand also created an array of tops in the same Palisades fabric that can be mixed and matched with these statement-making wide-leg pair.
Best linen pants for petites
Material: 100% linen | Size: S-XXL | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 8
These pants are the perfect wide-leg pair for petites. One verified Amazon reviewer even said, “Being so short, a wide leg makes me look shapeless and frumpy, so I like that these are tapered, but it isn’t too tight and still gives a nice relaxed look.”
Note, however, that the care instructions say these should be hand-washed and line dried, otherwise they might shrink.
Material: 100% Linen | Size: Petite XXS-XL, Regular XXS-XXL | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic, high-rise | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 4
These linen joggers dress up your lazy travel day outfit. Reviews say they are perfect for someone with a pear shape wanting to have a comfy option. A tip from shoppers: If you’re curvy, these will likely fit true to size; if you are more slender, you’ll probably do best going a size down.
Best plus-size linen pants
Material: 55% linen, 45% cotton | Size: 1X-6X | Waist style: Drawstring, elastic | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 14
These under-$35 pants can do double duty as a casual, everyday wardrobe staple and a summer work pant. Reviews say the four pockets are deep enough to hold your phone and wallet. Amazon’s two-day shipping will get them to your door just in time for the start of summer.
Material: 100% linen | Size: 2-26 | Waist style: Drawstring, mid-rise | Pockets: 2 | Colors: 3
These casual linen pants are made from 100% European flax linen that’s specially pre-washed to be softer, according to the brand. It can also be dressed up or down, according to reviews.
The light blue fabric option, in particular, offers a comfy alternative to denim.
Material: 55% linen, 45% cotton | Size: 00-20 | Waist style: Zip, hook and bar closure | Pockets: 4 | Colors: 7
Linen pants don’t have to be basic, and these ones are the perfect combination of classy and comfortable. Available in regular, tall and petite, the loose, wide leg and soft linen-cotton blend give these linen pants a more relaxed vibe.
Plus, taller shoppers are thrilled that these pants are available in a length that actually covers their ankles.
How do I care for linen pants?
Washing and drying
While linen is a great lightweight material for the summer heat, it can be a pain to care for. Our experts say that the key to keeping your linen in good condition is handwashing your pieces in cold water with a gentle detergent. If you have to machine-wash your linen pants, make sure to wash them alone on the cold, gentle setting. Vinnik also advises avoiding bleach.
Welch suggests turning your linen pants inside out when washing to prevent pilling. “You can take care of your linen pants at home, but you have to use [the] right care instructions,” Welch adds.
For drying, Vinnik notes that laying your linen pants flat down on a towel is best. She says to avoid hang-drying as it can cause the linen to lose its shape.
To get pesky wrinkles out, starch is the key when ironing, our experts say. They also advise allowing your linen pants to dry completely before wearing them to help prevent wrinkles. Welch suggests keeping wrinkle spray in your bag so you can quickly touch up while you’re on the go.
Our stylists say baking soda and cold water can remove stains from your linen pants. Because linen is a natural fiber and absorbs quickly, try to clean spills immediately, they advise.
If you’re not a DIYer, Katz suggests, “Save yourself some time and send them off to the cleaners. You want to look your best, and it’s worth the extra step to me.”
How we chose the best linen pants
When it came to finding the best linen pants for the summer season, we left no stone unturned. Shop TODAY connected with experienced fashion stylists to get the 411 on which linen pant styles should be a part of your wardrobe.
Using their expert insights, we considered dozens of highly rated linen pants made by trusted brands, evaluating each on the following criteria: affordability, style, linen quality and other helpful features — and we also factored in verified customer reviews and average star ratings.
Lastly, Shop TODAY is a team with shopping experts with years of deal-finding experience. As one of them, I used my skills in discovering long-lasting high-quality items at the best possible prices. I asked my colleagues for their all-time favorite recs, too.
Meet our experts
- Catherine Bibeau is a fashion veteran, creative fashion designer and stylist offering more than 15 years of experience. Bibeau is skilled at developing stylings for photoshoots and coordinating brand image.
- Holly Katz is a personal stylist and host of the podcast Fashion Crimes. After almost a decade in garment production, garment costing and design in Manhattan, she decided to break into the styling industry. Katz relocated to Atlanta to start her own styling business focusing on personal, menswear, fashion, and wardrobe styling.
- Suzanne Vinnik is a fashion designer and CEO of her brand, byVINNIK. Vinnik has designed for individuals in the entertainment industry and is working to change the narrative around the lack of inclusivity surrounding luxury fashion.
- Kenzie Welch is a fashion stylist based out of Atlanta and a content creator helping followers find their style in their wardrobes. Also known as stylingwithkenzie on her social media platforms, she has over 10 years of experience working in the fashion and beauty industry.