What fabrics make the best summer trousers?

Michael Wilkins

A good pair of trousers shouldn’t be underestimated, especially when they’re summer-proof and suitable for tropical temperatures. With good weather approaching us soon, you might be asking yourself if you’ve got pants that can make you feel confident and comfortable at the same time – the ultimate win. Of course, shorts are always a great go-to. But they’re not always the right choice for certain occasions, like when you want a look a bit more formal or just more chic. Sometimes, pants / trousers are just the best option.

When we’re talking about heat, you want to look into the best fabrics that can handle some high temperatures without making you feel hot and clammy. Continue reading for more detail but if you want some quick answers, here’s an overview of what you should be looking into when choosing the right fabrics:

  • Lightweight: easy and graceful to move around in
  • Flexible: allows for movement and good elastic recovery
  • Breathable: airs out clothing to keep you feeling cool
  • Fabrics: cotton, linen, and lyocell are some of the best choices

Cotton: a crowd pleaser

Cotton is the best, most reliable go-to on a summer day. We can go on and on about the advantages of cotton: it’s versatile, comfortable, typically lightweight, breathable, flexible, doesn’t trap heat or odour, and it’s made from plants so it’s natural. Note that the latter doesn’t imply that it’s sustainable – cotton has the potential to be sustainable, but it often isn’t.

That being said, it’s important to choose the right cotton. Not all cotton is treated and sourced equally, so the best is to look for high-quality cotton like SUPIMA or ELS cotton. Otherwise, you may not get the most out of your cotton trousers. Further, not all cotton is sourced sustainably so this is also something to consider. Organic is far better than conventional which is why here at SANVT, we use GOTS-certified organic cotton in some of our products, like our classic chino.

When cotton is lower in GSMs, it’s the perfect natural fabric for getting through summer in a light, airy way. If you’re wondering what in the world GSM is, it stands for grams of textile per square metre, and it determines the density and thickness of a material. For summer trousers, anything under 136 GSM is too light, between 136 and 305 is perfect, and anything over 305 would be too heavy.

 

Our Smart Chino is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton. Worn by Paloma K.

Linen: rustic and tropical

Think of that beachy, flowy vibe on a hot, summer day. Linen is perfect for this look. With 150 GSM being a typical weight for linen trousers, this fabric is comfy, relaxing, and breathable due to its loosely woven properties. Made from the flax plant, linen is natural just like cotton and is undoubtedly a sustainable choice. It’s also completely biodegradable when it’s untreated and undyed, so that’s a huge plus!

Linen has moisture-absorbing properties, and doesn’t stick to the body when sweating. So if you’re someone who sweats easily, linen could be a good fit for you. It’s known for its “worn in”, rustic look, so don’t worry about keeping your linen items looking pressed. But if a bit of wrinkled clothing makes you uncomfortable anyway, then linen may not be for you. There are, however, blends of linen and cotton, which can make the fabric wrinkle-resistant.

 

Lyocell: well-known for its sustainability and flexibility

This fabric, which is made from wood pulp, has increased in popularity recently due to its sustainable properties. When talking about summer though, this biodegradable cellulose fibre is lightweight, breathable, soft, and cooling, all the while maintaining its durability. It’s flexible due to its elasticity, which is important for comfortable movement. If a fabric is nice and stretchy, it means it won’t lose its shape over time that easily. Importantly for summer, lyocell also efficiently moves moisture away from the body.

This new and innovative material is gaining momentum for good reason, and it’s why we’ve used it to make our Ultralight T-shirt, with a mix of premium cotton.

Our Lightweight Shirt is made out of a mixture of Lyocell and Cotton. Worn by Barbara Reichl.

 

Other fabrics that might suit you for the summer

Hemp and bamboo are two other sustainable fabrics that can be great for the heat. But while hemp is durable and absorbs moisture, it’s a very stiff fabric and therefore doesn’t feel so comfortable on the body. Bamboo is softer, but it’s also very weak, so unless it’s mixed with cotton or other materials, it can tear easily and have a short life – which isn’t ideal as that’s not very planet-friendly. Both can be useful in blends, though.

All that being said, SANVT offers the perfect summer trousers, “the smart chino”. Not only can these pants be styled casually or elegantly, but they’ve also got the best components for handling the heat:

  • Lightweight: 290 GSM
  • Flexible, thanks to 3% elastane
  • Naturally breathable, made from 97% cotton
  • Extra breathable due to innovative weave

And if you’re feeling ready for sunny weather and good vibes, check out our summer style guide for men, women, or whoever.