The Most Stylish Linen Trouser Brands For Spring/Summer 2023
Linen trousers are the stylish answer to sticky hot-weather commutes and July weddings. And these are the labels making the best versions for men this summer.
As far as summer trousers go, cotton is hard to beat. The staple fabric makes chinos and tailored pants lightweight and comfortable, creating a foundation for your summer casual uniform or more formal, tailored clothing. But for ultimate light weight and breathability, there is only one fabric to consider in the trouser department.
Linen trousers are the answer to sticky hot-weather commutes and July weddings, plus they work as an easy alternative to shorts.
The best linen trousers aren’t just light and breezy, though. Far more versatile than you might first think and now available in a myriad of styles, shapes and fits, linen legwear is the perfect alternative to heavier cotton and wool fibres – just possibly the greatest addition to the bottom half of your warm-weather wardrobe.
From buying considerations to the best linen trouser brands around, here’s the low down on this under-appreciated legwear.
Why you need linen trousers
There are times when it’s not quite hot enough (or not quite casual enough) for shorts. This is where linen trousers come in. They might not give you quite as much breathability as a bare leg, but they’re not far off.
Linen is a relatively loose woven fabric, meaning there are lots of tiny little holes in the weave when you look closely. Hold up a linen shirt to the sunlight and you’ll likely see through it. In a pair of linen trousers, you simply stay cooler for longer. Lightweight linen bottoms will even let a breeze in, so you can keep your cool while still looking as though you’re wearing traditional trousers.
Outside of the functionality aspect, linen trousers are worth investing in for their look, too. Sure, the fabric is prone to creasing, but this is part of the charm. For a relaxed, tailored outfits perfect for vacations, linen trousers are a go-to, teaming up with Oxford shirts, polos and tees to offer a smart casual aesthetic that won’t weigh you down.
Its environmental credentials are top-notch, too. Linen is made from the fast-growing flax plant, which requires a lot less water or land use than cotton. And when their days are done, the fabric also biodegrades quickly and easily. It’s as close to guilt-free fashion as you can get.
Linen trouser buying considerations
Not all linen fabrics are the same. There are light or heavyweight weaves, more textured and flatter versions as well as linen blends, which are often woven with cotton or silk. So when it comes to trousers, this is a good starting point to consider.
Given that you generally want your pants to have a bit of structure, we’d advise seeking out a mid-weight linen. Anything too light might be prone to tearing, not least because trousers need to be more durable than shirting.
Consider a cotton blend as well, which is likely to hold its shape better than pure linen. Unfortunately, lightweight linen does have a tendency to sag in high-wear areas (not the look you’re going for at a summer wedding), so a touch of cotton will help increase its durability.
It depends on when and where you intend to wear your linen trousers, but generally we’d advise sticking to relaxed cuts over anything too slim. Slim linen trousers can work on the right body shape (someone equally slender), but they can exacerbate linen’s sagging problems and you’ll end up with a pair of pants pulling in all the wrong places.
Something with a looser cut better suits the look and feel of linen, which is designed to keep you cool after all, and will be infinitely more comfortable. Aim for a pair of trousers with a mid to high rise, with room in the thighs that narrows down to the calf and ankle opening.
Linen trousers tend to all fit within the smart casual realm, but some are sharper than others. So, if you’re looking for a pair to combine with tailoring, stick to traditional designs. Pleated or flat front pants work well with unstructured blazers and smart shirts, providing the rise is high and the fit tapered.
For something more relaxed, some of the best linen trousers are readily available in drawstring styles, which are comfortable and inject a subtle sportiness into your look. In fact, drawstring linen trousers might just be the ultimate vacation piece – they’re relaxed yet smart, comfortable yet versatile, and work with everything from shirting through to simple white tees.
The best linen trouser brands for 2023
Linen trousers can be very Riviera, nicely complementing a good tan and a glass of spritz. If the luxury resortwear look is your vibe, few labels do it as well as Vilebrequin.
Founded in the 70s close to St-Tropez, its linen pants ooze laid-back luxury. As well as linen-blend joggers and tailored trousers, it also does less common styles like printed jungle pants and five-pocket designs.
Wax is a British eco-friendly label that brings Mediterranean style and Indian craftsmanship to its eclectic collections. Modern casualwear and easy-wearing tailoring make up much of the range, and linen trousers fit the bill nicely.
Look to the brand’s simple, flat-fronted styles – which aren’t too slim, nor too baggy – they work just as well for summer weddings as they do lazy days on the coast.
Flax likes linen so much, the brand is named after the plant from which the fabric is derived. The London label works exclusively with linen and is on a mission to show people how the eco-friendly fabric can be worn in a modern way.
The trousers include patch-pocket designs that walk a nice line between tailored suit trousers and traditional workwear. Elegant, but made to last.
Another London label that’s challenging fashion’s wasteful ways of working, it creates modular menswear that works as a modern capsule wardrobe.
It believes linen trousers belong in a considered and cut-down collection of essentials, offering smart casual cotton-blend pants that are designed to be worn year-round.
As well as making the fabric softer, the addition of cotton helps reduce creases.
Luca Faloni only works with the oldest, most established Italian mills for its pure linen fabrics, which are used across its entire collection from its shirts to its trousers.
Unlike inferior linen, Luca Faloni’s is designed to get softer and silkier the more you wear and wash it, meaning its trousers will eventually feel like a second skin.
Available in a range of colours from khaki green to Capri blue, these are among the best linen trousers you’ll find anywhere.
Specialising in accessible Italian luxury, Aurelien’s collections are all about comfort and longevity, and its trousers are no different.
Relaxed and easy to style, expect drawstring waists and slim, flattering fits that make them ideal for wearing as part of a smart casual wardrobe consisting of polo shirts and minimal sneakers or penny loafers.
For sophisticated 9-5 suits as well as more laidback, unstructured tailoring, Reiss might be your best bet. The British chain has long produced some of the most flattering contemporary suits on the high street, and it knows a thing or two about how to craft tailored trousers.
If you’re searching for linen pants on the smarter end of the spectrum, your search stops here. Expect slim fits and soft fabrics that will only get better with wear.
GANT’s preppy staples have long been among the best you’ll find anywhere. From its classic pique polos to its OCBDs and chinos, the US brand rivals the likes of Ralph Lauren when it comes to old-school Ivy League style.
Its linen trousers are equally classic, with flattering tailored fits and quality construction, which ensures they’ll look as good now as they will in five years’ time.
Pair yours with a rolled sleeve Oxford shirt, white socks and leather boat shoes for a timeless summer outfit that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the campuses of American universities in the 60s.
A Day’s March
As far as wardrobe staples go, A Day’s March may be the only brand you need to visit. Its range of shirts and jackets are virtually unmatched, but its trouser selection is top notch too.
It offers a selection of cuts, from traditional tailored trousers to more contemporary designs like relaxed-fit drawstring pants, all cut from 100% linen.
For linen trousers on a budget, Uniqlo is arguably the best option around. But despite being a lower price point, the Japanese retailer doesn’t skimp on quality, often making use of well-sourced linen fabrics that are designed to last.
Plus, the brand’s range of fits and styles – from drawstring pants to slim-fit tailored designs – ensures there’s something for everyone.
Influential designer Todd Snyder takes a tailored and preppy approach to modern menswear and the New York label’s linen trousers fit the aesthetic perfectly.
It’s a broad collection. As well as beachy linen trousers with elasticated waistbands, there are Gurkha-style tailored trousers, five-pocket pants and patterns including pinstripes and gingham checks.
The linen is also of the higest quality, sourced direct from the finest Italian mills.
Whether you’re summering in the Hamptons or need some lightweight tailoring for a season of warm-weather weddings, Ralph Lauren is your man.
The king of prep does sophisticated linen trousers, tailored for formal occasions and laid-back summer events alike.
Crafted in off-white and olive colours, as well as staple navy and black, the label’s commitment to excellent fabrics mens they’ll get better summer after summer.
Hamilton & Hare
With its heritage as a high-end underwear brand, Hamilton & Hare knows a thing or two about producing comfortable garments that are kind to the skin.
You can trust then that its linen pants are as soft as possible, with their European flax linen construction and relaxed, loose fit.
Ideal for hot summer days out or for just lounging around the house, the drawstring waist ensures they’ll feel more like sweatpants than tailored trousers.
M&S has long been a staple of the British high street and for good reason. The dependable chain has always produced quality clothing at affordable price points, with a vast collection of staple garments on offer season after season.
While it has always erred on the side of traditional design with its menswear, it now offers a number of more contemporary lines, of which its linen trousers are a key part in spring and summer.
Look out for mid-rise, flat-fronted tailored trousers that work well as part of a smart casual wardrobe of Oxford shirts, knitted polos and boat shoes or loafers.
London-based Percival is well known for its contemporary knitted polos and expansive outerwear offering, which has been worn by everyone from David Beckham to Alex Turner. But the brand’s trouser offering is equally well designed.
Its linen Everyday Trousers might just be the perfect summer pant, with their expandable drawstring waistband, relaxed straight fit and soft, lightweight linen fabric which will keep you looking as cool as you feel.