On the hunt for light-colored, summery pants

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I love wearing all white (or adjacent hues) in the summer, and as long as I keep a lot of this stuff around, and hope for the best, I can do so without staining much of anything. You’ve got to start with the right pair of pants for this look, and you couldn’t do better than Nili Lotan’s Tel Aviv chino, which manages to look boyish and slouchy, even on my expansive hips.

A super-casual pair from Vince with a nifty drawstring waist.

These have an elastic waist, which sounds so appealing for wearing on flights or long car trips.

These carpenter pants are taking me back to eighth grade on the best possible sense.

A really drapey pair that’d be so elegant with a white blazer.

These are a decent, (much) cheaper stand-in for Nili Lotan’s Paris pants, which I love.

Yes, I’ve shown you these J. Crew chinos before, maybe more than once, but I’m doing it again because they’re so good, and super-lightweight, and well-priced too. I own them in three colors.

A snappy straight-leg cropped pant that’d be great with black ankle boots come fall.

A super-wide leg pant, for the daring, from Cos.

And finally: these have subtle pleating, which I surprise myself by liking.

 

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37 Thoughts on On the hunt for light-colored, summery pants
    Viajera
    15 Jul 2022
    1:54pm

    Does anyone know, why did this post just show up today on my ipad? do I need to erase my cookies or whatever? TYIA for any free tech support. I have this page as one of my favorites, and it usually works fine. … … … Also, lightweight pants are definitely on my list, I may check out the j crew ones. I may even go to a store. Although probably not. It’s tough to know in advance about fabric weights. … … … I think the Nordy’s sale starts today? I could be wrong though.

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    Viajera
    15 Jul 2022
    2:06pm

    I can’t remember – have we ever had a ruling about whether it works to buy “Tall” pants if you aren’t tall, but just want full length pants? Does that throw off the fit in other places somehow? … … … In other Fit Adventures, I have asked before but I am still wondering, is it a no-go to remove shoulder pads from blazers? And does it look bad if you wear a blazer that fits in some places, but not in others, and which will not close? Maybe I will hit the thrift shop and just try it already. I mean, I understand that none of this is going to actually look *good.* But, for ready-to-wear that is essentially not going to happen anyway. Question is, how baaaaaad will it look? Ha.

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    Jay
    15 Jul 2022
    11:37am

    Can we discuss Nili Lotan for just a minute? Why why why do her cotton chinos cost $325? Really, anything over $200 for consciously made chinos doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. I don’t think there’s any kind of radical transparency that can explain it, except that people will pay it? I know you can find gently worn ones online – but honestly, her pricing confuses me. If anyone has insights I would be most interested. Bottom line -I would love to wear it, but she’s priced me out.

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      Kim France
      18 Jul 2022
      8:42am

      Jay, you might want to listen to our Everything is Fine episode with Teri Agins. She does a pretty thorough breakdown of why some brands are so much pricier than others: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/an-insiders-guide-to-fashion-with-teri-agins/id1491377174?i=1000566199140

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      Sue
      15 Jul 2022
      2:38pm

      I would love a pair of her chinos but in the UK they are over £400!
      It’s interesting that the Zaras and Mangoes of the world haven’t tried to copy her cut as they do with everything else. Maybe too much off the general radar?

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      Mj
      15 Jul 2022
      12:05pm

      Yes, good question and I would also be interested.

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      Hannah
      17 Jul 2022
      2:42pm

      Hope Stockholm has some similarly cut trousers for a lot less money.

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    Rebecca
    14 Jul 2022
    12:27pm

    Tibi’s nylon pants snd skirts are truly the best! I am not one to spend a small fortune on clothes but these magical unicorns are worth every dollar. Kim- please for the love of all that is good snd holy, I kind of feel like Amy Smilovic is truly amazing. Her IG posts snd break down of style has been what I needed to see in my late 40’s ❤️

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      JenM
      15 Jul 2022
      7:50am

      I hope you see this–I’m so curious about these pants. They look cool. But I am worried that they might make a loud swishy noise when walking? Thanks for any intel!

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        Rebecca
        20 Jul 2022
        6:05pm

        Hello Jen. I think you were asking about the Tibi nylon pants. I have three pair- one crispy nylon Stella, one powder nylon Stella, and one balloon pant. Short answer – yes. They do swish but I have never given it a second thought. They are consistently the pants I get a lot of compliments on- but not the “ohh that’s different” kind of compliment. More of the “ you’ve got to tell me more about those pants” kind of compliment. Personally, my crispy nylon Stella cargo pants are my fav- they are so lightweight and I just feel cool when I wear them. Hope that helps 🙂

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    Lori
    14 Jul 2022
    3:42am

    On this topic, for several years I’ve been searching seriously for a pair of rigid (or near-rigid), loose/somewhat slouchy, totally-straight/wideish-leg, white or off-white jeans — like those often seen on “influencers” photographed in Paris — similar to the ones shown here, on Mlles. Ainley (x2), Maigret, Smith, and maybe even Fontanel — loose and perfectly straight, not at all flared, and definitely not tapered. Despite the numerous images I’ve seen of such jeans, I have yet to find one with a brand or style name noted. (And of course I’ve searched all the usual sites, starting with old-school Levi’s.) If anyone here has a clue, please share! Btw, holy cow — clicked on the J. Crew link, and was catapulted into PTSD by the “Back to School” banner up top! Eek, already??
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vogue.fr/fashion/article/trends-jeans-fashion-week-denim-white-spring-summer-2020-inspiration-street-style/amp

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    tamara
    12 Jul 2022
    9:52am

    PSA: the jcrew chinos are on stupid sale. just grabbed them for <35 dollars….

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      Viajera
      15 Jul 2022
      2:00pm

      hi tamara – where is the stupid sale? did I miss it?

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      C.D.
      12 Jul 2022
      10:14am

      Thanks Tamara! I have two pairs I love and wear on repeat, so this is great news.

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      Jessemy
      13 Jul 2022
      8:20am

      Me too! If you’re short like me, you can still find mountain white in the petite sizes!

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    cw
    12 Jul 2022
    10:32am

    Echoing the call to J.Crew chinos––they fit well, don’t need to be ironed and are perfect when you want something lighter and nicer than plain old jeans. Side note: I listened to Monday’s EIF podcast this morning––a good shorts substitute are the 3/4 length Outdoor Voices exercise pants. I wear them with a long very thin tunic top (tank underneath) and feel perfectly fine wearing said “outfit” to the farm stand or a walk on the beach. I probably wouldn’t wear them to a ball game or to the book store etc., but I would if I were under the age of sixty. And can we talk about “puddle pants?” Do we REALLY need to DRAG THE HEMS OF OUR PANTS IN THE DIRT OR ALONG THE PAVEMENT WHICH HAS TO BE REALLY, REALLY UNSANITARY in order to look cool? This is the kind of thing I delve into when the world is making my head explode.

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    Hodgko
    12 Jul 2022
    11:00am

    Chuckling at the link to the OxiClean pre-treater… I keep a bottle in my bedroom, which is super attractive and possibly violates the concept of a bedroom as a soothing environment. But it’s just so good for treating any and all manner of stains before items are tossed into the hamper!

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    Emily M.
    12 Jul 2022
    11:11am

    I love white pants in summer, too. I always double-up protection when I wear them during that time of the month. I have been using the Diva Cup, with Thinx as a back-up.

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    Clatie
    12 Jul 2022
    12:50pm

    I own the straight leg cros from Everland and they are great – a nice weight so they aren’t too sheer and they wash beautifully. Unreservedly recommend.

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      Viajera
      15 Jul 2022
      1:57pm

      Is that the same pair that is linked? – the “Easy” Pant? (wah wah) I ask bc I didn’t see a photo of the rear view. Could you describe? I’ve never Everlaned before. Yet I am intrigued by your suggestion. TYIA

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        Clatie
        15 Jul 2022
        3:21pm

        They easy chinos (pic #3) are ok (I’m wearing a pair as I type this) but are a bit too unstructured for be – a little too baggy and I have to pull them up a lot. The straight leg chinos(#8) shown here are the ones I strongly recommend. They are not at all stretchy and have a nice, clean silhouette.

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          Viajera
          15 Jul 2022
          4:41pm

          oh, thanks!! That was helpful – I hadn’t noticed the 2nd pair were also Everlane.

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            Clatie
            15 Jul 2022
            5:43pm

            You’re welcome! They are a pretty good brand – I have bought some of their tops and I like them, too. It’s well made and good shapes. Not trendy but not dowdy.

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      Clatie
      12 Jul 2022
      12:51pm

      Excuse the typo – the pants are obviously from EVERLANE. Ugh.

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    karen
    12 Jul 2022
    12:55pm

    oh the carpenter pants! Jr High flash backs for sure

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    Tara
    12 Jul 2022
    1:45pm

    Just got back from a very fun visit to NYC and impulse-bought some Old Navy linen pants right before the trip and they were pretty great: https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=7919870520002. I was worried they’d be too short in the regular (I am 5’7″) but they were fine. Not a lot of light-colored options here but light fabrics. Just checked to get the link and they are 50% off today. I think they run a bit big but that was kind of what I had hoped for. Kim, if there’s a way to update that link so you get any referrals, please let me know!

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    Melissa Kuperminc
    12 Jul 2022
    4:51pm

    My podcast and blog worlds collide! Do you and Jenn know that Everything is Fine is featured in Amy Rigby’s blog today (Diary of Amy Rigby): https://diaryofamyrigby.wordpress.com/2022/07/12/lost-not-lost/❤️❤️❤️

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      Kim France
      12 Jul 2022
      5:36pm

      Yes, I saw that today and was so happy! I’m a big Amy Rigby fan, and am lucky enough to know her a little.

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    Liz
    12 Jul 2022
    5:39pm

    My favorite sites for beachy summer pants are Mollusk Surf Shop: https://mollusksurfshop.com/collections/womens-bottoms and Faherty: https://fahertybrand.com/collections/womens-pants . I bought the best pair of light blue soft chambray cotton pants with a white rope belt from Faherty, via eBay, and I wear them all the time. It’s like walking around in pajamas.

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    tricia
    12 Jul 2022
    8:27pm

    I tried the J Crew chinos and had no luck…so cute on the model and apparently everyone else lol. Bummer 🙁
    All great choices though. My shape does not lend itself to chinos

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    J
    12 Jul 2022
    10:05pm

    I love the look of white pants…on everyone but myself! Owner of large hips and thighs and wearing lighter colors on my bottom half only seems to exaggerate the problem. Maybe in my next life…

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    Tahe Z
    13 Jul 2022
    9:01am

    As much as I love the look of white pants (and tops and sweaters), I always seem to find myself in the direct line of a flying bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce whenever I wear them.

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      Heather
      13 Jul 2022
      10:01am

      Or with me… dribbling coffee!

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        Jenny
        13 Jul 2022
        5:43pm

        I nibble on dark chocolate throughout the day, and little pieces inevitably find their way onto my light clothes, and the resulting look is most unfortunate. I should probably wear an apron at all times.

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    Kathy
    13 Jul 2022
    9:13am

    Kim: can you tell me the difference between the Nili Lotan Tel Aviv and East Hampton pants? Buying on line and can’t seem to find a description of the fits to compare- thank you!

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      Kim France
      15 Jul 2022
      1:29pm

      The Easthampton pants are slightly lower-waisted is the main difference, and they’re more of a traditional chino.

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    Liz
    13 Jul 2022
    1:45pm

    Faherty Brand and Mollusk Surf Shop are my favorite places to buy beachy summer pants.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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