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There's nothing quite like the effortless style of a pair of summer pants to keep you looking neat in the heat. Be it for work, vacation or for play, they're the sleek alternative to shorts and dresses. The key is to keep the fabrics light and the cut comfortable, so your legs are cool, but stylishly covered. While the finer details may vary, there are some styles that you can't get through a chic summer without.
The Refreshing Linen Pant
Perfect for both the beach and office, linen pants should top your summer wear list. With a loose fit silhouette in neutral shades of black, white, khaki or taupe (although it's easy to find more vibrant, trend-led color options), they naturally ventilate, keeping you cool, comfortable and chic, no matter how sizzling the weather. Beware, though, linen crushes easily, so keep your look neat and pair these slouchy bottoms with a structured blouse or tank top.
The Urban Cargo Pant
Giving your summer closet a glamorous urban edge, the cargo pant is a hot summer fashion choice. In shades of khaki, black or gray, it is inspired by military and safari uniforms with useful pockets. For a casual look, wear with flat sandals or turn up the heat in heels and metallic accessories for a night out. Just avoid boyish wide-legged cargoes (like GI Jane) and ensure the pant is flattering and well cut.
The Breezy Wide-legged Pant
If the summer heat moves you at a snail's pace, then slouchy wide-legged pants are perfect to lounge in stylishly. Be it pajama or palazzo, embrace color and pattern and keep the fabric breezy with lightweight silk, chiffon and fine cotton. The fluid, wide-legged pant embraces vintage sensuality and will look particularly knock-out at a summer evening do. Fashionising.com suggests looking to screen icons Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich for style inspiration.
The Crisp Cropped Pant
A ladylike pair of cropped pants balances summer smart casual with ease. In particular, tailored cropped pants work well for a polished summer office wardrobe, while retro Capri pants in vivid colors are the ultimate in preppy resort style. Wear flats or, as "InStyle" suggests, heels to elongate your legs. If you want to cheat, make the most of your favorite straight or skinny pants by turning up the hem for a relaxed summery edge.