This summer has been hotter than hot, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve traded fashion for function — as in, the function of not melting on the sidewalk. But if you’re looking to wear something, anything, more interesting than bike shorts and viral TikTok tank tops, you’ll want to consider a pair of loose, light, and flowy pants.
After all, Italian girl summer is a state of mind, and you deserve to look European chic even if you’re watching reruns of Gossip Girl in your apartment.
Flowy Pants You Need
The pants you typically think of when you think of flowy pants are usually a type of palazzo pants. Palazzo pants are similar to other wide-legged pants, like culottes and gaucho pants, and they come in many different shapes and styles.
The defining feature is that they cinch at the waist and flare out wide and flowy down the leg. They can be made from lots of different materials and take inspiration from the It Girls of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, like Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo.
Find the perfect palazzo pants or other flowy pair for the hottest days of summer, and start planning a comfortable and chic wardrobe today.
1. High-Waisted Palazzo Pants
Listen, we’re all about embracing the high-waisted trend. It’s super cute and comfortable and gives nostalgic ‘90s Disney mom vibes that we can really dig. (It turns out we might just be turning into our moms, after all). But this summer, we’re not so much in the mood for heavy denim, especially bunched up around the middle.
That’s where high-waisted palazzo pants can really come in handy. You can find them in super-light materials, like linen, which will make you feel like you’re not wearing any excess fabric on humid days. And because palazzo pants are already designed to accentuate your figure, you’ll look totally snatched at the waist every time you pull them on.
One of the great things about palazzo pants is that they’re versatile — that means you can find your high-waisted palazzo pants with different size legs, so it’s easy to mix and match them with the pieces you already have in your wardrobe.
2. Lounge Pants
Flowy lounge pants definitely came more into style during the height of the pandemic when we were all working from home, but what’s to say you have to go back to sucking it in to fit into last year’s slacks? Flowy lounge pants can be elevated with a few matching pieces, like a tank or sports bra, and give you the chance to rest, recharge, and even reset your home in comfort and style.
If you want to look like the girls on Instagram who really have their Sunday routines down, flowy lounge pants are the perfect addition to your rotation.
3. Slit Palazzo Pants
One cool version of palazzo pants you’ll want to try is a pair with slits. Not only does this allow for even more airflow when it’s extra humid, but it adds a touch of elegance and boldness to a finer outfit, the way a slit in an evening gown might. The slit allows you to dress the outfit up or down without losing the comfort or charm.
And if you really want to be daring, consider a pair of high-slit palazzo pants, which show off a little more, and leave you feeling bold and beautiful all night long. The slit palazzo pants pair well with chic heels, and you’re sure to create some runway-ready looks with your next pair.
Okay, is anyone as obsessed with Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar as we are? Just us? If you haven’t watched this raunchy, laugh-out-loud comedy yet, just know that culottes play a big role. It may sound weird, but we promise it’s worth it.
And we promise that a pair of cool and comfortable culottes are worth it, as well. They’re a lot like palazzo pants, except the defining feature is that they stop a little short, closer to the knee than the ankle. That makes them a good option for when you need to dress more modestly on hot days or if you’re looking for comfort without having to worry about covering up.
Technically culottes refer to a wide range of garments, including skirts, old-fashioned britches, and even women’s undergarments. The pieces are similar split or open around the knee to generally give the function of pants. They have a long history in politics and military, and our first few presidents even wore them. (GRWM to Gain Independence from Britain?)
If you want a little more of that cool girl history, culottes were also used by women who wanted to horseback ride, which was super scandalous at the time because it left their lower limbs exposed. Like, gasp.
Culottes can also be found in a lot of different materials, shapes, and colors, so it’s easy to pick out a pair that matches your style and the pieces you already have in your wardrobe.
5. Gaucho Pants
Listen, if it seems like gaucho, culotte, and palazzo pants all look pretty much the same, it’s because they kind of do. Gaucho pants and culottes really share a style, and it’s little wonder why they get used interchangeably. But if you’re picking out soft, chic, and flowy pants for your next fit, it’s useful to know the difference between the two.
Essentially gaucho pants are just a little bit smaller. If any version of these flowy pants looks like you decided to late-night crop your favorite Levi’s, it’s gauchos. They’re a little more fitted to the body, and have more shape than the others, which are designed to look fuller and more skirt-like.
Of course, gaucho pants are still plenty flowy, cool, and comfortable, and you can dress them up or down to fit your style as you prefer.
6. Tulip Pants
It’s definitely no question why tulip pants are popular in places where it gets hotter than hot. The flowy design and breathable fabric make it more comfortable to move around and get things done through the day, and you won’t have to worry about tripping, thanks to the cinching or tapering at the ankles.
Like all flowy pants, the final design or style of the piece is up to your preference, since they’re available in so many different versions. With true tulip pants, the fabric comes to an inverted V-shape at both ankles, so that when you stand with your legs together, you look like an upside-down tulip. The final appearance is very elegant, and can make it easy to strut the airport in style while enjoying the flight in comfort.
You can also find variations of the tulip pants, with more hanging fabric and flow to the side, a straighter leg versus a curved leg, or a more secure cinching, for those days when you have a million errands to run. This is one of our favorite flowy pant ideas because, as Miley said, we can buy ourselves flowers. Or, in this case, wear them.
7. Drop Crotch Pants
When it comes to really flowy pants, nothing beats the drop crotch. As the name would indicate, it has a much lower seam than a traditional pair of pants, which means there’s a lot more airflow and range of movement when you pull them on.
They sag and flow more loosely on the top, and pull to a cinch and taper down the leg. You can find them in a wide range of colors, fabrics, and styles, and decide on the amount of drop or give that fits your wardrobe and personal fashion style.
Find Your Flowy Pants
Every individual has a different style, and it can be challenging to find new pieces or trends to match that style, especially when there are extreme temperatures just outside your door. But if you’re looking for a remarkably versatile piece that can be styled in many different ways, and that is available in a wide range of colors, materials, and shapes, a flowy pant might be right for you.
The good news is that you have a whole bunch of style and design options to pick from, whether you want to go true palazzo, find a matching flowy fit like the TikTok girlies, or turn yourself into the belle of the garden with a tulip style. You can even decide between palazzo pants, gaucho pants, and culottes, or just buy a pair of each to finish the season out in style.
Begin adding the next great piece to your wardrobe, and start strutting it out in the world today.