Style Search: Linen pants for a beach wedding

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Linen pants doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, right?

Well, there are some specifics that actually do make this quite a challenge.  Full Clutch reader Sarah emailed a few days ago asking for help finding some dress linen pants for a wedding this summer.  Here are her words:

“I’m looking for linen pants (something appropriate for a hot beach wedding this summer, so no casual drawstrings) and having some trouble. I’m very small and tend to look like I’m drowning in wide leg pants, so I’m hoping I can find something with a thinner, more fitting leg and I’m coming up empty… Ideally, I’d love something that is the natural color of linen, but anything appropriate for a summer wedding would be okay. Pretty much the only things I wouldn’t consider would be black or distracting bright colors. Same on length– capri length is probably out for being too casual, but pant length or ankle-length crop is fine. As far as price, the more affordable the better! I’m expecting to spend something in the $70-$150 range.  Any suggestions?”

Let me paint you a picture.  You’re standing on a white sand beach.  You can feel the warm breeze blowing over your bare shoulders.  And those linen pants you picked up, on sale of course, are gently flapping in the light wind.  The comfortable drawstring waist leaves plenty of room for your belly to expand after those coconut shrimp and 3 Mai Tai’s… Alright, stop the record.  Therein lies the problem.  Many linen pants are created for a specific purpose; providing sun protection while keeping you cool and comfortable.  No tight fits, no buttons.  There are lots of dress options out there, sure.  But for some reason, far too often, linen=very wide legs.  Sarah is looking for something with a straighter fit.  Lady, you’ve presented a challenge… let’s see what we can find…


Lauren by Ralph Lauren Pants, Danni Straight Leg Ankle Trousers – $47.99 – $95.40

Running darker than natural, these straight leg pants are made from a linen/silk blend.  The silk will provide an extra element of “dress”, and is absorbent so can keep you cool in the heat along with the linen.   The rise is listed as “medium low-rise”.  I have a very short torso, and can tell these would sit pretty high on me, but these will work great for longer torsos.  There are vintage inspired metal slider buckles on the waist for added flare.  These are fully lined, with an inseam 26.5″ (this will be good for petites, or look like a cropped cut on you taller ladies).  I found these pants at Macy’s (the lower price) and Bloomingdales.  Macy’s has them on pretty steep sale, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they dropped in price at Bloomingdales this weekend due to the holiday.  Neither have them in a size 6, but all other sizes are available between the two retailers.


Banana Republic Jackson Fit button-tab Trouser & Martin Fit Linen Trouser – $79.50


Both of these linen pant options from Banana Republic come in regular and petite sizes.  The Jackson fit is the dressier looking of the two.  They are a blend of 52% linen and 48% cotton.  They sit at waist and are curved through the hip and thigh.  The legs are cut pretty straight, which trims down the “wide leg” look.  The Martin fit pant looks more casual, and the legs look wider.  The fabric blend is the same, but the rise on these is much lower that the Jackson.  Still a pretty pant that will flatter.  Watch for a sale on these.  I can’t imagine Banana Republic won’t have them marked down for the holiday weekend.  And as long as the total in your cart reaches $50 before any discount codes are applied your order will ship for free.


Neiman Marcus Linen Pants – $90 ($150)

I contacted Neiman Marcus about whether these pants are drawstring or have a button closure, and Joyce informed me that they are button closure.  These linen pants have a nice lean cut.  They’re definitely that “natural” linen color.  You can use the zoom function on the website page if you want to see the fabric close up.  These will ship for free with code MAYSF through 5/31/12.


Calvin Klein Linen Bootcut Leg Pants – $29.99 (89.50)

These boot-cut pants are comprised of 62% linen and 38% cotton.  The cut is pretty slender though the hip and thigh, but definitely flairs out below the knee.  The pants are listed as “medium weight”, but there is no information about lining.  They are machine washable, and come in white, black, or astral/steam, which is the more natural looking color shown on left.  The thing about these that are a bit suspicious is they started out at $90, are on sale for $30, and there are plenty of sizes available.  Why are these the red-headed step child of the Calvin Klein site (no offense to red heads or stepchildren, I know and love both)?  If there isn’t anything wrong with them, these are truly a great deal!


Ralph Lauren Blue Label VP Linen Pant – $153.75 ($205)

These are the trimmest 100% linen pants I could find that fall into Sarah’s price range.  They only come in one color called “Society Cream”.  Of course.  Inseam is 33″, so they run long, but can be tailored up.   The closure on the pants are two genuine mother of pearl buttons, and zipper.  The Memorial Day Sale at the Ralph Lauren site takes 25% off (price shown above).  The sale expires 5/29/12.


Jones New York Flat Front Dress Pants – $99

These pants, as they are, look a little… schlumpy.  I think the merchandising photog just pulled them out of a package, slapped them on a mannequin, and took a picture.  Pressed they probably look a lot better.  These are a linen/viscose/spandex blend, so moving away from a true linen pant.  They are lined (which could be bad on a hot day).  They look like they could have a slight sheen to the fabric, which would dress them up a bit.  Smallest size available is 6.


INC International Concepts Pants, Wide-Leg Flat-Front Linen – $59.07 ($69.50)

I know wide leg is breaking the rules, but the straight cut through the hip and thigh make these wide legs look more streamlined.  The waist is low rise with no belt loops.  These pants are unlined, so they’ll be cooler.  There are no front pockets and no mention of back pockets, which I think is better when it comes to unlined linen.  Otherwise those pockets really show though.  These are offered through Macy’s, and you can use code MEMDAY (I’m assuming it’s good through Monday) to get the 15% off price shown above.


Lands’ End Linen Pleated V-Neck Dress – $77 ($110) & Stretch Linen V-Neck Dress – $70 ($100)

I know we’re looking for pants, but I had to share these darling linen dresses from Land’s End.  And this weekend they’re 30% off with code FLAG, and shipping is free with pin 1122.  The first dress shown on the left runs big, especially in the chest according to reviews.  You can have a tailor take that in for you if needed.  The dress is comprised of a soft linen.  Unlined, so you’ll need either skin tone undergarments or a slip.  The skirt is draped enough that if you needed to chill out in the sand for a bit you have plenty of fabric to keep covered up.  The Linen stretch dress is shown in the lightest color it’s available in, and navy and green are also available.  The fabric is linen with some rayon thrown in the mix.  Just a cute, simple style.


Sarah, I hope I’ve uncovered a few options you hadn’t seen before.  One thing to remember about pants, most of the time they are utilitarian; a blank canvas we build the rest of our outfits upon.  So even a more casual leaning pair of linen pants can really get glammed up with the right top, jewelry, shoes (optional on a beach), and even hair and makeup.  And never underestimate the power of a good seamstress or tailor to make them fit exactly how you want.

Alright ladies, your turn.  Do you have any suggestions on retailers, or actual pants, that Sarah should try?  Please leave any suggestions and links in the comments below…


Featured Image courtesy of footloosiety

One Response to “Style Search: Linen pants for a beach wedding”
  1. Amber Dillon says:

    Those are fantastic choices! Great job on finding options that fit Sarah’s request. I love the look of the INC pants and those dresses are perfect for summer.