Athleisure Wear

8 Pairs of Lightweight, Breathable Denim To Wear All Summer Long

Allie Flinn

Photo: Getty/pitchwayz
I'm not convinced that the past year wasn't set into motion by a monkey's paw situation, where someone wished that wearing sweats 24/7/365 was the norm and then we all ended up in this hellish timeline. But thankfully, we are seeing a return to somewhat normal activities. And, like the cicadas that burrowed into the ground 17 years ago, our time to emerge and molt our sweatpants exoskeletons is coming. The transition to hard pants will already be tough, and the temperature rising isn't going to make it any easier, so here are 8 pairs of summer denim that won't suffocate your legs.

8 pairs of breathable summer denim

Re/Done High Rise Loose — $255.00

Re/Done makes the best denim, full stop. And this pair, which sits high on the hips and falls like a waterfall to the floor has us inspired to slip on a pair of jeans (despite having a closet full of flouncy summer dresses). This pair is made of rigid denim, so while they’ll likely be stiff on first wear, they’ll ease as you ease into summer. Opt for a pair with rips for extra air flow or choose from the nine washes that the brand offers in this style alone.

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DL1961 Patti Straight High-Rise Vintage Ankle — $199.00

These jeans, like the rest of the brand’s offerings, are made from eco-friendly recycled or organic cotton fibers and dyed with clean dyes. The baby blue distressed wash is new for this summer and, combined with the high waist, is making me want to to throw on a bikini top and use roller skates as my primary form of transportation. The style is also offered in white, light, medium, and dark washes.

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Duer Performance Denim Jumpsuit — $149.00

It is not an exaggeration to say that this jumpsuit is just as comfortable as sweatpants. The fabric is super stretchy but doesn’t get baggy, though it should be noted that it is designed to fit loosely. It’s made with Coolmax fibers that dry quickly and help you—you guessed it—stay cool. They’re also finished with a silver ion treatment to keep stinky smells at bay.

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Good American Good '90s — $169.00

The loose, ’90s-inspired cut won’t smother your legs when the temperature warms up. This style also comes in light, medium, and dark denim washes and in sizes 0 to 26.

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Boyish The Billy Jeans — $168.00

Don’t let the “rigid denim skinny jeans” phrase in the description scare you away from one of the best-fitting pairs of jeans this writer has ever tried. Sure, it may not sound like the best choice for summer—but the more you wear these jeans, the comfier they get. They’re made from a recycled cotton-blend, have a high waist, and aren’t as skintight as the term skinny jeans implies. The distressing also gives you some extra ventilation. Oh, and the style comes in a casual 20 different washes.

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Pistola Bobbie High-Rise Wide Leg — $148.00

This two-tone color, called Mullholland, is the California-designed denim label’s latest iteration of its bestselling Bobbie jeans. They have a high-waisted, relaxed fit and are a subtle way to inject some whimsy into your wardrobe.

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Liverpool Gia Pull-On Crop Slim Jeans — $98.00

If you lived through the year 2010, the word “jeggings” is sure to send a shiver down your spine. Though this pair of jeans is stretchy and pull-on, these are not the jeggings of yesteryear. The fit is slim but not suffocating, and the fabric has weight without feeling heavy or thick. In fact, this pair of denim is comfortable enough to wear for the hour-long Uber ride out to the ‘burbs to meet your significant other’s mom. If you are concerned about your ability to not spill on white pants, the style is also offered in various other blue denim washes.

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Everlane The Curvy Cheeky Straight Jean — $78.00

If you have an hourglass figure, this version of the brand’s OG Cheeky Straight Jean was designed for you with an adjusted hip-to-waist ratio to prevent gaping at the waist. Like the original pair, they have a super high rise (11 inches!), straight cut, and strategically placed back pockets. This style is available in four washes, ankle and regular lengths, and in sizes 23 to 35.

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