Reader Question: Gray Pants in the Summer?

July 31st, 2009 § 9 comments

We recently received this reader question in our inbox:

Can you wear grey pants in the summer?
Before I go ahead, is there any pointers you might have?  Any help would be appreciated.

What a great question! Gray pants do have something fall or wintery about them and tend to be a rare item in summer fashion lines. However, if you have a beloved pair of gray trousers you want to keep wearing year-round, there are good ways to do that. Here are some clever outfit ideas from some of our favorite wardrobe_remixers on Flickr, who demonstrate just how to work that gray pant into your summer wardrobe:

blousier, originally uploaded by Julie Mack.

The very stylish Julie Mack wears a medium gray pant with this soft pale blue blouse. The light color and fabric of the blouse lightens up the outfit all together, making the pants appear more summer appropriate as well.

Trick: Pair a more somber gray pant with a light and breezy summer blouse!


Mamichan, from whom we seem to draw endless style inspiration, wears her gray summer culottes with a darker top and flats. Although the hues are darker and the cuts more tailored, the pale gray of the pant as well as the just below the knee length make it an unmistakable summer outfit.

Trick: Choose a paler gray or a summer cut such as a culotte, capri, or cigarette pant!

daily wear 07-23-09, originally uploaded by Darling Dexter.
Keeping it similarly light in hue, the lovely Darling Dexter sports a pale gray trouser with a white top and short sleeved cardi. Once more, the lighter shade of gray makes it feel breezy and summery, while the white top and short sleeved cardi add to that light and airy look.
Trick: Pair a light gray pant with other pale colors for a soft and summery color palette!
25 June 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
Our own E. demonstrates how she made her gray trousers extend into the summer months by pairing them with a bright coral top. In this case, E.’s pant is a dark charcoal but can still look summery with the help of a bold and punchy color on top.
Trick: If you have a dark gray pant, play up the saturated color by adding a bright and bold top in coral, green, or magenta!

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§ 9 Responses to Reader Question: Gray Pants in the Summer?"

  1. Christina says:

    I love pairing gray with yellow. Particularly appropriate for the summer!

  2. Diana says:

    Thanks for the tips! I think the key is to make the rest of the outfit summery, with bright, vibrant colors or cuts and fabrics that scream “summer”.

  3. mamichan says:

    thanks guys! i wore grey pants yesterday too. cargo pants. i think the trick to summer/spring grey is the fabric. twill, cotton, linen, yes. maybe tropical wool for a more office look. but nothing heavier.

  4. julie mack says:

    Thank you, lovelies!

    I am a firm believer of rocking any color in any season. It’s just how you put it together.

  5. titilayo says:

    I totally agree with Julie Mack. Any colour you want, any season you want. I really don’t get the concept of “season-appropriate” colours. (But that may be in part because I come from a tropical country where it’s always warm and people wear all kinds of hues – grey, navy, turquoise, brown, whatever – all year round.) For me, whether something is spring-y, summer-y, autumnal or wintry tend to be more about the fabric (weight and warmth) than the colour.

  6. Clare says:

    This is a great review post. I am a huge (HUGE) fan of all things gray, and I’ve definitely never shunned my gray clothes to the back of the closet in summer. However, gray pants do have a cold-weather feel, so I’m glad you went over these tips! I actually don’t have any gray pants but am hoping to find them on my work-clothes-mission this weekend.

  7. Anna says:

    I have to admit, I have never thought that gray was a one season color. In fact, when I bought my first suit, I purposely bought gray so I could wear it year round! Just goes to show how much of fashion is objective I guess!

  8. Anna says:

    Hmm I meant subjective lol! Oops!

  9. [...] of my favorite neutral — gray! Per our recent post on the subject, I definitely think that gray pants can be worn in the summer, particularly if worn with brown or colored accessories rather than black. You will not find me [...]

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