Menswear’s wardrobe all-rounder.
SPOTLIGHT ON: MEN’S CHINOS
YOUR WARDROBE’S ALL-ROUNDER
• WORDS: R. TOOK
Since the military decided durable cotton twill was an ideal option for their uniforms, the chino has been a dependable supporting piece of kit for men’s wardrobes the world over. Renowned for its relaxed, straight-legged silhouette, the chino now has a legacy of its own.
Historically worn in the heat of Vietnam, this staple has since enjoyed several innovations: a leg crease, a dry hand feel, a thicker twill weave, slimmer legs and higher rises, all of which have seen the chino transition from uniform to formal-only to casual in the span of a few decades. Stretch in the fabric also means they tend to fit well and last longer. Innovation? Absolutely.
CAN I WEAR CHINOS TO WORK?
Of course. The improvements detailed above make today’s chino a great partner for a business casual shirt and an unstructured formal jacket. If you want a more classic look, black chinos are a great alternative to tailored trousers, and will look just as smart when paired with a white Oxford and chunky loafers. Working from home these days? Wearing yours with a knitted polo or boxier-fit shirt should hit the right spot. If you’re not sure about styling your chinos for your day-to-day, our experts in our stores will gladly show you your options at a one-to-one styling appointment.
CAN I WEAR CHINOS AT THE WEEKEND?
Got plans to spend the whole of Saturday out and about in town, or maybe a Sunday spent kicking about closer to home? The versatility of chinos means they’ll likely work no matter where you’re headed. Brighten it up by pairing a dusty pink pair with a neutral knitted tee, or go for classic khaki with a merino crew neck if the temperature drops. Finish with a pair of chunky trainers, or go for a casual loafer if you’re heading to a nice dinner.
IT’S HOT: CAN I WEAR CHINOS IN SUMMER?
The chino was intended for summer heat and easy wear. Cotton is lightweight and breathes well, and the way chinos are constructed means they’re lighter than denim and have more give than a pair of formal trousers. They’ll look fresh with trainers or loafers, and you can try brogues or anything with a round toecap if you want to elevate your look a little. Still too hot? Try chino shorts.