Chinos are casual cotton twill trousers made from chino or a similar fabric and are typically khaki-coloured. A somewhat generic definition that lacks the exciting story of their origins. Chinos were designed for military purposes in the mid-nineteenth century for British and French soldiers. They were chosen as the material of choice because of the camouflage the khaki-colour guaranteed and the level of flexibility and comfort they allowed. Plus the material is strong, yet lightweight, perfect for attacking those tea-wasters in Boston. Their popularity lasted the test of time, and today those British and French soldiers are the vintage inspiration for chino-loving men all over the world.
Choosing The Right Colour
Fortunately camouflage is not an active category most men seek out when buying a pair of chinos, and so chinos are available in a variety of colours. Traditionally khaki is a great colour to wear, and allows for a variety of different looks, depending on what they are paired with. Neutral tones like gray, black or navy are always in style, and streamline a tailored look. To bring variety to the neutral tones, add bright socks
with a bold print. Chinos are also widely available in bolder colours like red, green, yellow, blue and even pink, and can be dressed up or down. Buy a colour that can be worn with many pieces in your wardrobe, but don’t be shy to try out different shades.
How Chinos Should Fit
Chinos are more lightweight than jeans, and therefore ideal in warmer weather. While chinos may fit looser than a pair of straight-cut jeans or suit pants, they should never be baggy. Generally speaking, chinos can hang a bit lower on the hip than a pair of suit pants. Wide-leg or slim-fit chinos are up to the wearer’s discretion, and both can be rolled up for a stylish look. If dressing for a casual dress code, rolled up chinos exposing a bold pair of socks and amazing kicks are ideal. For a smarter look, choose bright, single tone (pink/blue/yellow) socks and dress shoes.
Which Items to Pair With Chinos
Chinos work very well with a blazer, which can be paired with an oxford shirt and/or jersey combo. A denim shirt is also a great option to pair with chinos - add a dinner jacket and a pair of smart shoes and you get smart-casual at its best- perfect for warmer days. Traditional khaki-coloured chinos work well with white shoes- be it sneakers or otherwise. Embrace nautical influences, by wearing your khaki-chinos with a black and white striped shirt. A fedora hat is a stylish accessory to complete the look.