This Spring season’s alternative to denim are Chinos and they’re far more than just some seasonal substitute. When it comes to their versatility, Chinos should be awarded ‘Pant MVP’. Chino’s out beat their denim cousins in almost every aspect from vast color options and comfort to varying scenario appropriation.
WHAT ARE CHINOS?
Chinos, by definition, are indeed cotton twill trousers. As with many of our contemporary wardrobe staples (and, for that matter, the technology we rely upon), chinos were initially designed with a military purpose, most notably for British and French soldiers of the mid-19th century.
Strong and rugged, yet lightweight and comfortable, chino cloth was ideal for crafting fighting pants, and it took many years of khaki incarceration before chinos began to be rendered in the colourful styles available today.
WHEN TO WEAR THEM
The best thing about chinos is their versatility; rivaled only perhaps by denim jeans in their ease of wear, they lend themselves to virtually all types of scenario.
For a casual look with a leaning towards a more rugged and outdoorsy style, classic khaki chinos in a slightly more relaxed fit team really well with hiking boots, a chambray shirt and quilted gilet.
For a dressier casual style, a slim-fitting pair in a pastel shade works nicely with a simple T-shirt or polo and fine-gauge cardigan, and is a particularly easy look to pull off through the summer, finished with slip-ons, sandals or even trainers.
For occasions with a smart-casual bent, opt for rich navy chinos turned up with tan loafers (and matching tan belt) and team with a crisp white shirt and blazer of a lighter blue hue. Throw a pocket square into the mix or drape a contrasting silk scarf beneath the lapels of your blazer and you have a consummately slick look for the warmer months.
WHERE TO GET THEM
Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, Reiss, Ted Baker, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, ZARA, TOPMAN and Brooks Brothers.