EVERYDAY, ALL-SEASON WEAR: CHINOS

25 January 2017

By Musa Bwanali

Best described as a cross between khakis and dress pants, chinos have found their way into every man’s wardrobe, young and old. Where formal pants are too formal and denim is too heavy, chinos have found their niche. The warm weather alternative to denim, chinos are one of the most versatile pieces that a man can have in his wardrobe. The word ‘Chinos’ was first coined to describe a style of military uniform trouser of cotton weave that is soft and lightweight in texture manufactured in China in the 20th century. Since then, its popularity has seen it become a permanent fixture on our streets and it has become a must-have item for the modern man. Wearing chinos will make you stand out in an elegant and stylish way, adding colour to your outfits and they provide a great and modern feel. Here’s a guide to shopping, caring and styling your chinos. 

 

THE FIT

 

The starting barometer for your new pair of chinos involves one fundamental: the fit. Since it’s a piece that can work casually and in dressier situations, look for a trim fit that’s not rock-star denim tight. Invest in a pair with some taper from the thigh to the ankle or a pair with either a minimal break (or maybe some extra length to allow a cuff or roll) to keep things sleek and not ultra-baggy. Most chinos are either slim or regular fit, and have a straight or tapered cut. Here is a little check list to help you find the perfect chinos:
• Your chinos should hold without a belt, and wrap your buns and thighs closely.
• Chinos are elastic and comfortable, but don’t go overboard and buy chinos that are too tight. We should not be able to see the curves of your thighs and calves.
• Length wise, your chinos should gently break on your shoe (if necessary, take your chino pants to your tailor to get the length altered).


COLORS

 

Chinos offer a large variety of colours and picking the right colour for you is not as difficult as you may think. They are generally classified into three main categories: Classic, summer and winter colours. Classic colours consist of beige, camel, grey, and navy blue. Classic colours are the ones you should consider if you are looking to buy your first chinos. There are neutral colours that suit all men and can be easily matched in many different outfits.


CHINO CARE

Chinos need caring too. Since chino fabric is different to denim (not anywhere close to as stiff, more susceptible to visible stains and made with more stretch) washing more frequently than your jeans is definitely advised. Washing with like colours in cold water and hang-drying is definitely the simplest option (and they could also be pressed to avoid wrinkling). Throwing them in the dryer might shrink them, making it tough to put them back on again which is not something you want in the slightest. It’s worth noting that if the fabric isn’t up to par, the colour could fade much more quickly through washing.


EVERYDAY, ANYWHERE

Ahh, versatility. Aside from fit, it’s the crowning feature of this style of pants. Chinos can make a casual business get-up if you pair them with a fitted shirt, tie and a blazer with formal shoes. Or get even more casual – roll-up your chinos and pair with crazy coloured sneakers or boots. Got a hot date this weekend? Throw on a chambray shirt and some masculine dress shoes. Chinos give you loads of utility across any season, and pretty much any type of weather. The well-dressed man can easily stand out in the classic style essentials (a classic white shirt, a sharp dive watch and timeless shoes), combining them to ensure that this entire ensemble could work in the office or out to dinner, on the weekends or running errands on a weeknight.


Keep it simple. Keep it stylish.
 

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