If you're looking for a wardrobe essential that can switch seamlessly between smart and casual, chino trousers are the perfect go-tos. The ultimate blend of comfort, durability and classic style, these beloved trousers have a rich history. Plus, they adapt to any setting - be it an office meeting or a relaxed weekend away. So read on for our ultimate guide, with styling tips, care instructions and more.
What are chino trousers?
Let's start with the basics. What exactly are chino trousers? Chino trousers are a classic trouser that’s most often made of lightweight cotton or a cotton-blend fabric. One of their defining features is their pockets. The front ones are most often flat and slightly diagonal. At the back, you'll generally find two welt pockets, which maintain the trousers’ sleek profile.
Chinos can come in a variety of fits, including slim-fit, straight-leg, and relaxed-fit. However, most chinos incorporate some degree of tapering towards the ankle. This allows for a neater look and also draws attention to the shoes you’re wearing.
History of chinos
The term "chino” most probably comes from the Spanish name for the toasted beige colour of the original trousers. Chinos were first made in the mid-19th century for the British and French military.
Back then, the trousers were designed to be simple, durable, and comfortable, enabling soldiers to move easily in battle. The American military also adopted chinos during the Spanish-American War.
Post-war, soldiers brought chinos back to the home front. Soon, they became popular among everyday people, especially among college students of the 1950s and 1960s.
How to style chinos
From everyday at the office to formal evening events, rooftop drinks and more, chinos are super versatile. Here are our style tips for making the most them:
How to wear chino trousers for men
When it comes to how to wear chinos for everyday, opting for a crisp white button-down and a pair of brown loafers is a great way to start. It’s a classic look that works just about anywhere. Plus it can easily transition day to night.
Want to get a more casual vibe from your mens chino trousers? Swap the button down shirt for a cotton t-shirt or polo. Then grab a pair of white or neutral tone sneakers.
For a more dressy occasion, choose a darker pair of chinos, like navy or charcoal. Then match with a crisp dress shirt, a tailored blazer, and polished leather shoes.
Off on a long-awaited vacation? Chinos are a great choice, so pop a pair or two in your luggage. For a casual day at the beach, pair some sandy-toned chinos with a breathable linen shirt or a classic white tee. Rolled cuffs can give your outfit a laid-back vibe. Then, when the sun sets, a darker pair of chinos matched with a crisp button-down shirt and loafers can be the look perfect for dinner - beachside or elsewhere.