Slacks vs. Chinos: Everything You Need To Know
Slacks and chinos are two very common trousers that are often worn for different occasions and settings. Being that the formality of each pant is rather different, it is imperative to know the difference between the two. From the material to the detailed stitching, some of the distinctions between slacks and chinos are incredibly obvious, while others are rather subtle.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explain everything you need to know about slacks and chinos so that you can look your best no matter what the occasion.
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Slacks and most other dress pants can best be characterized by their loose-fitted construction, which is fitting considering the word “slack” actually comes from the Saxon word slack which literally translates to “loose.” Rather than being tight, slacks fit loosely and without snug form. For the most part, slacks are made out of woolen material, making the trousers quite lightweight which makes their looser fit that much easier.
The wool material also creates a softer, finer, and smoother feel. One of the big positives of this is the fact that you don’t have to worry about slacks sticking uncomfortably to your body. Slacks truly provide your body with an ample amount of room and breathability, making them some of the more comfortable and enjoyable men’s pants available.
In general, chino’s are seen as being more casual than slacks. Best of all, they are incredibly versatile, able to be worn for a variety of settings such as semi-casual and business casual environments. Most often they are made from cotton-twill material, giving them a simple and soft feel. Sometimes, chinos can also be recognized by their more laid everyday features such as patch pockets or decorative stitchings.
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Key Differences Between the Two
While the biggest and most important difference between slacks and chinos is definitely the formality of each, there are a few other key factors to know when examining trousers. First of all, slacks tend to have a sharp center crease down the middle of each leg, while chinos have little to no crease.
Another difference between the two can be found in the seam details. While the seam on the inner legs of a pair of chinos might be rather obvious, they are often hidden and minimized on slacks and dress pants. Lastly, pleats are very commonly found in slacks, while you won’t see them in chinos the majority of the time.
What To Wear Them With
When it comes to putting together an entire outfit that pairs nicely with your slacks or chinos, here are some tips and tricks to finding the best match. Regardless of if you’re sporting slacks or chinos, blazers and sportcoats can go great with both. Depending on the color and style, blazers and sportcoats can be dressed up or dressed down accordingly, pulling together an elegant yet laidback look for a variety of settings. For shoes, since slacks are a bit more formal in general, it is best to stick with more formal shoes such as Oxfords or Derbys.
Chinos on the other hand can be worn with everything from sneakers to boat shoes or even flip flops. Finally, when picking out a shirt, there are a few different routes you could go. If you’re looking to stick to something between a semi-formal and business casual look, a simple dress shirt is fine with either slacks or chinos. However, if you’re needing something casual, try the Oxford button down dress shirt with your chinos.
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