What Are Chinos and How Should They Be Worn?
However, when it comes to looks, you can’t remove dress sense from the equation. As a matter of fact, there are gazillions of stylish outfits for men out there, and chinos are at the top of the list.
Chinos are one of the most popular types of men’s pants because they go really well with so many different things. It would not be wrong to say that chinos must be part of every modern man’s wardrobe.
But wait, are you hearing this name for the first time? Let us help you explore.
What Are Chinos?
Chinos represent a unique style of trousers and find their roots in the American military. Yes, you read it right. Owing to their rough and tough characteristics, they were first designed for soldiers. These trousers are made with a particular cotton composition that goes well with both the appearance and the usage.
Chinos are not formal, but neither are they casual. In fact, they lie just in between but go well with both formal and informal occasions. What else does a man need? Add to it the versatile range of colors chinos come in. That’s got to be a jackpot.
Chinos found their unique name during the war between Spain and America in 1898. ‘Chino’ is a Spanish word meaning ‘Chinese’. These pants were called ‘chinos’ because the fabric used for the production of soldiers’ trousers was imported from China. Later, it officially became part and parcel of American uniform. Therefore, chinos have been around for over a century.
But mind you, chinos and khakis are not the same thing.
Chinos vs. Khakis
Many people confuse chinos with khakis, and we can’t blame them. They do share some features. However, chinos and khakis are different in several ways.
The main difference that make things easier when you go shopping is that the stitching is visible on khakis, whereas it is hidden on chinos. That’s the reason why chinos offer a more furnished look than khakis, and are more formal.
Also, khaki-style pants have visible pockets, but pockets on chinos are concealed for a more refined appearance.
Secondly, the fabric is also different for both trousers for men. Chinos are made of a lightweight cotton blend or 100% cotton with a tighter weaving. On the other hand, khakis are made of a fabric known as heavyweight cotton twill.
Thirdly, chino pants come in a narrow style that ensures a close fit, whereas khakis are fuller and less tight. This way, khakis can be a bit more comfortable. Moreover, every khaki can be a chino, but every chino cannot be khaki because modern-day chinos come in a lot of shades. In simple words, khaki is a color, and chino is a fabric.
Are Chinos Formal or Informal?
If you are still confused about whether chinos are formal or casual wear, let us settle your confusion once and for all. As mentioned earlier, chinos lie in the middle of formal and informal. And that means you can spruce yourself up with chinos for both kinds of occasions.
Nevertheless, there are some chinos more formal than others, and vice versa. Stylistically speaking, there are only minor differences between formal and casual chinos. Here is how you can differentiate between them.
Formal chinos, as the name suggests, are dressier and are made of cotton twill. You can be sure that you are having a formal chino at your disposal when you see prolonged waistband closures, welt pockets at the back, slant pockets at the front, center creases and cuffs. A glance at the overall look of chino will let you observe all these things.
Casual chinos, on the other hand, are made of wool, and they look just like a pair of denim. To ensure that you are considering a casual chino, look for standard side pockets, patch pockets at the back, bar-tacked stress points or rivets, typical hem, and flat-felled seams. The casual stitching of this type of chino also serves the purpose.
However, in spite of all the versatility they offer, it can be an uphill task to decide which chino to wear on which occasion.
Lucky for you, being experts in all manly things, let us ease the burden from you by explaining how you should pick the perfect pair of chinos for different occasions.
Let’s get started.
Chinos for Different Occasions
Chinos are incredibly versatile and all-inclusive when it comes to providing you with out-of-the-box outfit solutions. They let you wear your desired look on almost all the occasions. The general rule of thumb is that the chino should make you feel good. It doesn’t matter if it is plain or patterned, formal or casual, khaki or vibrant chino. All you need to do is pair them with the right accessories, and out are all set to rock.
In your bid to look dapper in the office, on a lunch, during a friends’ gathering, enjoying a party, at a wedding, or just to feel better, chinos can be your best buddies. They complement any choice of shirt and shoes. And the best part is that despite their sturdiness, they are remarkably comfortable.
Chinos for Casual Events
When you want to look like a million-dollar on a casual event, nothing beats chinos for a smart casual look. At casual parties and events, you want to look debonair without compromising on your comfort. And that is exactly what chinos are all about.
Pair your chinos with a cherrypicked short-sleeved or a T-shirt. Do not underestimate the footwear and go for sneakers, boots or loafers as they all make an ideal combo with chinos. Don’t be too casual by wearing flip-flops unless you want to be a catcalled.
So, the next time you get an invitation for a casual fun party, no need to stress yourself out with the styling options. Just grab a pair of chinos, put on your favorite tee, and put the cherry on the top by wearing some decent sneakers.
And hey, do not blame us if the ladies drool over you.
Chinos for Semi Formal Events
Chinos can also be your go-to trousers for semi-formal events. The reason being their ability to match with formal shirts and shoes. Typical semi-formal occasions demand a put-together look with a careless touch. That necessarily means you should look dressier than casual but unceremonious than formal.
That’s baffling, right? Chinos save you from this muddle by taking your attire to the perfect level of semi-formalness. When you are excited about an upcoming wedding, holiday party, or trip to a fine restaurant, do not let the excitement fade away worrying about the outfit.
Pick a high waisted chino with concealed stitching and couple it with a decent shirt and dress shoes and BOOM; you are good to go! You can always spice up things by wearing a tie, a pair of suspenders, or a blazer that goes well with your fashion statement.
Chinos for Formal Occasions
Although popular as a casual outfit option, Chinos are hard to beat even when you put them on for a formal occasion.
If your boss happens to be a lenient person and does not want you strictly adhere to the formal dress code, you should not miss out on chinos to showcase your unique sense of style in the office.
You can turn this casual men’s pants to formal trousers by pairing them with a simple white dress shirt and a formal blazer. Button up your shirt and pick a decent tie. This would make you look super sophisticated for any formal occasion ranging from weddings to workplace events.
And oh, how can we forget the footwear? Well, with formal dressing, slimline designed loafers should be your first choice. However, you can always experiment with different styling options, and boots are one of them. Leather boots or suede will go down a treat smoothly.
Now that the secret of perfect ways to wear chinos for different occasions is out, let us go the extra mile to let you know which aspects you should keep in mind while purchasing chinos.
How to Choose Chinos
Just like any other dress, the manner chinos fit chiefly depends on the physique, personal fashion statement, and contemporary fashion trends. These three aspects must be kept in mind while finding the ideal chino.
As a general rule of thumb, put on the chino, and observe whether it makes you feel and look good or not? If the answer is yes, then check for the following features.
It is quite simple to decide when it comes to the waist. When you do not need a belt to hold the chino up and when you won’t feel a need to undo the button after your supper, lo and behold, that waist fits perfectly. Anything that doesn’t meet these standards is not for you.
It depends more on the hips and less on chinos, you say? Well, you are partially right. Just ensure that you can bend and sit comfortably and that there is no sagginess or too much stress. If you think you would tear the seam while sitting, you better ask for a bigger size.
It doesn’t matter if you have skinny legs or healthy ones; Chinos cover-up for both quite seamlessly. Most of the chinos are slim fit and narrow, which means you won’t have a lot to worry about how your legs might look. However, avoid skin-tight chinos, for they can be a big embarrassment if they get ripped apart amidst some gathering.
After wearing the chino under consideration, if you can pull it all the way up till the knees without putting in a lot of effort, the chino is suitable for you. However, if you find it difficult to wear a sock because you can’t pull the pants up, they are too tight for you.
It depends on two factors. One, how tall you are, and two, how many breaks you desire. A slight break is never a bad idea if you are medium to tall heightened. For vertically challenged people, even no break at all also works great.
No wonder why chinos are taking the men’s fashion industry by storm. They have proved to be a quality addition in the wardrobes of both fashion-savvy and simple men.
Therefore, whenever you feel like you are running out of styling options for different occasions, make sure you do not miss out on these unique pants, and you will never be disappointed. And believe you me, once you get addicted to chinos, there is no coming back. We kid you not.