Chinos will always be a wardrobe staple, but with so many types on offer, it can be hard to find the right pair. Our guide to the top chinos will help you to figure out which pair to go for.
There are hundreds of pairs of chinos available on the high street, but if you are going to invest in a pair, it’s important they last longer than one season. With such a wide choice of colour and fits, you’ll soon find a chino style to suit your taste. Keep hold of these as they’ll most likely take you through any event.
Being a wardrobe essential, it’s important that you get the right fit, style and material for your trousers. You want them to be comfortable and versatile enough to wear with a range of outfits, from smart casual office wear to casual, pub-appropriate looks. If chinos are a new venture for you, read on and we’ll guide you to the best chinos for men.
What are Chino Pants?
First off, aren’t they just trousers? Well, kind of, but let’s get specific for a moment. Chinos are basically upmarket versions of men’s khaki pants, which are loose fit, cotton trousers designed for comfort. They take on a slimmer, more defined look, often coming in tapered styles and with a higher thread count. Modern Chinos can come in different kinds of materials, such as cotton blends with added elastane for stretch.
A thicker, coarser pair can be used for more formal looks, while ones with a little more stretch to them are perfect for every day, pub friendly outfits. For the perfect blend of casual khakis and formal dress trousers, chinos are your best choice.
Types of Chinos
So you now know that chinos aren’t khaki pants or dress trousers, but that’s not really much help in the broad scheme of things. Let’s get onto something a little more useful. We’ll go through the different types of chinos there are and you can figure out which ones are going to suit you best.
Slim Fit Chinos
Let’s get things straight. Slim fit chinos are not like slim fit jeans. The looser thread and textures mean they’re nowhere near as binding. So if you never go near slim fit jeans, don’t assume you won’t be able to pull off chinos in the same style. Depending on what kind of length you go for, you can achieve different looks, with longer, tapered designs giving a more relaxed, casual vibe. Ones that end at the ankle give a more cropped, formal finish.
Straight Leg Chinos
While not all slim fit chinos are tapered, a lot of them tend to be as it just helps to compliment the fit. If you’re not into that slim look then there are plenty of straight leg chinos you can go for. The good thing about this style is that you can grab them in a range of fits, from loose, almost baggy designs to more fitted styles.
Looser fit chinos are great for adding an alternative twist to a look, especially if you go bold and crop them to your ankles. They can be paired with everything from a simple T-shirt to a white Oxford shirt, achieving a stylised look that converts the standard shirt and trouser outfit.
Black is a standard colour for trousers and the best friend of everyone who isn’t entirely confident about their figure. These trousers are slimming, classic and versatile pieces that are great for most seasons. However, they are especially handy in the autumn and winter months when colours tend to be slightly more muted.
A slim fit, tapered pair of chinos is a great alternative to dress trousers if you’re putting together a work outfit. That said, you can easily achieve a less formal look by simply matching it with a something more casual, like a denim shirt or relaxed T-shirt.
The all-white trend has had varied success throughout the years, but we feel that if you do it right you can create some really interesting looks. White chinos are obviously a good option if you’re attempting this trend, but even if you feel it’s been and gone, you can still achieve a range of looks that aren’t ‘white out’ with your trusty chinos. Light colours like blue and pastel shades match well with white chinos, making them perfect for summer months, and a great versatile option.
These are less common but surprisingly versatile. Green chinos are good for any season. This being said, you might want to avoid a bright, lime-green colour and go for a pair of olive or khaki chinos instead. The subtle tone of this shade makes them easy to match with a variety of colours.
To create an easy winter look, pair a slim fit navy jumper with your olive chinos and finished it off with some brown lace-up boots. These colours compliment most figures without drowning them out. Green chinos also go great with lighter colours such as grey and white, meaning you can keep things simple in the summer with a simple white T-shirt and some plimsolls.
These are probably one of the most popular shades for summer, and they’re stupidly easy to dress up- a bonus. You really can pair them with practically anything, from plain white shirts to blue T-shirts and even patterned polos. The same goes with footwear, with boots and sandals going great with these summer chinos. A darker shade of beige can make a pair of chinos more subtle and easy to match, whereas a lighter shade will create a more striking look that’s similar to white chinos.
Best Brands for Chinos
Although chinos can be found all over the world from all different brands, we thought we’d narrow the search down a little. We’ve suggested three brands that we feel offer great chinos at affordable prices. These brands keep you well dressed, and with enough versatility to wear them almost every day.
First up is Farah, a quality brand with accessible prices. Originating in 1910, Farah is over 100 years old, making it a well-established and reliable brand. Mansour Farah started out by manufacturing T-shirts in America, before expanding his brand overseas and producing a much larger range of clothes. The label has since been sported by the likes of Paul Weller, Lewis Hamilton and Noel Gallagher, making it a clear favourite amongst British style icons.
Farah’s take on the chino is as classic as it gets; slim fitting, four pockets, and available in navy and tan. They are also the smartest of the three brands. When paired with an Oxford shirt, they’re perfect for daily work wear or formal events.
Next up is Dickies, another affordable brand which provides classic workwear. Dickies has been creating legendary workwear since 1922 and is worn in some of the toughest working environments, including the oil industry. The brand has stood the test of time and proven itself to be practical, comfortable and durable. Their clothes have also flirted through pop culture, appearing in films such as Herbie: Fully Loaded and Dukes of Hazzard. Moving with the times, Dickies has introduced lines that can be worn as casual wear but still maintain the practicality of workwear.
These are a little more on the casual side. The wider leg is a contemporary alternative, as is the range of colours available. Maroon and olive green are both unique colour options that will help you stand out from all the other chino-wearing average Joes. The wrinkle-resistant fabric is also an obvious bonus.
Lastly is Carhartt WIP; moving up a price band but certainly worth the extra pennies. Established in 1889, Carhartt WIP built their brand on their reputation for treating and paying their staff fairly. 100 years later they were supporting the independent street art and music scene, making them an extremely moral brand. Carhartt is worn by the likes of skaters, graffiti artists and BMX-ers. The brand certainly has an urban following that makes it perfect for casual wear.
These are the most versatile of the three brands; the simple slim fit means they can be paired with trainers and a T-shirt or loafers, and an Oxford shirt alike. With a slightly higher price tag, they are sure to last, even if you’re wearing them 24/7. The dark navy is perfect for the colder months whilst a white pair will help you make a statement in the summer.
Chinos are a go-to item for a smart look, whether it be a day in the office or a wedding. For a flawless and timeless look, simply pair them with a collared shirt and a sturdy pair of dark loafers, and you’ll have yourself a fail-proof look for formal occasions.
If you’re wanting to really get your money’s worth, then you can wear your trousers in casual situations as well. Just grab your favourite T-shirt and a classic pair of Converse, and you’re good to go down to the pub (or wherever you like to relax… so, probably the pub).
The Best Chinos for Men
- We find that the Chino is a more structured, formal version of a khaki, but more relaxed than dress trousers are.
- Slim fit chinos give a clean, streamlined look that can complement a range of figures. Choose a tapered design for a neat finish.
- Straight leg chinos are less structured. Depending on what length you choose, can be used to create bold, unconventional outfits.
- Have a look at what different brands offer to find the best chinos for me. Like many other clothes, it’s subjective.
On That Note
You’re now up to scratch on the top three best chinos for men. Whether you need to purchase a new pair, or just fancy styling your old ones in a new way, you should be ready to go. Remember, everybody likes a different style of fit, so make sure you feel comfortable in which ever chinos you opt for.