How to style skinny and slim chinos whether dressing up or chilling out
If you’re a diehard denim head or absolutely dedicated to your cargos, man, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to take your look to the next level. And we’re not talking best menswear accessories such as a statement watch or colourful socks — this is all about that hardworking pants option, chinos.
Made for the man with catch-up lunches and Kaytranada appreciation gigs to attend, as well as an exemplary commitment to his regular 9-to-5, chinos are the perfect solve when a pair of jeans is too casual but suit trousers feel a bit try-hard. But do you hone in on one signature style, or keep your wardrobe varied? Below are some points to consider.
Dude, WTF (what’s the fit?)
Similar to jeans, the most popular chino fits are the slim and the skinny. What looks good on you depends largely on your body type but also your lifestyle. Slim leg chinos have a tailored fit in the thigh and a straight leg, usually with little or no tapering at the ankle. This is perfect for the style traditionalist or if you’re looking to wear your chinos at the office or other formal set-ups.
For a casual take on the silhouette, channel the 90s-inspired relaxed fit by looking for a slightly wider fit. Skinny leg chinos have a tighter fit, a low rise and a tapered calf and ankle for a close fit that gives the stacked look at the top of your shoes if you haven’t cuffed the hem.
The long and short of it
When it comes to chinos, you want to keep things as slick and tailored as possible. For a formal look, your pants should traditionally have a medium break, meaning the hem should touch your shoes without too much excess stacking at your ankles. For a more on-trend look, go for pants that are cropped just above the ankle. You get to show your kicks and ankles in one of the most sought-after looks of the season. Win.
Don’t forget: the shoes make the man
You’ve got lots of options here, but it also comes down to your aesthetic and the occasion. A minimal white sneaker is an easy solve when you can’t quite figure out what to wear, plus it’s a great way to modernise a formal look.
For smarter set-ups, go for dress shoes like brown leather Oxfords, Derbys, monkstraps and brogues. If you’re all about keeping it casual, lace up in your favourite pair of low-top sneakers. Elevate your look with standout maximalist silhouettes: try New Balances, Air Maxes, the Classic Cortez or NMDs.