A Cool Chino Post

I wear chinos almost everyday. They are a trad staple. They are an important part of my daily uniform as they are for a large portion of the business casual population. Due to this they are always in demand as we will always need a new pair to replace the old, but keeping up on the style, fits, and changes can get overwhelming. Lucky for us Blogger Red Clay Soul has put together a great Chino post (see here).

An example of my uniform that includes chinos.

In the “Khaki Spectrum” post Red Clay Soul explains,

Khaki pants will NEVER go away.  They are an integral part of the preppy uniform, and they are the go-to for business casual.  Pledges love them, and sometimes hate them.  After a few years they become disposable (or shorts), but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more comfortable pair of pants after they are broken in.  The style(s) of khaki pants live in a spectrum.  There are some that would be considered dress khakis, that go with dress shoes and loafers, all the way to more utility khakis that go with boots, and the pants that fit in the middle.

He goes on to summarize 12 brands of chinos with which he is familiar. He also segments them by noting which are appropriate for dress shoes and which work with boots. I found this post useful and thought that of all of you would as well. Head over to Red Clay Soul for the full post (see here) and check out a few more of his posts while you are at it.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

10 Comments on "A Cool Chino Post"

  1. JoelVau says:

    One note to add is that “khakis” come in slight variations of only one color, khaki. Signs in Macy’s denoting blue or black or bone colored Dockers as khakis are ridiculous. Call those chinos.

    Second, a very ynice pair, very low priced, for business and especially travel wear are made by Izod. They have just a slight bit of stretch, come in both flat and pleated and look great wtih a blazer and pennies once I take them to the tailor to have them cuffed.

    Also, to be true trad or preppy, the pockets must be on-seam, not slanted. They just look better. Dockers are always slanted which is a reason to avoid them.

  2. Dutch Uncle says:

    Lands’ End, period.

  3. MrErikJ says:

    The author noted the Orvis Ultimate Khakis in trim fit, which have become my new favorite (which I frequently share on Tumblr). I used to be a Bills Khakis M2 fan (which don’t fit large on me, as the author describes them as he prefers the M3) but the last pair I purchased weren’t of the quality and fit I was used to, so I tried out the Orvis. Their trim fit still has plenty of room in it and are a stiff and strong khaki with plenty of color variations. Hopefully they don’t catch on too much as I’d like their prices to stay the same.

  4. snakeninny says:

    I have chinos from RL Rugby, RL polo, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers, and by far Brooks Brothers is the best in fabric and J.Crew fits best.

  5. Fred Johnson says:

    Seems to be directed toward slimmer fitting khakis,
    not my preference. Body types differ and slimmer but well fitting cuts are acceptable.

  6. GTwig says:

    Agree with Fred. Way too tapered for me. Bottoms shouldn’t be less than 8.5 to 9 inches. Didn’t review adult chinos, e.g. Brooks Bros., J Press, and O’Connell’s. Number 3 pair look like jodphurs.

  7. Thanks for the link… yet another cool blog to explore. Here is my comment from over there:

    I’d add UNIS Gio to this list. I have several pairs – one in proper Khaki, the others a variety of colors – and they wear in beautifully in the course of a year. The thigh fade on the brighter colors and pocket edge slight fraying are signs that you are hitting a sweet spot with them…

    Once the thigh fade and/or pocket fray goes from subtle to obvious, I pull out the scissors and have a new pair of shorts.

    NOTE: I have 8 or so pairs of UNIS Gio’s made in the USA (some have since become shorts) and two recent paris made in Portugal. The Portugal line seem to use slightly lighter weight lining materials that makes a small difference in fit… not sure how it changes longevity.

    Oh… and Incotex really is hard to beat if you can pony up the price.

  8. snakeninny says:

    Hi guys:

    Talking about chinos, I’d love to know what do you think is the perfect length of a chino. I’ve found some nice examples on the web, and “quarter break” a.k.a. “slight break” on this image (http://imgur.com/a/zHud7) is preferred by most gentlemen. In fact, both Brook Brothers (front: http://imgur.com/a/MiSDi, back: http://imgur.com/a/gtPaP) and Ralph Lauren (front: http://imgur.com/a/XNge2, back: http://imgur.com/a/XJVaZ) present the “slight break” look as the modeling. It also works on more formal look (http://imgur.com/a/cxvpc and http://imgur.com/a/OFwqD).

    With the end of the chino slightly covering the top of the shoe, the socks will peek out when you walk for sure. And if the chino is trad cut with a wide leg, it will swing a lot. Haven’t tried this style yet but just by imagination, the chino will be a little short for me. What do you think?


  9. Craig S says:

    A good roundup – there are some brands I’ve heard of (and tried) and some I’ve not. At the moment I’m rotating a trio of Banana Republic’s ‘Gavin’ Chino, which is now described as ‘relaxed’ and only available online. Decent rise, on-seam pockets, must-iron fabric. It is slightly peached so despite the tailored cut (button and hook & bar closure), they come off a little casual. However, with a ~15″ leg opening on a size 32 (actual waist = 33″), they are almost slim as I’d want to go in the thighs and seat. I wish they came on odd numbered lengths – I go for a 34, give it a few hot wash and dry cycles to shrink it down, and them hem as needed (32 inseam).

    My problem is having the legs of a cyclist – large thighs and glutes for a given waist size. The rest of me is fairly trim, but finding trousers often means sizing up in the waist and then bringing it in. I sort of wish I had done this with the Tailored Fit Land’s End cords I picked up on sale – they are a little snug in the seat and thigh, and I’m assessing the seam allowance to see i could let them out even 1/2″. Fortunately, the fabric does stretch a bit with wear.

    On me, most slim fits turn into sausage casings above the knee, but many ‘traditional’ fits have huge leg openings that flap around in the wind. I have been eyeing up the Orvis in trim fit, and might pull the trigger if the exchange rate improves.

  10. Childdoc says:

    For what it’s worth, I believe that the bottom hem width of trousers should be such that the trousers cover approx. 2/3’s of the shoe length. As such, the width of the trousers bottom would be proportional to the shoe size. For me that translates into approx. 7.5″ (half-width) to 8.0″. I wear an 8.5 U.S. shoe with an outsole shoe length of 11+”. Just a thought.

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