The Pursuit of the Perfect Pair of Chinos: Update

The Uniform

Christian from Ivy-Style recently blogged about his Full Rise, Narrow Leg: The Ivy Style Khaki Project. This immediately reminded me of my search for collegiate cut chinos which are also known for their full rise and narrow leg. More importantly it reminded me that I owe you all an update.
Perfect Chino Search

After experimenting with so many pairs of chinos I actually kind of gave up. Well not so much gave as  took a break. During my search for collegiate cut chinos I ordered a few pair of J.Crew Essential Chinos in Classic fit to wear while the others were being altered. In the end I was content with the J.Crew chinos.

I have been wearing these J.Crew chinos for years. They are far from perfect, but the rise is ok for me and the leg opening is 7.75” on a 29 waist (this is one of my biggest challenges) with a 29” inseam. I have made one change that had a good impact. I have stopped washing and drying my chinos on hot. I think that this has helped to add a little more rise and overall volume to this set of chinos compared with my older ones.
The Perfect Chinos

Are the J.Crew classic fit chinos the perfect chino? No, they are not. Are they as cool as the pair pictured above? No way. Do they work for now? Yes, they fit decent enough and it is great to stop thinking about how much better they could be. Do I still want to taper them a quarter inch? You know that I do.

While I may have fought off my urge for collegiate cut trousers for the moment I am very interested in seeing how Christian’s project turns out. Maybe they will be the ones?

For those of you that have not read about my search for collegiate cut chinos you can find links below.

Collegiate Cut Chinos Part 1

Collegiate Cut Chinos Part 2

Collegiate Cut Chinos Part 3

Collegiate Cut Chinos Part 4

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

7 Comments on "The Pursuit of the Perfect Pair of Chinos: Update"

  1. Fading Fast says:

    There’s something in the wrinkle of the fabric of the “cool” pair you show that is just perfect. I could probably write a 1000 word essay on how wonderful getting the perfect wrinkles is for chinos or an old OCBD (or linen and seersucker anything). I am surprised though that the “cool” pair has cuffs. I’m fine with cuffs on chinos (also fine if they don’t have them), but am just surprised to see them on those flat fronts.

    And yes, sometimes letting go from a quest is very relaxing. Also, that can be the time – when you are not actively looking – that you find what you wanted (maybe Christian’s will be “the” pair).

  2. George says:

    Fine post. I think you have it nailed. Great look.

  3. HerrDavid says:

    Gotta admit, I prefer the look of the gentleman in the top pic. But then again, my collegiate days are long past! These days I prefer the casual elegance of a draping, unbroken silhouette.

  4. Old Timer says:

    Allow me to agree with HerrDavid:
    The gentleman at the top looks far more elegant than the supposedly “cool” fellow whose chinos are so tight that he has obviously struggled to get his hands into the pockets.

  5. Dude says:

    This style is athletic. Maybe the reason you’re having trouble finding the ‘perfect’ fit is you have skinny legs.
    Jack Donnelly mid-rise slim fit.

    Or start lifting.

  6. oxford cloth button down says:

    Old Timer, Herr David, and George – Thank you. The guy in the first pic is me.

    Dude – I think this is a great point. I actually have the opposite problem. My athletic build does not work for most slim fit things including trousers. Small waist and muscular legs are at the core of my chino problem.

    Fading Fast – I agree about the cool of wrinkles. Why do the cuffs surprise you? I have come I expect cuffs on flat front chinos.

  7. Fading Fast says:

    The “rule” I was told several decades ago was cuffs with pleats and no cuffs with flat fronts. While I know that isn’t a real rule – and I think flat fronts look good with or without cuffs (pleats, most of the time, need cuffs, IMHO) – I always notice when cuffs are worn with flat front chinos (less surprising with suit pants – in fact, I like cuffs with flat front suit trousers).

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