How Should Chinos Fit (7 Elements to Consider)

How Should Chinos Fit

I’m talking about chinos here: how they should fit.

If I could only have one pair of pants, it would be a pair of chinos because they can be worn with anything. From casual summer to business casual winter clothing, there’s something for everyone. They’re incredibly versatile.

I’ll discuss what chinos are, the differences between them and jeans, khakis, or dress pants, how chinos should fit, and how to wear chinos in a business casual setting.

I’ll discuss the best chino colors and the best chinos-wearing shoes. Finally, I’ll tell you about some of my favorite chino pants companies.

What Are Chinos?

Chino is a cotton twill fabric. It’s tough and long-lasting. Denim is also made from cotton twill.

Chinos come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, but they usually have the following features:

  • flat front, no pleats
  • concealed stitching as opposed to exposed stitching, like you see on jeans
  • slanted front pockets
  • jetted back pockets
  • a zipper fly
  • belt loops

Chinos, like many other clothing pieces, have military origins. They were created for American troops stationed in the Philippines during the late-nineteenth-century Spanish-American conflict.

The soldiers wore Chinese twill cotton uniforms, and the name Chino was derived from the Spanish word for China.

These original chinos were made of 100% cotton twill and came in a light tan khaki color.

Chinos made of 100% cotton twill are still available today, but they’re also available in a range of synthetic materials, mixes, and technology textiles.

There’s a whole new category of chinos called performance chinos, yet basic cotton chinos are still available.

Chinos vs. Khakis

Previously, there were two sorts of pants, but these days, the two terms are used interchangeably.

Just think of it this way.

Khaki is a hue and chino is a fabric. Khaki chinos or khaki colored chinos are both options. Navy chinos or olive chinos are additional options.

However, when someone says they’re wearing khaki pants, they might not be referring to chinos, but rather tan dress pants or wool trousers.

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Chinos vs. Jeans

Which is the better option?

It is debatable. They’re frequently used interchangeably. Both of them can be dressed up or down.

Chinos have a tiny advantage in my opinion because they are easier to dress up.

You can wear dark wash, non-distressed, fitted jeans to a smart casual or even business casual office if you have them.

Unless you have the correct pair of jeans, it’s a little difficult to pull off.

Chinos, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for the office.

Chinos vs. Dress Pants

The main distinction is that chinos are more casual.

Dress pants, on the other hand, are normally made of a fine wool or a quality cotton, and they’re only a little dressier than chinos.

They’re normally dry-clean only, and they include other elements like a crease down the front that elevates them above your average pair of chino pants.

In a business casual situation, both chinos and dress pants or slacks are appropriate. If you’re heading to a formal event, such as a job interview, you should probably wear dress pants rather than chinos.

How Should Your Chinos fit

The way it fits is mostly determined by personal desire, followed by what’s fashionable.

You can’t go wrong with a slim but not skinny fit, in my opinion. This silhouette, in my opinion, is the finest fit for the vast majority of body types.

The Waist

Starting at the top, if your waist is precisely fitted, you won’t need a belt to keep your pants in place. You can, of course, still put one on.

The Hips

You simply don’t want to have too much extra material. You don’t want a droopy buttocks look, but you also don’t want to rupture a seam when you bend over. Guys with big thighs should make sure their hips have enough room.

The Rise

Because the rise of the pants is difficult to adjust, a lower rise is acceptable if you have longer legs or are a taller man. I would recommend a regular or mid rise if you have shorter legs or if you’re a shorter man. You may even try high rises.

The Thighs

You want a fitted look but don’t want to feel restricted. Slim but not too tight.

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The Calves

Exactly the same situation. You should be able to pull your sock up without removing your pants.  Otherwise, the calves are definitely too tight.

The Ankle

Around the ankle I want a nice taper. You can get away with more taper if your ankles are narrow. If you’re a bigger guy, you could definitely get away with a less  taper or perhaps a straight fit below the knee.

The Length

It all depends on how much of a break you desire. Most guys, in my opinion, look fantastic with a little bit of break. No break is the way to go if you want to be a little more fashion-forward or if you’re a shorter man.

Given that most current chinos have a small amount of elasticity built in, a closer fit is actually more comfortable.

It’s perfectly acceptable to experiment with different fits and silhouettes. I like a closer fit, although I know some people who look great with a wide leg straight fit. By today’s standards, it’s a loose fit, yet they pull it off beautifully.

Do whatever you want and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Chinos & Business Casual Environment

I’m frequently asked if chinos can be worn in a business casual setting.

Yes, it is correct.

They’re the ideal business casual pants.

My work uniform consisted of a pair of slim-fitting chinos and a tucked-in button-up shirt. I’d wear a sweater over the shirt in the cold. That was my work casual outfit, which consisted of loafers, Chukka boots, or even formal boots.

That outfit is ideal for most modern business casual workplaces. That outfit is far superior than the baggy khaki pants and large light blue dress shirt that are so common.

Chino Colors

The best color for chino pants, just in terms of versatility, are tan or khaki, olive and navy.

If I had to choose one, it would be olive because it goes with both bright and dark clothing and is a really flexible hue.

If you want to broaden your horizons even more, consider hues of blue, different colors of brown, such as tobacco or chestnut, and burgundy, which is also a beautiful color for chinos.

What Shoes Are Appropriate for Chinos?

This is another often asked topic concerning chino pants.

With chinos, you may wear practically any style of footwear.

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I wear loafers, driving mocks, boat shoes, sneakers, and even sandals in the spring and summer. I’ll wear boots, chukkas, brogues, derbies, or heavier, more insulated shoes in the fall and winter.

Flip-flops are the only shoes I wouldn’t wear with chinos because they don’t look nice with any style of pants. And ultra-formal footwear, such as patent leather Oxfords.

Should Chinos Be Cuffed?

Chinos are ideal for cuffing because they are thick and robust enough to keep the cuff in place. In comparison to slacks or dress pants, they are fairly simple to cuff.

Cuffing your pants adds a casual touch. This unpretentious detail isn’t appropriate in every setting, such as a job interview.

The cuff look is one of my favorites. You can obtain that no-break appearance, show off a little bit of sock or a little bit of ankle, and customize the length of your pants.

Many people believe that shorter men should avoid cutting their pants, but I disagree. You’re overthinking this if you’re not going to cuff your pants to make yourself appear taller.

It’s all about having a beautiful short cuff, not a three- or four-inch cuff.

Where Can I Get Chinos?

Bonobos, Uniqlo, Peter Manning NYC, Asket, Ever Lane, J. Crew, and Banana Republic are some of the most popular brands.

The Peter Manning NYC chinos are my personal favorites. These chinos are stretchy and light. They’re especially nice for summer because the seams are 26 inches long.

The Ever Lane mid-weight slim-fit chino is one of my favorites. A nice warm whether chino.

Uniqlo’s ultra stretch slim chinos are my favorite. These are perhaps my slimmest tapered chinos. They’re thicker and have a four-season feel to them.

Then there’s the Fulton chino from Banana Republic. This is the first pair of chinos I’ve ever purchased. It is quite comfortable and well-fitting. A good pair of entry-level chinos that are always on sale.

That’s all there is to it. That’s really everything there is to know about chinos.

They are, without a doubt, the best types of pants for men. If I had to choose between jeans, chinos, and trousers, I would always choose chinos.

chinos fitting guide

Author

  • Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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