How to Fit, Dress & Wear Chino Pants

how to dress chino pants

Here I want to discuss chinos.

I believe that chinos are underappreciated. Wool trousers and jeans have a warm-weather brother in these pants.

It’s really difficult to find a piece of menswear that works in both informal and more formal contexts.

Chinos are great since they can be dressed up or down.

Chinos Guide

So, what are chinos, exactly?

Some people confuse the terms chinos with khakis, although this is incorrect.

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Khaki is a brownish hue, and chinos are a type of pant.

They’re made of chino cloth, a cotton twill fabric with side-loading pockets rather than the front-loading pockets found on jeans.

Because they’re made of a softer fabric that breathes better, they’re a perfect alternative to wool trousers and jeans.

They’re undoubtedly my go-to trousers in the spring and summer, but they’re also suitable for the rest of the year.

What colors should you have in your wardrobe?

I would recommend a sand-colored pair if this is your first pair or if you’re re-building your wardrobe.

I prefer sand to khaki since I dislike the color brown. So go a tad lighter; it flatters all body types.

Choose a navy color once you’ve got sand. You can experiment with different hues, but make sure they compliment your skin tone.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, just stick to sand and navy.

But whatever you do, don’t choose the color black. You’ll resemble a valet or a waiter in the end.

Please don’t wear black; instead, choose navy or perhaps charcoal.

So, which pair of chino pants is best for you?

That will, of course, be determined by your body type.

If you’re a bigger guy with bigger thighs, you’ll want to go with a straight leg chino.

They’re straight-cut from the knee to the ankle, giving you a good sharp, well-proportioned style.

Slim-cut chinos should be avoided since they wind up tapering down towards the ankle from the knee, making you look top-heavy with these super tiny, skinny little legs.

If you have a slim to average build, a slim-fit chino is the way to go. They’ll be proportionate to your body and feature a precise, fitted fit.

How to Dress Your Chinos

I’ll show you how to style your chinos in a variety of ways.

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These are fantastic items to have all year depending on where you live, but especially in the spring and summer if you live in a hotter area.

But also into the fall. They are, however, a touch too thin for winter when it gets too chilly.

What I like about chino pants is that they’re quite breathable, making them ideal for the spring and summer months. They’re also extremely comfy.

If you’re weary of your jeans, they’re a terrific option. I pretty much only wear them during the spring and summer months. I’ll throw in a pair of jeans now and then, but it’s chino pants all the time.


Start with a tan or even a dark brown or navy chino and combine it with a t-shirt or polo shirt for a good casual outfit to wear with your chinos.

Keep your t-shirts in neutral colors, such as white, navy, black, or gray. Then you can put on a pair of sneakers. You can even roll up your chino jeans so that a small portion of your ankle is visible.

Throw on a belt and you can even tuck it. I always advocate tucking your shirt in the front a little bit to give it a beautiful, undone look, but you did it on purpose.

Business Casual

The next level of chino pants dressing is business casual or a little more dressed up.

In this situation, how should the men wear their chino pants?

Begin with a pair of chino pants in a navy or olive color. You’ll wear it with an Oxford button-down or one of your formal shirts this time.

Roll up the sleeves, tuck the shirt into your chinos, add a belt, and finish with a pair of suede driving mocs or a leather penny loafer.

If it’s hot outside, a short-sleeve button-up shirt can be worn instead of the Oxford shirt. You could even make a playful print. Then you match it with a chino in navy or green.

With a short sleeve button-up shirt, you don’t have to tuck it in; you may leave it untucked or just tuck it in the front.

However, wear it with those dressier shoes for a lovely, almost casual Friday office look.

When it’s particularly hot outside, I like to wear a linen shirt with long sleeves and roll them up.

See also  How to Style Chino Pants (Ultimate Guide)

how to style chino pants for men


Moving on to the next piece of the jigsaw, how can you dress up chino pants for a more formal occasion?

Is it even possible to do so?

It is doable, but you must exercise caution! Because wearing tan chinos with a navy jacket with gold buttons makes you feel stale and old, you don’t want to look like your father or grandfather.

We want to add some life to the clothing and make it more crisp and trendy.

Not wearing a tan chino is a wonderful method to do this. Actually, either a dark brown or a navy will suffice.

If you opt with a lighter brown, you’ll end up with a tan, which is far more difficult to do unless you have a lot of experience. It’s much more difficult to look put-together in a tan chino. Those other hues would be my choice.

Then add a jacket in either a cool green, a cool burgundy, or even a light blue.

In the summer, a lighter weight is recommended. You want something that is unstructured and breathable.

Keep your dress shirt simple because it’s the easiest option, especially if you’re experimenting with color and patterns. Keep your dress shirt neutral, so a fresh white dress shirt will suffice.

It might also be a button-down dress shirt tucked into trousers, a belt, and either a penny loafer, a dress shoe, or even a chukka boot.

I’d wear chukka boots in the fall, but not in the summer, because wearing a boot in the summer feels too heavy.

Three More Ways

With a black cotton polo shirt and traditional black sunglasses, you can’t go wrong. Put on a pair of navy chinos and a pair of white sneakers to complete the look.

Alternatively, a gray sport coat, a blue polo shirt, sand-colored chinos, and dark brown penny loafers can be worn.

Finally, add a black bomber jacket and a white polo shirt to your ensemble. With rolled-up khaki pants, add a watch and a black belt. Finish it off with a pair of white sneakers.

These are some of the various ways you can wear chino trousers.

How to Fit Your Chinos

Let’s speak about how you should wear your chinos.

Let’s start with your chinos’ waist and seat.

You’ll want to make sure it fits properly around your waist, just like the rest of your pants, so you won’t need a belt to keep them in place.

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You want your chinos to sit a touch lower in the waist than your suit pants, just like your jeans.

So you want them to be somewhere between the mid and higher hipbone area.

Your chinos’ butt area, or seat, should hug your butt softly and not be overly tight or droopy.

If your jeans feel like they’re about to split when you sit or bend over, they’re way too tight.

If it looks like you’re carrying a large load in your pants, or if your buttocks are droopy and saggy, make sure to pull them up or try a different type.

If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to start doing squats to bulk up your buttocks. Alternatively, take it to your tailor and have the seat taken in. You can also do both.

If you have a good solid buttocks, no woman will ever complain.

When it comes to the thighs, they should be comfortable to wear without straining at the knees when walking.

You should be able to pinch a minimum of one inch of cloth on either side of your thigh, but no more than an inch and a half.

If you can pinch any more than that, try a different chino style or, if possible, go down a size.

You can hire a tailor to slim your legs as a last option, but the cost is usually not worth it.

Finally, what length should your chinos be?

Unlike jeans, you should always opt for chinos with a slight to no break.

This will look great on anyone of any height or body shape.

So that’s how your chinos should fit.

how to wear chino pants

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