This summer you will be wearing chinos. And so will everybody else. Clearly, the only tactic is to wear them better. So, ever helpful, we bring you this stylish fit guide for your aid and edification. Use it wisely style-hunters.
If you are recoiling in horror at the thought of a skinny leg silhouette, then think again. When it comes to chinos the look is less about spray-on rock wannabes (you were thinking about jeans weren't you?) and more about a modern silhouette of the kind favoured by crispy tailored Italian gents and the crop-trousered dapper Japanese. Combined with a shirt, knit and blazer combo it summons up a confident and contemporary take on the smart side of menswear. Acne's sleek finished Roc chino brings a precision to casualwear while Dockers' D0s are a nipped-in version of the US classic. Wear at full length with desert boots or roll the hem into an ankle flashing turn-up with your deck shoes.
The extra-volume trouser is a new look and while partly just a very natural reaction against skinny silhouettes, it's also a signal that vintage-tinged smartness is a breakthrough look for men. Cue Duke of Windsor proportioned suiting, but also these extra-inched chinos, from A.P.C. and YMC that are perfect fodder for smart casual effects when worn with a blazer. Wear them at full length even if they bunch up a little on the shoe and don't panic - neither of these is full-on baggy, they are just a bit more forgiving, which makes them a little easier to wear come summer when we, by the way, will wear them with a printed shirt for a well-travelled look.
OK, so you should be au fait with the concept of carrot legs by now but just in case - it simply means a leg that is wider at the top and slims down to the bottom so that the hem hugs the ankle. Net effect - best of both worlds: a tailored hem which flirts with your ankle and a waist that carries a few extra details. In the case of the sky blue D&G chino that's an old school pleat and for the Denham chinos it's a stitched-in dart. In both cases here it's a subtle taper that will slim your leg without looking artificially engineered.
Here's a curious thing. More casual pieces have become accepted in the workplace and as a direct result there's a demand for smarter casualwear. You following? Good, because chinos are at the forefront of the movement for smarter casuals. Not that they are shy about it. Grown up, sophisticated and refined in fit they can be pretty darn colourful. The result is that while you can stay dressed down with simple polos or a breezy summer half sleeve, the smart lines of these US-born fits from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Polo Ralph Lauren mean you can dress them up to the summit of preppiness.
Straight legged and clean lined, these crisp cottons trace the template of the median jean - the straight leg fit that works hardest for any man. Clean lined, not too baggy and roomier than a skinny cut, these are the chino version of the goldilocks fit. Treat them just like those straight jeans and dress them up or down depending on the finish and colour. Burberry Brit's blue version works as well with a sweat as it does with shirt and blazer while the classic stone colour of Our Legacy's is pretty much the blueprint for men's trousers and teams with all of your summer shoes.
Navy Stretch Cotton Skinny Roc Chinos
Stone Stretch Cotton D0 Slim Chinos
Stone Straight Leg Canvas Chinos
Stone Selvedge Straight Tapered Chinos
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Flame Scarlet Bauhaus Cotton Slim Trousers
Polo Ralph Lauren
Yellow Slim Fit Stretch Chinos