Be versatile in twill chinos!
Being more than just an alternative to denim, twill chinos are considerably more versatile than their indigo-dyed counterparts. They enable you to mix and match with a wide range of pieces you already have in your wardrobe.
Whether you want to go bold with rich colors or play it comparatively safe with neutral blues, black and grey, twill chinos inject a sense of formality that is associated with traditional tailoring but without any of the fustiness.
Cut from heavyweight cotton, woven to create a surface comprising diagonal parallel ridges, twill is a traditional material that, if invested in, will give excellent cost-per-wear calculations thanks to its hardy nature.
Fit and form are both necessities of function when it comes to chinos, meaning there is no one set of rules you should figuratively follow.
For formal occasions, chinos should be of a fine lightweight twill and fit pretty much as your suit trousers do, hanging perhaps a little lower on the hip, but maintaining the same rise and length in the leg and tapering toward the ankle.
On the other hand, for a more casual look, focus on leg width. In this case, a slightly wider-legged chino that is rolled just above the ankle can look less try-hard than a slim-fit one.
Thankfully, chinos no longer just come in khaki. Not that there's anything bad with khaki, but to disregard the enormously wide range of colors that chinos offer now would be a shame.
If you prefer to stay neutral and classic, navy and grey chinos are the very definition of versatility.
Pastels shades - from pistachio green and lavender to pale lemon and powder blue - are also relatively easy to wear and a key trend this season.
The bright red variety is, however, the marmite of chinos. However, wear only if you've got the confidence to pull it off. Otherwise you might want to try a more subtle shade.
How to wear
The best thing about chinos is that they lend themselves to virtually all types of scenario.
For a casual look, classic khaki chinos in a slightly more relaxed fit team really well with rugged and outdoorsy style wardrobe.
For a dressier casual style, a slim-fitting pair in a pastel shade works nicely with a simple T-shirt or polo or shirt. It is also a particularly easy look to pull off through the summer, finished with espadrilles, sandals or even trainers.
Throw over a cotton-linen blend blazer or similarly lightweight unstructured sports coat and you immediately dress the look up into something markedly smarter. Alternatively, style them up properly with the perfect jacket in matching fabric as a casual 'chino suit' with sockless double-monks.
For occasions with a smart-casual bent, opt for rich navy chinos turned up with tan loafers and matching tan belt, teaming with a crisp white shirt and blazer of a lighter blue hue. Throw a pocket square into the mix or drape a contrasting silk scarf beneath the lapels of your blazer and you have a consummately slick look for the warmer months.