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Let’s face it: in the past, chinos haven’t exactly telegraphed elegance and glamour. The oft-forgotten office workhorse might bring to mind “somewhat cool substitute teacher” or “somewhat poorly dressed first date,” but until recently, it felt ludicrous to assume that a descriptor like “cool” would be employed, and it seemed nigh impossible for chinos, even the best chinos, to make a comeback as a statement style.
Best Performance Chino: Everlane Performance Chino
The best-selling style is perfect for everyday wear, thanks to its nonchalant design and technical properties.
What Are Chinos?
Named after the material it’s crafted from, the chino traces its origin well back into the twentieth century and oozes practical appliqué; as previously mentioned, it’s long since become the de facto trouser for everything from office work to physical labor. Often crafted with a heavy twill or drapey cotton, the chino is sturdy enough to dress up with a blazer but casual enough that a light jacket (or tee, if you get the right cut) doesn’t look out of place. The chino is genuinely versatile.
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But wait a minute! Prep is back (or did it never leave?), and has dragged the lowly chino back into the fashionable fray. From Land’s End to Thom Browne, everyday retailers and high fashion designers alike are tackling the style in 2023, to varying degrees of success. Maybe you saw J.Crew’s Giant-Fit Chino make a splash? Or perhaps you’d be interested to imagine the reintroduction of pleats as common practice. The new wave of chinos is officially here, buddy — hop on or beat it.
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With fall knocking on the door, there’s never been a better time to update your chino collection. After all, a handsome chino is your secret weapon for beating fickle weather without looking like a sweatpant sucker or athliesure aesthete. Below, we’ve identified some of our favorite pairs for your pleasure. Ditch the lounge pants and get back into some chinos this fall — you won’t regret it.
The Best Chinos for Men in 2023:
A modern cut? Check. The classic Khaki Chino color? Check. Detailed with cross-stitching and a coin pocket? Check. Pleated? Double check. What else could you need from a pair of pants? They go with anything, wear in nicely and will never let you down.
Under Brendon Babenzien’s watchful eye, J.Crew has grown from an outdated menswear retailer to one of the cutting-edge design houses in a matter of a few short years. The new J.Crew Giant-Fit Chino — massive and ready to skate — is testament to the new era of menswear we’re entering.
There’s no other way to say it: we love the Flint and Tinder 365 Pants. All four fits, too — slim, straight, athletic taper and now relaxed. Maybe it’s the perfect cuts. Maybe it’s the year-long warranty. Maybe it’s just the look of them.
A true performance pant — sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and have 4-way stretch — sans that goofy tech pant sheen, the Everlane Performance Chino is made to stand up to daily wear and tear. The best-selling style is perfect for everyday wear, thanks to its nonchalant design and technical properties.
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Though they have an exceptionally fancy name to go along with their exceptionally fancy fabric, lets call these Stòffa trousers what they are – a really, really, really nice pair of chinos. Seriously, we cannot stress how seriously the NYC-based label takes their fabric. This specific pair features cotton-twill featuring yarns that have been explicitly twisted to create strength in the pleated trousers.
Clocking in at a hefty 8.6 oz, Madewell’s latest season chinos aren’t just heavier than much of the competition — thanks to a brushed fabric and elegant cut (plus, welt back pockets) they’re dressier, too. This, naturally, makes the 100% cotton trousers look even nicer when paired up with a casual tee or laid-back sweater.
Do you like bragging to other people about your selvedge jeans? Like, a lot? Well, now you can weave it into virtually any conversation.
More Chino Styles We Recommend:
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself or for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.