It might be difficult to choose the best chino trousers amidst a sea of shapeless khakis. Especially considering how wild the past two years have been for trousers in general. Strangeness abounds. Dress pants are huge, pleats are back, and swishy is king, which may occasionally be a bit too much. The fact is, just because space-age pants are in, it doesn’t imply more earthbound bottoms are instantly out. The classics have plenty of place under the Golden Age of Pants banner, and black chino pants are one of the most traditional kinds of pants there is.
Guys have favored chinos for their practicality and adaptability since World War II. After all, there aren’t many styles of chinos men’s pants that would feel as at home at a Martha’s Vineyard garden party as they would be splattered in grease in a mechanic’s garage. The pinnacle of casual trousers, chinos are the kind of bottoms that will have you tossing your joggers to the back of your wardrobe and contemplating (gasp!) giving up sweatpants forever. You may wear them at home with a thick oxford shirt and slip-on, to the bodega with a fresh white t-shirt and worn-in shoes, or to your friend’s relaxed barn wedding upstate with a jacket and loafers.
The Overall Best Chinos
J.Crew has recently been on a roll. Brendan Babenzien, the creator of Noah, is in charge of the mall mainstay, which has undergone some trendy changes while referencing what they’ve always done well. They even have chinos. To be fair, they were never particularly horrible, to begin with, but for a number of years, the brand’s form-fitting shapes have garnered much attention. One of the smartest choices they’ve ever made was to revive its relaxed-fit chinos, the sort you remember from old J.Crew advertisements of the ’90s. The materials utilized are the best of the mall brand lot, and they are stylishly loose but not too baggy. Additionally, they include features like waist curtains and bound seams that are often found on their more expensive versions.
The Best Workwear Chinos
In the past year or two, we have praised Dickies’ iconic “work pants” so frequently that you could practically write this blurb for us. They have the wider-legged, higher-waisted cut that we’ve been into lately. They come in about as many colors as a bulk box of Crayola and are constructed of sturdy cotton twill, making them durable enough to withstand skate sessions and construction sites. They are also adaptable enough to wear to the workplace or the bar. Oh, and did I mention that they’re just $23? That means you have plenty of flexibility in your budget to customize them a little bit lower or simply buy more pairs.
The Best On-the-Go Chinos
Before the epidemic, you had a lot going on—meetings, dinner dates, and perhaps a flight—so you needed chinos men pants that could keep up. You should familiarize yourself with pants made to withstand that kind of wear and tear now that life is beginning to seem somewhat regular. These stretch chinos fit the bill in such situations. They are made of a polyamide-elastane blend fabric that is extremely breathable, weatherproof and prevents creases. They won’t sag from continuous movement or make you feel heavy from a filthy puddle of leg perspiration. Wear them every day at home for a week, and throw them in your bag before your first post-vaccination trip—whatever you do, they’ll appear clean and crisp throughout.
The Best Fashion Guy Chinos
For years, fashionistas have gone in droves to Lemaire to purchase the label’s deceptively straightforward designs. The company, co-run by Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, carved out a position for itself by providing the kind of intellectual, discreetly opulent clothes that continues to be the stuff of discerning dressers’ dreams. Lemaire’s trousers are usually a prominent item each season. This time, we’re absolutely losing our shirt over the company’s chinos. They emphasize silhouette above all else, are cut voluminously and are dressed in lovely twill fabric. They are certain to pool nicely on top of any pair of shoes you match them with.