This post was written by Lindy Dandy.
Gents, here’s a great opportunity to stock up on the versatile and necessary basic, chinos. Quick class for you: chinos are a type of pant; khaki is a color.
Many people call all chinos “khakis,” even Docker’s, apparently, but maybe they do it because of common use. You can use them interchangeably, but now you know.
Like I mentioned, chinos are versatile and a few should be included in every man’s basic wardrobe. Wear them with a polo and boat shoes or trainers (sans socks, of course) and they’re perfectly casual for the summer. Match them with a button-down, tie, blazer and wingtips and you’re dressed up enough for a dinner at any restaurant. (This particular outfit was the basic dress code at my all-guys high school, so I still look can’t at khaki chinos (required for freshmen) without a bit of nostalgia).
Either of the above ensembles would work just as well at a dance (with dance shoes subbed in, of course).
Khakis/chinos are one of America’s greatest contributions to the world of men’s casual dress. The U.S. Army adopted khaki during the Spanish American War. In 1941, khaki was approved for wear by senior enlisted and officers. The American public was then able to see these sailors out on liberty.
Another plus, chinos are made out of cotton and breathe a bit better than denim or wool. Be wary about sweating in them too much, though. People will notice; sometimes at your expense. Here’s an example!
You have been warned.
Oh, man, I *heart* that video. FYI, It didn’t stop them from winning, either.
I was there for that competition too; it was awesome. (Oh BTW, ILHC is coming up. It’s one of my favorite dance events of the summer. I’ll be missing it this year, which deeply saddens me. So, you should be there so you can tell me all about it. Have you registered? Tip: stick around ’til the end, because that’s when they do the Invitational J&J).
Also, just say “no” to pleats and cuffs when it comes to chinos. Flat-front and slim (but NOT tight) are the way to go. Choose a leg length that will allow the bottom 3 inches of your pants to gather on top of your shoes. (i.e. longer than your uncuffed suit pants and slightly longer than jeans). They’re casual trousers, your socks should never be seen when you’re standing up. Great examples, below.
Here are some well-priced ($35) chinos from Docker’s: flat-front, slim, straight leg. They’re just about perfect. (I find it funny Docker’s call them all “Clean Khakis.”)
"Khaki" comes from the Hindi word for "dust."
Here are a couple “rules” from Esquire, that I think are very helpful.
- A crease down the front of a pair of khakis adds fifteen years of age to the wearer.
- Unless you’re on safari, limit the number of khakis items in your outfit to one. Better yet, apply this rule even while on safari.