Poor chinos. In terms of style, they have a habit of falling a little short of the mark, often presenting an overly preppy, super square aesthetic that just doesn’t jive with modern ladies. The major problem lies in the cut and sometimes even the color (aka that weird nude-khaki fusion), but mostly in our tendency to keep the rest of our look just as snoozy. Obviously, unflattering silhouettes and hues won’t do you any favors, but if you have a fairly decent pair kickin’ around in your closet — ’cause those totally *do* exist — you might want to go ahead and bust them out — they’re about to get a major makeover.
How to Wear Chinos for the Office
Chinos are as simple as they come, so it’s okay to be adventurous with the rest of your look. Instead of pairing them with a classic button-down top, opt for a structured, origami-inspired blouse. Then add on a few funky accessories, like cheetah-print steppers, a color blocked bag and layered choker necklace, to turn the style factor up a notch. Complete the look with a herringbone jacket for just the right amount of sophistication.
J.Crew Sunday Slim Chino ($60) + River Island Herringbone Blazer ($160), COS Drape Detail A-Line Top ($125), ASOS Say Hello Heels ($81), Aldo Zaoria Necklace ($12), Matt & Nat Keely Bag ($168), Clinique Pop Lip Color in Melon Pop ($18)
How to Wear Chinos for a Night Out
The office isn’t the only place you can make these basic bottoms shine — they can totally kick it on a night out too. Start with a sassy sleeveless top and eye-catching jacket that will balance out the chinos’ serious side. Round out the getup with super sleek add-ons like a high-shine clutch and a colorful metal choker. Roll up the cuffs to ankle height and then slap on a pair of bold and bright pumps to really make the look feel ready to party.
J.Crew Sunday Slim Chino ($60) + Etre Cecile Toute La Nuit Printed Cotton Tank ($59), Mango Cotton Coat ($120), Faith Callaways Berry Patent Heeled Pumps ($70), Gemma Redux Rigid Choker ($300), Clare V. Margot Foldover Clutch ($235), Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Rated R ($35)
How to Wear Chinos on the Weekend
Off-duty, it’s all about striking the right balance of cool and cozy. Choose elevated basics like a soft textured sweat and quicksilver sneakers to drive those chinos into #OOTD-worthy territory. A long-line jacket is perfect for adding an extra layer of warmth without bulking up, while shearling and faux fur accents lend the ensemble a contemporary cold-weather-ready feel.
J.Crew Sunday Slim Chino ($60) + Mango Waterfall Long Jacket ($130), Topshop Soft Knit Textured Sweatshirt ($68), Charlotte Simone Sass Cap ($76), Nike Air Max Thea Prm ($115), Zoya Nail Polish in Giovanna ($9), Kelsi Dagger Canteen Crossbody ($128), Jeepers Peepers Mirror Round Sunglasses ($33)
What pieces in your closet deserve more attention, but stump your style game? Tell us about your trickiest wear-again garments in the comments below and we might feature them in our next Style Resolutions post!