Chinos have dipped in and out of fashion since the 90’s. With the skinny jeans trend dominating the last ten years, chinos have taken a back seat until recently. Due to baggy trousers making an appearance once again and slowly but surely pushing the skinny jeans into the spice boy category, chinos have a new lease of life. With such a diverse range of options with this type of trouser, including color, texture, size, and fit, learning how to wear them stylishly can be daunting and not so straightforward. The diversity also applies to what you can wear this super breed of trousers with; it can literally be a hoodie, suit jacket, or lumberjack shirt. Provided the colors match, chinos can be worn with almost anything on your torso. This same concept applies to the shoe as chinos can be worn with most types of shoes for men, which adds to the chinos practicality and resilience.

 So if you are beginning to question why you still wear trousers that look like tights, let this article enlighten you as to what style of chino to buy and how to wear them.

Should Men Wear Baggy or Fitted Chinos Pants?

Traditionally chinos are reasonably tight-fitting trousers that have a scent of formality to them. However, as mentioned above, baggy trousers have made a comeback, and chinos can ride this wave. In subcultures such as skateboarding and BMX bike riding, baggy chinos have been a constant staple. These trousers give flexibility and comfort and are surprisingly warm in winter despite the bagginess allowing those cold winds to climb up your shins.

Now the real issue is how baggy your chinos should be. You don’t want to have your boxers showing whenever you bend over, so make sure you have the waist appropriately sized. As with many life issues, the answer is in the middle. Make sure your chinos fit your waist properly but do not be shy to go baggy from the knees down.

In the summer time you might even consider wearing some chino deck shorts. This look good on a man, especially at the beach.

Should Men Wear Fitted Chinos Pants?

With all this talk of baggy pants, many people are instantly turned off by this style and get flashbacks to the late 90’s; if you are in this category, perhaps a fitted chino is better suited for you. Even with this “safer” approach, there are pitfalls, the chief one being for men is having the fit too tight, which results in showing off more than you might want to. Other issues can be discomfort in standing up and sitting down. Also, due to the lighter material associated with most chino styles a tight fit can make even the smallest amount of sweat on you’re behind amplified to a damp sea in the middle of the brown sand desert. Even with properly fitted chinos this can still be an issue, so before you convert your skinnys to chinos plan out what you want to use them for and if you do a lot of physical activity, perhaps some sweatpants need to be bought alongside your trouser refresh.

Choosing Pockets or Pocket-less Chinos Pants 

This is a big one as the amount and positioning of your trouser pockets have a big impact on the garment’s whole flow. The more traditional chino style has two front pockets followed by two button pockets on the back. The buttons are a defining feature of the original chino style, derived from its military past. Now we have an almost chino/cargo hybrid that takes the chino material and places deep practical pockets all over, including the thigh’s side. This style also comes under the umbrella of the baggy trend previously discussed. A brand that has implemented this successfully is Dickies, which offers a wide range of functional, multi-pocket trousers in a wide range of materials, including twill, which is the same as chinos. The pocket style only fits with a baggier fit at the end of the day, so you have to decide if you want to go for the original fitted chino look or expand into the chino – cargo hybrid.

Roll Up or Original Chinos Pants for Men

With the current trends, rolled up trousers are commonplace. Does this necessarily mean you should do it? Once again, it depends on the style of chino you choose to wear. Fitted chinos can look at their best unrolled , as long as the end of the leg is still above your shoe. With a light color such as beige or white rolling fitted chinos, it can look very summery and relaxed. It puts an interesting dynamic to a type of clothing that was originally formal wear.

Baggy style can benefit from rolling chinos up as often the style results in your shoes being drowned from the garment’s back and sides, making the whole look clunky and wide. By rolling the baggy chinos up, you separate the shoe from the trouser, making a much cleaner look. Not to mention it’s more practical as your chinos won’t get wet or dirty by being trodden across the ground. Throw on some nice socks, which can really add to the look, especially playing with all the color themes chinos have to offer. Either by matching the light tones of chino and sock or contrasting them in conjunction with your shoe.

The most significant decision you have to take when deciding how to wear chinos is if you want the traditional fitted style or the new baggier trend. That is the beauty of chinos; there are many more options than jeans to display your shoes alongside the garment. 

So what’s it going to be fitted or baggy? The choice is yours, and if you follow this advice, you can wear them the right way with ease and peace of mind.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.