Chinos for Vegan Men
Following on from our last post, Vegan Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 2 – Jeans & Denim, we now move into yet another familiar territory: Chinos! Like the jean, chinos offer versatility but with the added bonus of being that little bit comfier and dare I say, a little less obvious. Like denim, chinos are also made from cotton, so for us vegan guys, or guys looking for a little more clarity in their clothing choices, you can rest assured this post will benefit you, animals and the people that make them.
The History of the Chino
Taking its routes, much like the denim, from a military heritage, chinos were once a staple in the colour khaki – a spectrum of earthen pastel-like browns and greens – apparently taking it’s name form the Hindi word for ‘dust’, of which helped was used to dye British troops’ white uniforms to appear more camouflaged out in the field.
The name ‘chino’ however, takes its name from the Spanish word for China, of which the cotton to make chinos in the 19th century takes its name. It was later popularised by the US army, and like the denim jean, the chino was continuously worn after service, where it found its way into civilian fashion and became an icon of Ivy League university attire. The chino now stands as a smart-casual must have, inspiring not just the ‘preppy’ look, but fitting nicely into a myriad of both casual and formal outfits.
Types of Chinos
Classically the chino is an easy garment to wear. Generally a straight cut with a mid-rise, much like the classic straight fit jean, and in its classic khaki colour, a chino really is a suitable option for most body types and styles. However you can totally find them in a multitude of colours and fits to suit your mood and style.
Straight Fit Chino
Classic straight cut. Mid to high rise waist. Cream khaki colour. And there you have the basics for a truly integral wardrobe essential. Designed to compliment a multitude of outfits, this is a chino that will not let you down. Get the size right and the natural cut of this straight fit chino will ensure repeated and enjoyed wear for years.
Looking for a brand idea? Check out The Aato Chino from Armedangels. Made from organic cotton and a little elasthane for added comfort. You’ll be glad to have a pair like this when you need them.
Photo is copyright of Social Fashion Company GmbH. All rights reserved. Image is not owned by Man of New.
Slim Fit Chino
If you’re looking for a slightly tapered silhouette or your frame is more on lean side, you may prefer a slim fit chino. Offering as much comfort as a straight fit, but with a tighter touch and a more narrow leg opening. Opt for a darker shade chino this time round for a more streamlined concept.
Looking for a brand idea? Check out the Knowledge Chino from Brothers We Stand. A fantastic option if you’re looking for, not only a garment built with sustainability and longevity in mind, but with the added extra of a vegan jacron on the back pocket.
Photo is copyright of Brothers We Stand. All rights reserved. Image is not owned by Man of New.
Lightweight Fit Chino
Abandoning the use of elastane for that stretch comfort, a lightweight fit can offer you comfort regular chinos deliver but with the natural touch of 100% cotton. Designed to be lightweight for movement, this type of chino acts like a trouser with the bonus of being tough and ultra comfortable.
Looking for a brand idea? Check out The Lightweight Chino from Rozenbroek. High quality, GOTS certified and made to order. It doesn’t get more personal, more ethical and more stylish than this.
Photo is copyright of Rozenbroek. All rights reserved. Image is not owned by Man of New.
When to Wear Your Chinos
The great thing about chinos is their versatility. You can, to a degree, wear them for most occasions. They suit both casual and formal occasions and, depending on the fit and colour you opt for, offer a compliment to the rest of your outfit.
Smart Casual/ Formal: Ensuring you keep your footwear formal also, a dark straight fit chino will suffice for most formal and smart casual occasions. Lighter coloured chinos work well for a summer feel and look great when paired with a contrasting darker blazer.
Casual: Because of the way they’re tailored, you’ve got the added bonus of looking swish even when dressing casually with chinos. Going with any colour or style, as long as you enjoy the wear and the way they look, a chino won’t let you down with your less than formal events. Experiment with contrasting colours from your top half for a truly summery feel also.
Chino Fit Basics
Like the basics of wearing a T-shirt, chinos should fit you properly in both waist and length regardless of the fit you and cut you go with. Whilst you can follow the basic rules of an ankle break (a slight bunching of fabric above the shoe) chinos have the benefit of looking smart even with a slight ankle exposure. If you like, you can opt for low ankle footwear and no socks for a truly summery look. So don’t worry too much if the chino doesn’t quite reach all the way down the leg. A few inches above the ankle will look modern and stylish.
Try not to be too tempted by cheap chinos. It’s often the result of the fast-fashion industry and created using cheaper cotton and cheap labour that’s often exploitative and unethical. Always check the certifications and credentials of the brand your buying from to ensure they’re playing fairly.
If you can, try your chinos on before buying them, or ensure there’s an easy return policy when buying many options online. You want to make sure your chinos are durable yet comfortable, especially in moment.
I love a good pair of chinos. They’re that ideal middle ground between the casualty of denim and the formality of suit trousers. Versatility is also a key attribute of chinos and can style up and style down any outfit depending on your event. Remember to have fun with fit and colour and know whatever option you go for you’ve got comfort to look forward to.
What are your thoughts? What chino brands do you love and are there any vegan friendly brands you enjoy wearing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.