Now that summer is officially here, we’re betting that most of us are more than happy to live a pretty big chunk of our lives in a pair of shorts or swim trunks and not much else. Sadly, there are days when we have to show up in an office, restaurant, or club where long pants are required, and a shirt is probably a part of that equation, too. The good news is that smart, cool, and stretch chinos are primed to come to the rescue. They not only ride that fine line between dressy and casual — providing a lot of mileage in your wardrobe — they also have a history! Originally designed for British military uniforms (in khaki, of course), the pale material actually reflects sunlight, so they were not only cooler, they also had a built-in sort of camouflage! Now they’re available in a host of colors, but are still lighter and cooler than most dressier trousers.
Why should I purchase athletic chino pants?
We all love our jeans, but denim — besides the fact that its sturdy twill construction can really hold the heat — isn’t exactly dressed up. Sure you could also break out a pair of classic wool gabardine dress pants…if you want to dress like your Dad. We need something that hits that perfect stride between classic and cool. Chinos’ clean, classic lines make them perfect for all but the most formal occasions, and these days are often stitched up just like your favorite pair of jeans in a classic 5-pocket model with a slim fit and breathable construction! Maybe best of all, most of the time buying a new pair of chinos won’t break the bank.
Here are the slim fit chinos to buy, and why
We’ve shopped around to check out some of the best athletic chinos on the market, and give you our recommendations. Check out the pairs below and find the perfect pair of chinos for you!
State & Liberty: Best Overall
Top Key Features: State & Liberty packs so much into a pair of chinos, it was hard for us to find any other brands that held a candle. First was the great silhouette: they’re tapered a bit, allowing plenty of room through the butt and thighs (especially good if you haven’t missed a leg day in a while), with a nice, clean finish: they’re designed to stop right at the ankle, but there’s a bit of extra fabric so they can be tailored to be shorter or longer. They’ve got four-way stretch fabric and a stretch waistband to make them so comfortable, you’ll feel like you’re still in your sweats. They’ve got moisture-wicking, just like your favorite workout clothes! There’s a media pocket to neatly stash your phone, and a hidden back zipper pocket that’s perfect for travel. Maybe best of all they’re practically wrinkle-free, and you can toss them into the washer and dryer.
Returns: Will accept any return that is unworn and resellable, within 90 days of purchase
What’s Good about State & Liberty The company was founded by two guys who couldn’t find clothes that fit their athletic bodies. They started by creating the perfect performance dress shirt, offering lots of other great features beyond a great fit, and then moved on to perfect the rest of a modern man’s wardrobe.The company now makes stretch chinos, suits, blazers, casual clothes, and accessories.
What’s Not So Good: If you’re a waif, have a weight problem, or just don’t like looking good, State & Liberty is probably not for you.
The Verdict: We think the State & Liberty athletic fit stretch chino is the perfect answer to the modern wardrobe. The price is right, the fit is superb, and they’ll travel just about anywhere with ease.
Mugsy: Most Durable
Top Key Features: Mugsy began as a jeans company before expanding into all manner of clothing products. However what they learned from their jeans they perfected in their chinos. They are durable without being rough, flexible without being too loose, and offer a classy yet slimming fit perfect for all occasions.
Returns: Free returns or exchanges on unworn items up to 60 days after purchase, they even print the shipping label!
What’s Good about Mugsy: Mugsy is a modern day clothing company that cares just as much about providing the best clothes to its customers as it does about encouraging and taking part in sustainable production. All Mugsy’s products are made with primarily sustainable materials and shipped in 100% recyclable packaging. This can be felt in their chinos which, despite a slim fitting and athletic appearance, feel comfortable, flexible, and natural.
What’s Not So Good: Sustainability and comfort takes investment, if you’re looking for cheaper less quality options, other pants may be better.
The Verdict: Mugsy’s chinos are perfect for those looking for an athletic fit with durability, flexibility, and a classy appearance.
Uniqlo: Great Price
Slim-Fit Chino Pants
Top Key Features: Uniqlo has updated its classic chino with Supima cotton for a soft, smoother texture, blended with just a bit of stretch for comfort. The silhouette includes a curved belt line to give a better fit around the hips, and has a classic, relaxed fit.
Returns: Exchanges without an original purchase receipt will only be accepted for the same item in a different color or size. Merchandise sold as final sale may not be returned or exchanged at any time.
What’s Good about Uniqlo: Uniqlo has built an international empire by creating modern, classic clothing, using the very latest in fabric and construction technology, and offering it a great price.
What’s Not So Good: Although the company has widely expanded its size range, its roots are in Japan, so silhouettes tend to be slim-fit, and not the best for an athletic build. The prices are very good, even at full price, but sometimes the quality is lacking.
The Verdict: Spend a little bit more and get a better fit and more features.
Bonobos: Most Color Options
Stretch Washed Chino 2.0
Top Key Features: These chinos offer water-resistance, 4 way stretch, a slim taper, and an extra pocket. The stand out benefit of these pants however is the sheer amount of color options they offer. Chino pants are great for all occasions and with Bonobos you are sure to find a color that pairs well with the event and your choice of shirt, shoes, and accessories. Their 4 way stretch chino material also means you’re covered for any activities the day might bring.
Returns: Bonobos offers a 45 day return policy for cash back on unworn items and a 90 day return policy for store credit. Additionally you can exchange unworn items anytime you like within that 90 day period.
What’s Good about The Bonobos: The stretch washed chinos from Bonobos are a great bet for those looking for out of the ordinary colors that are also machine washable. The 4 way stretch material is another major benefit allowing you comfort and style at the same time.
What’s Not So Good: Sitting at $99 dollars they are a great budget option but there have been some complaints about their construction. On their site multiple reviews complain about an issue with the new closure mechanism and the feeling of the material, despite its stretch and water resistant abilities.
The Verdict: Decent option from an established brand but you can do better for a similar price with other brands.
Goodfellow & Co: Most Available
Men’s Athletic Fit Chino Pants
Top Key Features: Our cheapest option on the list by far are these athletic fit chinos by Target’s own brand Goodfellow & Co. These are your classic chinos, that are always in stock, and don’t break the bank.
Returns: Items purchased in store or online are able to be returned anytime within 365 days of purchase provided they are unworn.
What’s Good about Goodfellow & Co: Being a Target owned product these slim fit chinos are almost always available nearby or online making them great in a pinch. They are also perfect for situations in which you are worried your pants may get ruined or are only needed for one time use.
What’s Not So Good: If you are looking for long lasting high quality chinos you may want to look elsewhere but at $25 what can you expect.
The Verdict: Great for one time use or quick access, but better quality, durability, and comfort can be found elsewhere.
Barbell Apparel: Most Custom
Anything Chino Slim
Top Key Features: These slim chinos are called the anything chino because they were designed to handle everything you can throw at them. With an ultrastretch construction and athletic fit these pants will not only look great but move great too!
Returns: Return unworn items anytime within 30 days of purchase or get a no questions asked exchange.
What’s Good about Barbell: Along with being a tapered construction and ultra-flexible, Barbell’s anything athletic fit chinos only come in one size and must be tailored. This means that they will always be the perfect fit for you.
What’s Not So Good: Barbell’s biggest strength is also their biggest weakness. Their tailoring requirement means you will need to plan in advance. In addition they only come in a size 34 length, so going down is no problem but if you need more length you will need to look elsewhere.
The Verdict: If you have the time and money these slim fit chinos are solid, however equally good looking and well fitting chinos can be found faster at cheaper prices.
Questions About Athletic Chino Pants for Men
What are chino pants?
Traditionally made of cotton, today’s chinos are available in everything from the classic, to a little stretch added for comfort, to pairs that were born in a lab and you can practically do your workout in them. They usually feature a straight, or slightly-tapered leg, angled pockets, and, yes, they may even have pleats. As mentioned above, some are constructed just like jeans, but in lighter, cooler fabrics.
What should I wear with athletic chino pants?
Really, almost anything: They’re the chameleon of your wardrobe. Dress ‘em down with a classic white T-shirt. Dress ‘em up with a preppy button-down Oxford shirt, diagonally striped necktie, and a navy blazer. Go cool with a Guayabera, Hawaiian, or camp shirt. Or pull the classic casual dress code uniform, and pair them with your favorite polo shirt. These days we especially like adding a chore coat in lightweight fabric for a little extra style.
Are chino pants business casual or formal?
Chinos, athletic or not, are definitely business casual. Going to an interview? Do a little research ahead of time to see what’s expected. Many professions — law, finance, medicine — still require a suit and tie for the everyday corporate uniform. The good news? If golfing is part of entertaining clients, then those chinos will come in handy.
What type of events can I wear slim fit chino pants to?
Because chinos stride that perfect line between dressy and casual, they’re the perfect “plus one” to just about any occasion. Summer wedding with anything short of black-tie optional? Break out the navy chinos, a crisp cotton shirt, a lightweight, unconstructed blazer, and a floral necktie. Date night? Black chinos, a black tank top, and a black linen shirt. Heading to the office, but riding your bike to save on the commute? Roll the leg on those olive chinos and wear ‘em with a bright yellow (highly visible) wicking polo shirt…and a bike helmet! Going on vacation? Take one pair of dark gray khakis, and three or four shirts that will work with them in a solid, a print, a plaid…you get the idea.
What is the difference between chino pants and khakis?
Technical? Nada. The two terms are used pretty interchangeably. A real stickler for convention might insist that khakis are really only those pants made in a lightweight cotton twill in a shade of dark tan. Khaki is the Urdu word for dust-colored, after all.
Are there different styles of chino pants?
Absolutely. Again, most popular these days is the 5-pocket model. Classic-fit, slim-fit, stretch, high-waisted,…because the style is so classic, every time period, every fashion cycle, and every brand statement puts its own stamp on the classic. Find a pair that fits your body (and your budget), from a company that has a consistent fit, season after season. Then buy a pair in navy, black, or khaki every couple of years, swapping in a few pairs in trendy colors to keep your wardrobe fresh.
Where to buy athletic chino pants for men?
See above! Chinos are available everywhere from Amazon and online stores to the trendiest (and most expensive) department stores, to discount outlets. However, if you are looking for the best athletic fit chinos then you most definitely need to head over to StateAndLiberty.com!
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