Chino’s at work for men have for decades been a stand-in for casual – but how to wear them properly continues to elude…
There continues to be a “seismic style shift going on in the professional world and ascending through the ranks often doesn’t depend on wearing a suit. Even Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs has loosened up its dress code to make suits and ties optional, offering further proof that desk jockeys are changing their uniforms. Just look around your office — if you still even work in one” (source Askmen.com)
Let’s define Chinos: a chino is a made-of-cotton casual take on a wool dress pant.
Let’s define Khakis: Khaki is a color. Chino is a style. You can have Purple Chino’s. You don’t “wear” Khaki’s.
So, you want to wear “cotton dress pants” to work like all the other cool kids. Great! But just because you are not wearing wool “dress trousers” doesn’t mean you can’t be conscious of their relationship to your own body.
How your clothing fits, falls and is styled in relation to your body is the science of proportion.
Examples include your height vs. your width. The size of your thighs vs. calves. Waist vs. hip. Can you see how wrong these skinny leg chinos are on this young man? They make him look wider on top then he needs to be. Just a little more in the calf would balance him. And in this (unknowingly funny) example we see a disconnect between the size of the body and the size of the foot.
In this image above (yes his pants are too small – the butt scoop, the horizontal lines pulling are the indicators) it looks like he is wearing about a size 12 shoe! His feet look enormous. Yikes! Now, if he was shopping with his trusty Style of Success Image Consultant, we would find a pair of chino’s with a better fit, and find a more tapered appearing, less rounded toe, the same color as this trousers. His shoes won’t always match his pants, but on days they do it will do alot add balance to the size of his feet.
The last thought on proportion is awareness of how the body is divided from top to bottom. This is called being long or short-waisted and most often men have shorter legs and longer torso’s. Amazing to me, I drive the car at the exact same seat setting as my 6’2″ son, but I can’t reach the steering wheel….
Anyway, the easiest fix for this is to ensure the length of an exterior (untucked) shirt or jacket is not too long. You want to allow for the most available leg to show.
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