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10 Men's Chinos Khaki Style Outfits Ideas

From military troops to the modern-day man, khaki chinos have remained ubiquitous throughout the ages and for good reason. There is often confusion around whether khaki is the name of the pant and chino is another style; however, khaki is simply the colour of the chino pant, and the name khaki aptly comes from a Hindi word meaning ‘dust’ or ‘dusty’. 

A brief history on khaki chinos

It is believed that the British Indian army once dyed their clothes to reflect these earthy brown and green hues using mud, curry powder and tea. Blending into landscapes to avoid danger and achieve stealthy missions deemed khaki-coloured chinos essential military attire in the 1840s. In 1884, khaki-coloured dye was patented, and soon enough, the first US khaki uniform was authorised for Naval use in 1917. It was only until World War II ended when khakis gained popularity with the general public. The abundance of leftover khaki twill from the army uniforms meant tailors were creating khaki chinos for regular citizens. People liked the military-inspired fashion, and wearing the colour also represented their support for the troops. From wide leg and high waist cuts to tapered leg and low waist styles, as the purpose of trousers change, the chino pants style evolves, too. 

The Modern-Day Khakis 

Fast-track to 2021 and Casual Fridays has become every day, now that working-from-home has become the norm. Proving that they remain relevant to the working man, the modern chino offers all-day comfort, durability and style. Constructed with stretch cotton twill, slim or tapered fit khaki chinos provide flexibility and flair, meaning they’re smart enough for daily business, yet cool enough for nights of frivolity. 

How do you style khaki chinos? 

When it comes to establishing the chinos for men style guide of today, the khaki pant is high on the list, holding its reputation for blending into any environment and occasion, especially with its pairing potential. That’s why this chameleon of the wardrobe pops up when searching "chino pants trends 2021”. From casual and formal chinos and shirt combinations to chino shorts styling for the warmer weather, let’s take a look at 10 of the best khaki chino styling ideas so that you can get the most out of this essential menswear item. 

LOOK 1 - Polo Shirt 

Pairing khakis with a polo (pictured above) instantly brings effortless style and practicality to a smart casual day at work, easily converting to a cool and relaxed look on the golf course, literally and figuratively. Polos are easy to slip into, as are chinos with their breathable cotton twill, giving you unmatched versatile comfort for sitting at the desk or hitting 18 holes. Tuck your polo in or leave it out depending on the look you’re going for. In terms of colours, black, white and navy polos look smart with khaki chinos in light shades from sand to darker shades of green and navy. Pair your khakis with brightly coloured or striped polos to add a little extra personality.

LOOK 2 - Oxford Shirt 

A classy, crisp button-up Oxford shirt is a timeless way to instantly take your khakis up a notch. This is a perfect combination for more formal occasions like virtual meetings with clients or a date night that calls for more extra effort than what you’ve been getting away with during lockdown. Solid lighter-hued colours and faint stripes and checks look sharp with khaki-coloured pants. Button up to the top for that client call or leave a few top buttons undone to take the edge off at dinner.

LOOK 3 - Crewneck Sweatshirt 

A neat casual style can be achieved when wearing a crewneck sweatshirt with chinos. A slim cut will be most flattering, and lightweight fabrics like French terry will keep you cosy, comfortable and cool with moisture-wicking and absorption. A lightweight sweater is a seasonal piece that looks great over plain tees, or with a collar slightly popping out for a touch of sophistication.

LOOK 4 - Hoodie 

Every man has his go-to hoodie, and luckily hoodies and chinos are a great combination. There’s no need to overthink your outfit when you’re heading out for a park walk or enjoying a leisurely afternoon at home. Opt for super soft cotton hoodies in colours you’re likely to get everyday wear out of. Neutral or pooping colours both work well with different shades of khaki.

LOOK 5 - Tee 

We can’t go past the essential tee, especially in a regular fit that flatters even the most casual of looks. A plain tee coupled with khaki chinos is an effortless style that is practical for getting out and about or relaxing at home, without having to dial it all the way down to loungewear. Tees in a range of colours, stripes and logos will style well tucked in or left out of your khakis.

LOOK 6 - Merino Sweater 

Merino wool sweaters are stylish, ultra-soft and lightweight, which is why this sweater is essential for the man of 2021. The comfortable fabric and classic flattering cut will have you reaching for this sweater for a day at the desk or dinner with the family. A plaited crewneck adds a modern touch, and there’s no need to tuck your sweater in to achieve a tidy look because the hem polishes off the look. Shades of grey, green, burgundy and blue will complement khaki chinos.

LOOK 7 - Deconstructed Blazer 

The deconstructed blazer is the modern man’s choice when it comes to looking and feeling good. Relaxed yet sleek, a slim fit blazer is made for mobility while achieving a more formal look. Deep blues in contrast to sand and khaki shades will instantly display your sense of modern style. A button-up shirt or sweater underneath a buttoned or unbuttoned blazer, tucked in with a belt completes a businessman’s attire. Cool, calm and collected will be evident with a plain, slim fit tee tucked into chinos with the blazer unbuttoned.

LOOK 8 - Military Jacket 

Going back to its army uniform roots, it makes sense that khaki chinos pair seamlessly with military-inspired jackets. Made for functionality, a quality military jacket will be made of water-resistant fabric and quilted lining for warmth, interior zipper pockets and exterior pockets with snap closures. Go for shades of black, grey, blue and khaki to embrace a timeless look that you can wear walking trails and getting your dose of fresh air and fitness or while perched by the firepit on a chilly evening.

LOOK 9 - Button-Up Shirt 

Equally stylish buttoned up or left undone with a crisp tee underneath, the button-up shirt featuring a low-profile collar paired with khaki chinos is a winning style for all occasions. With supreme versatility and comfort, you’ll be finding yourself turning to this shirt at all times. Neutral beige and khaki colours will ooze cool guy class, whereas classic black, blue and white shirts will complete your smart-casual business day look.

LOOK 10 - Khaki Chino Shorts 

Last but certainly not least, khaki chino shorts are going to be your best friend now that the warmer weather is approaching. These shorts offer the ultimate comfort and simplicity with the ability to be paired with a myriad of shirts and jackets. Wear a polo shirt tucked into chinos with a belt and feel as suave as you do breezy. For a chilled-out look, pair with a plain tee and sandals. Working from home means you can get away with wearing shorts, and fortunately with the chino cut, you can still wear your Oxford shirts, sweaters, and button-ups. 

Shop Smart, Shop Sustainably

Fast fashion is responsible for the fashion industry’s reputation as one of the largest environment-polluting and water-wasting industries in the world. This, in addition to the poor working conditions experienced by fast fashion workings, it is important to shop consciously and consider sustainable brands. Sustainable or slow fashion brands actively implement sustainable and ethical practices. Look to brands that use less water, source materials sustainably, and look after their workers and the community. Many brands including chinos brand Dockers use water-saving techniques and have initiatives to ensure quality water is available to communities around the world by providing water filters. By choosing sustainable clothing you not only help to improve the lives of many and save the planet, but you’ll be wearing long-lasting, timeless fashion that has been made ethically. It feels good to do good. It mightn’t be the 1840s, but khaki chinos are just as relevant today and will continue to evolve to accommodate the man of the future.

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