The Endorsement: Light-colored Chinos

May 24, 2010 · 4 comments

in Apparel, Endorsement

The warmer weather begs for lighter, more versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Time to put away those heavy woolens and cords and break out your more weather-appropriate choices.

Consider the summery months your opportunity to experiment with lighter tones and fabrics. Since jeans are a staple in practically everyone’s wardrobe, the natural tendency is to look for lighter washes. Gray and/or light blue, overly-whiskered denim washes lack that formality most people need, and can come off as too casual (or inappropriate for the situation), especially at the office. Some attempt to wear white jeans, yet I feel not everyone can pull them off (myself included, unfortunately, though maybe I just don’t give myself enough credit.)

Chinos from Lacoste (Flat Front Broken Twill Chino in light gray), and Gant Rugger (Melange Slim Leg Chino in light blue)

For the uncertain gent, I recommend the classic chino in a very light wash. A more playful and sartorially experimental alternative to white, the light-colored chino is pale enough to complement the other pieces in your wardrobe that you’d normally pair with white jeans. These are on the market at a variety of price points; everyone from Gap and Club Monaco to Gant has their versions in hues ranging from the standard stone khaki and light gray, to light blue, to a pale yellow, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you’re out and about.

As always, keep in mind the fit, which can mean the difference between GQ-spread-worthy and George Costanza in an old Seinfeld rerun. Make sure they are trim and fitted (but not overly-snug) and don’t be afraid of a cropped hem with no break. It is summer, after all.

How do you feel about light-colored chinos? Can you incorporate them into your summer wardrobe? Need suggestions on what to wear with them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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