Style by Claire Lopez

Is there more to life than jeans?

Like many people, I tend to live in my jeans and have a fair few pairs that I am very attached to. But that hasn’t always been the case. Looking back at old photos of myself it appears that as a child I had a real penchant for tracksuit bottoms – who’d have thought? Maybe my trackie-bum devotee of a husband and I are sartorial soul-mates after all…

But what else is there in that casual trousers wasteland which exists between the jean and the trackie bum? In the winter this doesn’t tend to be so much of an issue, but as the weather warms up and sweaty denim is not top of the list, we need another option.

And the answer is chinos. Hurray – I knew there was a reason why I was holding onto those grey chinos from my pre-kids days (although annoyingly have got rid of a beige high-waisted, paper bag pair which my husband hated as they made my bum gone on for miles, but which would have been just the thing). If they make you think ‘yacht club’ – and not in a good way – then never fear because the fash pack are wearing all the shades under the sun of khaki, beige, tan and olive. Here’s how to style yours.

Gap has a great style with its Girlfriend Twill Stripe Chinos £39.95 which come in a whole array of colours (tan, grey, beige, navy) as well as the cucumber peel below. What is good about Gap is that these also come in Tall and Petite.

If you want something a bit skinnier, then try their Linen-Cotton Garment-Dye Slim Fit Girlfriend Chinos £44.95. This is twig but they also come in cream and navy. As before they are also in Tall and Petite.

Pair these with a white trainer, simple t and boyfriend blazer for a casual and contemporary look. Or add a sequinned bomber and cami plus some pointed flats for a more going-out look.

Over at Boden the Rachel Chino Trouser £55 is another good option and with 25% off with the code 2C2Z, these cost £41.25. This is the Wasabi green colour but they also come in sand, navy and pebble as well as several colours – which is not what this season’s look is really about. Styling these with a crisp white shirt is another lovely look and one which will take you to the office. Add a block heeled shoe for a modern look.

J Crew is another natural home of the chino and its Boyfriend Chino Pant £88 comes in three colours. The dark green is sold out in lots of sizes but the sun-drenched clay is another nice option and the honey-brown (beige to you and me) is available to pre-order.

Half cargo pant, half chino their Skinny Stretch Cargo Pant with zippers £108 is lovely in this dark green. Pair with a simple sweater and pumps. Or add a heel, slinky t and blazer for a more up-scaled look.

For something a bit smarter, then their Cropped Ruffle Chino Pant £98 is more office-appropriate. So you don’t look too dull, add tops or sweaters in colour or prints.

Massimo Dutti is a good bet for workwear so their Sateen Chino Trouser £54.95 are worth a look in this pistachio green which looks distinctly tobacco coloured to me. They work well with a pair of backless loafers too although not hugely loving these exact ones.

Taking the price tag down rather significantly, Zara has these Chinos with Belt £12.99 – surely that isn’t the actual price…

Meanwhile, over at M&S their Collection Pure Cotton Standard Chinos are £19.50 and come in khaki and neutral as well as a whole host of other colours. There is something distinctly mumsy about the way they have styled these. Don’t get me wrong, I love an espadrille, but the denimness of them and shirt is just wrong. Make it a crisp white shirt and a pair of trainers or more of a thicker soled espadrille.

So from one extreme to the other with Cos’ Relaxed Cotton Chinos £55. A much more relaxed fit and if this looks too minimalist – it is a touch too pure for my liking – just add a necklace and less of a masculine t-shirt. Maybe even a t-shirt with  slogan.

Go forth and embrace chinos – just do it in a non preppy way.



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