Expert Advice: Chinos Vs. Jeans

Aaron Wester shows us the versatility of chinos and jeans.

Which do you prefer? Denim or Chinos? This can be a difficult question.

When I was a kid, chinos were for Sunday School, band concerts, or trips into the city to see a Broadway play. They were dress pants in my mind. Stuffy. Pleated. Khaki.

I would wear them with a striped polo and penny loafers. I was a cool kid, clearly.

But times have changed! I’d like to think I’m cooler now and I wear chinos as often as jeans. A pair of chinos that fits well is as versatile and as comfortable as denim. I wear them with everything from a blazer to a T-shirt. Anything I wear with jeans usually works with chinos.

But let’s not be close-minded about denim, either! For me, I prefer a light wash for a casual look and dark selvage denim for a late night in the city. You can wear jeans pretty much anywhere these days.

Check out the pics below showing two looks, styled two ways: one with denim and one with chinos, showing the versatility of both.

I’m a man on the go, so these first looks show the ease of my city-style, combined with the reality of carrying my life around with me in a bag.

For the Men’s Locke Lake Straight Fit Chinos in grey, I buttoned a navy pinstripe shirt all the way up for a polished look. Then I threw on a baseball cap for a laid back, athletic vibe. It’s a casual, but clean. Perfect for a hanging with friends or a meeting over drinks. 

With the Men’s Classic Fit Denim Pant, I wore an unbuttoned pinstripe shirt and layered it with a tank top. I cuffed the denim about 5 inches. It’s a bold cuff, but it shows off my boots and gives the look a little more edge. With my leather backpack, I’m ready to hit the streets.

Even though I’m wearing a pinstripe shirt, both looks are pretty casual. It proves you can get the same feel out of your look with both denim and chinos.

For these next two looks, I went with heavier fall layering. I started with my Timberland plaid shirt and a grey crewneck sweater. The Men's Locke Lake Straight Fit chinos in red play off the colors in the plaid and the warm tones in the boots. To give it some style, roll up the sleeves and cuff the chino. 

With the Men’s Thompson Lake Slim Fit Selvage Denim Pants, I added my navy waxed cotton jacket. It’s lightweight, but still warm.

So my verdict is in: denim AND chinos. No need to pick a favorite when both pants are so versatile.