Nothing is more classic than pairing a plain T-shirts with chinos, and this guide will answer all of the questions you may have when it comes to combining the two.
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Chinos are your best bet if you’re tired of your classic suit trousers. Their versatility allows you to experiment with colours and fabrics and incorporate what you already have hanging in your wardrobe. Don't see chinos as something you can only wear in smart situations, as they can effortlessly cover formal and casual affairs, and match with a variety of casual clothing items.
One of the best ways to pull off chinos is by pairing them with a classic white, colourful or patterned T-shirt. This can give you instant sophistication, an easy blank slate to work with, and a relaxed look depending on what items you pair together. We selected the best t-shirt and chino combinations that will take you from the office to a Sunday brunch, and even a night down the pub.
How a T-shirt Should Fit
Before you even think about pairing a T-shirt with chinos, you've got to make sure you're wearing a T-shirt properly. It sounds easy enough to get right, but there are a number of factors that can change the way a T-shirts fits around your body, and it's easy to get these simple rules wrong. Here are the basic things to remember:
- The hem of your T-shirt should fall no lower or higher than your hip-bone.
- Your sleeves should be fitted around your arms and end in the middle of your bicep.
- The seam attaching the sleeves of the T-shirt to the body should run along your shoulder, not your neck or below the shoulder.
- Your T-shirt should follow the shape of your body, not hang straight down.
How Chinos Should Fit
As with T-shirts, the fit of chinos is important to the way your outfit looks, and if you wear the wrong size or shape the whole style can fall flat. Although it's easy to customise your chinos by cuffing them, the basic rules apply no matter what style you're going for.
- Your chinos should be fitted, but not too snug. You should be able to pinch around half an inch of fabric when you're wearing them.
- There are different designs of chinos, but the waist shouldn't be higher than the middle of your stomach, or lower than your hip bone.
- If you're wearing chinos with boots, don't cuff them so high that you can see your skin.
Finding an outfit to work around your T-shirt and chinos is easy, but all of us need a little help from time to time. From causal outfits to more formal, you can easily find a multitude of looks to wear with your T-shirt and chinos this season.
You can never go wrong with a simple white T-shirt when it comes to figuring out what to wear with chinos. It will always look good, and it's easy to throw on, creating a relaxed and stylish finish. For a light, preppy look pair a crew neck white T-shirt with some light coloured chinos, then break up the look with a blue denim shirt.
It's a classic outfit that's perfect for the summer months, and shows just how versatile chinos are when creating a casual look. Keep the fit slim if you're going for a looser fit shirt, and you'll easily achieve a neat but laid back look.
For something a little less preppy, but still casual and good for the weekend, swap out the denim shirt for a nylon bomber jacket instead. This will instantly add an informal but alternative vibe to your look, especially when paired with a simple white T-shirt.
Pick straight leg slim fit chinos in a dark tone to keep the colours complimentary, and finish off this easy weekend look with some lace up plimsolls. This is a good summer outfit, but you can easily alter it to make it more suitable for the colder months by choosing longer chinos and wearing some chunky lace up boots instead of plimsolls.
Date nights usually stays in the smart-casual style. You want to be comfortable enough that you're focusing on your date rather than your clothes, but you still want to look like you've made some effort in your appearance. For this reason chinos and T-shirts are the perfect combination, as they intertwine formal and casual wear to create a stylish finished look.
The key to keeping a balanced, smart-casual look is to make sure that if you pick a smart pair of chinos you pair it with a more casual T-shirt, and vice versa. You can go for bolder colours like silver, contrasting it with a neutral black to create a sleek, yet toned back outfit. Finish this off with some sunglasses and a pair of loafers or monk shoes, and cuff the chinos if you feel like adding a summery vibe.
For the colder months you'll be more inclined to wear darker colours, and you wouldn't be wrong in doing so, but you may want to avoid an all black look. Throw over a camel coat and mix up your accessories a little bit to add detail and texture to your look.
For a more modern look, go for a slimmer fitting leather jacket with a sleek finish to it, and pair it with brighter white items for a clean contrast. This will still give you an alternative edge, but with more of a polished look. Go for straight leg tailored black chinos and a slim fit white T-shirt, and finish off the look with some white trainers.
Chinos look great when dressed smart and are a fantastic alternative to your basic suit trousers. It might not seem possible to create a smart look with a T-shirt, but seeing that it's possible to pair a blazer with a T-shirt to create formal attire, it's totally possible to do the same with a T-shirt and chinos.
It's safer to keep the tones neutral, and not experiment with bright colours if you're going for a formal, office appropriate look. Pair a slim fit black T-shirt with black chinos, and to make sure you're not dealing with an all black look, throw a slim fit grey blazer over the top for a subtle contrast.
As long as the blazer is long enough in the body and fits neatly around you, the chinos are long enough but don't drown your shoes with fabric, and the T-shirt is perfectly fitted, then you'll pull off this look easily and without much of a headache.
What Shoes to Wear With Chinos
The beauty of chinos is that you can team them with a multitude of looks and styles. When it comes to your shoes, you can follow the same rules; by pairing them with either formal or casual shoes, you can create a stylish look with ease.
How to Wear a T-shirt With Chinos
- Always get the fit of both pieces correct.
- Wear them casually with a pair of trainers or more laid back shoe.
- To formalise the look then add a suit jacket and a formal shoe.
On That Note
It's so easy to merge these two classic pieces together to create a range of styles. Smart, casual and smart-casual looks are all achievable, and as long as you get the fit of your T-shirt and chinos right then you'll look put together and stylish no matter what look you go for.