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Oliveo chinos, Ralph Lauren pumps, statement belt, Collibar cardigan, Sam Edelman bucket bag and blouse c/o Coolibar

How can you style your chinos for almost all occasions from work to play at any age? Chinos are a summer favorite because they look dressier than jeans. This post addresses how to wear them from spring to fall from the weekend to the office when HR permits business casual style. Read to get inspired by the versality of stylish outfit possibilities with chinos.

  1. What Are Chinos?
  2. What Looks Good with Chinos?
  3. Which Shoes to Wear with Chinos?
  4. Chinos Are a Casual Summer Staple
  5. What to Wear with Chinos in Fall
  6. Chinos Outfit Ideas as Casual Streetwear
  7. Tops to Wear with Chino Pants
  8. Chinos Work Outfit Ideas
  9. How to Style Chinos in a Nutshell
  10. 277th Top of the World Style linkup party


Updated: 7/30/2022

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


What Are Chinos?

The term chinos refers to trousers made from chino cloth. Pants of this fabric dyed khaki (light brown) are called khakis. However, in both cases, the twill fabric consists originally of 100% cotton. Today also some (cheap) cotton-synthetic blended chinos exist. The origin of this garment are the trousers of the French, British and American military uniforms in the mid-19th century. After the Spanish-American war, war veterans came back from the Philippines with these pants and made them popular in the US. Today, they are a favorite in business casual style as summer trousers to meet the dress code for female engineers.


how to wear chinos post logo showing a guy in these pants



What Looks Good with Chinos?

Chinos are very versatile and look neat. Thus, a button-down shirt is a great choice. Furthermore, they go with crew-neck sweaters and T-shirts, especially graphic Tees as well as short- and long sleeve polo shirts. A casual blazer, sports coat or knit-cardigan work as well. Depending on the trousers’ color an utility jacket is a good match. More on styling utility jacket in the guide.


In other words, you can dress chinos up and down easily.


Which Shoes to Wear with Chinos?

The answer to this question depends on what you wear with your chinos. When paired with a button-down shirt and sport jacket loafers or formal dress shoes are best. In case of casual styling – graphic Tee, T-shirt – wear your chinos with driving shoes or canvas sneakers for a weekend look. When you go for a feminine preppy outfit, pointy-toe pumps are best. Going for an edgy look? Then try gladiators with a high heel.



over 50 years old blogger in pants, cardigan, blouse
Chinos dressed up feminine preppy


stylist in gray summer pants, blue jacket
Outfit details: Oliveo pants, Sam Edelman bucket bag, Ralph Lauren pumps, Festina watch, DIY necklace, water fall cardigan and blouse c/o Coolibar



Chinos Are a Casual Summer Staple

The following chinos outfit idea presents a summer going out with the friends look. The leather shell gives these classical engineer pants an edgy vibe. The colorful gladiator sandals and scarf add pops of colors to create a non-boring neutrals outfit.


older woman in casual summer outfit with leather shell and chinos
Side view weekend casual


summer outfit with leather shell
Oliveo trousers, Longchamp bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses, Vince leather tank top, artisan painted silk scarf, Festina watch


The next look is a summer classic with a Hawaiian shirt.


Alaskan woman in cotton trousers and silk Hawaiian print button-down shirt
Pinapple Moon Hawaiian print silk shirt, Oliveo chinos, L.K. Bennett wedge pumps, and Jaeger tote



What to Wear with Chinos in Fall?

Combine your chinos with a knitted tank and an utility jacket in fall. In the example look below, the turquoise fall sandals pick up the turquoise of the floral pattern of the top. The satchel picks up the tan in the top’s pattern. A simple DIY clasp in he back adds shape.


style blogger in chinos and utility jacket
Back view chinos in fall


style blogger in chinos, utility jacket printed top turquoise fall sandals, tan satches
Great Northwest utility jacket, Vintage Silk, tank top, Oliveo chinos, Nicole sued fall sandals, Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien band and bangle, Kieselstein Cord belt, Taylor’s Gold’n Stone smoky quartz necklace, Longchamp satchel



Chinos Outfit Ideas as Casual Streetwear

The next photo shows  a denim shirt with rolled-up sleeves, a vest and tank top underneath. This outfit allows to take off the shirt, knot it around the hips, and put the vest over the T-shirt for extra style. In the evening, the leather vest and rolling down the sleeves hinder loss of body heat. Consequently, you can catch up on the newest gossip of your old neighborhood with your former neighbor when you meet them in the grocery store parking lot.


street style blogger with denim shirt, leather vest, sunnies, and silver pumps
Great Northwest denim shirt with Moda International motorcycle leather vest, Oliveo chinos, Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses, Jaeger tote, statement belt, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY necklace,  and Ralph Lauren pumps


The following look pairs a cashmere sweater and denim jacket with the summer pants for a street style chic fall outfit. This look is also an alternative of typical Casual Friday outfits, or a great way how to dress as a female engineer in a startup engineering firm.


style book author in chinos, purple sunglasses, jean jacket, sweater, silver pumps
Front view business casual fall outfit


UAF professor in casual outfit
Oliveo trousers, Ralph Lauren pumps, Great Northwest oversize denim jacket, smoky quartz belt buckle, Anne Klein scarf, Moda International sweater, and structured bag



Tops to Wear with Chino Pants

The next business casual work outfit pairs the pants with a fake twinset for an early autumn look or to stay comfortable in an über air-conditioned office in summer. Outside just knot the cardigan around your waist.


over 50 years old Alaskan lifestyle blogger in a posh casual OOTD with chinos, sweater, cardigan and high heels
Front view outfit idea with faux twinset


fall style with chinos, cardigan heels and tote
Moda International cardigan (dyed), Oliveo chinos, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Jaeger tote, L.K. Bennett open-toe pumps, DIY bangle, and gold rutile quartz necklace


Never worry again what to wear when. Just look it up in my style book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.


Chino Work Outfit Ideas

Last, but not least a chino outfit idea with blazer. I like to wear this look when I dress for a science conference.


blogger Nicole wearing a casual office outfit with blazer and chinos
Side view blazer look



midlife woman in work look with blazer and chinos (side view)
Oliveo pants, Verani Vittari blazer, Brooks Brothers cable knit sweater, Ralph Lauren pumps, black pearl necklace, statement belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Festina watch


How to Style Chinos in a Nutshell

This garment acts like a basic. You can wear it from late spring to early fall and style it for all kind of dressing situations that ask for a version of casual style. As a result, these pants work for a variety of personal style. Minimalism, feminine preppy, American Classic, business casual, posh casual, street style chic and urban style.

Don’t forget to add a bag that’s appropriate for where you go. Accessorize for a finishing touch again keeping in mind the occasion. See this guide on accessorizing with belts.


277th Top of the World Style linkup party

Welcome to another Top of the World Style linkup party. Great you are here. Let me introduce the awardees.

Martina Berg from Lady 50 plus in print dress with otk-boots
Martina Berg from Lady 50 Plus became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post


Leelo from Beauty by Miss L in black pantsuits and floral top
Leelo from Beauty by Miss L became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post


Cheryl from Cheryl Shops in black and white summer dress
Cheryl from Cheryl Shops became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post.


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.


Gateway to the party


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I have not gotten a pair of chinos yet, but I love those blues layered on top and that statement necklace!


  2. Thank you so much for the feature! I don’t think I’ve worn chinos since those Gap khakis commercials with all the dancing (remember those?!), but you’ve inspired me to consider trying them again!
    Cheryl Shops

  3. aquamarinastyle

    Such great tips for styling chinos, Nicole. Honestly, you look amazing in everything! I love the outfit with the blue cardigan–beautiful. It’s fun to learn the background for these styles and fabrics–I’m always interesting in learning about them!

    xx Darlene

  4. What a lovely shade of blue on you Nicole! Gorgeous! I don’t own chinos but I do love the heels you wear with them too.
    Enjoy your week!
    jess xxx

  5. mireilleftm

    I need to expand my horizons with the cuts of my pants!
    Chez Mireille Travel Mom

  6. Amy Johnson

    You certainly look amazing in chinos!

  7. shelbeeontheedge1

    Nicole, I really love the wide legged chinos paired with heels. It is such a great combination! All of these outfits look great. I haven’t worn chinos in years, but maybe I will pull out a pair this week now! Thanks for the inspiration and the link up.