How to style chinos (guide)
Oliveo chinos, Ralph Lauren pumps, statement belt, Collibar cardigan, Sam Edelman bucket bag and blouse c/o Coolibar
  1. What are chinos?
  2. What looks good with chinos?
  3. What shoes look best with chinos?
  4. Chinos are a casual summer staple
  5. How to style chinos in fall
  6. 276th Top of the World Style linkup party

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

What are chinos?

The term chinos refers to trousers made from chino cloth. If the pants are dyed khaki (light brown), they are called khakis. However, in both cases, the twill fabric consists originally of 100% cotton. Today also some (cheap) cotton-synthetic mixed fabrics are used. In the mid-19th century, these cotton pants were part of the French, British and American military uniforms. 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 often worn in business casual offices as summer trousers. This post provides stylish outfit inspirations with chinos.

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 look great 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.

What shoes look best 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 and formal dress shoes are best. When the styling is more along a casual line – graphic Tee, T-shirt – driving shoes or canvas sneakers are good choices for a weekend look. When you go for a feminine look, pointy-toe pumps are best. When going for an edgy look, try gladiators with a high heel. Depending on the trousers’ color an utility jacket can make a great outfit. More on styling utility jacket in the guide at the link.

style blogger in gray chino pants, blue whiet graphic print top, heels jacket, belt

over 50 years old blogger in pants, cardigan, blouse

stylist in gray summer pants, blue jacket
Outfit details: Oliveo chinos, Ralph Lauren pumps, DIY necklace, statement belt, Collibar cardigan, Sam Edelman bucket bag, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle and blouse c/o Coolibar


Please feel free to pin the photos to your Pinterest board.

Chinos are a casual summer staple

The following outfit idea features a sleeveless summer blouse with a waterfall cardigan for the office with pointy toe silver snake imprint pumps.

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

summer outfit with leather shell
Oliveo chinos with painted silk scarf, Vince leather shell, Ray Ban sunglasses, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Longchamp bag, and Gabriella Rocha sandals (all own)

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 (all own)

How to style chinos in fall

Here I am wearing my Ray Ban purple mirrored shades and my favorite summer pants, the chinos. I combined them with a silk knitted tank to and an utility jacket. The turquoise fall sandals pick up the turquoise of the floral pattern of the top. The tan of the satchel is also picks up by the top’s pattern as are the colors of the chinos and the jacket. I added shape to the jacket by a burgundy claps.

style blogger in chinos and utility jacket

stylist in chinos
Outfit details: Oliveo pants, Hawaiian Vintage silk floral print top, smoky quartz necklace, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Kate Moss for Lonchamp bag, Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses, and Nicole fall sandals (all own)


The following fall look pairs a cashmere sweater and denim jacket with the summer pants. This look can be worn on Casual Friday or in a startup engineering firm. More on how to dress as a female engineer in the post at the link.

style book author in chinos, purple sunglasses, jean jacket, sweater, silver pumps

Alaskan blogger in Casual Friday outfit
Great Northwest oversize denim jacket. Moda International crew neck cashmere sweater, smoky quartz  belt, Oliveo chinos, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, unbranded structured bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Hermes H pink enamel bangle, Bulova watch and Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses (all own)


The next example works as a business casual work outfit in early autumn or in a 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

fall style OOTD with chinos, cardigan heels and tote (back view)
Posh casual early fall outfit: Moda International cardigan (dyed) and cashmere sweater, Oliveo chinos, L.K. Bennett pumps, DIY bangle, Hermes collier de chien bangle, rutil quartz necklace  and Jaeger tote (all own)


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.

The next photo shows an example with 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 cooling of the body. Thus, you won’t have to pretend to be on a rush when you meet your former neighbor in the grocery store parking lot. You can catch up on the newest gossip of your former neighborhood instead. 🙂

#streetstyle style blogger with denim shirt, leather vest, sunnies, and silver pumps
Great Northweat 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 silver pumps (all own)

Last, but not least an outfit idea with a 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

over 50 years old fashion blogger in business casual outfit with chinos and blazer without clutch

midlife woman in work look with blazer and chinos (side view)
Outfit details: Vittoria Verani blazer, Oliveo chinos, Brooks Brothers sweater, Ralph Lauren pumps, statement belt, pearl necklace, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Jaeger tote (all own)

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276th Top of the World Style linkup party

Welcome to the 276th 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.

Do you want to get a free feature at the party? Then apply to become a co-host by sending me an email.

Gateway to the party

See these awesome looks at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #timelessstyle Click To Tweet

I invite all fashion and style bloggers to co-host the top of the World Style linkup party. Just send me an email. What to throw your own party?

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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© 2020-2020 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

Article Name
How to style chinos (guide)
Origin of the chinos, what to wear with them, what shoes look best with them plus photo outfit ideas for fummer and fall, work and play
Publisher Name
High Latitude Style
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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. Cheryl Shops

    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.


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