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​How To Wear Short Chinos: The 7 Rules All Men Should Learn

14 days ago

How To Wear Short Chinos: The 7 Rules All Men Should Learn

Dealing with hot days is a question of style too. One of the most popular garments in the street style this summer is short chinos. Is this a trend for you?

Would you sacrifice formality and elegance to feel more comfortable in a heatwave? Finding a cool outfit is a question of style too. Tailored suits, essentials in any men’s wardrobe, have been reinvented this summer. Now is the time to reduce the length of the trousers and show a bit more skin. Wearing suits and short trousers can be popular in some hot countries, but it’s very much a fashion statement in most European countries.

If you want to move to a smart casual outfit, short chinos are a good option for smart casual attire. They can be as casual or as smart as a pair of jeans, there’s plenty of room for chino shorts in your everyday wardrobe.

You can dress in short chinos and combine them with a different colour and unstructured blazer, or use a similar colour top such as polo shirt, popover shirts, T-shirts, or casual shirts. This season is the perfect occasion to do it, as stripes and original patterns are more popular than ever. How you deal with hot days is a lesson in elegance and eye for combinations.

Like women’s catwalks, men’s fashion is more extravagant than ever and prioritize the lower half of the body. The 80s and the 90s are still fashionable: extra short trousers, classic shorts, slim-fit men chinos, or even cyclist shorts are trendy. Good news for those of us who have always favoured comfort over formality.


These are the 7 rules all men should learn about how to wear short chinos in smart casual dress code:


1. The correct length for shorts

A safe bet is to dress shorts halfway down the kneecap or one inch above if you want to add some inches to your height. The perfect length should cover more than half of the thigh. Avoid those shorts that cover more than just the kneecap, they are not even shorts and were fashionable just ten years ago – still too soon for a revival.


2. The loose men’s shorts

Skinny-fit short trousers are by nature a casual piece of clothing and are meant to provide freedom of movement while keeping you cool. You, better than anyone else, know the fit that looks best for your body shape, and maybe a skinny fit might not look bad on you if you’re slim. On another note, baggy shorts (multi-pocketed shorts or without pockets) around the legs don’t work well, and they should be kept for hiking, not urban settings.

3. Short chinos and officewear

Business casual can be a vague definition when hot days arrive. Short chinos are great for the street style, and even short trousers and suit jackets, but you may think smart when dressing them. Maybe your boss is not going to be happy in his two-piece suit while you’re wearing an informal short or showing your hairy legs. Remember your office dress code before putting them on in the morning. If your workplace allows relaxed dress code, avoid the extra-short version of trousers, but shorts can be totally correct, as well as short-sleeves. Totally inappropriate for a job interview though, unless applying to work as a lifeguard.


4. Shoes to wear with short chinos

Maybe you are unsure about combining smart shoes with short chinos, but definitely avoid the combination of flip flops and chinos unless you’re heading to the beach or pool. Choose between a range of comfortable shoes instead such as loafers, moccasins, boat shoes, or even men’s sandals.


5. Short chinos and socks

We don’t know what podiatrists think about wearing shoes without socks but it’s highly recommended to wear socks if you’re wearing shoes made of leather or synthetic materials that will keep your foot too hot inside. Plus, closed-toed shoes usually look better with ankle socks. If you don’t want to show socks (it’s really trendy though) there are extra-short socks (called ballet or invisible socks) that will hide the socks but will protect your skin and your shoes. If the weather allows it, a couple of good free-sock options are breathable moccasins or leather sandals. Sandals are the most casual option.


6. Patterns and colours for the chinos

Breathable and stretchy chinos are the best option for casual dressing in your shorts. Solid colours such as tan, khaki, navy, and olive are traditional styles for men’s shorts. Don’t overdo colours, materials, and patterns too much, as you can feel dressed as if you were going to the beach or if you were on holidays. Your short chinos are smart casual trousers, not swimsuits.


7. Tops and shirts that go with short chinos

If you need to dress smartly in summer, a pair of shorts and an unstructured blazer (rather than tailored) can save you from sweating. Get a pair of slip-on shoes in leather and a shirt that’s not too formal with a few buttons undone to complete the look. If you want to dress more summery then swap the blazer and shirt for a polo shirt, a collared short-sleeve shirt, and maybe a lightweight bomber jacket if necessary. Shorts are casual so the top or shirt should be too. If less is more for you, a basic T-shirt could be fine, and if adding a jacket you can give some structure in you mid-waist and look slightly smarter.

Hawaiian shirts and funky prints can be reserved for other casual settings and relaxed occasions when a bit of fun is allowed. And, unless you’re going to a football match, short chinos and football shirts don’t fit well in smart-casual looks in the street.


Short chinos are a classic piece of menswear, and they always have a place in every man’s wardrobe. How you combine them depends on your style and the pieces of clothing you already have in your wardrobe.