I’ve always had a fondness for a good pair of chinos. Especially in the warmer months, these cotton or cotton blend casual trousers are such a nice option to wear instead of jeans for that everyday, comfortable look. So today I’m styling modern chinos for spring and sharing a few other style options as well.
You, like me, may be more accustomed to chinos with a more narrow silhouette. But since wider leg pants and jeans are trending and I have plenty of the slimmer variety in my closet, I decided to try out these more modern chinos. And I have to tell you, I love them.
These modern chinos fit true to size with that relaxed, generous fit we’re accustomed to with these casual trousers. They have some stretch in them, but do not stretch out with wear, in my experience. And these chinos come in two other neutrals and two trending colors. I’m tempted to buy them in the natural shade.
One of the reasons I love wearing chinos is that they are indeed so versatile. And my assistant Holly has created some fun style boards for us with additional chino options as well as styling recommendations. But my biggest tip is simply to keep your proportions in check. And by that, in this instance, I mean that if your chinos are fuller in the leg like mine are, then you’ll want to keep the top portion of your outfit a little more fitted.
To accomplish that goal, I did two things…in one. I’m wearing a solid long sleeve t-shirt that fits comfortably close to the body. But it also features slightly puffed sleeves. In fact, I love this tee for that feature. Puff sleeves continue to trend, but we’re seeing smaller or more minimal iterations of that feature now, and I’m a big fan. The gently puffed sleeve helps to balance the wide leg in the pants, especially if I tuck the top even just in the front.
This gently puffed sleeve t-shirt comes in three other solids, including white, two stripes and a floral print. It runs slightly small unless you prefer a body hugging fit. So I sized up to a large. Also it is 100% cotton, so it may shrink a little with laundering – although I won’t put mine in the dryer and I always wash in cold water. I think this simple but elevated long sleeve t-shirt is going to get a lot of wear this spring and probably next fall, too.
While the modern chinos are excluded from J.Crew’s Long Weekend Event, you can get this t-shirt for 40% less with code WEEKEND.
I did tuck my tee and belt my chinos, but you wouldn’t have to. I would probably recommend, depending on your body proportions, that you consider either giving the top a front tuck or just “jusching it up” a bit so that it doesn’t ride too long. You want to create those pleasing 1/3 to 2/3 proportions with an outfit like this if at all possible.
And because I bookended my outfit with my black loafers, it’s all the more important to tuck that top and keep the pants line longer. I topped the simple black and khaki combo with my black trench jacket. Mine is several years old, but this one is similar and this one is a great price (but the quality is not as good; I have both in other colors). And here’s another nice looking black trench that’s marked down.
I’m sure I’ll be styling these modern chinos and sharing, at least in my How I Really Dressed for My Day posts. But meanwhile, check out these fun style inspiration boards that Holly put together for us. She used other chinos in her styles, too, so if you prefer a different silhouette, we’ve got you covered.
First up, a look with colored chinos above. So if you like to wear one of the trending colors in your trousers, this is a great way to do it. Keep your top a neutral solid for the most elevated look.
Next we have a style board with olive green chinos (such a classic!) and a feminine floral blouse. So you absolutely can create soft, feminine looks with your chinos. These chinos are less than $40 and you get another 30% off at the register. They’re available in nine colors and a full range of sizes.
I love wearing navy chinos, too. They’re another real classic. We’ve style these navy high rise girlfriend chinos with other classics: a trending striped sweater and another trench. But to keep the look modern and youthful, we’ve finished off the outfit with retro sneakers. (I guarantee you’ll get compliments from younger women if you wear this combination! Try me.)
And for the final style board we’ve created a soft but casual look with sand colored slim chinos (available in other colors). These are 40% off right now. I’m always in favor of topping classic chinos with a denim jacket.
I’m crushing on those ivory mule loafers, by the way. And they’re marked down a little, but you get another 20% off with code YESPLEASE. They’ll be perfect for spring when you’re not quite pedicure-ready, but you’re ready to go a little cooler in your footwear. And so on trend!
I hope you enjoyed having a few style boards to broaden the concepts in today’s post. Let me know if this was helpful to you and we can do this again. I’m so grateful for my two assistants. They’re really helping me serve you better. By the way, we always have lots of style boards like these in my LTK Shop.
The bottom line is that chinos are a great staple to add to your wardrobe for spring. As you can see the ways to style them are endless. Let me know how you like to wear yours. Colored or neutral? With a tee or a feminine blouse? With loafers or sneakers? Classic or modern? I’d love to hear from you today!
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You can shop the style boards through the captions underneath them. Have a great Friday!
Blessed for My Day
Have you noticed that fear seems to be the pervasive emotion these days? Indeed, if you watch, listen to or read the news for long, fear of what’s next will undoubtedly knock at the door of your mind. And it will beg to come in and reside there unless we force it off the property. God knows that we are prone to fear. That’s why He addressed it over and over throughout the Bible – at least 365 times directly.
To combat any fear that may try to sneak into your thoughts today, remember that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. And His love protects and provides and prevails. As I used to tell my children (and still do), I don’t really know if it’s going to be okay. But you absolutely are going to be okay…if you cling to the love of Christ.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?.. In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:35,37-39
12 thoughts on “Styling Modern Chinos for Spring”
I think chinos are the perfect solution if jeans are too casual and dress pants are too dressy. I have a pair of pale pink wide leg chinos and some pale green ones. I like your style boards and I will experiment with adding some feminine touches in addition to the usual stripes. I love pairing cropped tops and jackets with wider legs, but this five-footer finds the perfect length of crop in the kids department. These days there is a good size range and no hemming required.
Thanks for sharing, Krys. Our height and body shape and proportions certainly do play a huge part in dressing ourselves, and it can be a challenge. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the style boards. ❤️
Love your BFMD and especially what you tell your children. Gave me goosebumps. ❤ I love chinos as well and will try the wider leg as they look so nice on you in all these photos. Big shout out to your assistants, nice boards. They make me feel like Spring is already here despite our snow storm yesterday. Haha!
Thank you Helena. I love these chinos. They are so comfortable and modern. I’ll certainly share them in a video too because I think they look even better when you see them in motion. Thanks so much for dropping in.
I do enjoy the style boards! Very helpful. I like chinos but think the slim cut is more flattering for me at 5’ tall.
Hello Judy. I’m so glad you enjoyed the style boards. Yes, I do think that women with more petite frames will probably fare better with slimmer silhouettes. At 5’8” it’s a little easier to play around with these things. But we’re still seeing some great slim leg chinos out there, too. Thanks so much for sharing.
First off, I love your blog! However, I must say that the wide leg chinos are very unflattering on you. Sorry! Be careful to only post items that look good on you. Most always you do and I love your authenticity. Thanks, Kay. I have learned a lot from you.
I am just not a fan of this look on you at all. The black shoes look so heavy and clunky, and the whole look adds a lot of visual weight to your usual trim figure. This is a miss for me.
I agree on the shoes. I think a nude or camel color shoe would be better.
I so appreciate your showing a VARIETY of silhouettes and lines. I happen to love the fuller legs, especially with the humidity of summer coming on. Nothing worse than close-fitting and/or clingy clothes for me. At 5 feet, conventional wisdom says I shouldn’t wear them. Hang that! With great advice from you, Audrey Coyne and Marie-Anne (or Anne-Marie, I can never remember), I’ve learned to balance my broad shoulders for what I consider a sleek look. And I am enjoying what I truly hope is a resurgence of lower rise pants since I hate rib-riders. That’s not popular with a lot of women, but we come in all sizes and shapes. Clothing manufacturers should keep that in mind!
Thanks for the great work, Kay.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and like the chinos, Carol. I love the wider leg for that reason too. Freedom! 😅 And you’re so right, when we use the tools we’ve learned we truly can wear a wide variety of styles. Plus I think it’s just important to remember that our style goals are different each day. Some days we want to look out most slender and maybe a little taller, while other days we simply want to look modern and have fun with fashion. And then there are days we’re dressing more for the weather or activities.