The Item

The Chinos

Both casual and smart, well-cut chinos really are the perfect trousers – and the hero of this season. Style them with other classic pieces for a modern look that’s just preppy enough.

Fendi, Fall/Winter 2014, All Over Press.

THE STORY BEHIND 
Khaki was introduced as a colour name in the English language in the mid 1800s, when the India-based troops of the British army started using drab coloured uniforms for practical reasons. (And sartorial reasons, we suspect. Khaki is a very flattering colour!) ”Khaki” derives from the Hindi word for ”dust” or ”dusty”. 

The US Army used khaki uniforms during the Spanish-American and the Philippine-American wars in the 1890s, and some believe that’s when the word “chinos” was born; as the soldiers stationed in the Philippines used khaki uniforms manufactured in China. 

The trousers, ”chinos” or ”khakis” as they’re sometimes called, became popular following World War II. Soldiers returning home from the Pacific wore their khaki trousers with pride as a display of heroic patriotism. Hollywood was not late to catch on. Hollywood and the US Army already had an on-going love affair, and iconic film stars as James Dean and Katherine Hepburn sported chinos in the 1950s. 

Both casual and smart, chinos were the perfect staple in the new American preppy wardrobe, and Ivy Leaguers all over the east coast sported the khaki-coloured trousers. Preppy brand Brooks Brothers started carrying chinos already in 1942. 

 

HOW TO STYLE THE CHINOS
The chinos are making a strong statement on this season’s catwalk, as well as on the street style scene. Do we have the normcore trend to thank for this? (Normcore – the trend that has fashion kids dressing, well, normal.)

”Maybe, but mostly I think it’s because we are longing for timeless, ’no fuss’ pieces,” says stylist Columbine Smille. 

”The chinos are both dressy and casual, it all depends on how you wear them.”

Normcore might be a current trend, but you might not want to look like your father. 

”It is all about the fit. The chinos shouldn’t be too wide or too long. Pair them with simple, classic items like a crisp white shirt or a polo shirt in navy blue.”

 

Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model is the truly adorable Andre Feulner. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin. 

Steve McQueen, Jude Law and Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Paul Newman, James Dean in East of Eden and a casual looking president Barack Obama in chinos, All Over Press/TT
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