Chinos vs jeans, jeans vs chinos—the battle between these two staples has been raging since women first felt free to consider options beyond the skirt. As a purveyor of each, we couldn’t possibly choose a side. So instead, we’re going to make the case for both.
The chino is the pant to beat. Why? Because there is almost no limit to the places and occasions to which chino pants can be worn.
The chino is a blank canvas: depending on slight differences in cut or styling, it can take on an entirely different feeling. You can consider ankle length, mid-rise chinos to be the standard. This classic style with preppy connotations can be dressed down with a striped tee and boat shoes for a casual look, or paired with a blouse and heels for professional wear.
Other chino styles prove just how easy it is to change the attitude of the pants with minimal changes. Cropped chinos gain an instant day-off, summer vacation feel, and wide-leg chinos are both classic and fashion-forward. The enormous range of colors chino pants are offered in further boosts their versatility. Khaki pants go from boardrooms to bars, and chino pants in brighter colors embrace a more casual attitude.
Even the chino pant’s pocket configurations convey a different mood. Standard chino pockets are more traditional and dressy, while five-pocket chinos can pull off that casual denim vibe while remaining classic enough to pair with a blazer.
Styling your chinos depends a lot on the color of chinos you’re wearing, and as we mentioned, there are so many color options! Try to find complementary colors or pair neutral colors. For example, if you’re wearing gray chinos, a nice white top would pair great. So, keep the color pairing in mind as you style. Make sure you try out your color combos before you step out for the day.
Chinos tend to lend themselves to a more dressy look than jeans, but they are still a little more casual than dress pants. You can pair them with a basic top, a polo, or even a blouse. So, they are more versatile in that way than jeans.
Pair your chinos and a shirt with a comfortable pair of sneakers for a more casual look. If you’re going for something fancier, a pair of dress shoes can be paired with your outfit as well. Add in a complimentary colored belt, a nice watch, and a pair of sunglasses and you’ll be looking sharp!
With the notable exceptions of rock and roll and apple pie, there may be nothing more American than a pair of blue jeans, although “blue jeans” itself may be a bit of a misnomer. Today you can find women’s jeans that are white, black, and almost every color in between, and available in any cut and style you can dream up.
Aside from providing more style options than ever before, today’s denim diversity allows jeans to go more places. The traditional five-pocket remains an off-duty staple. But a different cut, like a pair of high-rise jeans or high waist jeans, creates a slightly dressier, more contemporary look. Just as you would with a pair of khakis, these jeans can be matched to a blazer—but with one major difference. They bring the All-American spirit of denim to the forefront.
Jeans are a classic go-to. They pair with almost everything. Different washes of jeans look better with certain colors, so keep that in mind. As far as the types of shirts you can wear with jeans, you can pair everything from basic tops all the way to blouses, as well. However, even with a dressier top and shoes, jeans will still look less dressy than chinos or dress pants.
Jeans can be matched with any shoes and accessories. So, sneakers, flats, boots, and dress shoes will all look great. Add a nice pair of earrings and a necklace, and you’ll be all set.