The chino has long been a must-have staple for every man’s casual wardrobe – but what goes into its design? Country Road menswear designer Tom shares how he crafts the perfect modern chino.
WHY IT’S ESSENTIAL
“The chino perfectly toes the line between smart and casual – it’s as versatile a piece you can own. It’s the first thing I look for when I’m getting dressed in the morning. I think it’s overtaken denim as the bottom of body essential. Chinos are an incredible colour vehicle, too: neutrals, darks and lights, all covered.”
“Really, Steve McQueen has always been a style inspiration for me. I’ve referenced his look my whole design career. Look at that photo below: he could be knocking around today in exactly the same outfit and he’d still look effortlessly cool.”
“Over the course of almost three years, we developed fabrics with mill after mill, until we settled on the perfect material: a Japanese-designed fabric with just the right feel, stretch and weight. It feels like pure cotton: smoother, cleaner and more modern, with all the comfort you need to wear it non-stop. It’s a premium fabric, but we know it’s worth the cost."
"Our design ethos when it comes to details? Less is more. We pare things back as much as possible – and it’s entirely intentional. For instance, there’s no stitching on our waistbands. We want to let the fit and the Japanese-designed fabric speak for themselves. Sure, we colour-match our buttons to the colour of each chino for a cleaner, more slimline look. But things like brash contrast fabrics and huge tags? They make a pant busy, unflattering and less versatile."
“It took us a hell of a long time to get the fit exactly right. We carefully consider the measurements and stitching to ensure the pockets don't flare out. Small details count for a lot. Gone are the massive, puddly chinos of the late ‘90s – it’s all about a cleaner, slimmer look. Again, take a look at that photo of McQueen – the fit is identical. Style has repeated itself."
Explore our chino styles here.