White Chinos : The Non-Nautical Way

(all font in burgundy is clickable)(All shoes in the posts are by Johnston & Murphy and the chinos are from Bonobos)

It’s very easy to style white chinos the “nautical way” by pairing them with a striped or solid navy shirt. Of course, I have nothing against the nautical style, especially for the summer, but, white chinos have their place outside of the boating realm. One of the great characteristic of white chinos is that they are a blank canvas that can be pair with just about anything. As opposed to white jeans, chinos have the ability and the texture to be dressed up well for the office or a semi-casual event and they can really be dressed down with a polo or henley shirt. Below are four outfits that address the issue of stylish white chinos without going nautical and without relying on “peacocking” colors to seem on trend.

1. Summer at the office

White Chinos by Bonobos – Khaki Blazer by Sons of Intrigue – Cabarris Penny Loafer By Johnston & Murphy

Putting together a work look with white chinos is a bit tricky and really depends on your work environment. If you work in an extremely conservative corporate office, this look will not fly. Pairing together a khaki or navy blazer with white chinos is a sure-fire way to ground this look. Depending on how comfortable you feel in terms of your personal style, a solid corporate blue shirt or even a gingham shirt are perfect combos.

Other Shirt Combos For This Look:

  • Solid shirt with a navy knit or silk tie in a variety of patterns
  • Green or blue gingham shirt
  • Navy blue shirt, no tie (casual friday)

Silk tie by Frank & Oak – Custom Shirt by Ratio Clothing – Rose Gold Watch by Michael Kors – Bracelet by Aldo  – Tie Bar by Alfani – Silk Knot Cuff Links by Thomas Pink – Gingham Pocket Square by Merona

2. Black & White

Blazer from suit by English Laundry – White Chinos by Bonobos

Black and white is one of the simplest color combinations to put together, however; I almost never wear them together unless it’s for a formal situation. One of my readers recently emailed me asking whether it’s suitable to wear black shoes with white pants. The answer to that question is, YES! The key to pairing black shoes with white pants comes down to the silhouette and texture of the shoes. Black leather shoes pair best with cotton pants and chinos because the texture of the shoes are flat. If you decide you want to wear white jeans instead of chinos, black suede shoes or leather shoes will complement your jeans well.

Gingham Shirt by Heritage – Knit Tie by Club Room via Macys –

Easy Reader Watch by Timex – Nato Watch Strap by J.Crew

Black Tassel President Collect Loafers by Johnston & Murphy – Skull Socks by Merona

 3. Black & White Part Deux  The black and white look can be dressed down with white chinos too. One of the key factors to bringing this look together is the addition of the grey stripes in the shirt. If you decide to pair a solid black shirt with your white pants you will see that they do not complement each other well. A color like grey is much softer and really acts as a grounding agent in an outfit like this one.  Where can this look be worn?

  • Great look for a casual weekend for errands
  • Casual dinner
  • Great for a summer evening party that may turn into a night out

Shawl Collar Sweater Shirt by Charles and a Half via Urban Outfitters (gift from wife) –

Timex Easy Reader Watch – Bracelet by Aldo – White Chinos by Bonobos

Tassel Loafers by Johnston & Murphy President Collection

4. Keeping it Casual

Straw hat & Army Green Henley by H&M –  White Chinos by Bonobos – Handmade Italian Loafers by Johnston & Murphy

Putting together casual looks for the spring and summer is one of the easiest things to do using white chinos. Instead of reaching for your most colorful shirt, think about going with some earth-tones to keep you look very relaxed. If you’re not dress shoe guy, add a pair of canvas sneakers, espadrilles, driving moccasins or flip-flops to your white chino look and enjoy your day. 

For a more casual look:

  • Swap out the henley shirt for a polo
  • Invest a few grey v-neck t shirts
  • If you want to go with the nautical look, add a striped navy and white (or grey shirt) to this look

Plaid lining inside of Bonobos Chinos Pockets 

Green leather Nato watch strap by Daluca Straps – Easy Reader Watch by Timex -Bracelet via King of Prussia Mall Kiosk – Leather belt by Frank & Oak


Sabir @MensStylePro

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Categories: Accessories, Blazer, Business, Everyday Casual, How To, Interview, Socks, Uncategorized, Versatility

Author:Sabir M. Peele

Founder & Creative Director of menswear style & lifestyle blog http://MensStylePro.com. Sabir serves as an independent brand consulting working with brands like GQ, AskMen, Indochino & Z Zegna (among others). Selected as #GQFall Best Dressed in 2013 & one of Esquire Magazine Best Dressed Real Men in America in 2010. Follow @MensStylePro on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Email Sabir@mensstylepro.com with your inquiries.

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23 Comments on “White Chinos : The Non-Nautical Way”

  1. May 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM #

    Reblogged this on alifesuited and commented:
    Style tips for white trousers via Men’s Style Pro

  2. max
    May 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM #

    Hi Sabir,

    Really dig your style. I have a question about the white chinos. Looking at the Bonobos website, It shows a printing of the name BONOBOS on the left side of the pocket ( which I find very tacky) and the pants your wearing does not. I was wondering if these were the similar pants found on the website.


    • May 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

      Hey Max,

      The pants you may be talking about are the Bonobos Golf Pants (which are great by the way). The most comparable pair of pants on their site to the ones in this post are http://www.bonobos.com/po-8818-bull-denim-bright-white-straight-leg. The pair of Bonobos Chinos that I am wearing have been removed from the site, but, i am sure they will be available again shortly.



      • May 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

        Interesting, I was about to ask the same question. Thanks for the reply, I own a pair of white chinos from Rugby (Ralph Lauren) and they’re pretty good.


  3. May 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM #

    Love the green NATO strap!

  4. May 8, 2012 at 10:52 AM #

    Great piece. I’m a big fan of the B/W looks. Just before I looked at this I was actually looking for a sturdier alternative to my white linen pants.

    • May 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM #

      Hey Kamau,

      Thanks for the kind words. Bonobos is really putting together some great trousers. The ones I featured are not currently available on their site, however; I think they will be making a return.

  5. Ulises Aranda
    May 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM #

    Sabir do you think the dockers alpha chinos are as good at the bonobos you are wearing in this article?

  6. max
    May 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM #

    Hey Sabir,

    I think these are the white chinos.

  7. New Yorker
    May 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM #

    First off let me say im a huge fan of your style. I love the way you put together outfits and coordinate your entire wardrobe but with that being said I have a question. I am a new yorker who is always on the move. Sometimes I dont have the time to put together a matching tie with pocket sqaure or even to make sure my socks match .. Just kidding but Is there any advise for a person who needs to get dressed quickly but also wants to look stylish? A second question I have is that I see you wear shoes with almost 75% of your outfits. Are there any alternatives to wearing hardbottom shoes. Doing alot of walking is part of my business and I need comfort more than fashion in this department but I also need to maintain a certain level of professional (ie no Jordans). I know these maybe loaded question but any suggestions would help.

  8. TJ
    May 13, 2012 at 2:23 AM #

    Target has a pair of white cotton pants for $29.99 as part of their collaboration with The Webster (out of Miami). I doubt they are of the quality of the Bonobos ones, but still not bad for a recent college grad like me.

    • May 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM #

      Hi TJ,

      I have seen an examined the Webster series white trousers at Target and at the price they would be considered a steal. If you are someone that is looking for a more tailored fit pant, be prepared to put some money into have them hemmed in tapered in the legs.

      – Sabir

      • TJ
        May 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM #

        The fit isn’t too bad for me.
        On a different note, what color socks would you recommend to wear with something like these? I do go sockless with some of my shoes but sometimes I’d like to wear socks. I’m so used to matching my socks with my pants, I guess I should match them with the shoes?

  9. May 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM #

    I started following your site after linking to it from dappered. I like the bonobos chinos in the pictures in this article. I went out and bought the white Ralph Lauren Suffield but it is no where near as slim/tailored as the bonobos shown in the pics above but were about $50 from an outlet mall. Do you know of other chinos that are a bit more tapered than the RL ones?


  10. May 19, 2012 at 6:42 AM #

    Great post man.

  11. June 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM #

    The green NATO strap looks perfect!

  12. Joey
    June 8, 2012 at 8:27 AM #

    Would look 1 or 2 be acceptable at a summer wedding? (Are white pants okay at a wedding?) I have similar jackets to both and am considering trying something similar.

    • June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM #

      Hi Joey,

      If the wedding isn’t black tie, give it go!

      – Sabir

  13. david
    March 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM #

    I ware a http://bluechinos.co.uk and now I want to buy a white chino. I need to know it’s price. Can you tell anybody please ?

  14. david
    March 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM #

    I ware a blue chinos and now I want to buy a white chino. I need to know it’s price. Can you tell anybody please ?

  15. Farley
    March 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM #

    Mr.Peele your style is so inspiring. I have a question, i’m slowly mastering the art of getting interesting pieces at little to no cost. I’ve recently been given almost mint condition florsheim lexington wingtip kiltie loafers oxblood , an arnex gold pocket watch w/ chain. My question is , what is you suggestion on pulling off these items? also what is your suggestion on pulling of wingtip two tone brogues/oxfords?. I’ve read on fashion sites that loafers are great with anything as long as they have a high vamp, low vamps are not good? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer

  16. July 10, 2014 at 5:55 PM #

    Reblogged this on Style For Dorks and commented:
    I just picked up a pair of white denim from Scotch and Soda, and was thinking about what to do with it. Then, I found this post. Nice work, Men’s Style Pro!

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