The Suggestion: Chinos, Chukkas, & a Polo for Hot Weather Casual
No one is saying you can’t wear shorts. No one is saying you should wear chinos and chukkas and a polo to your buddy’s tailgate party, where everyone else is gonna be in ball caps, t-shirts, and shorts.
What IS being said, is that chinos, chukkas and a fitted polo should be strongly considered by anyone who wants to look grown-up, put together, and athletic, yet still feel comfortable and look relaxed in the heat of spring and summer.
Now imagine this scene if Craig was wearing shorts and flip flops.
The man is in Haiti. Yes, it’s fiction, but there are a few reasons why wearing pants and boots (instead of shorts and sneakers) really isn’t as hot and stuffy as some might think:
#1. Chinos & Boots allow you to wear thin, wool socks: It seems counter-intuitive to many, but thin wool socks PREVENT summer swamp foot. That’s worth repeating. Wearing thin wool socks PREVENTS SWAMPY FEET. Wool is a temperature and moisture regulator. Cotton is not. Wearing thin, wool socks is much, much more comfortable than even going sockless (we’ve all had “gooey” feet at the end of a sweaty day when sockless). Sweaty hot feet = sweaty hot person, no matter if you’re in shorts or not. And thin wool socks will keep your feet dryer and cooler than alternatives.
#2. Chinos keep the sun off your legs: There’s a reason why the Tuareg are constantly covered. Keep the fabric light, crisp, and breezy, and you won’t feel gross.
#3. Pants elongate your frame: This is purely aesthetic, but shorts chop you up, visually, into more pieces than pants. Pants are more slimming than shorts, and they make you look taller.
Here’s more proof that this combination works. Same character, different movie:
Casino Royale came out in 2006. Notice the boot cut flare to Bond’s pants.
Fits change over time, but the combination still works.
Pretty much the same outfit in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Yet there are only 8 million other ways to do this. As the season wanes on, we’ll show off a few different ways to do it. For now? Here’s an easy, basic way to execute this look:
The Polo: Banana Republic Slim Fit Luxe Touch in Navy – $38 ($49.50.) Glass smooth cotton that has an almost icy feel to it. Good natural stretch too. An annual favorite, now in a slimmer fit. Not much of a discount running right now. Should drop to under $30 with the next 40% off sale.
The Chinos: GAP Lightweight Slim Fit Performance Khakis in Light Grey – $38.97 w/ HAPPY. Can a “chino” pant still be chinos if there’s 0% cotton in them? Sure hope so. These are performance stretch nylon. Haven’t seen (or felt them in person) yet, but the reviews are EXTREMELY promising. Might be a game changer. Fingers crossed. Going with a pale grey here instead of the standard khaki most are used to. Gives it a cleaner, crisper, more modern look. Also available in a straight fit.
The Chukkas: Gordon Rush “Beckett” Chukka – $129.97 ($250). A slimmer profile than a true desert boot, but still has as sole with some grip. Perfect.
The Watch: Orient Ray II Automatic – $162.44. One of the best bang-for-the-buck divers on the market. Waterproof, and therefor, sweat proof. Don’t like the reflection you get when wearing a stainless band in the bright sun? Swap it out for a NATO strap.
The Belt: J. Crew Braided Web Belt – $49.50. Just enough stretch to make it more comfortable than an all leather belt, but still has that leather front to it for a bit of contrast. Goes on sale often.
The Socks: Nordstrom Merino Blend Mid-Calf Socks – $12.50. Get used to seeing these things in this series. There’s hardly better socks on the market.
The Sunglasses: American Optical Original Pilots in Black – $60ish. Made in the USA and a timeless classic. 52mm is for smallish heads. 55mm is for average sized noggins. Got a huge gourd? Go for the 57mm size.
The Briefcase: Jack Spade Slim Supply Brief – $214.97 ($428). Currently half off on the Nordstrom owned “Hautelook” flash sale site. Returnable to Nordstrom Rack brick and mortar locations, or, via the mail (but you’re on the hook for a $5.95 return label fee).