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 BBQ, 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: Target Goodfellow & Co. Elevated Ultra-Soft Polo in Williamsburg Navy – $16.99. Shockingly nice. Won best in show in our annual Polopalooza round up. Super smooth, 100% cotton fabric that isn’t paper thin nor is it bulky. Nice collars, nice placket, and under seventeen bucks. Collar is the same style of fabric as the body of the shirt, and not some flimsy, curl-ridden, ribbed junk.
The Chinos: Bonobos Stretch Lightweight Chinos in Silver Birch – $66.30 w/ SOLSTICE15 ($78) Yes there are cheaper chinos out there, but many guys swear by that Bonobos fit. And the fit, is it, especially when most other guys are defaulting to billowing shorts and oversized shirts in the heat. And just a heads up. Bonobos is launching a code on Friday (7/12) that’ll be 30% off, sitewide. So these’ll be down to $54.60 once that goes live.
The Chukkas: Clarks Original Desert Boot in Dark Brown Suede – $80 – $129.95. Going with a true desert boot here to start us off. Not as sleek as some more structured chukkas, but they’re dead-on-perfect for this look, they’re squishy and comfortable, and the edge dressing here (the dark painted edge on the outside of the sole) keeps them looking sharp. Pictured at the very TOP of the post is the old and sadly sold-out (for now?) 1901 Barret suede chukka.
The Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Mens Signet Sunglasses in Gray/Blue – $100ish. 007 prefers Tom Ford. Tom Ford stuff isn’t cheap. These aren’t cheap either, but, they’re cheaper than Tom Ford. And they also look great.
The Watch: Seiko Samurai Dive Watch – $320. Or, whatever your favorite diver happens to be. Cheap, mid-price, expensive, whatever. They’re just so darn versatile. And unlike leather bands, stainless won’t soak up that summer sweat. The Samurai is a personal favorite, and does a fine job of mimicking 007’s larger Omega.
The Belt: Banana Republic Bombay Suede Belt in Gray – $59.50. Mismatched suede? Why not. And a gray suede belt here is subtle but still smart looking.
The Socks: Made in the USA Wigwam Herringbone Merino Cool Dress Socks in Oatmeal – $14.97 ($19.50). Cooling. Sweat wicking. Blister preventing. Lightweight wool (like the merino here) is precisely what you want. AND… these just happen to match your pants. Which can make your legs look longer. Contrast socks would work here too.
This post originally ran in 2017 but has since been updated with current products. We’ll be resurrecting the Chinos/Chukkas/Polos series for 2019, because you fellas seemed to have said “bring it back!”