The Suggestion: Chinos, Chukkas, & a Polo for Hot Weather Casual
There are endless combinations. It’s timeless. It’s comfortable. And if you get your fit right, it looks terrific.
No one is saying you can’t wear 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 the warmer months.
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 pair perfectly with medium to lightweight wool socks: It seems counter-intuitive to many, but medium weight to thinner wool socks (not boot/cabin weight) will PREVENT summer swamp foot. That’s worth repeating. Wearing moderate weight wool socks PREVENTS SWAMPY FEET. Wool is a temperature and moisture regulator. Cotton is not. Wearing wool socks is much, much more comfortable than even going sockless. Sweaty hot feet = sweaty hot person, no matter if you’re in shorts or not. And some smart, 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 8 million other ways to do this. Change the polo color. Change the chino color. And so on and so on. 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 All in Motion Moisture Wicking Jersey Polo – $18. From Target’s exclusive activewear line, All in Motion. A nicely affordable tech-fabric polo. Lightweight, moisture wicking, and still smart looking. Made to move in. 90% Recycled Polyester, 10% Spandex. Also worth a shout and shot would be Old Navy’s Go-Dry Cool Polo. Those can often be had for $15 or less. Review of the Old Navy can be found here.
The Chinos: Old Navy Ultimate Built-In Flex Chino Pants for Men – $40ish. Going with a lighter “stone” color instead of a traditional, saturated British Khaki. A regular khaki color would work here as well, but a stone or even light gray looks a little sleeker. 61% cotton, 37% polyester, 2% spandex fabric. Multiple fits to choose from. BR Factory’s Core Temp chinos or J. Crew’s Tech Pants are also worth a try if/when they go on sale.
The Chukkas: J. Crew Made in Italy Unisex 1990 MacAlister boot in suede – $110.60 w/ SHOPNOW ($158). Full review (albeit in “crazyhorse” leather uppers) can be found here. If you don’t want to wait for a sale and/or want a darker shade of suede, go with the new Clarks Desert Boot Evo. Those are $140. Not cheap, but still reasonable.
The Sunglasses: Spier & Mackay Model 3 Sunglasses – $55. Craig’s Bond really liked Tom Ford and Persol eyewear. That’s wonderful for him. But these are under sixty bucks. If you’re more of a wayfarer or clubmaster kinda guy, they have styles like that too.
The Watch: Casio Diver – $40 – $50ish on a Crown & Buckle’s “Repp” Supreme NATO – $34. Yes, this is what you were probably expecting. Yet variety for the sake of variety is another way to define chaos.
The Belt: GAP Basic Belt in Brown – $44.95. Still, forever, and always.
The Socks: Taylor Stitch Made in Italy Merino Blend Socks in Olive – $22.50 FINAL. Medium weight here, so terrific cushioning. Still breathes and wicks and keeps your feet as comfortable as possible in warm weather. Machine wash and dry helps too. These are, all of a sudden, final sale. They’ve been tagged with a “limited edition” mention. Does that mean they’re being discontinued? Say it ain’t so Taylor Stitch. Please.
Note: Now that “Cheap Bond” has been covered, we’ll soon do a Splurge Bond/Chinos Chukkas Polo post for those with more of a budget to work with. We’ll still avoid movie-star, mega expensive designer luxury stuff, but we’ll execute a highly similar look, only with gear that’s a little higher up the ladder. Should run early next week. Stay tuned for that.
Want more of these Chinos/Chukkas/Polos outfits? Head here for the archive. We’ll be rebooting this series as the warm weather rolls on with currently available items. But this is the archive if you want it.