Get to know the pleated chino

Introducing cool-weather looks to uplift your professional wardrobe and style

Looking for a few style tips to keep up with cool temperatures ahead? We spoke to four professionals about how a pair of chinos could do just that within their work environment and profession.

Written by Nelisiwe Masango

Seasons change. The only thing more certain than that is your wardrobe changing with them. There’s a lot to consider when transitioning your wardrobe into the next season – your professional style is atop that list because confidence is key when performing your duties and knocking your professional goals out of the office. For this very reason, we present to you the pleated chino from Markham. We spoke to four professionals – with start-up, creative agency, and finance backgrounds to find out what they think the relaxed chino can add to their work wardrobe. 

For comfort

Temperatures are cooling down and comfort is key. Chinos make practical sense. They’re a warm, comfortable alternative to jeans or suit pants. Styling is important when managing client perceptions and making a lasting first impression when pitching or closing.

“A more neutral choice of chino colour adds a sense of professionalism. You don’t want to give off an overly carefree vibe and thus create preconceived notions for the people you’re pitching to.”Patrick Visser, project and production manager at Letterhead.

For style

The classic tapered and pleated details are worth the attention and ultimately these trousers make a statement. Pair them with a polo neck or a crew neck with a waistcoat and sneakers to dress down or a fitted collar shirt in a coat and dress shoes to dress up. 

“A great pair of black or white chinos adds a more tailored look and allows for a smooth introduction to blazers, waistcoats, lab coats, and other less casual, more formal looks.” Keke Mahlelebe, partner and head of strategy at M&C Saatchi Abel.

For professionalism

No matter where on the professional spectrum you fall, there’s room for making a statement. Chino looks make for a seamless transition from office to meeting to professional social settings. This matters for any professional. Try pairing chinos with a golf shirt and jacket for an informal client dinner, or a smart collared shirt and coat for an important presentation. 

“We need to make our clients feel comfortable, and a key part of this is to neither over nor underdress. Chinos provide the necessary professionalism to meet your client’s needs.”Tariq Allie-Ebrahim, financial consultant at Boston Consulting Group.

For versatility

When you’re working in an environment that allows some flexibility in dress code, but you still want to look sharp, the pleated chino is ready to do double duty as a roomier, more relaxed option that also evokes a sense of old-school style. Channel your inner icon with a statement jacket up-top and let your cream chinos back up your claims to sartorial success.

Chinos are the everyday workwear choice for many of our staff members because they’re so easy to pair. These cream chinos deliver a relaxed coastal look but don’t lack formal style either. I would wear them in an indoor workspace and with dark colours.” – Nihahl Daniels, bookkeeper at Screen It: Screenprinting and Embroidery.

As the temperatures drop, your sense of style shouldn’t have to. With pieces like the tapered chino it’s possible to keep it smart with a touch of casualness and personal style your profession makes room for. They’re on-trend, seamlessly move your wardrobe forward with the fall of temperatures, and are a vibrant addition to your professional wardrobe for their relaxed fit, bold colours, and freeze-friendly fabric.