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Chinos: The ultimate smart-casual trousers

Chinos are one of the most stylish and versatile types of trousers around. Don't build your wardrobe without including a pair, whether you go for a classic khaki colour or something totally different. Usually, they are made from lightweight cotton – an easy fabric that will keep you cool in summer. Although they traditionally have simple, straight legs, it's possible to find different variations nowadays. A slimmer cut is good if you have an athletic figure, while a gentle flare at the bottom of the leg will help balance out wider hips.

Dressing women’s chinos up for an office environment

Chinos are great for the office: They look smart, but they're very easy to wear, and won't leave you feeling uncomfortable. First, make sure they're the right length. The hem of a pair of full-length pants should finish just above your toe, skimming your shoes without actually touching the floor. This may mean that you'll need different pairs of trousers to wear with heels or flats. For the office, wear your chinos with a smart blouse, tucked in to draw attention to your waist. Of course, if your midsection is a problem area, there are alternatives; try a jumper instead, which should be untucked. For a look that's smart without being formal, wear a cardigan over the top. A blazer offers a more formal style. Try a dark blazer with a lighter pair of trousers for the perfect summer office outfit.

How to wear chinos at the weekend

The great thing about these trousers is that they work equally well for casual days out. You can go for a cropped pair of women’s chino pants if you want a relaxed look – or make yours work double duty by simply rolling up the cuffs until they hit you above the ankle. This allows you to add a statement-making pair of ankle boots in winter, or some cute sandals in summer. Of course, if you really want to keep things casual, you can always rock a pair of trainers with your chinos. If you wear a blouse, don't tuck it in; that's a bit too formal for a weekend look. A slouchy jumper will look great in winter, while in summer you could go for a simple vest top or cami.

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