Are chinos business casual? Styling tips for chinos at work

Paulina Kulczycki

These days, a lot of us still work from home (never ending story!). So business casual looks have taken on a whole new meaning since the beginning of pandemic. Boxers on the bottom and smart on the top. Just enough to appear professional above the waistline in your ZOOM meetings (we've all been there, no judgment). But gradually, most of us are gonna have to return to the office, and attend in person client meetings again. So what is the perfect look to appear confident and smart without having to squeeze into a tight suit straight away? Are chinos “business casual”? We at SANVT say yes and give styling tips for chinos in the office.

Finding the perfect balance between business and casual is not that easy. After all, we don't want to appear too relaxed, but at the same time not too formal. Let's take suits as an example. In our opinion, suits are absolutely overdressed in most cases (sorry Barney Stinson). Hardly any contemporary profession still demands suits - with the exception of finance. In other contexts, the suit look gives the appearance of old, conservative structures that no longer have a place in the modern workplace. So this look may look like (old school) business, but it definitely isn’t casual. Anyone who has ever worn a suit can certainly confirm that.

In contrary, jeans or sweatpants look far too casual and nowhere near smart and professional enough to exude solemnity and sophistication in the office or in official meetings. So what is left to find the perfect middle ground? Chinos, of course!

Are chinos business casual?

No two words describe chinos better than business and casual. After all, chinos were created for this very purpose: to bridge the gap between suit trousers and informal cloth trousers. Or rather, the bridge between business and casual. The lightweight and multifunctional fabric of chino trousers is breathable, extremely comfortable and offers maximum freedom of movement. Therefore, they're ideal for making a good impression in the office and at meetings. Not only that, chinos are resistant and can be combined in an extremely versatile way. So depending on the occasion, the chinos can be worn appropriately for official meetings, but also for after-work drinks and corporate parties.

Styling tips for chinos at work

Now that the question "are chinos business casual?" has been answered, you need to be able to combine chinos appropriately for different business-related occasions. We’re here to give you some helpful outfit inspirations for chinos at work.

Chinos in the office

Depending on the type of office you work in, chinos can be styled more formally or more loosely. But whether you work in a start-up in the city or in a family business in the suburbs, you're always on the safe side with a pair of chinos combined with a denim shirt or a smart polo shirt! Style them with simple sneakers, chucks or double monks and a blazer or cardigan to complete the look.

Chinos in a business meeting

In a more official setting, such as a client or business meeting, we recommend combining the chino with an oxford shirt: This looks classy, confident and yet low-key. The Perfect Oxford Shirt by SANVT with custom-made 'Panama Tie' is made from 100% certified organic cotton. The simple cut as well as the avoidance of flashy design features such as breast pockets, emblems or colour details ensure a minimalist design. Paired with classy lace-up shoes or Chelsea boots, the look is just on the right side of sophisticated.

Chinos for after work

After a long day at the (home) office, it's not uncommon for us to be in the mood for a beer with our colleagues – whether it's for networking purposes or just for relaxing. Here, too, the chino is exactly the right choice: combined with a plain, tucked-in white t-shirt and white sneakers, it's the perfect look to end the working day looking smart and casual.

The Smart Chino from SANVT

No matter the occasion or how you combine them, the design, colour and fit of your chinos will obviously determine whether your business casual outfit is top or flop. We recommend choosing chinos in classic colours, with minimalist design features and in a slim fit. This will ensure that your pants are elegant and timeless. The Smart Chino by SANVT comes in black, grey, navy blue and beige. Made from the finest Italian yarn, its innovative design meets all the criteria that make chinos the perfect basic for business casual looks.

You can find out here exactly how the perfect chinos should fit.


Are chinos business casual? Definitely! But the multifunctional chino is much more than that. With smartly designed chino trousers in the perfect fit, you basically can't go wrong – neither in the office nor in your free time.

Find out here when else to wear chinos (and when not to).