What are chino shorts – and what makes them so special?

Paulina Kulczycki

Chino shorts are anything but a short(s)-lived trend! They are earning a well-deserved reputation as the new must-have in men's fashion. However, chino shorts are far from being a new phenomenon in men's fashion. Only in recent years, though, have chino shorts evolved from dorky to cool. Now you may be wondering: what are chino shorts exactly and what makes them different from regular shorts? We at SANVT explain what's so special about chino shorts and give you tips on how to choose the perfect shorts for summer!


Pharell Williams – probably one of the biggest fashion avant-gardists of today's music scene – is known for his daring styles. Some of you may remember the gigantic Buffalo Hat by Vivienne Westwood. And so the musician also made regular headlines with chino shorts, which have since established themselves as tasteful leg-wear. From as early as 2014, Pharell wore the chino shorts as a red carpet look to an Oscar award night, whereupon he was heavily criticised by Twitter and even the New York Times. But that didn't stop the fashion icon from continuing to pull off the style and make the look his new trademark. At that time, the world was not ready to see so much leg. But almost a decade later, the commercial fashion world is up for the daring yet dapper look as well.

Chino shorts have become an absolute must-have that can be worn both elegantly with a tuxedo jacket and lace-up shoes, or casually with a loose t-shirt and sneakers. But let's start from the beginning: what are chino shorts and how are they different from regular shorts?


what are chino shorts SANVT blog

What are chino shorts

One of the features that makes chino shorts so special is the material. This is because, like the long chino, chino shorts are made of a fine twill fabric – usually from pure cotton but sometimes from a blend with technical fibres for added stretch. SANVT's chino shorts, for example, are made from a fine blend of organic cotton (97%) and elastin (3%). Thanks to their breathability, our chino shorts have a pleasantly cooling effect on the skin (which especially in summer is always welcome). Their lightweight fabric also guarantees comfort and an increased freedom of movement.

Chino shorts are similarly versatile as chino pants, as the texture of the chino fabric matches a variety of garments and fabrics – from casual to dressy. However, they are a level more nonchalant than chino pants and are even better suited for summer occasions. There are also differences in crotch lengths: from 12 to 30 centimetres, so everything is possible – it's up to you to decide how much leg you want to show.


what are chino shorts SANVT

What makes chino shorts so special

In our opinion, what makes chino shorts special is their smartness and functionality, without losing minimalism and aesthetics. Regular shorts often show very functional cargo features, such as inelegant side pockets or drawstrings, which give the shorts their dad look reputation. Chino shorts, on the other hand, refrain from unnecessary frills and focus on classy design that can be staged in a versatile way. Chino shorts are also usually found in subtle, timeless colours – without any prints or trendy colours, so you get a product that will stay in fashion for many years, not just for one summer.  

Unlike many other shorts models that are wide cut, the chino shorts come in a slim fit, which gives them added elegance and therefore makes them suitable for formal occasions (as Pharell Williams already proved on the red carpet in 2014). Thus, it is those particular features, such as the fine material, the slim fit, the elegant colour scheme and the smart design, that make chino shorts so special.


what are chino shorts SANVT journal

The smart shorts from SANVT

Of course, at SANVT, we've used our attention to detail to create the perfect pair of shorts. Hand-tailored in Portugal from the same sustainable stretch cotton fabric as our classic chino, the medium-weight satin fabric of our chino shorts breathes particularly well. It has a nice, cooling effect on the skin thanks to its micro fine weave pattern. And with its elastic waistband, it fits perfectly to the body and sits not only perfectly on the hip, but also on the leg. As always, minimalist design meets comfort!

So far, the smart shorts from SANVT are available in navy colour – this timeless colour can be perfectly combined with a denim shirt, as well as with a white oxford shirt or a grey t-shirt. Whether worn with sneakers, loafers, sandals or lace-up shoes, with high-top tennis socks or without: our chino shorts are the perfect basic and a new must-have for the summer.


Photos by Chris Fraas and Valerio Goffredo