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Pairing oxford shoes with chinos

Is it acceptable to pair oxfords with chinos?

  • Yes, anytime, anywhere.

    Votes: 42 27.1%
  • Whenever you've got that "chino + oxfords" feeling.

    Votes: 25 16.1%
  • In a pinch (other pants at the cleaners, traveling, Halloween costume...)

    Votes: 35 22.6%
  • No, except maaaybe in a life or death situation.

    Votes: 53 34.2%

  • Total voters
    155

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I'm not entirely tracking you here. A casual suit could be made of cotton or even linen, in which case the suit pants would be either roughly identical to or even less formal than a chino pant, no? Is it the matching jacket that makes the difference, and if so, what about that makes oxfords better? The guy in your top pick kind of looks like he's wearing a cotton twill, which is what chinos are made of.

I don't care for navy chinos, but why not the charcoal ones I linked?
Yes, but in an actual outfit, a cotton suit (like the one pictured above) will look different than just cotton chinos worn without a jacket. It's not about the intersection of just the pants with the shoes, but the totality of the outfit and the message the outfit sends. I choose the first photo because he's wearing a cotton suit. Without the jacket, you end up with the second photo, which is this sort of "business casual" look prevalent nowadays. (Not a good look, IMO).

It's possible to wear charcoal or navy chinos, but I think you have to be careful about the pairing. I think it's easier to wear a more traditional color such as tan.

For one, cotton fades in patchy ways. It's not like wool, in that regard. This fading will show up more readily on dark colors, such as charcoal and navy. With some aesthetics, such as workwear, that kind of beat-up look can be charming. In a classic tailored outfit, it will look ... not great.

Secondly, most men will have an easier time getting dressed if they stick to lighter colors for pants and darker colors for sport coats. The cynosure of a tailored outfit is the V-shape space formed between the jacket's opening, shirt, and tie. This is why it's hard to wear bright-colored shoes, such as tan, or unusual colors for pants. Such things draw the eye downward.

When you stick to this formula -- dark jacket + light shirt + dark tie + light pants -- the focus is centered on that V-shape space. It's possible to reverse this in some cases -- a lighter jacket paired with dark pants -- but doing so requires a bit of know-how.

With charcoal trousers, it can be hard to pair dark colored jackets because the combination becomes too muddy. In the worst cases, the tone of the jacket and pants are too close together, and it may almost look like you're wearing a mistmatched suit. With tan chinos + navy sport coat or brown tweed, this is never an issue.

If you buy dark chinos, it will be easier to wear them without a tailored jacket, such as with a sweater. But I am again not a fan of those business casual looks. If someone wants to dress casually, I think there are better casualwear options. If someone wants to wear a tailored jacket, I think they can choose better pants.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Derbies would make sense, obviously, but I'm not really seeing any at A-E's price point or from A-E itself (their classic styles are largely out of stock right now for some reason, and none are weatherproof, which I would prefer).
There are a lot of good shoes nowadays around the AE price point. Check out Meermin and Lof & Tung.

Meermins are a bit stiff at first, but they break in eventually. Lof & Tung is Skoaktiebolaget's in-house brand.

Carmina is just a step above in terms of pricing, but they also have very nice shoes.
 

LC7

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Yes, but in an actual outfit, a cotton suit (like the one pictured above) will look different than just cotton chinos worn without a jacket. It's not about the intersection of just the pants with the shoes, but the totality of the outfit and the message the outfit sends. I choose the first photo because he's wearing a cotton suit. Without the jacket, you end up with the second photo, which is this sort of "business casual" look prevalent nowadays. (Not a good look, IMO).

It's possible to wear charcoal or navy chinos, but I think you have to be careful about the pairing. I think it's easier to wear a more traditional color such as tan.

For one, cotton fades in patchy ways. It's not like wool, in that regard. This fading will show up more readily on dark colors, such as charcoal and navy. With some aesthetics, such as workwear, that kind of beat-up look can be charming. In a classic tailored outfit, it will look ... not great.

Secondly, most men will have an easier time getting dressed if they stick to lighter colors for pants and darker colors for sport coats. The cynosure of a tailored outfit is the V-shape space formed between the jacket's opening, shirt, and tie. This is why it's hard to wear bright-colored shoes, such as tan, or unusual colors for pants. Such things draw the eye downward.

When you stick to this formula -- dark jacket + light shirt + dark tie + light pants -- the focus is centered on that V-shape space. It's possible to reverse this in some cases -- a lighter jacket paired with dark pants -- but doing so requires a bit of know-how.

With charcoal trousers, it can be hard to pair dark colored jackets because the combination becomes too muddy. In the worst cases, the tone of the jacket and pants are too close together, and it may almost look like you're wearing a mistmatched suit. With tan chinos + navy sport coat or brown tweed, this is never an issue.

If you buy dark chinos, it will be easier to wear them without a tailored jacket, such as with a sweater. But I am again not a fan of those business casual looks. If someone wants to dress casually, I think there are better casualwear options. If someone wants to wear a tailored jacket, I think they can choose better pants.
I agree with your first paragraph, but did you see in my first post that I plan on wearing an OCBD, sport coat, and tie? I did also mention linen shirts on their own in the summer, so I cede that you might have a point there. Might go with Sperries or something in that case.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I agree with your first paragraph, but did you see in my first post that I plan on wearing an OCBD, sport coat, and tie? I did also mention linen shirts on their own in the summer, so I cede that you might have a point there. Might go with Sperries or something in that case.
Yes, I think oxfords are only for suits.

In the past, when discussions about this have come up on here, some people have given examples of very formal sport coat outfits, and how they think such outfits can be worn with very casual iterations of oxfords. I personally still think oxfords are only for suits. But in your situation, chinos are so casual, I think you definitely need a more casual shoe.

Some historical examples of good sport coat outfits. Note that the shoes are also casual, matching the formality of the coat.


tumblr_p353hvww8T1rf1jvro1_1280.jpg
tumblr_opsislCBQZ1rf1jvro1_1280.jpg
tumblr_opfmhahL4D1rf1jvro1_1280.jpg
tumblr_mt6b76hEW41rf1jvro1_1280.jpg
DBBA6CjVYAEv-yx.jpg




And then some contemporary examples:


td5002ni0.jpg
eg ashby 1.jpeg
tumblr_mi28rsLKbF1rynjwuo1_1280.jpg
347x640px-LL-a41f56d1_parker-prkr1213aa.jpeg
p1020049x.jpg






The above choices look much more sophisticated to me than this:


fed71189-e3cf-4764-bab0-c3ade8d81c8b.jpeg
 

adrianvo

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Style rules are lame, and was popularized by "alpha-male"-obsessed YouTubers who can't keep their hands still for half a second while talking.

Find out what works for you and wear it with confidence. If it looks good, who gives a crap about the degree of formality of certain items.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Style rules are lame, and was popularized by "alpha-male"-obsessed YouTubers who can't keep their hands still for half a second while talking.

Find out what works for you and wear it with confidence. If it looks good, who gives a crap about the degree of formality of certain items.
If this is true, why participate on a board? Why bother asking questions or providing opinions? If there is nothing to be learned, and everyone should dress according to their desires, then what would even be the point of discussing things at all?
 

ValidusLA

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Style rules are lame, and was popularized by "alpha-male"-obsessed YouTubers who can't keep their hands still for half a second while talking.
So style "rules" never existed before 2010 or so? Amazing new invention!
 

LC7

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That last pic is pretty informal as far as chinos go, though. Almost a jean-like material. In the others, I don't see how oxfords would be bad. Maybe I'm just not experienced enough to spot how these differences matter.

If it's not a matter of cotton vs wool but rather suit vs odd jacket and trousers that is the issue, I'm almost relieved, as I've never been able to find OTR wool slacks that fit as well as the LE chinos and the pics of odd jacket and trousers don't really convince me that oxfords ought to be forbidden.

All the same, I appreciate the contributions and advice to this point from everyone. I'm still conflicted but leaning toward getting the oxfords.
 

neminat

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Oxfords are only for suits, IMO.

Some here have made the case that some very specific oxfords (e.g. brown suede ones with broguing) can be worn with very formal sport coat outfits (e.g. navy sport coats with grey trousers, white shirt, black grenadine, etc). I disagree, but that combo is less bad to me than oxfords with chinos.
This is a bizzare take. Only suits??
 

LC7

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For the record, I appreciate most style rules and see the value in them, which is why I asked. However, I'm not quite sure that there even is a rule in the present case, beyond staying clear of captoe oxfords with chinos. At the very least, it doesn't seem to be in the same category as "match your belt with your shoes" and the like, which are more intuitive.
 

adrianvo

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If this is true, why participate on a board? Why bother asking questions or providing opinions? If there is nothing to be learned, and everyone should dress according to their desires, then what would even be the point of discussing things at all?
Inspiration, information and a sense of community. I know you're eager to get rid of me, but I'm not limited to telling people to dress like myself so I don't stand out.

Insecurity breeds conformity, my little friend. Perhaps you should get out of your comfort zone and try some patterns, and maybe you'll stop shivering from the thought that someone will call you out for breaking rules?

So style "rules" never existed before 2010 or so? Amazing new invention!
I'm sincerely worried about your reading comprehension skills if you read "popularized" as "invented".

I would focus more on what looks good to you, and not what some douche-tubers put into "10 THINGS TO AVOID TO LOOK GOOD FOR THE LAIDIES!!!!"-videos. If you have a good eye for aesthetics, why do you need limitations?

No, but they were archaic and often weird....


OMG I read about it on the internet...
This would've been DWW if he could reach up.
 

Phileas Fogg

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Oxfords are fine to wear with cotton slacks or even chinos, but within the broader category of “oxfords” there exists many different species.

obviously the first thing that comes to mind is a simple, black captoe appropriate for business formal. Setting that aside, I see nothing wrong with a brown suede Oxford with brougeing or a short wing.

Personally, I think the ideal footwear to be matched with cotton slacks are suede chukka boots.
 

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