Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ready for red pants?

There's no rule that says all chinos must be beige

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Summer is the perfect time to test out the season's hottest trends in casual wear. Office dress codes tend to be a bit more relaxed, fashion inhibitions are easy to toss to the wayside and it's the perfect season to experiment and try new things.

One of the biggest trends this season when it comes to menswear is the coloured chino. I know the idea of straying from staple khaki, modest taupe or neutral beige may seem a bit frightening -- especially for the more conservative guy out there -- but you should really give them an honest try.

There are several hues that can still act as a neutral base. Colours that immediately pop into mind are slate grey, azure or blue grey or rust. These hues are still subtle enough that you can colour block them with white, black, navy or ivory giving your ensemble a more conservative feel while still sporting the trend of the summer.

If you are willing to be a bit more adventurous, pair those same neutral-esque chinos with a patterned short-sleeve oxford or polo shirt that incorporates the basic tone pallet -- white, black, navy or ivory - but adds a bit of a style element. Think navy and white-striped polo with azure chino, ivory with navy polka-dot oxford with rust chino or a fun black with white small print graphic oxford teamed up with the slate grey pant.

Of course if you are really looking to embrace the trend or if you are simply a trend-setter in your own right, opt for chinos in bright hues such as yellow, green or red -- and please don't let that Honda commercial scare you off.

Like any pair of chinos, look for cuts that flatter your body type -- straight leg and slim, not skinny, is always a good go to.

For a work look, wear them down and pair with a pair of suede summer dress shoes and topped with crisp white short-sleeve oxford.

For a more casual preppy look, I always like the rolled-up coloured chino with a pair of boat or canvas shoes (no socks please) and topped with a simple V-neck pocket tee.

The trick to embracing any new trend is to own the look with confidence, wear it with a sense of style pride and never be timid to step out of the proverbial box to try something new.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2013 D13

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