I kind of hate summer. It’s hot, it’s humid, there are bugs, and being a guy who naturally runs warm to begin with, I’m relegated to wearing as little clothing as possible whenever I’m going to be outdoors. That usually means a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, whereas I’d really much rather be wearing jeans, a button-down, and a good pair of boots. In fact, even given my tendency to heat up fast, I often wear pants even on warmer days, largely because I really don’t like the look of shoes with shorts, yet also don’t like to wear sandals if I’ll be away from home all day.
But O.N.S. seemingly has an answer to my sartorial conundrum with its Modern Chino, an ultra lightweight pair of pants that could make for a stylish alternative to shorts. I’m already familiar with the New York City-based menswear brand, as its Rider Chino has been by my go-to pair of pants during cooler seasons. Will the brand’s Modern Chino prove to be just as functional for summer? We test it out.
To briefly touch or to feel the weight of the Modern Chino, you could be forgiven for thinking they were made from linen. But whereas linen is sourced from the flax plant, these pants are made from 100% cotton. Their light weave allows for much better breathability than you expect from a cotton garment, and they even dry faster and wick better than other cotton apparel I’ve worn. (Part of that might be because I simply don’t get as warm in these lighter pants.)
Far too many pairs of chinos I’ve worn in the past force you to choose between comfort and style. I’ve found that pants that wrinkle quickly tend to also be the most comfortable, while pants that stay smooth for hours are often stiff and restricting. But that’s not the case with these O.N.S. chinos. I’ve worn them running down the street as I follow my son on his bike without ever feeling like I had to tighten my stride, and my pants still looked presentable afterward.
Likewise, I’ve kicked back on the couch in my chinos and not wished I’d switched to the mesh shorts that are my after kids’ bedtime go-to bottoms. Simply put, these pants are comfortable enough to wear all day long. And they can be dressed up or down as needed.
The Modern Chino retails for $128. For reference, a pair of similar chinos from J. Crew is priced around $80, while Taylrd chinos are about $90 at present, so these are indeed on the pricey side. But I’d argue that O.N.S.’ pants are more comfortable than those of either brand, and O.N.S. garments are made from sustainable materials. With that in mind, the slightly higher price tag is a bit easier to swallow.
You wear them on your legs, let’s get that much out of the way from the get-go. But what you wear on your feet and torso while they’re on your legs? There’s a lot of latitude there. Sandals and a t-shirt will look fine. So too will casual sneakers or leather shoes and a button down. Add a linen blazer (whether over a t-shirt or buttons and with shoes or sandals) and you’ll look great that way, too.
These are not dress pants by any means, but they can be dressed up to a great extent, and even more easily dressed down. And while these chinos will start to look pretty silly much after Labor Day, they’re the perfect pants for summer.
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