Should Chinos Be Creased?

A friend of mine bought a pair of chino pants recently. He noticed that unlike other kinds of pants, especially those he wears to work, chinos didn’t have the crease that runs on a line down the middle of each leg.

No crease came with his new chino pants. It shouldn’t have been a big issue as he could just make the crease himself with a pressing iron. However, he is not sure anymore whether they should actually be creased. 

You may be dealing with the same situation as my friend up there, or a different set of circumstances have led you to arrive at the same question as he did

So, should chinos be creased? The quick and general reply to that is, no. Chinos aren’t meant to have creases like your work pants.

The reasons for this generally accepted rule is not far-fetched and if you care to keep reading, I’ll do my best to make sense of it. Nevertheless, for every rule, there is usually at least an exception. This exception will also be explained as you read on. 

Before we discuss why chinos shouldn’t be creased, however, let’s take a while to make sense of creasing. Why do pants need creasing anyway?

Why Crease Pants?

If you observe carefully, you will find out that it is usually pants created for formal wear that have sharp creases running down the middle of their legs in front and at the back.

A well-defined line down the leg lengths of men’s pants makes the legs appear straighter and longer, giving an altogether classy and dressy appearance. 

Furthermore, most office pants are made of materials that are not only soft but also pliant and thin, like wool. This means that they have a tendency to cling to the skin of the wearer, which will be unattractive.

For this reason, the manufacturers of these pants design creases that are intended to outlast washes, into the trouser legs. The lines help to hold the material out at the front and back of the legs and give better shaping. 

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Why Not Crease Chinos?

So, if creasing is so beneficial to the wearing of trousers, why shouldn’t we crease chinos?

The simplest reason is that chinos are not formal wear

They fall in roughly the same category as denim. Try to imagine a pair of jeans creased to perfection. No? Well, that’s how it is for chino pants as well.

Creased trousers produce a dressy appearance which is wonderful for offices and other official occasions but awkward for the casual outlook that chinos represent. 

Secondly, chinos are made of a thicker and firmer material than dress trousers

This renders creasing both unnecessary and a waste of time where chinos are concerned. Creasing is unnecessary for chinos because being thicker and firmer than formal pants, they are not drawn like a magnet to the skin.

As stated earlier, the clinging nature of dress trousers material is a major reason for creasing them. Since chinos don’t have that problem, there’s no reason to crease them.

Then again, it is a waste of time trying to put creases in chinos because the nature of the material ensures that it is a lot of hard work to get the crease to any degree of sharpness.

Yet, all of this hard work goes down the drain after a few wears or once touched by water. The crease quickly disappears in either case and you have to go through the rigors of forming creases all over again. 

Finally, the vast majority of chinos producers didn’t make a mistake in omitting the creases

It confirms the fact that chinos don’t need to be creased. 

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Is There Any Circumstance Under Which Chinos Should Be Creased? 

As I stated before, chinos are for casual occasions. However, if you choose to wear chino trousers for more official gatherings and events (such as Prom), then a few companies produce special and more formal chino trousers which have creases already designed into them and made to outlast washes, so you don’t have to undergo a lot of stress to maintain the creases.

Note that creased chinos are the exception and not the norm. Even if you’re wearing them as more formal wear than they are intended, it is still absolutely alright to wear chinos without a crease.

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However, if you still insist on having creased chinos, there are chino trousers designed this way but they must only be worn for official occasions. 

How To Remove Crease From Chinos

So let’s say you have bought the less common kind of chinos that have creases designed into them from the factory, then you realize that you prefer to wear them as the informal pants that they should be – without creases.

It’s possible to get rid of the creases. I’ll explain three different methods you can use to achieve this. However, note that while these methods are reliable and likely to succeed, they may have to be repeated more than once to totally get the creases out. 

Starch

After a fresh wash, spray a large amount of starch along the creases you’re trying to get rid of. Without drying, get your pressing iron and iron along these creases, going inch by inch and really slowly. Afterwards, you can rewash your chinos and dry them properly. 

Vinegar

Make a mixture of white vinegar and slightly more water. After washing your chino pants, spray the mixture along the creases and press down along the creases with your iron. Rewash and dry the chinos. 

Water

After washing chino trousers, fold them nicely and store them damp in a plastic bag for about fifteen minutes. After this, iron the creases out by pressing down firmly and moving slowly. 

Do I Need To Iron Chinos? 

Unlike dress trousers that need ironing to look good, there is no need to iron chinos. Chino material is such that it looks great, whether ironed or not.

However, if you prefer to have them ironed, you can totally do that. Just remember that you have to keep them flat across the seams as you iron them, to avoid getting unnecessary or unwanted creases. 

Washing And Drying Chinos – Dos And Don’ts

Don’ts 

  • Don’t use too much detergent. Here, less is better than more because even a little amount will get your chinos clean. Too much, however, dulls your material. 
  • Don’t wash more often than you need to. The effects of regular wash accumulate over time and manifest in fading, wears and tears.
  • Don’t use hot water. Although chinos are strong enough to withstand high temperatures, using hot water to wash them will disintegrate the dye gradually and make them fade.

Dos

  • Wash chinos while they are turned inside-out. This will help them not to fade quickly. It also protects the outer features from wear and tear. 
  • Use cold water. This gets the chinos just as clean as you expect hot water to.
  • Wash after at least five wears. 
  • Spot clean immediately your chinos get stained, to avoid having to wash the whole pair of pants due to a stain.
  • Dry chinos by spreading them on a line or by tumble drying them.
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Can Chinos Fade?

Chinos are prone to fading. The whole dyeing procedure is not as qualitative as it can be. The dyes are not as fastened to the material as those of jeans, for example.

And we know how easily jeans can fade if not properly cared for. We can imagine then, how much easier it will be for chinos to lose their colour. 

This is why it is necessary to go by the dos and don’ts I highlighted in the section before this one. Things like heat, ultraviolet rays, excessive machine wash, and excess detergent help to speed up the fading business. Hence, you need to be prudent around these mentioned culprits. 

How To Prevent Chinos From Fading

With the way chinos tend to fade quickly, you need to take certain steps to ensure they last the longest they can before they succumb to wear and tear. 

  • Wash them only when it becomes unavoidable to do so, either due to accumulated odor or dirt.
  • Wash them while they are turned inside-out. This not only prevents fading, it also protects pockets and other outer features from damage.
  • Leave the hot water out while washing. The only thing it will do that cold water won’t do, is to strip away the dyes on your chinos faster.
  • Use the barest amount of detergent required when washing.
  • Use a tumble dry or air dry.
  • Keep your chino pants away from direct sunlight when you’re not wearing them. 

Should Chinos Be Creased – Conclusion 

Because chinos are basically non-formal trousers, they do not need to be creased. However, an exception can be made if you desperately want to wear chinos as dress trousers.

I have explained why chinos don’t have to be creased as well as what you can do to remove creases you don’t want on your chino pants. As a plus, learn all about how to wash chinos and ways to ensure they do not fade prematurely. Enjoy your chinos!

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