I remember the first day that I saw a lad from my school wear chinos. It was 2010, back when most had graduated from the running shoes and straight-cut jean phase into skinny jeans and slim-fit shirts, but no one saw this one coming.
They were beige, presumably to match his personality, and were far too tight around the crotch. He matched them with a pair of loafers, a bold choice, but not one out of place in the Hale and Altrincham area.
Before long, everyone was wearing them. As a man quick to cave into peer pressure, I invested in a mustard pair myself, having been desperate to embody the ‘mod look’ of the 60s. I’m delighted to report that they were very under-used, but those pictures will last forever.
I quickly realised that I was not one of the chinokind, because I didn’t refer to everything as ‘banter’ or ever dream of shopping at Hollister. Moreover, as a somewhat working class boy in a middle class boys school, was left consistently confused by why people liked the ‘LADbible’.
The ‘Chino Community’ rapidly grew, embodying not only everything that was wrong with society, but also everything wrong with music. Invariably, these people would either like One Direction or Ed Sheeran, if not both, which is a crime in itself but made worse by the refusal to accept that music exists out of the Top 40.
Nowadays, the Chino Community has dwindled, but can be seen in several distinct sub-groups. The first and foremost is what remains of the ‘lads’. Though lad culture reached its peak about five years ago, it still manifests itself through sport.
Whatever the occasion, the Chino Community will continue to live on, if only through Michael Portillo-based memes.
You can see them out in town on a Wednesday, accompanying their chinos with a shirt and tie. They still shout indistinct noises very loud in the gate, and love to throw and elbow in Tiger, which would be a straight red in anybody’s book.
Another sub-branch of the CC consists of those that wear more colourful chinos. Reminiscent of Nigel Farage, these are the people that often wear a blazer in summer and a Barbour jacket in winter, so don’t be surprised if you feel underdressed when your paths cross walking down Osborne Road. If you meet their parents, they probably mirror them quite well. They love a pint of British ale, and vehemently defend British establishments. Often you can hear them waxing lyrical about the ‘Empire’, and how it was the best time to be alive.
However, most of the hidden community emerges in the summer. Keen to show off their suspiciously hairless ankles, no doubt they’ll be trying out some styles for the regatta later in the month.
Whatever the occasion, the Chino Community will continue to live on, if only through Michael Portillo-based memes. I expect that we’ll be seeing them more and more in the coming months, so I’m sure you’ll join me in scowling at them from quite a distance away, wilfully nor not.