The other day I was with a friend. He took a moment to point out to me the great deal he got on a pair of pants he was wearing. He proceeded to tell me that they were chinos. As I looked them over I gently told him that they were not chinos, but a pair of slim fit khakis. When we finished conversing I walked away pondering to myself “How many men out there know the difference between khakis and chinos?” In this article we will break down the difference between the two for you. Never fear guys, you will never have to guess again.
The word “chino” comes from Latin American Spanish. The word actually means, “toasted” and refers to the color of the fabric. These pants have been around a lot longer than what we think. Chinos originated as a pant that was worn as part of military uniforms. So what’s the difference?
First when it comes to chinos pay attention to the stitching. I know. What guys cares about the stitching right? It’s important. On a pair of chinos the stitching will not be visible, but on a pair of khakis the stitching will be. What I like about the stitching being hidden on a pair of chinos is that it gives chinos a higher-quality look and presents them as more “dressy.” The next thing to look for is the weight of the fabric between khakis and chinos. I know it’s a bit technical but trust me. This will help you. Chinos are made from lightweight 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Khakis are usually constructed from a heavyweight 100% cotton. Another hallmark of chinos is that they are usually cut slimmer with a close fit while khakis are baggier.
Gentlemen if you’re looking to create a little more class with your pants then wearing a pair of chinos should be your next choice. These pants are created with a lower rise, slim legs, and tapered legs, which create a trimmed silhouette of your body. A few interchangeable ways you can wear chinos are with a nice well-fitted cotton button up shirt, a cotton blazer, a tie, chukkas, loafers, and even a pair of the double monk strap shoes with no socks. Depending on the look you’re going for you can roll up the pants or keep them straight.
Keep in mind that chinos come in a wide range of causal and dressy styles now. Make sure you always take time to make sure they fit you properly before you commit to purchasing them. Something to keep in mind is that if you are a slimmer individual then look for flat fronts. If you are a little on the heavier side then look for chinos that are pleated in the front.
Let’s talk khakis for a minute. Most guys are used to wearing a pair of pleated khakis with a dress shirt, shoes, or a sweater. One of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to wearing khakis is we try to dress them up. Khaki is the Hindi word for “dust.” Gentlemen, khakis are actually an alternative to wearing jeans.
These pants have evolved over the years from the original khaki color to having different colored hues. The great thing about a pair of these is that they are made for pure comfort. Khakis are not slimming and are generally baggy around the legs. So guys when you choose to wear a pair of them the general rule is to wear shoes and shirts that you would wear with jeans.
There you have it men. Turn your khakis over to your alternative jean pile and get out there and purchase some chinos. If you’re looking for some affordable and high quality chinos then we suggest Frank and Oak. If you are looking to purchase quality khakis then we suggest Life Khaki. What are your thoughts on chinos and khakis? Do you prefer one to the other? We want to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for extra updates and ideas that are not posted here. TheDapperGentleman@thedappergent35. Thank you for your continued support.