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What is the Difference Between Chinos and Khakis?

What is the Difference Between Chinos and Khakis?

Tapered khakis can resemble chino-styled pants. Since they have a lot of similarities, people often feel that these chic and comfy pants are interchangeable. Fashionhance becomes your fashion guide and points the major differences between Chinos and Khakis.
Payal Kanjwani
Fashion legends are of the opinion that Khaki is a color, while Chino is a fabric.
Khakis and Chinos are establishing foothold in the fashion industry. The second most popular choice for men after Denims is Chinos and Khakis. But are these terms interchangeable? It is important to understand the difference between chinos and khakis, as you should know which pant to seek out while heading for an occasion.

Since Chinos were originally made of 100% cotton twill in khaki shades, people always fox them with khaki pants. Well, a quick trick would be to pick a pair of chino trousers if you're in a haste to reach somewhere, as they normally don't require ironing. Khaki being pure cotton, needs to be ironed. Chinos render a business casual look, while khakis are more bent towards the casual side. But, both these pants are must-haves in your wardrobe, as they are not just stylish, but also comfortable.

Following is the comparison between chino pants and khaki pants.

Chinos Vs. Khakis


Chinos definitely have Spanish roots. The Spanish word for 'Chinese' is chino which is where this fabric was originally developed. Also, in American Spanish, chino translates to 'toasted' since they are available in toast color palettes. Khaki refers to the Hindi word for dust-colored, and the English word for 'drab light brown color'. The British used it for their troops during their stay in India. Later, this color was adopted by many armies around the world for its camouflaging property.

Fabric used for chino pants is lightweight, either 100% cotton or synthetic/cotton blend material. Khakis are made of heavyweight fabric with 100% cotton.

These are available in a wide range of colors. Chino colors that are in vogue include reds, yellows, oranges, and lime green. Khaki color palette includes yellowish-brown hues and shades of gray, green, and navy. The Khaki pants are commonly known to be tan-colored.

The stitching is concealed in chino pants. In khakis, the stitching is visible.

✦ Chinos have closer fit as compared to khakis. These pants have flat fronts with tapered legs.
✦ These pants can have a few pockets or no pockets at all. ✦ Khakis can be loose and baggy with pleated or flat fronts.
✦ Khakis are packed with pockets, 4 being the ideal number of them.

✦ You can pair your chinos with a plaid shirt or a plain tee, and work with jackets and waistcoats. The good thing about chinos is that you can mold them to get the desired look depending on the occasion. For more tips to pair them right, refer to this article on what to wear with chinos.

✦ Leather shoes with no socks is in vogue! ✦ The best option to pair with Khaki is white, be it a button-down shirt, or a casual white shrug. Khakis can be paired with blue dress shirts to get a dressier look. Well, khaki with denims makes a classic combo! For dressing khaki the stylish way, refer to tips to pair your khaki pants.

✦ Color-contrast with converse or pair them with matching sneakers, your take!

Be it carrying a formal look in dinner parties, a dressier look in weddings, or simply spending a casual evening in clubs, chinos do the trick. Khakis offer a casual look. They are apt for daytime events, sports-centric meetings, and light dinners. Khaki pants can replace regular jeans.
No matter what trousers you pick for the day, the most crucial thing to consider is the fit of your pant! First get the fit right, walk in the pants, get comfortable in it, and then, head out.