What Is The Difference Between Chinos And Khakis

What Is The Difference Between Chinos And Khakis?

Have you ever wondered about the pants in your closet? Chinos and khakis are two names you might have heard. But what is the real difference between them?

Well, let’s break it down together! Chinos and khakis are like two cousins in the world of pants. They look kind of similar, but they have their own unique features.

Chinos are the slimmer, sleeker cousin. They fit snugly and often come in different colours, not just the typical khaki. Khakis, on the other hand, is the more relaxed, baggy cousin. They’re usually beige and have more room to move.

So, when you’re choosing what to wear, think about where you’re going and what style you like. In this guide, I will unravel the mystery of Chinos and Khakis.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Chinos And Jeans?

What Is Chinos?

Chinos are a type of pants that originated in the military but have become a staple in casual and business-casual fashion. They are typically made from a cotton twill fabric, which gives them a smooth and slightly shiny appearance.

Chinos are known for their slim and tapered fit, which makes them look more modern and stylish. They often have slanted front pockets and welted back pockets, giving them a clean and streamlined look. Chinos come in various colors, with popular choices being khaki, navy, olive, and gray.

What Is Khakis?

Khakis, on the other hand, are a type of pants that are more casual and relaxed in style compared to chinos. The term “khaki” originally referred to the colour of the pants, which is a pale, light brown or beige.

Khakis are typically made from cotton twill as well, but they have a more relaxed fit with a wider leg and often feature pleats at the waist. They usually have roomy pockets and may come in various shades of beige or tan.

What Is The Difference Between Chinos And Khakis?


When comparing chinos and khakis, the standout dissimilarity lies in their fit.

Chinos boast a sleek, tapered silhouette, snugly embracing the legs, while khakis offer a more relaxed, roomier fit for added comfort.

If you’re prepping for a job interview, opting for chinos might just seal the deal. Their trim fit and sharp contours project professionalism and meticulousness, creating a lasting positive impression that speaks volumes about your attention to detail.


Both chinos and khakis are usually made from cotton twill, but chinos may have a slightly smoother and shinier finish, while khakis often have a more textured appearance.

Suppose you’re attending an outdoor summer wedding. The slight shine of chinos can make them look more refined compared to khakis, especially if you pair them with a linen shirt and leather sandals.


Chinos typically have slanted front pockets and welted back pockets, giving them a sleek and modern look. Khakis, on the other hand, tend to have roomier pockets and may even have cargo-style pockets in some cases.

If you’re planning a hike or an adventure trip, I recommend khakis because their spacious pockets can be practical for carrying essentials like a map, snacks, or a small camera.


Khaki might be a staple colour for both chinos and khakis, but when it comes to variety, chinos steal the show. They boast an extensive spectrum of colours, from classic navy to trendy shades like olive and burgundy.

Picture this: a casual weekend brunch with friends. Grab a pair of chinos in a chic shade like olive or burgundy to inject a burst of personality into your outfit.

Match them with a patterned shirt for a fashion-forward ensemble that effortlessly exudes style.

How To Choose Between Chinos And Khakis?

Casual Wear

Khakis are my go-to for chill, everyday wear. They’re comfy and casual, perfect for pairing with a simple tee or a relaxed button-down shirt.

Think about a Saturday morning running errands—I reach for my khakis for that easy, no-fuss outfit that keeps me comfortable while getting things done. They’re like the reliable buddy in my wardrobe for laid-back days.


Chinos are a versatile choice for business-casual settings. Their slim fit and clean appearance make them suitable for work, especially when paired with a dress shirt or a blazer.

For example, If you have a business-casual dress code at your workplace, wearing chinos with a dress shirt and a blazer can help you strike the right balance between professionalism and comfort.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Formal And Informal Wear?

Are Chinos Good For Hot Weather?

Chinos are my top pick when it’s scorching outside. Their lightweight cotton twill fabric and slim fit make them a breeze to wear, offering comfort and breathability during those sizzling summer months.

Are Khakis Good For Hot Weather?

Yes, Khakis can also be suitable for hot weather, especially if they are made from a lightweight cotton fabric. However, their looser fit may not be as breezy as chinos, so it’s important to choose a comfortable fit if you plan to wear them in hot weather.

Are Chinos Suitable for Work Attire?

Chinos can be suitable for work attire, especially in business-casual or smart-casual environments. They offer a polished look when paired with the right dress shirt, blazer, and shoes.

Can I Wear Khakis As Work Attire?

Khakis are super chill, but they’re not always the fanciest choice for serious work settings.

However, in some laid-back offices where they’re cool with a bit of a relaxed vibe, khakis can totally work if you pair them with a nice shirt and the right shoes.

It’s like finding that sweet spot where comfy meets cool!

Final Words

Chinos and khakis might seem like distant cousins, but as someone who’s navigated their subtle differences, let me tell you—they’re tailored for distinct occasions.

Understanding these variations is like unlocking the secret to picking the ideal pants, whether it’s for a laid-back hangout or a polished office vibe.

Trust me, getting to know these nuances will help you rock the perfect style for any specific need you have in mind.

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