Settling the khakis vs. chinos debate once and for all

Khakis and chinos are terms that often get used interchangeably – only they aren’t the same thing. It’s a lot like how we often use brand names to identify certain items, like Q-tips for cotton swabs or Kleenex for tissues.

So what’s the difference when it comes to khakis vs. chinos? A lot has to do with material and construction.

Chinos, or chino pants, are made with a lightweight cotton or cotton blend fabric and have visible stitching, which gives them a more finished, formal and dressy look.

Khakis, or khaki pants, are made with a heavier weight cotton fabric. The stitching on khaki pants is hidden. Khakis are typically thought of as more casual because of the sturdier fabric.

But what about khaki chinos?

This is what has thrown more than one person for a loop. Khaki, in addition to being a style of pant, is also a color. It comes from the Hindi-Urdu word for “dust” – completely unrelated to any type of trouser.

So when it comes to khaki chinos, here’s an explanation: khakis aren’t chinos, but chinos are sometimes khaki!



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