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Chinos vs. Khakis: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 19, 2024
Chinos are a style of trousers made from chino cloth, typically cotton, in various colors, while khakis refer to a specific color of pants or the heavy cotton fabric used in military wear.

Key Differences

Chinos are versatile trousers made from lightweight chino cloth, available in a variety of colors. Khakis, traditionally, refer to a specific color (dusty, light tan) and are often made from a heavier cotton fabric.
The term 'chinos' is used globally to describe a style of pants suitable for both casual and formal occasions. 'Khakis', in contrast, often refer to casual, rugged trousers and sometimes are used synonymously with chino pants in the US.
Chinos are characterized by their hidden stitching and sharp look, making them appropriate for business casual attire. Khakis are typically identified by their visible stitching and rugged appearance, leaning more towards casual wear.
The fabric of chinos is usually lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear. Khaki pants, traditionally, are made from a heavier and more durable cotton fabric, designed for outdoor or work activities.
Chinos often come in a slim or tailored fit, enhancing their versatility for various fashion styles. Khakis, however, are usually cut more generously and are designed for comfort and practicality.

Comparison Chart


Lightweight chino cloth
Heavier cotton fabric

Color Range

Available in various colors
Typically in shades of tan or khaki color

Stitching and Appearance

Hidden stitching, sharp look
Visible stitching, rugged look


Suitable for both casual and formal wear
More casual, often for outdoor activities

Fit and Style

Slim or tailored fit
Generously cut for comfort

Chinos and Khakis Definitions


Lightweight trousers made from chino cloth, suitable for various occasions.
He chose a pair of navy chinos for the business meeting.


Casual, sturdy trousers typically in a tan or khaki color.
He wore his favorite khakis for the hiking trip.


Known for their hidden stitching and tailored appearance.
The chinos provided a clean, professional look for the presentation.


Made from a heavier cotton fabric, suitable for rugged use.
His khakis were durable enough for the outdoor work.


Often feature a slim or fitted design.
The slim-fit chinos complemented his modern style.


Often have visible stitching and a relaxed fit.
The khakis were comfortable with their relaxed fit and sturdy fabric.


Available in multiple colors, offering versatility in style.
For the summer picnic, I picked out a pair of light blue chinos.


Sometimes used interchangeably with chinos in the US.
He bought a pair of khakis, although they were technically chinos.


A popular choice for business casual attire.
On casual Fridays, I prefer wearing chinos to the office.


Commonly used in casual or work environments.
For the backyard barbecue, he chose a pair of khakis.


A coarse twilled cotton fabric used for uniforms and sometimes work or sports clothes.


A light olive brown to moderate or light yellowish brown.


Chinos Pants made of a coarse twilled cotton.


A sturdy cloth of this color.


Trousers made from chino


Khakis A uniform made of this cloth.


Trousers made with chino cloth.


Khakis Pants made of a twilled cotton fabric of this color or another solid color.


Trousers made with chino cloth


Plural of khaki


Khaki-coloured/colored cotton trousers (pants).


(military) A khaki uniform of pants (trousers) or shorts, shirt, and hat or other head covering such as a turban.


What are chinos?

Chinos are lightweight trousers made from chino cloth, suitable for various settings.

What fabric are chinos made from?

Chinos are made from lightweight chino cloth.

Can chinos be worn for formal occasions?

Yes, chinos are suitable for both formal and casual wear.

Do chinos come in different colors?

Yes, chinos are available in a wide range of colors.

Are khakis considered formal wear?

Khakis are more casual and not typically considered formal wear.

What is the fit of chinos?

Chinos often have a slim or tailored fit.

What are khakis?

Khakis refer to casual trousers typically in a tan color, or the heavy cotton fabric used.

What fabric are khakis made from?

Khakis are usually made from a heavier cotton fabric.

Are khakis available in multiple colors?

Traditionally, khakis are in shades of tan, but they can come in other colors.

Do khakis have visible stitching?

Yes, khakis often feature visible stitching.

Is there a difference in the waistband of chinos and khakis?

Chinos may have a more fitted waistband, while khakis are often more relaxed.

Can khakis be worn in a business setting?

Khakis can be worn in a casual business setting but are less formal than chinos.

Are chinos suitable for business casual?

Yes, chinos are a popular choice for business casual attire.

Are chinos comfortable for all-day wear?

Yes, chinos are comfortable and suitable for all-day wear.

Are khakis good for outdoor activities?

Yes, khakis are durable and suitable for outdoor or rugged use.

Can both chinos and khakis be dressed up or down?

Chinos can be easily dressed up or down, while khakis are more limited to casual styles.

What is the fit of khakis?

Khakis generally have a more relaxed and comfortable fit.

How should khakis be styled?

Khakis pair well with casual shirts, tees, or workwear.

Do chinos have visible stitching?

No, chinos typically have hidden stitching for a cleaner look.

How should chinos be styled?

Chinos can be styled with dress shirts, polos, or casual blazers.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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