Chinos vs. Khakis - What’s the Difference? By Tapered Menswear

Chinos vs. Khakis - What’s the Difference?

In the world of mens fashion the question, about the distinction between chinos and khakis has always sparked curiosity.

So what's the difference between chinos vs khakis? The primary difference lies in their appropriate occasions for wearing them. Chinos are known for their appeal with a closer fit and a wider range of colour options. On the hand khakis have a casual vibe with a looser fit and are usually available in beige or black shades.

That's just scratching the surface! In an age where style speaks volumes understanding this distinction is now more important, than ever.

So lets simplify this timeless puzzle and offer the perfect solution with our athletic fit chinos.

Chinos vs. Khakis showing the best fitted chinos by Tapered Menswear

What Are Khakis?

Emerging from the dusty landscapes of colonial-era battlefields, khakis transitioned from military wear to becoming a cornerstone of casual and semi-formal attire in the West.

Khakis are sturdy, with a straight-leg design. While they often feature pleats, many brands now offer plain-front versions. They also have cuffed bottom hems.

What Are Chinos?

Chinos, with origins tracing back to American soldiers stationed in China, have come a long way to be recognised as a modern staple in men's wardrobes. Lighter in feel and diverse in colour options, chinos bring a touch of sleek sophistication, with some having a crease down the front.

Chinos are light in weight, with a design that narrows down the leg. They can come with or without cuffs and usually have a flat-front style.

Are Khakis and Chinos the Same?

At glance khakis and chinos may seem similar. They are both styles of trousers often crafted from cotton or a cotton blend fabric and are considered wardrobe essentials, by many.

However a closer examination reveals differences between the two stemming from their background design variations and typical usage.

Chinos vs. Khakis showing beige chinos by Tapered Menswear

Historical Origins

The origins of khakis can be traced back to the century military in India. The term "khaki" is derived from words that mean "dust" or "ash " reflecting the dusty colour of the original military uniforms.

These uniforms were introduced to make soldiers less conspicuous compared to their brightly coloured attire.

On the hand chinos have their roots in the Spanish American War era. American soldiers stationed in the Philippines wore trousers made from twill cotton fabric.

The Spanish term for "Chinese" is "Chino " hence these trousers acquired their name. They were designed with functionality and comfort, in mind to suit conditions.

shop perfectly fitted chinos

Design and Cut

Traditionally, khakis are designed with a more relaxed fit, have pleated fronts, and are made from a thicker fabric. This gives them a more formal appearance suitable for business-casual environments.

Chinos are typically made of a lighter weight fabric, with a flatter front and a more tapered, modern cut.

They strike a balance, between being casual and dressy which makes them perfect for occasions whether its a weekend outing or an office meeting.


Although "khaki" refers to both a colour and a style of trousers khakis are not limited to that colour; they come in shades.

On the hand chinos offer versatility when it comes to colours. They are available in a range of options from tones to vibrant hues allowing for more personal expression.

Like navy blue below.

Chinos vs. Khakis showing navy chinos by Tapered Menswear


Different occasions call for types of trousers. Khakis are often considered appropriate for office settings or semi formal events because of their appearance. On the hand chinos are versatile.

Can be dressed up or down making them suitable, for both casual occasions and more sophisticated gatherings.

When it comes to pricing there can be variations between khakis and chinos based on factors. These factors include the brand, the quality of materials used where they are manufactured design details and how they are sold.

However there are some observations that can be made.

Brand Influence

Established brands or luxury labels tend to charge a premium for both khakis and chinos. For example a pair of chinos or khakis from a luxury brand or high end designer can cost times more than a pair from a fashion or mid tier brand.

Quality of Material

The fabrics quality plays a role in determining the price of both chinos and khakis. Higher quality materials such as cotton or fabrics with treatments can drive up the price regardless of whether it is a chino or khaki.

Chinos vs. Khakis showing grey chinos by Tapered Menswear

Details and Features

Trousers that come with design elements, specialised pockets or other functional features may have a price tag.

It's important to consider these factors when comparing prices, between khakis and chinos as they can greatly influence the cost.

Price Range Differences

In the past khakis were considered formal. Were often made from thicker materials, which could result in slightly higher prices compared to chinos.

However as fashion has evolved and premium chino brands have emerged this distinction is no longer necessarily true. Nowadays you can find both chinos and khakis interchangeably.

shop perfectly fitted chinos

What is The Difference Between Chinos and Khakis for Work?

Chinos and khakis are both options, for work attire. Possess distinct characteristics.

Chinos are a style of trousers made from cotton or cotton blend fabric usually featuring a fit design. They offer a look for casual or semi formal office settings.

On the other hand khakis initially referred to a light brown colour but have now become synonymous with trousers made from sturdy cotton twill. Generally speaking khakis tend to have a looser fit compared to chinos.

Chinos vs. Khakis showing grey stretch chinos by Tapered Menswear

The choice between the two mainly depends on your offices dress code and personal preference. If your workplace leans towards an appearance chinos might be the appropriate choice due, to their sleeker design.

When it comes to environments or jobs that require sturdy clothing some people prefer khakis. But personally chinos are definitely more office appropriate as they have a more fitted and formal finish.

Which Should I Choose; Khakis or Chinos?

Your decision between the two depends on your professional preferences. If you're looking for trousers that exude an elegance khakis are the way to go.

However if you want versatility, with a touch chinos are the choice. For those who want the pair of trousers that seamlessly blend style and comfort Tapered Menswear offers a wide range of options.

shop perfectly fitted chinos


Both chinos and khakis have their unique charm and function. The key is to choose based on your individual preferences and requirements. And when in doubt, let Tapered Menswear guide you to the perfect fit.

For those on the quest for the perfect chino fit, Tapered Menswear emerges as a top contender. Our precision in achieving the perfect fit, combined with quality materials give not only a tailored finish but comfort all day long.

Exclusively designed for guys with an athletic build. Our chinos are crafted from 4-way stretch that is comfortable, robust and allows complete freedom of movement. 

Our team of leading tailors and industry experts have pioneered a unique Tapered fit that allows sufficient room for the thighs, glutes and calves whilst tapering in at the ankle, so there is no need to size up to fit your muscular build.

shop perfectly fitted chinos

No more:

❌ Sizing up for chinos to fit your quads, glutes and calves

❌ Heavy, restrictive fabrics causing discomfort and stiffness

❌ Seams bursting open 


Our revolutionary fit allows sufficient room for the quads, glutes and calves whilst tapering in at the ankle. 

Extra room in thighs and tapered at the ankle, no need to size up.


black athletic fit stretch chinos by tapered menswear showing the tapered fit from thigh to ankle


Premium Stretch Chinos

Super-soft, heavyweight cotton fabric provides comfort and freedom of movement all day long.


black athletic fit stretch chinos by tapered menswear showing the stretch fabric


Robust Build

Durable design that's built to last thanks to the hard-wearing fabric and reinforced seams.


black athletic fit stretch chinos by tapered menswear showing the robust build on muscular legs