The Difference Between Men’s Jeans, Chinos, and Khakis

The Difference Between Men’s Jeans, Chinos, and Khakis

When it comes to differentiating between different types of men’s pants, you don’t need an advanced degree. In fact, it’s easy to find the differences between men’s jeans, chinos, and khakis and also choose which pair of men’s pants are best for your needs.

What Are Men’s Chinos?

Men’s chinos are a commonly found pant—almost as common as jeans. These come in a variety of styles, cuts, and colors. You can go for a fitted look to be sleek and fashion-forward. If you like a looser fit, then boot-cut chinos are for you. Colors vary from your standard tannish color to wild and wacky colors like peach, light green, and more. What makes chinos different than other men’s pants is their material.

Typically, men’s chinos are lightweight cotton with a tight weave. This lets you move with ease, no matter what your activity level. Chinos are excellent for everything from an afternoon of golf to business attire. Originating from the military, chinos also don’t show stitches on the seams, while khakis and jeans will. This creates a more formal look, but it’s still casual enough for a night out. Don’t forget that chinos also tend to be slightly tighter than khakis.

What Is the Difference Between Chinos and Khakis?

At first glance, men’s khaki pants might look a lot like chinos, but a closer look will show plenty of subtle differences. The most obvious is the stitching. Khakis show the stitch seams, much like the tape on jeans. Khakis also may have pleats in the front, for a dressier look. Another major difference between khakis and chinos is the color. Khakis only come in a variety of browns and tans.

A subtle difference also exists between khakis and chinos. You’ll find that khaki pants have more pronounced, often deeper pockets, making them more functional.

What Are Men’s Jeans Made of?

Men’s jeans are marked by one primary trait—they are made from denim. Denim is a strong, woven cotton that holds up to a lot of wear and tear. Jeans come in a variety of cuts, styles, and colors. Sometimes, even khakis and jeans can be tough to differentiate since jeans come in virtually any color. However, the denim fabric is a dead giveaway. Both chinos and khakis are made from cloth.

Today’s denim is more refined than the original jeans of the 1870s. With a variety of styles, cuts, and colors, you can wear denim without looking like you’re wearing jeans. Colored jeans are very similar to chinos while providing the durability of denim. Straight-leg jeans are more formal than their boot-cut counterparts, allowing you to dress up your denim for a more finished outfit.

You can absolutely rock denim with a men’s dress shirt and create a more formal look. Pair it with a sportscoat and you’ll have a fashion-forward look that’s ready for a casual business lunch. Or wear your favorite men’s crew neck top for a relaxed look that’s ready for a day out. Everyone also needs their favorite old pair of jeans that are suited for working around the house. Save old, ripped, worn-out jeans for housework, yard work, or other home improvements. That way you’ll get more life out of your jeans without ruining your favorite pair.

Which Type of Pants—Chinos, Khakis, or Jeans?

When it comes to deciding which pair of men’s pants are right for you, consider this: First, you’ll want a variety of different styles of pants to suit the many activities you engage with. Denim is an absolute must-have. Get a variety of jeans in different cuts and colors to suit your needs. Go for dark blues, lighter hues, and even black jeans. This will let you have jeans that will go with any outfit.

A standard pair of khakis will also ensure you have some options in your wardrobe. Since khakis are typically a heavier cotton material, it allows for more durability or better wear in cold weather. Choose a lighter and darker pair of khakis. The nice thing about tan colors is that any top will be the perfect complement to your outfit.

Chinos are just like jeans—the more variety the better. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have most of your wardrobe consist of chinos. The lightweight fabric is necessary for warm-weather days; not to mention, the wide variety of styles make chinos the most versatile pant for men. You can wear anything with your favorite chino and instantly be ready to start your day.

Jeans, chinos, and khakis make up the primary pant types for men. You really can’t go wrong with either pant—simply choose the style that best suits your individual needs. You’ll find you’ve got a stylish look in just minutes so you can get to the important things in life.


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