We Know Chinos!

Chinos. Khakis. What's the difference, or is there? Stores tend to use the terms interchangeably. I've asked around, and some say it's whether the front is pleated or flat, but I've seen contradictions to both claims. So I took to the Internet -- you know, the "Information Superhighway". (It has stuff other than porn and pop-up banners, you know.)

nice pantsMost of the answers I found described the difference between them as being in the style of them, or based on the look or fit. Even AskMen has definitions in their Buying Pants 101 (and follow-up article Part II).

But at the core of the khaki/chino debate are those that tell you "khaki" is derived from the Hindu word for "dust colour", while "chino" is really the cotton twill weave used. Khakis remain the colour of choice for chinos, due to military surplus reasons.

That seems to be the definition that makes the best distinction and makes the most sense to me: chino is the style, khaki is the colour. Given that, what do you call them normally?


Anonymous said...

From my years at Banana Republic: khakis are the older more durable style, chinos are the more elegant cousin. Basically a different way to say, "It's the same thing!" - KT

Van said...

i say khakis.

Ben said...

I called them khakis, but that was when I was improperly educated on the appropriate nomenclature. I have chino-style pants in khaki, and khaki-style pants in khaki and other colours.

But for some reason, I don't find that I really like khakis (style) as much as I like chinos. Dunno why.

And I definitely don't like pleats in my pants. While they are undeniably more roomy and comfy, they balloon out when you're sitting, as if you were smuggling a loaf of sourdough in your lap. Plus, pleats make for a b!tch in ironing.