Difference Between Pants and Chinos

I am a fashion lover, and lately, my subject is focused on bottom wear. Talking about men, you have – trousers, pants, jeans, chinos, shorts, boxers, capris, etc.

Talking about women, you have tons of variety – jeans, shorts, skirts, capris, palazzos, flares, chinos, pants, trousers, etc. 

What did you find in common?

Trousers, chinos, pants, jeans?

But don’t you think chinos and pants are the same?

I thought that too initially, but with time I came to know about the slight difference it has…

Let’s discuss the difference between pants and chinos.

Firstly pants are the ones which are made with a heavier material like khaki, denim, or any other heavy fabric. Pants can be straight cut, boot cut, skin fit and lose fit. 

difference between chinos and dress pants

Chinos are similar to pants, but they are made up of lightweight, a lightweight cotton or blend cotton. Chinos have a visible stitch, which gives it a formal look.

This cycle of pants vs chinos doesn’t end here. 

Just to go in detail, I can tell that there are chinos and dress pants too.

So now what are dress pants? 


What is the known difference between chinos and dress pants?

When most people see dress pants, they often mean trousers made from fine woven material, typically worsted wool. Other materials like wool/ poly blends, linen, and good pieces of cotton are also used to make dress pants. 

The word “dress chinos” is a synonym of an oxymoron for me. Chinos are defended from work jeans, along with IIRC the term “chino” comes from the reality that Chinese workers wore pants this way 150 decades earlier. 

Having said that, what chinos have in typical is that they are made from a canvas-like content with a smooth weave-Usually all synthetic, but often a poly-cotton blend. Some chinos are extremely informal. 

I have a set of timberland chinos that maybe jeans, and I never ever use them with a jacket. Various other chinos, such as these ones, have a no-iron finish; therefore, they seem very good with a blazer and OCBD, a traditional prep look. 

Some Chino-like pants are produced of finer woven cloth; they may also be called dress pants. I have got a lot of them. They are like khaki chinos across the area, though they are finer in terms of cloth and drape. They seem great with a blazer, particularly as a summer outfit. 

Personally, I prefer to get them dry cleaned, whereas I machine wash my standard chinos and hang them to dry. 

Told you a bit about dress pants now let’s just jump onto…

“What are chino trousers?” 

Chino trousers are versatile and lightweight, and they are to be considered as a smarter alternative of jeans. 

Chinos is a Spanish word for Chinese. These were named as chinos because they were made in china. The U.S. Army first wore these trousers in the Spanish-American war. The original chinos had tapered legs and were without pleats to converse fabric. 

When you are bored of wearing jeans, you can simply switch to chinos. Chinos work with almost everything. They can be styled casually with vans, sandals, or sneakers and can be dressed formally in leather shoes, boots, along with a blazer and a tie. 

All you need to keep in mind for a formal look is that it should be shaped simply and they should be monochromic (one color). 

The chinos are simply categorized into three: 

Standard Chinos

what are chino trousers

Standard casual pairs are the ones you can easily find in the shopping malls. The standard chinos have visible stitching on both up and downsides of your leg. They are often made up of cheaper and lighter material; they always have some type of distressing on the lap area. They are quite easy to carry. 

These standard chinos can be paired with polos, cardigans, t-shirts along with sneakers. These standard chinos are best worn with casual shirts, which are made of bit rougher material. If you are also planning to wear a long shirt, you can tuck it in, and if not, then you can also leave it untucked if the length of your shirt allows. 

Workwear Chinos

Workwear chinos are different from standard chinos in terms of material and fit. The workwear variety is made from much tougher twill cotton and has a different fit. These types of chinos are Rumple at the seat and the leg line. 

The work where variety looks and feels a bit rougher as compared to the casual ones. They are more of work pants than outing pants. These can be paired with rugged outwear, plaid flannels, chambray shirts, boots, or formal shoes. 

Dress Chinos

Dress chinos are different from both the standard chinos and the workwear chinos. They do not have visible seams. They are made of high-quality fabrics and sit a little higher on the hip area. They also come “unfinished,” that means the lengths of the chinos aren’t hemmed. 

Dress chinos have a big collection to die for, and their prices vary too. These chinos can be styled with almost everything as in long sleeve polos, cardigans, or traditional sweaters of any variety, proper dress shirts or button-downs, and much more. 

Nowadays, physical appearance matters a lot. Whether it is at the office, at a restaurant, or just walking around in a mall casually, it is not that only physical appearance matters. If you keep yourself well dressed and groomed, people will prioritize talking to you. 

So having a good dressing sense is a must. I hope our post was helpful to you in explaining the difference between pants and chinos. I am sure all of us have these- basic workwear and dress pants that are sitting at a corner of our wardrobe. 

PS: I have a lot of them too. 

So guys and girls just pull them out and style them into amazing outfits. 

Go stylish! 


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