Men’s wardrobes are generally considered incomplete without pants, and both Khakis and Chinos are popular choices for comfortable trousers worn in the warmer months. Although they are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between the two styles of pants.
- Khaki refers to a color as well as a trouser made of heavy cotton fabric, while Chino refers to a fabric that is 100% cotton and twill, as well as trousers made from this fabric.
- The word khaki comes from the Urdu word “Khak”, meaning dust or soil, and the color of khaki trousers is close to that of dust or soil.
- Chino fabric is heavier than the one used for khaki trousers and Chino trousers are available in many colors, including dark colors, whereas khaki trousers are always light in color.
Khaki is a light color that lies between light yellow and brown, making it close to beige in appearance. The word has been borrowed by English from the Hindustani word that reflects something that is soiled (Khak means soil or dust in Hindi and Urdu). Although the word is used to describe a color, it is also used to refer to casual trousers made from cotton fabric. Initially, khaki was a term reserved for trousers made for men in services that were of khaki color. Today, the word khaki is used for casual trousers of various hues made from a particular fabric called chinos, irrespective of their color.
Chino is a term used for both the fabric and the trousers made from this fabric. Chino fabric is 100% cotton and twill in nature. The word chino has been borrowed from the Spanish language, where it means toasted. The color of the fabric reflects this, as it looks like toasted bread. Some people believe that the name comes from the fact that the fabric was originally made in China.
British army officers wanted troops to wear trousers that did not look dirty, so they ordered white trousers to be dyed in khaki color. Chino fabric is heavier than the fabric used for khaki trousers, and Chino trousers are available in many colors, including dark colors, whereas khaki trousers are always light in color.