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Chino Pants: Not Quite Khakis

March 18, 2015

1816-Chino-721326-2You might think a chino is simply another way to refer to a pair of khakis pants. You, my friend, would be mistaken. The chino pants have a storied history of their own, and we’re here to tell you about it.

A Humble Beginning
Though the chino might not be the same as the khaki pant, it does owe its origins to its tan brethren.

During World War II British colonial soldiers were forced to march through the sandy terrains of the Indian desert. They kind of stood out like a sore thumb in their immaculately white uniforms against the brown backdrop. They clashed, to say the least. To solve this problem the soldiers came up with the brilliant solution of dyeing their uniforms brown to match the surroundings.

They went into stealth mode. Thus, the original khaki pants were born. Now, how does this explain the chino, you ask?

Once the soldiers returned home they decided their new khaki pants were quite nice and began wearing them out on the town. The ladies loved them, you see. But a problem arose. The military couldn’t very well have their boys walking around in military garb at the local pubs paired with a t-shirt.

The solution was simple; the military would incorporate a new uniform using the dyed brown colors the soldiers used in the Indian desert, but would change the stitching and style to make them more formal. That way, they had their khakis for their nights out with the girls and their new military duds for work.

Americans adopted these pants as part of the military around the time of World War II and our young men too began wearing them out and about. They took on the name chinos since the cloth they were made from had Chinese origins. Chino was Spanish for Chinese, FYI.

Why The Chino Works
A chino is a lightweight twill pant that can be worn with just about anything. Seriously, there’s nothing a good pair of saffron chinos doesn’t go with – t-shirts, tweed jackets, vests, any color and any shape.

They provide a completely relaxed and airy feeling while simultaneously bringing the class and mark of a hardworking American male. Unlike their khaki counterparts, the stitching in a pair of chino pants is concealed and can’t be seen from the outside, giving them a more professional and finished look.

You can also determine the difference by holding them. Khakis are made with a heavyweight 100 percent cotton fabric. Chinos, on the other hand, are made with lightweight cotton or cotton-blends. You’ll notice the difference in the way they feel and fall on your legs. The heavyweight cotton in khakis is why you’ll often find them with cargo pockets these days but you’ll rarely, if ever, find a pair of chinos with anything other than the standard front and back ones.

Chinos are also slim-fitting whereas khakis tend to be a bit on the bulky side, but not so slim the ladies can tell whether or not you skipped the gym this week. Slimmer pants are in these days, but you don’t want anything so slim it’ll require you to turn in your man card. That’s why chinos are the perfect solution.

Check out our pure cotton twill chino pants on



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