September 25, 2022


Truthfully, most men could get by with three different pairs of pants: jeans, sweatpants and chinos. Chinos are just dressy enough to double as date attire, yet casual enough for weekend errands and days toiling away in the at-home office. They’re versatile, perhaps even more so than denim.

What Are Chinos?

Chinos have been around for nearly 200 years. That’s longer than commercial blue jeans, but not the blue cotton work pants that predate Levi’s 501s, for example. Originally known as khakis, a Hindustani reference to the sand-colored cotton twill fabric, chinos as a term began to take hold during the Spanish-American War in the late 1800s. It derives from the Spanish word for ‘Chinese’ and is a shortened version of chinos pantalones or ‘Chinese pants.’

They originally featured slanted or on-seam side pockets, belt loops and a wide fit, and were introduced to militaries around the world before making their way to civilians. Today, every brand has a version of its own, from the ubiquitous and affordable to the esoteric.

When to Wear Chinos

Simply put, when we’re not wearing jeans, we’re probably wearing chinos. The understudy to the classic blue jean may even outdo the star on occasion. It’s about as versatile and certainly as classic. That means you can wear them with a broken-in chore coat or a crisp, new Oxford; a polished polo or a simple T-shirt. The options are endless.

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    Best Overall Chinos

    Outerknown Fort Chino Pants

    Best Affordable Chinos

    L.L. Bean Wrinkle-Free Double L Chinos

    Best Slim-Fit Chinos

    Taylor Stitch The Democratic Foundation Pant

    Best Military-Inspired Chinos

    Buck Mason Khaki Slub Twill Maverick Slim Officer Pant

    Best Mall Chinos

    J.Crew Classic Relaxed-Fit Chino

    Best Stretch Chinos

    Bonobos Stretch Washed Chinos

    Runabout Goods Angler Khaki

    Everlane The Performance Chino

    Todd Snyder Slim Fit 5-Pocket Chino

    Madewell Penn Slim Chinos

    Alex Mill Flat Front Pant

    Flint and Tinder Dobby Chore Pant

    Dockers Alpha Icon Chinos

    Uniqlo Slim-Fit Chino Pants

    Atelier & Repairs x Dockers The Camo Strip

    Duckhead Gold School Chino

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