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If there’s one thing to be said about chinos it’s this: they’re versatile. That is, versatile enough to wear for a variety of occasions, whether it’s to enhance a smart casual look or for a weekend on the boat or hiking trail.
They’ve also come a long way, and today’s chinos are far removed from the duller, stiffer chinos of the past.In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
Let’s get started, however, with some chino buying tips.
|Goodthreads Slim-Fit Washed Comfort Stretch Chinos||Check on Amazon|
|Bonobos Men’s Chino Pants||Check on Amazon|
|Volcom Frickin Modern-Fit Stretch Chinos||Check on Amazon|
|Amazon Essentials Wrinkle-Resistant Chino Pants||Check on Amazon|
|Dockers Slim-Fit Tapered Fit Workday Chinos||Check on Amazon|
|Match Men Slim Tapered Flat Casual Pants||Check on Amazon|
|Calvin Klein Refined Stretch Chino Slim Fit Pant||Check on Amazon|
|Under Armour Men’s Performance Tapered Leg Chino||Check on Amazon|
|Unionbay Rainer Lightweight Travel Tech Chino Pants||Check on Amazon|
|Gingtto Chinos Flat-Front Skinny Dress Pants||Check on Amazon|
|Tommy Hilfiger Big & Tall Classic-Fit Stretch Chinos||Check on Amazon|
Before you buy: 5 Things to consider when purchasing chinos
It pays to do your research while you consider buying any product, including chinos. Not all chinos fit the same, look the same, or suit your everyday wardrobe, and there are some things to consider before you plunk down your hard-earned cash for a new pair.
The fit is it for everything from shoes to shirts to hats to, yes, chinos. The right fit provides all the comfort you need to get through your workday or weekend outing and should suit your body type.
In general, chinos come in the following fits: slim, skinny, tailored, athletic, relaxed, and straight. Men with thinner builds should check out skinny-fit chinos while larger, muscular men are often best-served by athletic-fit chinos.
Most chinos consist of lightweight cotton that sets them apart from khakis (which typically use heavier weight cotton). Cotton is breathable, comfortable, and durable.
Many chinos include a blend of cotton and a stretchy material such as elastane, which helps to give the pants a greater range of motion, especially if you’re bending over or squatting.
Organic cotton, that’s naturally sourced and produced, has also gained popularity among eco-conscious manufacturers.
Synthetic fibers such as polyester are used in chino construction, as well. Although not as common as cotton blends, polyester can help give chinos a slightly dressier look.
Most chino brands and styles come in a variety of colors, which helps to set them apart from denim jeans. The color you choose depends on, 1) your occupation; bolder colors work best in casual work environments, and 2) your personality and preferences.
You’ll find plenty of big-name brands in the chino marketplace. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try brands you may not be familiar with, because many of them make high-quality chinos.
Chinos, like other types of clothing, vary widely in price depending on the brand and other factors. In general, expect to pay $75 and above for a quality pair of chinos, although you can also find very good ones for a lower price.
Let’s move on to our reviews of the best chinos for men.
The 11 best chinos for men in 2020
- Tapered look and feel
- Excellent stretchiness
- Suitable for workday and weekend casual looks
The best chinos for:
Tall and slim men looking for chinos suitable for workday and weekend use.
Goodthreads calls their Slim-Fit Washed Comfort Stretch pants “The Perfect Chino Pant.”
Is anything ever truly perfect? Probably not, but it’s safe to the Goodthreads Chinos are damn good and a worthy addition to any man’s wardrobe.
It’s also hard to argue with chinos that you can wear everywhere, whether it’s at the office or for hanging out with friends on the weekend, without worrying if you’re dressing down or too much for any occasion.
And we believe that they rank among the best men’s dress chinos.
The Goodthreat chinos have a 97% cotton and 3% Spandex construction that deliver the right amount of stretch and comfort. Their slim fit and tapering provide a tailored look and, say the folks at Goodthreads are along the lines of J. Crew and Banana Republic chinos.
These chinos come pre-washed, so they have an easy-wearing look from the start but without sacrificing a professional vibe. And they include five pockets that fit seamlessly into the overall design.
- You can pair them with t-shirts, polos, and dressier shirts without worrying if they fit the occasion.
- They feature wrinkle-free, non-iron fabric that’s machine-washable.
- They have a comfortable fit, thanks, in part, to an easy-fit waistband.
- Longtime durability is an issue for some reviewers.
Goodthreads makes excellent chinos – “perfect” by their standards – and their Slim-Fit Comfort Stretch pants are versatile and comfortable.
- Very comfortable
- Fit all leg shapes
- Many color options
The best chinos for:
Men who don’t want to worry about finding the right fit for their build
Most reviews of the best men’s chinos for 2020 include something from Bonobos. That’s not a surprise, given the overall quality of their chinos.
Their men’s Stretch Washed Chinos are everything you’d expect from a top-notch pair of chinos: comfort, breathability, and the right amount of stretch that doesn’t restrict your range of movement.
We also appreciate that they come in various pant fits – skinny, straight, slim, athletic, and tailored. You should be able to find the ideal fit for your leg shape without a problem.
Made from 98% cotton and 2% lycra, the Bonobos chinos are comfortable and stretchy enough for a variety of activities. They also feature a curved waistband that’s unique among chinos and which adds to their overall comfort.
- You have 20 unique colors from which to choose, and each color choice features a variety of pant fits.
- You can find the right fit for your leg shape easily.
- They’re comfortable enough to wear for many activities without restricting movement.
- A bit on the pricey side.
Bonobos make quality chinos, period. Their Stretch Washed Chino Pants are worth the investment and provide excellent comfort.
- Good for work and leisure
- Comfortable fit
The best chinos for:
Men looking for a smart, casual look
Versatility can mean a lot of things, including when it comes to clothing. In the case of Volcom’s Frickin Modern Fit Stretch chinos for men, it means a pair of pants you can wear during the workday and then again on the weekends.
Indeed, the Frickin Modern Fit Stretch Chino Pants are a fricking good fit for the skate park and the office and have a comfortable feel you’re sure to love.
Made from a cotton and polyester blend, the Frickin Modern chinos have enough stretch that allows for a full range of motion. Moreover, they’re very breathable and an excellent alternative to jeans when the temperatures start to soar in the summer.
They also feature a classic straight leg fit with a regular rise and a 16” leg opening. And, they include custom embroidery on the inside of the left leg and the Volcom flag tag on the back right pocket.
- They have a 2% Elastane blend that gives them enough stretch and helps make for a comfortable fit all day long.
- You can cuff the bottom and wear them with leather trainers for a look that really pops.
- Like all Volcom products, they’re made from recycled fibers from post-industrial and post-consumer waste.
- The fit is too slim for some.
Volcom’s Frickin chinos have a classic yet modern look and offer a comfortable fit to suit any occasion.
- Classic style
- Roomy enough
The best chinos for:
Men on a budget
Paying less for chinos doesn’t mean you get a lesser product. Case in point: Amazon Essentials’ Wrinkle-Resistant Chino Pants, which are an excellent pair of pants at a budget-friendly price.
The Amazon Essential chinos consist of a cotton and polyester blend (60% cotton) that has a relaxed look and fit. These chinos sit on your waist nicely and have plenty of room in the seat and thighs to remain comfortable throughout the day but without looking too baggy.
They also feature a tapered fit around the knee and crotch areas, as well as off-seam side pockets. These chinos also feature two slant pockets and two rear button pockets, as well as a zip fly with button closure.
And with 10 colors from which to choose, you won’t have much trouble pairing these pants with your wardrobe.
- Classic flat-front look is dressy enough to wear to most offices.
- The cotton and polyester blend is breathable and keeps your legs from becoming too warm.
- You have a nice selection of colors from which to choose.
- They’re wrinkle-resistant but not wrinkle-free.
The Amazon Essentials Men’s Classic-Fit Chinos are excellent for any man who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money to get a quality pair of pants.
- Flexible waistband
- Excellent fit
The best chinos for:
Men who want a workday chino that’s durable
You probably know all about Dockers’ khakis. After all, khakis are one of the staples of the Dockers line and worn by millions.
But Dockers also makes nice tapered chinos, not the least of which are their Slim-Fit Workday 360 Flex Pants for men. The latter look great, feel great, and should last a long time with regular use and care.
Made from 92% cotton and 8% Elastane, Dockers’ Slim Tapered Chinos are very comfortable and provide just the right amount of stretch without being too baggy.
They have a slim, tapered fit, as the name suggests, and feature single-needle stitching for a refined look.
The combination of cotton/Elastane material with single-needle stitching makes it easier to keep these pants wrinkle-free. You can machine wash and dry them without worrying about how they’ll look when you pull them from the dryer.
The waistband is flexible and offers extra comfort, even if you’re on the move. These chinos also come with Dockers’ simple brass zipper with a durable plastic button.
Like many of the other chinos in our reviews, the Dockers Slim-Fit pants come in a variety of colors to help you rock the look you desire.
- These chinos provide the amount of stretch and fit to keep you comfortable all day.
- You can machine wash them without worrying about wrinkles.
- They fit very comfortably at the waist while providing excellent freedom of movement.
- The inseam may shink a bit after several washings.
You can count on Dockers for comfort and a nice casual style, and their Slim Fit 360 Flex Pants aren’t an exception.
- Suitable for casual and business wear
- Available in many colors
- Variety of waist sizes available
The best chinos for:
Men who want an affordable pair of chinos that doesn’t compromise quality
Match Men’s Slim Tapered Flat Front Casual Pants don’t come with a lot of frills, but they do come in a lot of colors.
They also come in a variety of waist sizes so, whether you’re skinny or feeling the effects of holiday dinners and snacks, the chances are good that you’ll find a fit for you.
As mentioned, these chinos don’t come with many design options, but that’s not to say they have an overly plain look. They’re excellent for casual and smart wardrobes and make for excellent spring and autumn wear.
The Match Men chinos consist primarily of cotton but have a touch of Spandex to help give them just enough stretch. They feature a slant pocket on the front, a rear double welt pocket, and a zip fly and button closure.
An interesting feature of these chinos is that they come in one length – 31”. That can be troublesome, but not necessarily as difficult as it seems because chinos fit differently than denim jeans; chinos have a straight fit from the knee to the ankle.
In any case, the Match Men chinos may be a bit long for you, which could require seeking the services of a tailor.
The waist size of Match Men’s chinos is from 29” to 42,” so you won’t have any problem finding the right fit there.
- Match Men offers more colors (45) than most chino manufacturers.
- They’re affordable when compared to many other chinos, but Match Men doesn’t skimp on quality.
- A wide range of waist sizes makes it easier to find a comfortable fit.
- You may have to shorten their length upon purchase.
The Match Men Flat Front Casual Pants don’t have the extra features that many other chinos have, but that takes nothing away from their overall quality.
- Classic, refined look
- Flexible fabric
- Excellent for modern wardrobes
The best chinos for:
For men who appreciate Calvin Klein’s refined design
The Calvin Klein brand represents a lot of things, not the least of which is its refined, classy look. Their Slim Fit Chinos don’t veer from the formula while representing the brand very well.
The Slim Fit chinos are nicely tailored – as you’d expect from Calvin Klein – and present a classic look made to wear with modern wardrobes. They consist of 98% cotton and 2% Elastane for a nice stretch that provides all-day comfort.
Like many of the other chinos in our reviews, the Calvin Klein Slim Fit pants are great for the workday but also ideal for weekends. You can pair them with a Calvin Klein dress shirt or sweater for a truly refined look.
Other features include functional front and back pockets and single button front closure with a zipper fly.
- They’re made from strong material and should last a long time with proper care.
- They have the right amount stretch needed for an all-day comfortable fit.
- They make it easy to get a sophisticated, refined look during workdays and weekends.
- Sizing may run small.
It’s hard to beat Calvin Klein’s overall quality, and their Refined Stretch Chino pants stay true to the company brand.
- Four-way stretch
- Wicks away moisture
The best chinos for:
Men who lead active lives
A performance chino should feel like activewear, to some degree. Not like training pants, mind you, but pants you can wear on the golf course that don’t hinder your body’s movement.
It makes sense that Under Armour – a world leader in sports apparel – would have the best performance chinos, which is one way to define their men’s Performance Tapered Leg Chino. They consist of 98% cotton and 2% Spandex and have an exceptionally soft feel.
With Under Armour’s 4-way stretch construction, you have a full range of movement in these chinos – which is important when you engage in activities that involve more than sitting at your desk.
It also features durable, textured fabric that wicks away sweat and dries quickly, and which includes technology that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes.
These chinos sit just below the waist comfortably and have plenty of room in the hip and thigh areas without being too baggy. A stretch-engineered waistband enhances mobility and range of movement, as well.
- The fabric wicks away sweat, dries fast, and is resistant to wrinkles.
- They have a loose fit, unlike many chinos, but never feel baggy.
- They have a flat front and four-pocket design that looks good.
- They tend to attract lint.
Under Armour knows what it’s doing when designing clothing and apparel for men who lead active lives. Their Performance Tapered Leg Chino is no exception.
- Excellent for the outdoors
The best chinos for:
Men who are ready for anything
Tech pants are designed to be versatile enough to be ready for every occasion. That makes them a popular choice among many of today’s men, including those who may work in an office but aren’t chained to it.
Unionbay’s Rainier Lightweight Comfort Travel Tech pants are among the best chinos for plenty of reasons – including their versatility. They’re comfortable, stretchy, and you can wear them for activities such as hiking, golf, and traveling.
They also feature a water-repellent, quick-drying fabric, and they’re among the most lightweight chinos available. Made from 94% nylon and 6% Spandex, they’re great for the outdoors and other causal settings.
They feature mesh-lined pockets, a single side leg pocket with a zippered closure, as well as zippered back pockets and a button fly closure.
- These chinos are excellent for active men who spend a lot of time outdoors.
- They have a comfortable fit that’s stretchy and lightweight.
- They’re machine-washable (in cold water), and you can tumble dry them on a low setting.
- Some reviewers think the pockets could be better quality.
A good pair of tech chinos is suitable for a variety of occasions and an active lifestyle. Unionbay’s Rainier Lightweight Comfort Travel Tech chinos fit the bill.
- Dressy look
- Versatile for many occasions
The best chinos for:
Men who prefer skinny chinos that have a dressy look
You’ll have plenty to choose from if you’re in the market for skinny chinos, but you should give Gingtto’s Flat-Front Skinny Dress Pants serious consideration.
Gingtto’s chinos have a skinny fit, indeed, but also several other nice features that help them rise to the top. Made from 50% rayon, 35% nylon, and 15% Spandex, they provide the right amount of stretch for everyday motion.
They also have a bespoke checked pattern – with side stripes – that helped give them a dressier vibe than many solid-color chinos, as well as a tapered fit that extends to the ankle.
Other features include a high waist, a four-pocket design, and a zipper closure. You can machine wash them, as well, and they have sturdy stitching for nice durability.
- They’re suitable for both casual and dressier wardrobes and look good in the office and during weekend activities with friends and family.
- They feature Gingtto’s Comfort Stretch that provides a nice fit and stretch throughout the day.
- You can get them in full-length grey and black for autumn and winter wear.
- Some reviewers say they’re more slim fit than skinny fit.
Gingtto’s chinos are very comfortable, and they look good. You’ll like how you feel even after wearing these pants during long hours at work.
- Just the right amount of stretch
- Multiple sizing options
- Classic fit
The best chinos for:
Men with a large and/or tall build.
It’s not always easy to find clothes that fit correctly – and comfortably – for men with larger builds. Fortunately, clothing such as Tommy Hilfiger’s Big & Tall Classic-Fit Stretch Chinos makes it easier.
While big and tall sizes aren’t uncommon by any means, Tommy Hilfiger Classic-Fit pants are the best chinos for big guys.
They also rank high among stretch chinos and feature a 97% cotton and 3% Spandex blend that provides just the right amount of give to prevent binding.
But there are other cool features, as well, including:
- They’re tailored to rest just below the waist and have a straight fit from thigh to ankle.
- They include side slant pockets and buttoned slit-back pockets.
- They’re affordable and create a polished, tailored look.
If you’re a man with a larger build, you’ll appreciate how these chinos offer a bit more stretch than many other brands, which also is ideal if you lead an active lifestyle.
- It’s hard to beat the sizing of these chinos, which makes them excellent for big and tall men.
- The conservative color selection makes them adaptable to many wardrobe choices.
- The slightly higher blend of Spandex helps to give them an ideal amount of stretch.
- While the conservative color options work well, they’re not for you if you prefer bolder hues.
Tommy Hilfiger makes it easy for larger men to rock the chinos look thanks to their Classic-Fit Stretch Chino pants.
5 Tips for wearing chinos
Chinos are less formal than dress pants and more dressy than casual jeans, which helps make them versatile enough to wear on a variety of occasions. The rules for wearing them take into account factors such as fit and color.
Is there one rule for how chinos should fit? Not really, and the fit depends on personal preference and trends and other hard-to-define guidelines. In general, however, here are some rules to consider:
You want to leave enough room in the hips so you can bend over without tearing or straining a seam, especially if you have larger thighs than the average man.
Your chinos should fit comfortably on your waist but snugly enough that you don’t need a belt to keep your pants from falling. But you don’t want them to be so tight that you feel the need to unbutton them after a heavy meal.
Chinos sit lower on the waist than dress pants and should rest in between the upper and mid-hip bone area.
Your chinos should have a close fit on the thighs without restricting movement. In other words, strive for a slim fit that’s not too tight.
The length of your chinos depends on how much break you want; in general, you want them to have a hem that leaves a slight break or none at all. They should also be hemmed straight across rather than slightly longer in the back.
If you often go sockless when wearing chinos, then go with a slight break rather than no break. Also, chinos with no break look best on shorter men.
If you feel like your chinos will split when you sit, then they’re too tight. On the other hand, you don’t want them to be too baggy. If that’s the case, you may want to consider going down a size.
Also, pay attention to how they fit in the crotch area (the crotch and seat make up what’s considered the “rise” of pants). Chinos with a very low rise only look good on men with long legs.
Make sure the fit in the calves isn’t too tight. You should be able to put your socks on without having to take your pants off.
A common question concerning chinos is whether they’re business casual or not. Many would argue that they’re not and that you’re better off wearing something dressier for those occasions, but others say chinos are ideal for biz casual.
In any case, a pair of slim-fit chinos with a button-up shirt (that’s tucked in) with leather shoes that fit the season is a classic business casual look that looks great.
Chinos are suitable for most modern offices and easily rivals the commonplace khakis and dress shirt look.
There are many ways you can wear chinos with a dressier look, such as pairing them with a blazer of a contrasting color.
3. Shoes and chinos
Among the many reasons that chinos are so versatile is that you can wear them with almost every type of shoe.
In the warmer months, you can wear loafers, sneakers, sandals, boat shoes, and other similar styles with chinos. In the fall and winter, pair your chinos with boots, brogues, chukkas, boots, etc.
Avoid wearing flip-flops with chinos (or flip-flops with any long pants, for that matter), and with the dressiest shoes, such as patent leather Oxfords.
You shouldn’t feel limited when choosing your color of chinos. From tan and khaki to navy and red, there’s a wide color palette from which to choose. In general, the most versatile colors are khaki, navy, and olive.
Olive is always a good color choice because it pairs well with light and dark colors, and goes with just about everything you have in your wardrobe.
5. Cuff or no cuff?
Whether you cuff your chinos or not depends on the situation, but, in general, they’re excellent for cuffing because their thick, sturdy material stays in place easily.
Keep a few things in mind before you cuff, however:
- Cuffing your pants makes them shorter and exposes your socks and ankles. The latter is a decidedly bolder look that isn’t a no-no, but one you should wear carefully.
- Many men say that cuffing their pants makes them look shorter, which is why shorter men may want to avoid cuffing altogether.
- Keep the cuffs short (1-2 inches), and your pants tapered to a narrow leg opening.
- Never cuff your pants for formal occasions.
Chinos vs. khakis
There’s often confusion when it comes to chinos and khakis, and many consumers may think they’re the same thing. But they’re not.
Chinos consist of a lightweight cotton or cotton blend material and have visible stitching. They have a more finished, formal, and – all in all – a dressier look than khakis.
Another characteristic of chinos is that they become narrower as they go lower on the leg. You can wear them with cuffs or no cuffs. They also have a slimmer look than chinos.
Another difference between chinos and khakis is that the lighter weight of chinos makes them ideal for warmer climates in which khakis might be a bit thick and too warm.
Chinos also tend to have a flat front, which helps make them a favorite in contemporary men’s style.
How chinos fit is an extremely important consideration to keep in mind when it’s time to buy a new pair. The more exact the fit, the better.
Khakis typically consist of a heavier cotton fabric weight than chinos. They’re thick, straight-legged, and pleated – although they’re available in flat fronts these days. They also have cuffs at the bottom hems.
Khakis tend to be more casual because of their sturdier, heavier fabric. The rugged material helps make them more durable in harsher conditions but a bit hot in warmer climates.
Another difference between khakis and chinos is that khakis have a baggier look than chinos. Khakis are ideal for casual outfits, such as those that include t-shirts, polo shirts, and patterned shirts that you wear untucked.
How we chose these products
One problem with singling out some chinos while ignoring others is that you have to relegate some of them to a second-best list. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that some quality products get left on the shelf.
We think we’ve come up with a solid list of the best-of-the-best, however, after doing plenty of research and studying the reviews of customers. We looked for versatile chinos, only those that had a superior fit, and that could fit a variety of body shapes.
We also looked at other factors, such as price, color options, extras (pockets, etc.), and how suitable they were for a variety of occasions.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are chinos?
Chinos are a style of trouser that’s derived from American military wear. They consist of lightweight cotton or a cotton blend and have visible stitching to give them a more finished, dressy look. Chinos are tapered, and you can wear them with or without a cuff.
How to wear chinos
We discuss how to wear chinos in detail in the section on “Tips for Wearing Chinos” above. In general, chinos are a dressier option than khakis and good for business casual wear, especially with today’s more modern office settings.
What to wear with chinos
One of the many good qualities of chinos is their versatility, i.e., you can wear them with many types of clothing. They pair well with blazers for a dressier look, or also with a button-down shirt for classy styling.
How should chinos fit?
We talk about fit in our section on how to wear chinos earlier in the article.
In short, they should fit snugly enough, but not too snug, around the waist so that you don’t need a belt. They should never be baggy on any part of your lower body, but still loose enough that you can move without restriction.
What shoes to wear with chinos
The only no-nos for pairing chinos with shoes is that you should never wear them with flip-flops or the dressiest of shoes, such as Oxfords. Otherwise, what shoes you choose for chinos is often dependent on the season and climate.
How to wash chinos
Always wash your chinos in cold water to maintain their often-vibrant colors, and set your washer on a delicate setting.
Choose a detergent and softener that keep your chinos from fading or shrinking, and wrinkle-free. Dry them on the lowest setting to prevent too much shrinking.
How iron chinos
Pull your chinos from the dryer while they’re slightly damp before drying them. Turn them right-side-out and iron them on an ironing board or another flat surface.
How long should chinos be?
If you decide not to cuff your chinos, then they should reach the top of your shoe and no further. If you do decide to cuff them, they should end at your ankle.
How to cuff chinos
Use caution when cuffing your chinos because the fabric can get a bit floppy, and look sloppy, around the ankles. Your cuff should be about two inches, at the most, and smooth it out until it’s flat.
What are chinos jeans?
Is there such a thing as chino jeans? Well, some jeans have a chino style, such as Izod’s Men’s Comfort Stretch Straight Fit Jean that features a slimmer fit in the seat and thigh, a flat front, and consists of a cotton blend.
What is the difference between chinos and khakis?
The biggest difference between chinos and khakis is that chinos consist of lighter weight cotton or cotton blend fabric and have a more dressy look. Check out our section above for a deeper dive into the difference between chinos and khakis.
Finding a good pair of chinos in a veritable sea of chinos doesn’t have to be difficult. But the right pair will enhance your look, suit your wardrobe, and provide all-day comfort no matter the occasion.
How about you? What are your favorite chinos? Have you worn any of those listed in our reviews? We’d love to hear from you.