In A Hurry? These 3 are the best chinos for men in 2020:
A quality pair of chinos are an excellent addition to any man’s wardrobe as they can add an extra level of sophistication to your unique style.
Whether you are big and tall, short and small, or somewhere in the middle, we will take a look at some of the most popular chinos in this guide. Not only will we review a variety of chinos that work for all body shapes, but we’ll also look at chinos at different price points, cuts and the materials they were made from.
Beyond our comprehensive reviews listed below, we will also give you a few quick tips on how to wear chinos, how chinos compare them to the other pants in your wardrobe and answer a few common questions men had about this truly unique pant.
Let’s dive in:
What to Know When Buying Chinos
When looking at all the different types of chinos, in order to make comparisons easier and in trying to find the best chino for you, you must review them in an unbiased manner.
Name clout from brands can cloud your view on whether you are getting a good pair of chinos for both your wallet and body.
During our research, we identified six key factors that you should consider when comparing and determining the best chinos for you:
1. Material / Fabric
Whether it’s denim, dress pants, or in this case, chinos, the material used in the construction is one of the most important factors when determining both the quality and durability of the pants.
When it comes to chinos, we found that most (although not all), are made from a high concentration of cotton.
A naturally breathable fiber, cotton allows for great air circulation and is intimately comfortable, especially if the chinos are to be worn all day long.
However, within the cotton category, different sub-categories exist.
Per the Cotton Incorporated site, the cotton used in the construction of chinos relies on a steep twill construction.
Used in both U.S. Army and British Army uniforms, this tough and durable steep twill construction method can withstand a great deal of rigor without ripping or stretching.
Simply put, if it’s good enough for our troops, then it’s probably good enough for your weekday office wear.
Elastane / Spandex / Lycra
An added fabric that is finding its way into more modern fit chinos is elastane. Typically compromising less than 5% of the total fabric within a pair of chinos, this extra bit of elastane/spandex gives chinos just a little bit extra stretch.
While it might seem ancillary, chinos containing this stretchable fabric are welcomed by many as it gives you a greater range of motion within your legs – especially if you are bending over or squatting.
If your workplace calls for regular movement or you simply have kids that are running all over the house, a pair of chinos with a bit of extra stretch will be welcomed.
Polyester / Rayon
Other fibers oftentimes found in chinos can range from purely synthetic fibers, like polyester, to a manufactured fiber like rayon (derived from a natural cellulose fiber and isn’t categorically considered synthetic) and can change both the feel and texture of the pant.
These fibers are often included in chinos that are bridging the gap between a traditional chino and a dress pant.
While fabrics like polyester have always gotten a bad reputation to be suffocating and plastic, the quality of the construction has improved over the years. Modern fibers like polyester are now found in various articles of clothing used to wick moisture away such as compression shorts.
If you see a pair of chinos with some of these fibers, don’t discount them immediately. If possible, try them on first before purchasing and see what you think for yourself. You might be surprised by the results.
Not another fabric per se, organic cotton exhibits all the same qualities as traditional cotton outlined above. Where organic cotton differs, though, is in how the fabric was sourced and produced.
If you ever wanted to vote with your wallet and only purchase products made in an eco-conscious manner, then this is the fiber to buy.
Organic cotton is grown in a way that has a low impact on the environment. With no use of pesticides and fertilizers, organic cotton allows the soil to continue to thrive long after it has been harvested.
You can read more about organic cotton over at the Organic Trade Association website.
2. Pant Fit
Like men, chinos come in many different sizes.
Some of these following pant fits are available using retailers such as Indochino, Bonobos, J. Crew and others:
So, what’s the difference between all of these?
Here’s a quick look at each in order to find the right one to fit the natural contours of your legs:
Quick Note: Every company cuts their chinos differently. Be sure to double-check the company’s site for more information.
Having both a narrow leg opening and a narrow seat in the pants, this cut leaves very little room for excess fabric or movement.
Best for thinner build men
Ample room in the seat of the pants. Below the knee, these pants have a very slight tapered cut making the leg opening smaller. It is one of the most popular pant fits.
Best for average build men
Bridging the gap between both skinny and slim pant fits, a tailored fit has a slightly narrow (not as aggressive as skinny) seat in the pants. The legs below the knee are also slightly tapered like slim paint.
Best for average to thinner build men
Extra room on both the seat and the leg openings, the athletic pant fit is great for muscular or larger built men. The extra room won’t restrict movement when walking or bending over.
Best for larger or muscular men
Very similar to the athletic pant fit, a relaxed pant has a roomy seat and thigh area. The leg opening on these pants, however, are slightly tapered.
Best for larger or muscular men
No modifications to either the seat or leg opening, the straight cut pant don’t taper between at all. This is one of the least flattering and least recommended pant fits as no men are built straight up and down.
One of the unique qualities of chinos is that they can be a subtle way to express your unique sense of style.
Unlike denim jeans that only come in shades of blue, chinos come in a wide variety of colors which can include some of the following:
…and many more.
So what color is best for you?
If you work in a casual environment and bold colors like red won’t be inappropriate, then have some fun.
Now if you are looking for a pair of chinos that you can wear for a variety of scenarios, then a more conservative color such as navy, brown or charcoal will be a better pick.
Aside from color and fit, most chinos have very similar design aesthetics.
However, with the recent rise in companies such as Indochino, customization and accents of chinos are starting to become more popular.
Here were a few unique features we came across during our research:
- Pocket liner
- Button or Clasp Closure
While we won’t spell out each of the above as some of them are self-explanatory, we did just want to touch on a few:
Traditionally, chinos always have a flat front and are absent of any pleats. Pleats make for extra fabric on the front and can increase range of motion. If possible, try best to avoid these as they are an older design aesthetic that has fallen out of style.
Cuffs / Pin Roll
The functional use of cuffs on the bottom of the pants is there to add weight and make the leg fall straight down (in order to prevent bunching of the fabric). However, a well-sized pair of chinos that aren’t too long shouldn’t need to be cuffed. The only exception would be for stylistic purposes – specifically, cuffing to achieve the pin roll.
While color is one way to express your unique sense of style through chinos, another is with the inner pocket liner. Whether it’s for your front or back pockets, companies make a variety of liners typically in either floral or geometric shapes.
As with all things fashion, brands occupy a large part of the thought process when it comes to considering the options available.
However, we stress that you try and break outside of the habit of buying from specific brands just because you are familiar with them as there are plenty of great picks from companies you may never have experienced before.
While we will look at the best chino brands in greater detail during our reviews, a few standout companies’ men like to check out when it comes to chinos include Bonobos, Indochino, Topman and many others.
The price you pay for chinos can vary greatly from one brand to another.
While some companies play off their brand equity and price their chinos higher, others take the opposite approach and deliver a basic pair of chinos without all the extras (i.e. pocket liner, lower quality closures, etc.).
Based on the findings of our research, you should expect to pay anywhere between $75 and $100 for a quality pair of chinos.
As you see illustrated in our reviews of chinos, we were able to find some great picks that not only were under $50 but also included some higher-end brands that could satisfy any man’s budget.
The Best Chinos for Men of 2020 Reviewed
1. Best Brand: Indochino Men’s Chinos
From customization of the buttons to having your initials monogrammed on the inside waistband, there is no beating what Indochino brings to the table when it comes to a quality pair of chinos.
While “chino” is part of the brand name itself, this is surprisingly not how this company became so popular over the past few years.
We discovered in our review of Indochino that they are mostly known for their custom-made suits.
What sets them apart from most other suit companies was not only their level of customer service but how much you are a part of the design process.
Take for instance the Houndslow Navy Chino. When selected, you can customize the following:
- Pleats (none or one)
- Monogram (style and color)
- Hem (blind hem, cuff, or topstitch)
- Pocket lining (match chino color or three different gingham colors)
- Side pockets (slanted or slanted-wide)
- Back pockets (jetted pockets (with buttons), welt pockets (no buttons), flap pockets (with buttons)
- Button color (four to choose from)
Now worrying about the side pocket slants might be a bit too much…
…and that’s completely ok.
Indochino does offer preset options that you can go with ensuring that you don’t commit any sort of fashion faux pas.
But to have the flexibility in button colors or pocket lining are a slick little way that you can tie your wardrobe colors together in a nice way (i.e. match a gingham pocket liner with your favorite button-down for effortless color coordination).
Now given that you customize your chinos in a multitude of ways, one would think that this service would easily cost anywhere between $150 to $200.
But this is where Indochino really delivers.
Their chinos, along with the customizations, will set you back about $80, making it a steal.
One noticeable feature missing when ordering a pair of chinos from Indochino is the lack of waist or length measurements – this is by design.
Each pair of chinos are made to order. Therefore, after purchasing, you supply the measurements for your legs in order to get the perfect pair delivered to your door.
While their shipping can get to be a bit pricey ($20 per order < $150), we do recommend that you try and double up on your cart as to get free shipping.
- Fabric: 100% Cotton
- Colors: 6
- Extras: Customizations galore
- Waist Range: Custom fit
- Length Range: Custom fit
- Amazing customization process
- Quality materials
- Lots of extras usually found in pricier chinos
- Long shipping time (~ 2 weeks)
What You Need To Know
2. Best Under $100: Bonobos Men’s Chinos
As we recently covered in our review of Bonobos, Andy Dunn & co. shot up to fame with their chinos through their unique (and comfortable) curved waistbands.
While Andy Dunn has since departed the company and they have become a subsidiary of Walmart when they were bought outright in 2017, they still know how to make a terrific chino.
Carrying forward on their impressive legacy, the Bonobos chinos of today are still one of the best picks with a price under $100.
Pictured above is their popular stretched-washed chinos. Relying on a material that is comprised of 98% cotton and 2% lycra, you will have a pair of pants that is not only both breathable and durable but the touch of lycra that gives a little bit of stretch.
So, whether you are bending over, doing a quick jog or simply crouching, you don’t have to worry about these pants restricting movement or splitting at all.
Of course, given that Bonobos made a mark with their curved waistband chinos back in the day, they still employ this same unique level of craftsmanship.
Now on to the color, pant fit and sizes available.
Bonobos currently offer up their Stretch Washed Chino in 20 unique colors – making it one of the widest selections out there.
Within each color you have a variety of pant fits, which include the following:
This makes it truly a unique pant for all leg shapes.
In addition to the pant fit, they offer the following waist and length sizes:
- Waist: 28” to 40”
- Length: 26” to 36”
Perfect for most men out there.
While they push the envelope when it comes to chinos priced under $100 (they currently retail for $98), we think their comfort of the curved waistband along with the balanced composition of materials make them a great selection that you will be happy with.
- Fabric: 98% Cotton / 2% Lycra
- Colors: 20
- Extras: Pocket liner design (2 total)
- Waist Range: 28” to 40”
- Length Range: 26” to 36”
- One of the most comfortable chinos made
- A little bit of stretch increases comfort
- Variety of pant fits available for all leg-builds
- Not much for customization
What You Need To Know
3. Best Under $50: Match Men Slim Chinos
One of the most popular chinos is also coincidentally one of the best cheap pair of them to make it on our list.
Made by Match Men is this low priced (under $50) pair of chinos that delivers the basics you need to feel confident in your style.
What really sets this brand apart from many others on our list is the color selection.
Available in 45 different colors (yes you read that right), it is one of the most colorful selections on our list.
So, whether you are an Army Gray or Stone Red kind of guy, you should have no problem finding a color that fits your own unique tastes.
Color aside, this pant is composed of 98% cotton and 2% spandex, giving it an identical composition as some of the other higher-end chinos on our list.
While these chinos are absent of any design or customization choices, the styles that Match Men did go with are fairly conservative (single welt back pocket, zip fly, button closure, and a typical slant pocket on the front) – making it suitable for any occasion.
Inevitably, given that these are priced competitively, there is one major compromise with them – the inseam length.
While the waist is available in sizes ranging from 29” to 42”, these pants are only made in one length — 31”.
Now, many men may dismiss them immediately, but here’s why you should still consider them:
Chinos aren’t intended to be worn like denim jeans; instead, they should be worn nearly straight down from the knee to the ankle (maybe a half to one fold/break in fabric that rests on your shoes).
Therefore, 31” is likely going to be too long for most men – if you are looking to wear your chinos properly. This means that if you decide on these chinos, you should probably take them to the tailor once you get them.
This way they will be sized appropriately.
- Fabric: 98% Cotton / 2% Spandex
- Colors: 45
- Extras: None
- Waist Range: 29” to 42”
- Length Range: 31”
- Really affordable without compromising on quality
- Variety of waist sizes available
- Color selection is best in class
- Must be hemmed upon purchase
What You Need To Know
4. Best for Big / Tall Guys: Tommy Hilfiger Big & Tall Chino Pants
For the larger built men out there, the Tommy Hilfiger Big & Tall chino pants is a combination of brand heritage and craftsmanship that has been put together to make a great pair of chinos.
Relying on a blend of 97% cotton and slightly higher concentration of spandex (3%) when compared to other chinos on our list, give these pants just a touch more stretch – making it perfect for active larger men.
The added spandex provides just enough give in the fabric that will not cause the pants to stretch out or tear when simply doing a short jog or bending over.
While some companies offer their chinos in 45 different colors, Tommy Hilfiger keeps it classic with only six different colors – which include the following:
- Bayhead Blue
- Bright White
- Mallet (Tan/Brown)
- Drizzle R (off white)
- Navy Blazer
- Sand Khaki
All of the above are conservative picks that can easily be dressed up or down without looking out of place.
But where these chinos really set themselves apart is when it comes to sizing.
Tommy Hilfiger makes these chinos in the following ranges for both waist and inseam:
- Waist: 36” to 58”
- Inseam: 30” to 38”
This is truly a pair of chinos that was made for the man with a larger frame.
While these pants are absent of any superfluous extras (i.e. custom pocket liners, pocket shape selection, etc.), they deliver a great pair of pants at an affordable price.
- Fabric: 97% Cotton / 3% Spandex
- Colors: 6
- Extras: None
- Waist Range: 36” to 58”
- Length Range: 30” to 38”
- Best for big or tall guys
- Conservative color selection works for any scenario
- Quality materials that compliment natural movement
- Color selection absent of any bold choices normally associated with chinos
What You Need To Know
5. Best for Short Guys: Goodthreads Slim Fit Chino Pant for Men
One of Amazon’s hottest private label brands, Goodthreads strikes a perfect balance when it comes to their chino offering.
While they have several sizes that will fit the average man’s frame, we want to take a look at their lower-end of the spectrum to their more modest sizes.
With a waist starting from 28” and an inseam also starting at 28”, they provide a terrific pair of chinos that will work with a lot of guys out there looking for smaller chinos.
Putting these measurements into context, the highly respected brand Peter Manning also starts their waist sizes at 28” for its classic fit chinos. While the Peter Manning inseams do start a few inches shorter, 26” to be precise, the Goodthreads can be taken to your local tailor and get hemmed accordingly if you are looking for a shorter chino.
While the size measurements on the Goodthreads chinos are terrific, the composition of the materials is equally great — 99% cotton and 1% elastane, giving this chino just a bit of natural stretch.
Furthermore, the colors available are also strong. With 12 different colors, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a few pairs that will compliment your style.
Lastly, the fit on the chino pictured above is slim, giving the chinos a slightly tapered look while still not calling attention to a smaller frame.
- Fabric: 99% Cotton / 1% Spandex
- Colors: 12
- Extras: None
- Waist Range: 28” to 42”
- Length Range: 28” to 36”
- Competitively priced
- Quality sourced materials
- Waist and inseam great for slightly smaller men
What You Need To Know
5 Tips on How to Wear Chinos
Whether you are big and tall or short and small, the following tips listed below should be followed by every shape and sized man.
Chinos are an extremely versatile pant and should be treated as such. Therefore, we wanted to highlight a few tips about finding the right fit, how a single pair of chinos works in a variety of situations (casual, smart casual, business casual) and how (and when) you should cuff your chinos.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Right Fit
Any pair of chino needs to fit your body appropriately. As we outlined in the ‘What to Know’ section of this guide, the pant fit that chinos are available in vary brand to brand.
It’s important that you understand two things when selecting a pair of chinos:
- Know when to have an honest self-evaluation of your body shape
- Know when to say no
Here’s what we mean by each of the above:
An Honest Self Evaluation
While we have an image of what our body looks like in our mind, sometimes we fail to see it in an unbiased or objective manner.
This is hard.
We find it hard to admit to ourselves that we have a larger waist area or skinny calves…
…or the opposite of this…
We fail to see if we have larger quads or calves.
When selecting a pair of chinos, it’s important to know that they must not be skintight throughout the entire length of your leg.
Instead, they should have some room around the hip while extending just a bit through the thigh area.
For the area between the knee and ankle, chinos should have a moderate taper (not skinny jeans) that has a slightly smaller leg opening.
As for length, the chinos shouldn’t break (fold-over) at all when extending to your shoes. At most, you should only have one break on a pair of chinos.
If you have any more than a single break or fold at the bottom of the chinos, then you should get them hemmed to the appropriate size.
When to Say No
The reality is that everyone’s body is unique.
We all carry weight in different areas, have different muscular structures and, of course, vary in height from one man to the next.
The pair of chinos that you decided to buy may not be the best for you due to a variety of body differences.
Fun Fact: Did you know that 50% of all clothing purchases online get returned (source)?
This is probably why companies such as Amazon are investing so heavily in getting to understand what makes people tick when it comes to buying clothes.
The point being is this:
Don’t feel obligated to ever keep a pair of chinos unless you are fully satisfied.
Getting a sub-par pair of chinos that you settled on just because they were ok will likely never get worn more than a few times.
So be ok with taking them back to the store or post office and getting them returned.
You (and your credit card) will be happy you did.
2. Casual Wear
While denim usually reigns supreme when it comes to casual or weekend wear, don’t count the chino out.
Chinos can be easily be worn with a pair of nice sneakers coupled with a graph or plain shirt.
Their flat front coupled with a wide color spectrum can subtly display a great sense of style.
For the summer months, a pin roll on the bottom of the chino is also a great way to wear these pants when paired with a nice summer or boat shoe.
3. Smart Casual Wear
When kicking the style up a notch or two and you want to present yourself a little bit better, the chino is perfect for this scenario.
Whether it’s in a formal workplace setting or you have a date scheduled for the evening, wearing chinos with some nice chukkas along with a button-down non-iron dress shirt can send a nice and well put together statement.
For the winter months, you can layer up the above look with a leather jacket and even change out the boots from chukkas to a full-grain leather Chelsea boot.
4. Business Casual Wear
While business casual has appeared to be getting more casual lately, if you get an invitation and are scratching your head on what to wear, give chinos a try.
Not nearly as formal as a pair of good dress pants, a dark-colored chino in navy or charcoal coupled with Chelsea boots and a nice button-down make for a great and professional look.
You can even dress up this style a bit more with a blazer as well.
5. Pin Roll for Style or Self-Expression
As we touched on briefly in the casual wear section above, pin rolling the bottom of your chinos adds a bit of flair to your pants without looking like you are trying too hard.
While we likely have all fallen into the trap of rolling up your pants only to have them fall down a few minutes later, achieving the pin roll is rather easy.
Here’s a short video that men’s fashion retailer ASOS has put together that we think excellently demonstrates on how to achieve this look:
Common Questions Men Had About Chinos
While researching a variety of chinos, we kept seeing men time and time again having the same (or very similar) questions about this unique pant.
Therefore, we wanted to take a quick minute to address some of these questions should there be any on your mind:
Can chinos be formal?
While a pair of dark or black chinos can definitely look quite stylish, if you are going to a formal event and will be presenting or have any eyes on you, then you will want to upgrade to a dress pant instead.
The rougher texture and shape of the chino evokes many of the same qualities as a dress pant (flat front, tailored length, etc.); they generally shouldn’t be considered for such occasions.
What shoes should I wear with chinos?
When wearing chinos, you have a variety of shoes to pick from. Common shoes men like to wear with chinos include both chukka and Chelsea boots.
Depending on the scenario that you are wearing your chinos, you may be able to get away wearing chinos with either casual shoes (not athletic or tennis shoes) or boat shoes.
How should chinos fit?
As we went over earlier in the How to Wear Chinos section, chinos shouldn’t be skintight. There should be a little bit of space for movement throughout the entire pant leg.
Furthermore, chinos should also be cut to complement your natural build (therefore, selecting the proper pant fit is important).
Lastly, a chino should extend to your ankles.
You should have no more than one break in the pants when draped onto your shoes. Chinos with more than one break should be hemmed accordingly.
Chinos vs. Other Types of Pants (Trousers, Khakis, Denim, Etc.)
As with all cases fashion, there usually is a lot of confusion around similar categories. The chino is no different, especially when compared to dress pants, khakis and denim jeans.
Here, we wanted to just take a quick moment to explain how the chino is much different when compared to others:
Typically made mostly from cotton, chinos are a versatile work pant that can be dressed either slightly up or down.
Intended to be fit in a way that naturally compliments the contours of your legs, chinos are a great way to subtly demonstrate both physique and sense of style.
Available in a variety of price points, with most typically costing around $75 for a single pair, they are moderately priced, especially when compared to other pant types.
If you don’t have a pair of chinos currently in your wardrobe, we would recommend investing in a pair.
Their versatility is unmatched and is also quite durable.
Trousers (Dress Pants)
Made for formal office settings and special occasions, dress pants (oftentimes referred to as trousers) significantly differ from chinos in many ways.
Typically made from wool, trousers are a much thinner and less durable pant when compared to chinos.
Although wool is a great insulator while showcasing terrific moisture wicking capabilities, this animal hair-sourced fiber is typically more expensive.
Furthermore, dress pants are stuck in one category when it comes to clothes – formal.
Should the weekend come around and you are looking for a casual ant to wear to your kid’s soccer game, unfortunately, the dress pant must be skipped as it can’t be dressed down.
Khakis and chinos get confused heavily in the world of men’s fashion.
In fact, the confusion is so prevalent we had to write a whole article comparing chinos vs khakis to help set the record straight.
Here’s a short summary on how these two pants differ:
Khakis get their name from the military uniform of the Corps of Guides in 1848 (source).
Khaki is borrowed from the Persian word of khâk, which means soil or dust (the color of the uniforms).
Half a century later (1898), U.S. troops were fighting in the Spanish-American War.
That war extended over to the Philippines.
While fighting, those troops needed a pant that was lightweight (cotton twill) and durable.
Outsourcing production over to China, the pant was made and would formally become the chino.
Chino gets its name from the Spanish translation of pantalones chinos – which got shortened to simply chino.
Where does this lead us (other than an interesting history lesson steeped in military roots)? Well, these pants are both the same and different.
With no oversight over how fashion products are labeled, companies have taken liberties at marketing both khakis and chinos.
Typically, you will find the following when looking at khakis:
- They are pleated
- Have cuffs
- Not nearly as tapered on the pant fit
In addition, you will find when looking for chinos they may be labeled as ‘khaki’. We found this often to only refer to the color of the pant itself (just like it was designated in 1848) rather than any cut.
Denim / Skinny Jeans
Denim or skinny jeans are like chinos in a lot of ways.
Made from a high concentration of cotton mixed in with a little bit of elastane or spandex and you have a pair of pants that is breathable, durable and moderately priced.
However, unlike chinos that come in a multitude of colors, denim only comes in a few (typically shades of blue, white/stone, or black).
Great for casual and, in some instances, smart casual or business casual, denim can also be dressed up or down easily.
The biggest difference between the classic denim jeans and chinos is how far into the formal spectrum you can truly go.
Wearing nice dark denim to a formal business meeting is ill-advised, whereas wearing chinos may be passable (depends, of course, on the industry and the company).
Prices of denim can vary wildly as you can find them priced anywhere between $30 to $300 – it all depends on the quality of the denim sourced and sub-category within the denim (i.e. selvedge, raw, sanforized, etc.)
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Chinos
Choosing the best chinos for men in 2020 proved to be rather difficult. Not only do you have a wide variety of brands that make this popular pant, but you also must take a look at the materials used in the construction along with sizes, colors and more.
However, after reading reviews from countless men, checking what other fashion experts had to say, and more, we are confident that our reviews of chinos above should work for just about everyone.
Whether you are a big or tall guy or one that skews shorter or are simply on a tight budget but want to look stylish, our curated selection above should help you in finding the perfect pair of chinos.