Twill Pants Vs Chinos, Do You Know The Difference?

mens Chinos and Twill Pants

You think you know your clothes well, till dilemmic arguments such as identifying the difference between twill pants and chino pants come up. Sincerely, making such distinctions can be hard especially if you’re not in the fashion/textile industry or a fashion/textile expert.

With that said, what is the difference between twill and chino pants?

While twill pants refer to the pattern of the pant, chinos refer to a fabric crafted in that pattern as well as pants that have been made of that fabric. Any pants patterned diagonally can be called twill pants, irrespective of the material used in making it. However, only pants made of chinos can be called chinos.

You don’t have to be an expert to know the difference between twill pants and chinos. This article discusses both terminologies, making it easy for you to detect the differences between them.

Let’s proceed.


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Related read: 7 Ways To Know If Your Chinos Are Too Tight

Twill Pants vs Chinos

Are chinos and twill pants the same?  Chinos and twill pants are not the same, although chinos are a type of twill pants. While twill refers to the diagonal pattern in which the fabric is woven, chino refers to a specific style of pants made from twill fabric. Chinos are typically made from 100% cotton twill cloth and have a clean, simple design with minimal details or embellishments. They also typically have a straight cut and a slightly tapered leg, creating a classic and timeless silhouette.

While chinos and twill pants may seem interchangeable, there are some nuances to consider when choosing between the two.

What are Twill pants

First, what’s twill?

Twill pants are pants that are woven in a specific diagonal pattern known as twill. This weaving pattern is characterized by a series of diagonal lines that run parallel to each other, creating a distinctive texture and appearance. Twill pants can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics. The diagonal pattern of twill pants not only gives them a unique look but also adds durability and strength to the fabric.

Twill pants are often considered to be a versatile and practical option for everyday wear, as they are both comfortable and long-lasting. The feel of twill pants can vary depending on the type of fabric used, but they are generally soft and flexible with a slight sheen. The diagonal pattern also adds texture to the fabric, which can create a slightly rougher feel.

Chino Pants for Men

Chino pants are a type of pants that are made from twill fabric, just like many other types of pants. However, chino pants are unique because they are traditionally made from 100% cotton twill cloth. This type of fabric is known for its softness and durability, making it an ideal choice for comfortable and long-lasting pants. Chino pants are characterized by their clean and simple design, with minimal details or embellishments. They typically have a straight cut and a slightly tapered leg, creating a classic and timeless silhouette that can be worn in various settings. Despite their simplicity, chino pants can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, making them a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

History of Chinos

History has it that chinos originated in 1848 when a British Army officer called Harry Lumsden decided that the Corps of Guides he commanded would be better dressed in drab-coloured clothes. Upon his command the textile millers set to work, dying the cotton cloth of the uniforms in mulberry juice which resulted in a khaki colour.

However, chinos became a sensation after WWII when they found their way into the wardrobes of American teenagers alongside jean trousers.

The word ‘chinos’ is the Spanish word for Chinese, and they are named thus because the cloth itself was originally made in China. The pants were initially called pantalone chinos (Chinese pants) but were eventually shortened to just chinos.

Quite often, khaki comes into the conversation when differentiating between twill and chino mens pants. So let’s use one stone to kill two birds by answering;


Related read: What shirts To Wear With Chino Pants For All Occasions

What’s the Difference Between Chinos and Khakis?

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Knowing the history of chinos helps us understand why khaki comes up when discussing chinos and twill pants for men.

Chinos were adopted from the U.S. Army by the end of the Second World War. However, when they were still military uniforms, they were designed in khaki colour because the colour blended easily with landscapes. As a result, chinos was nicknamed ‘khaki’.

But now the war is over, and chino pants are made in colours other than khaki, would you still call khaki-coloured chinos ‘khaki’ or would you recognize khaki as a colour that it is and not as an article of clothing?

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Wrangler Men's Riata Flat Front Relaxed Fit Casual Pant, Khaki, 34X32

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Whatever decision you make will be right.

That’s one side of the argument.

Another side of the argument recognizes khaki as a style of pant, not just a colour. That’s why people ask, “what are khaki pants made of?” The answer to this question is the difference between chinos and khakis pants.

Unlike chino for men that is made of 100% lightweight cotton fabric, khakis are made of cotton, wool or a combination of these fibres. Sometimes, blends of synthetic fibres also form khaki. Because of the fabric, chinos pants are light, while khaki pants are heavy.


What Is The Difference Between Jeans And Twill?

The main difference between jeans and twill pants lies in the type of fabric used to make them. Jeans are typically made from a heavier weight denim fabric, which is a type of twill fabric woven with indigo-dyed warp yarns and white weft yarns. This gives denim its distinctive blue color and creates a more rigid and sturdy fabric.

Twill pants, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of materials including cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers, and are characterized by their diagonal weaving pattern. Twill pants tend to be softer and more flexible than denim, making them a more comfortable choice for everyday wear. While both jeans and twill pants are popular choices for casual trousers, they offer different textures and styles to suit different preferences.


Advantages of Twill Weave Pants

men wearing chino pants

Twill weave offers the following benefits:


Twill weaves usually make fabrics closer in texture and weight, thereby making them sturdy. That’s why they were(are) the preferred choice of pattern/weave for military uniforms. That’s also why clothes that adopt this pattern are durable.

Allows for Creativity

The weave allows you create many fancy designs. If you research more on twill weaves, you’ll find out that there are over 10 classifications of twill weaves. This makes it possible for you to arrange your twill pattern in different styles.

Wrinkle- and soil-resistant

Because the fabrics are placed diagonally over each other, they do not wrinkle easily. They’re also able to seal out stains/ soils from the cloth as they are closely inter-woven. Even when they are soiled, it’s hard to detect.


What Kind of Outfit Would you Call Twill Pants?

Twill pants are usually categorized as casual and business casual outfits. However, there are minor restrictions to twill pants that can be categorized as business casual based colour.

If you read our business causal guide here, you’ll learn that you need to be conservative with your colour selection when dressing business casual because, although they are casual, you should still respect the ‘mood’ of the work environment.

Twill pants go well with both shirts and polos. Therefore, they easily fit in as both casual and business casual.


How to Care for Twill Pants

Although twill weaves create sturdy and soil-resistant pants, you shouldn’t pay less attention to how you care for the pants. Compared to plain weave, twill weaves are harder to care for. To care for twill pants, we suggest the following:

  • Wash with like garments
  • Wash inside out to protect print
  • Use only phosphate-free detergents
  • Do not soak, wring, rub, bleach or tumble
  • Use cold water to wash. This helps the pants last longer and maintain its colour
  • You can hand-wash or machine-wash. If you choose to machine-wash, apply a gentle or delicate machine cycle to prevent colour loss.

Summarily, it’s safe to say that you now know better about your pants and you recognize the fact that twill is a broad category, and chinos falls under this category.

And please, don’t forget to check out different shirts you can rock your chinos and khaki with here.

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