Should Chinos Be Shorter Than Jeans?

With a name derived from the Spanish word for “roasted”, from being just a part of the Philippine army’s attire to one of the comfiest and most popular pants of the 21st century, chinos have indeed come a long way.

What was originally made with a 100% cotton is not made with fabric blends and the roasted khaki color has gradually evolved into a huge palette of shades.

They are indeed super comfy and stylish, but with the plethora of options out there it can be a bit confusing to figure out how chinos should fit to provide you with maximum comfort and elegance, especially when compared to its main rival, jeans. Read on to find out. 

Should Chinos Be Shorter Than Jeans

Should chinos be shorter than jeans? 

No matter how good the material is or how comfortable it feels, pants, be it jeans or chinos or joggers, should always have the right fit. From the waist to the hem it should fit you impeccably and therefore knowing how long each type of pants should be is of utmost importance. 

If your jeans or chinos are too long it is going to be one heck of a disaster and if it is too short people might probably ask you whether you are about to go play by the sea.

When we compare the length of jeans and chinos it is always preferable to keep chinos a bit shorter than jeans for a much more elegant look.

Jeans should fit snugly around your shoe’s top and that it the perfect way to show off the footwear, look a bit taller and seem more stylish and put together. 

Chinos on the other hand should have a break. They should sit above the shoe’s top/ ankle. If you want you can fold the hem once to show off the ankle for a bit more casual look.

It is important that the chinos do not overlap the shoes as this might result in pilling and would look a bit sloppy. 

How should chinos fit? 

Chinos should fit you perfectly around the waist. They do not stretch like jeans and therefore do not go for tight fitting chinos if you want to be comfortable in them.

Chinos usually sit lower than formal pants on the waist, but should sit exactly where jeans would sit, ie, between upper and hip-bone area. 

Chinos shouldn’t be too tight around the thighs as well. You should be able to pinch the sides up to not more than an inch.

If there’s more room, the chinos would look too baggy and sloppy. If there’s no extra space, the chinos would feel really tight when you sit or work. 

But despite the regular ones, chinos are available in a variety of fits like classic, slim-fit, skinny etc. Based on your aesthetic and preferences you can opt for any fit that you find comfy and stylish. 

Should chinos be tight? 

Chinos are not stretchable like jeans and therefore it is not a great option to go for tight chinos. Chinos should have at least an inch of extra space for the thighs to feel comfortable in them. But they shouldn’t be too baggy either. 

Will chinos shrink? 

Chinos are made with cotton and therefore there is the question of shrinkage. Chinos can indeed withstand tumble drying with high heat but with repeated application of heat and gradually using low heat there is a chance of slight shrinkage.

Therefore wash chinos before you make alterations to them and always make sure that you use the low heat option in the washer. 

How tight should chinos be at the waist? 

Chinos should sit perfectly around the waist. It should not be too tight nor loose. Chinos would not stretch like jeans so getting a smaller size in the hope of stretching them out would be a pointless venture. 

If you can’t find chinos that fit you perfectly, look for the next size. You can either use a belt or get it tailored to fit you comfortably. 

Are my chinos too short?

Chinos should reach right above your shoes. It should not be shorter than that. The maximum you can go is a finger’s width above the shoe.

If the chinos are shorter than that it would feel like you are heading out to the sea. Exposing a lot of the area above the ankle would look childish and rather unattractive. 

Chinos should be atleast half an inch off the ground when you are barefoot and should just graze the top of the shoe when you put on footwear. 

But if your chinos are shorter, don’t worry. We do have ways to make it work as well. You can add cuffs to the bottom or let down the hem to add a little extra length to your chinos. 

See also: Can Construction Workers Wear Chinos Pants?

When and why to choose chinos over jeans? 

Jeans are made with denim and chinos are made with chino cloth and this is the one basic difference between the two.

Both denim and chino cloth is made from cotton but the primary difference between the two fabrics lie in the weaving pattern of the cloth. 

Chinos are lightweight, airy and comfortable. You can chill in chinos even in the hottest of summers. But jeans on the other hand is rather thick and lacks breathability. 

Both chinos and jeans are extremely popular, but jeans do have an upper hand when it comes to numbers.

But you have indeed got time to get yourself some comfy chinos to change that. When it comes to price, both chinos and jeans are indeed available at a very reasonable rate. 

On the whole if you want a very lightweight pant, that will keep you comfortable, cool and stylish at all times, chinos are definitely the better option for you. 

How to style chinos? 

-Chinos as workwear

There are specific chinos that are thicker, more durable and fit differently than regular chinos to provide comfort and protection to workers. You can pair such chinos with textured and sturdy garments and bulky boots for a stylish yet comfy look. 

-Chinos as formals 

You can pair chinos with shirts, blazers or coats to make them formal. Make use of formal dress shoes to finish off that dapper look.  

-Chinos as casuals 

You can combine regular tees or polo tshirts and denim/bomber jackets to pull off a sleek casual look. If it’s nippy, opt for sweatshirts or ribbed sweaters as well. Pair them with some good sneakers or boots to complete the look. 

Top 3 Chinos Pants

1.) Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-fit Wrinkle-Resistant Flat-Front Chino Pant

With pockets and room for a belt, this wrinkle resistant comfy chino that is available in a wide variety of colors would assure you comfort and style all day long. 

2.) Volcom Men’s Frickin Slim Chino Pant 

This extra strong, sturdy chino would definitely be a working man’s buddy buddy. 

3.) Levi’s Men’s XX Standard Tapered Chino Pants 

These clean and contemporary chinos would make even the most casual of outfits super elegant. 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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