Chino Cut Vs. Trouser Cut

Chino Cut Vs. Trouser Cut

The words “chino” and “trouser” don’t seem very different at first glance. After all, each term refers to pants. However, there are subtle—but important—details that separate pants cut into chinos and pants cut into trousers.

You may be asking, “Isn’t chino a type of fabric?” That’s true. But a chino cut is different than a chino fabric, which can be cut into either a pair of chinos or a pair of trousers.

Chino Cut
Pants cut into chinos will have a mid-to-lower rise, button back pockets and a button fastening at the center of the waistband, just like a pair of jeans. Chinos will also have visible stitching around the hem, and no reinforcement within the pant.

The chino fabric and button back pockets mean that they aren’t as casual as a pair of jeans, but they’re less formal than a pair of trousers.

Trouser Cut
Pants cut into trousers will have a mid-to-higher rise, button back pockets and a button fastening attached to an extended tab at the waistline. This tab helps keep tucked shirts in place, and can also be more easily adjusted.

In contrast to chinos, trousers do not have visible stitching at the hem. Instead, they end in a clean, “blind” hem (unless they are cuffed) which adds to the more formal look. There will typically be 1.5-2” of seam allowance inside of the pant, which allows it to be altered, as well as reinforcement at the heel to better protect the fabric.

How To Wear Chinos
Chinos are a peg above jeans, and can be worn with whatever you’d wear denim with, like tees or chambray shirts. But they’re versatile enough to pair with business casual fare like buttondown shirts and casual sportcoats.

How to Wear Trouser
The more formal edge provided by a slightly higher rise and an extended waist tab make trousers a perfect complement for tailoring (all suit pants are cut as trousers). Standalone chino trousers are an easy match for dress shirts and sportcoats, or even suit jackets worn separately.

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