What’s the difference between chinos and khakis?
Though nowadays the two words are used interchangeably, there is a difference. Chino refers to the densely woven cotton fabric—a misnomer of “China,” the fabric‘s country of origin. Khaki, from the Hindu-Urdu word for “dust-covered,” refers to hue, and was adopted into English in the late nineteenth century when British soldiers occupied the subcontinent. The two terms were likely confused when khaki-colored chinos became standard issue doughboy uniforms during World War I. Millions of surplus pants were snapped up by returning GIs and students after World War II, and khaki has remained the most popular color of chinos ever since.