Somewhere in men’s pants landscape lies khaki pants. Often misunderstood, and sometimes made fun of — anyone else remember the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where he wore super baggy cords? The massive pleats became a tent in his lap… But in 2020, khaki pants aren’t just for old, grumpy men. Today, the best khaki pants for men have come a long way in a short time.
In fact, the best khakis for men are a stylish alternative to jeans and joggers. Because they can be worn casually like jeans or dressed up for the office, khakis are a staple in most men’s wardrobes, and for good reason. These versatile pants can go with just about any sense of style or setting.
In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know when shopping for men’s khaki pants in 2020. Keep scrolling to find our favorite khaki pants for men to wear this fall and winter.
What are khaki pants?
Khaki pants traditionally have a straight leg, two front slash pockets, two back pockets (sometimes buttoned) and were made from heavy twill. Think of work pants. Traditionally, “Khaki” refers to a color, not a particular fabric or style. Chinos are made just like khakis but are usually made from a lighter weight cotton. However, and you know there’s always a “however,” both pants, khakis and chinos are really the same thing. Yeah, mind blown. Depending on where you live, people will either call them khakis or chinos.
Think of chinos as the modern, re-branded version of your dad’s khaki pants.
Honestly, we’re playing fast and loose with the definition of khakis in this shopping guide because we’re more concerned with helping you find the right pants. Below, you’ll find khaki-colored pants from Western Rise that have nothing in common with your dad’s pants except the color, as well as olive, plaid, blue and black “khakis” that offer a modern upgrade to the classic work pants.
Why do khakis have a bad rep?
Welp, they were originally made with pleats. Lots of pleats, like three pleats on either side of the zipper. Those pants were so voluminous, they could take the place of a hot air balloon. Even though James Dean, the original teen rebel wore khakis on and off the screen, frat boys wore ‘em too. And somehow, someway, those pants were perceived as the purview of snotty prepsters, or, worse, the snotty prepsters’ dads. Think of every college movie from Animal House onwards, and the bad guys always wore chinos or khakis… you know, those pants. And, if you’ve ever seen Office Space or any TV show that takes uses an office as its backdrop, the weedy, ineffectual guys always wore baggy, tan pleated khakis. Those poor pants! To carry all that emotional baggage.
Nowadays, the best khaki pants for men are more refined and sleekly styled. Most designers and brands have stepped away from a pleated front and you won’t see a baggy leg that ends in a smoosh of fabric puddling by your feet. Look for cuts that are like jeans: slim, straight-fit, tapered, and relaxed. You’ll also find cropped, ankle and full length.
How to wear khaki pants?
The best men’s khaki pants can go to the office and anywhere else you find yourself. You can pair them with high-tops, shiny loafers and even hiking boots. Wear them with a sweatshirt, graphic tee or button-down. Yes, just like jeans, you can wear them with whatever’s in your closet. Go ahead and cuff the pant leg up to the ankle and wear them with no-show socks, or simply wear your favorite dress shoes. The way they’re styled, the best khaki pants will let you breathe, move and chill out. All in business-casual style.
Scroll on down and scope out the best men’s khakis to wear when playing video games, go to work or dinner with friends.
1. Banana Republic Slim Traveler Corduroy Chino Pant
The Slim Traveler is one of Banana Republic’s go-to styles for khakis, and we love these pants. They’re perfect for business-casual days at the office, date nights and weekend excursions. These pants are made from Italian cotton that’s soft to the touch, and you can choose the color of khaki that suits your style best. If you wander into the store or order online this season, you’ll also find the classic Banana Republic Traveler pants in corduroy, too. The corduroys-version of these pants come in a slim tapered cut, as they narrow down the leg from the knee.
There’s a reason these khaki pants have become a staple in so many guys’ wardrobes. They last for ages, they look great and they go with almost everything. You might want to order three.
2. AmazonEssentials Stretch Khaki Pants
Need to stock your closet with plenty of khaki pants? While AmazonEssentials may not make the best khakis in the world, the line does include plenty of solid pants for everyday where. And at $25, you can afford to buy a pair of khakis for every day of the week. These classic straight-fit khaki pants come in a range of colors to suit your personal style. For younger and hipper guys who prefer a more slim-fit, these pants also come in a more modern design.
3. Dockers Slim-Fit Men’s Khakis
When we think of khakis, we can’t think of a more classic look than Docker’s Straight Fit Khaki Pants. However, we definitely recommend that you opt for a slightly more modern version of these dress pants and go with the slim-fit, which are just the right amount of slimming. These cotton khakis are designed with 8% elastane for added stretch, because who says khaki pants can’t be super comfortable, too?
4. Revtown Automatic Jeans Field Khaki
Revtown makes khakis that are just as comfortable as jeans, and they come in 7 shades. They make khaki pants in three fits: Taper, Sharp, and Automatic. The Sharp is a slim fitting khaki, Taper is their skinny fit, and Automatic is their relaxed style. What’s really cool is when you visit their site, you have the option to see how these khaki pants, and any of their pants look on different body types. These pants have a four-way stretch, belt loops and sits near the hips.
5. ASOS Design Two Pack Slim Chinos in Washed Khaki and Black
If you’re building up your “biz cas” wardrobe, or looking to replace pants, or like to shop, this 2-pack is a great deal. These cotton-blend khaki pants sit at the waist and can be worn with or without a belt. They’re cut on the slim side and have two front and two back pockets.
6. J. Crew’s Wallace & Barnes Military Officer’s Chino Pant
BEST ROOMY YET STYLISH
J.Crew’s Wallace & Barnes menswear collection is inspired by the classics military uniforms, vintage workwear and the mountaineers of old. Stylish yet comfortable, the pieces were created with the idea of enjoying them year after year. Their chino pants are roomy, but won’t overwhelm you or make you feel like a caricature….they’re from J. Crew after all. The pants sit on the hip and have a relaxed fit through the thigh.
7. Western Rise AT Slim Pants
Can’t sit still? Western Rise’s AT Slim Pants are designed to keep up with all your activities. These are khakis designed for the modern age, where professionals are just as likely to bike to the office as they are to drive. These performance pants are made with comfort and movement in mind, with enough stretch to keep you comfortable all day long. While they aren’t made from cotton like classic khaki pants, they still look professional enough for the office.
8. Brax Cooper Fancy Houndstooth Plaid Five-Pocket Pants
Who said khaki pants can only be in solid colors? These pants from Brax combine runway style –if that’s your thing, plaid (houndstooth is a type of plaid) with the relaxed appeal of the best men’s khaki pants. Made from a cotton stretch blend, they move with you. The khakis have a tapered cut; fuller in the high and thigh, and tighter from knee to hem.
9. Mavi Jake Black Melange Feather Tweed Pants
BEST USE OF TWEED
Speaking of prepping for winter, you can be warm and not look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. These cotton-blend black tweed pants have stretch and are made from midweight fabric; perfect for fall days. They have a regular rise and a slim fit. Wear them the office with a button down shirt and leather sneakers. Out of the office? Pair the tweed khakis with a sweatshirt and combat boots.
10. Aether Charter Pant 2.0
BEST FOR TRAVEL & COMMUTING
Aether’s an outdoor brand that creates clothing that won’t look out of place in the office or on a long-distance trek. Their Charter Pant 2.0 are chinos that are perfect for minimalists and travelers. There’s a secret zippered compartment on the side of the pants that holds important stuff and foils pickpockets. Made from Schoeller twill, the pants have been garment washed for extra softness. The pants have a semi-relaxed fit.
11. Ben Sherman Signature Slim Stretch Chino Pant
BEST ALL YEAR ROUNDER
British designer Ben Sherman always blends a touch of 60s Carnaby Street, a dose of the Mods and modern clean lines to his designs. The brand’s designs are timeless and of-the-moment at the same time. His Signature Stretch Chinos are made from a stretchy cotton blend for hours of comfort. The hem can be worn rolled up or down. The pants have a coin pocket and two front and back pockets. They come in five other shades from white to navy, so you can wear them all year long.
12. Mavi Phillip Dusty Twill Chino Pants
Not sure if it’s the soft brushed twill fabric or the relaxed cut of these khaki pants will make you feel so relaxed, or maybe it’s both of them together. Tossing them on practically ensures that nothing will faze you because these khaki pants feel so good. The fabric’s a medium weight, and will keep you warm this fall and winter.
13. Amazon Essentials Wrinkle-Resistant Flat-Front Chino Pants
Amazon has come out with a few different lines of clothing for men, women and kids. Their Amazon Essentials brand serves up quality clothing at wallet-friendly prices. They don’t skimp in fabrication or construction. These flat-front khaki pants have a classic cut, they skim along your frame; neither too loose nor too tight. These khaki pants that come in 9 other hues, are a bit formal, so save them for presentations during the week, and get them date ready with a fisherman sweater on the weekend.
14. Docker’s Classic-Fit Easy Khaki Pants in Dark Pebble
If you’re going to do a khaki pants roundup, you have to have at least one pair of Dockers. To some people, Dockers are synonymous with khakis and chinos. Dockers have khakis in regular, big and tall sizes and tons of colors. The brand has the regular and classic fit available via Amazon Prime. Back in the early oughts, the brand amped up their fabrication and cuts to appeal to a younger, hipper consumer. When you’re checking out Dockers, look for their pebble fabric. It’s a cotton stretch twill that’s inspired by classic workwear. It has a matte, not shiny finish. That makes it easy to dress them for work, or down for a bar crawl. These pants have the regular cut; so they sit at the waist, have a straight leg and a body-skimming fit that’s not too-tight or too-loose.