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Jeans vs. Khakis: Compared

Jeans and khakis are both bottoms that have their own style and feel to them, moreover, they are meant for different occasions. They are both very unique and popular all around the world. And even so, they still have their own similarities and differences.

But, what exactly is the factor in determining who’s superior in the battle between jeans and khakis? Without further ado, let the battle of jeans vs khakis begin.

Key Takeaways

  • Jeans are bottoms made out of a tightly-knit woven cotton fabric called denim.
  • Khakis, however, are made out of soft, cool, and breathable twill cotton. 
  • The name khakis come from the color, whereas the style of pants is actually chinos. This technically makes khakis brown-colored chinos.
  • Both are amazing versatile pants that you can wear depending on the occasion

Jeans vs. Khakis 

Jeans – What Are They?

Jeans are decades-old garments worn by workers for their strong and durable fabric. Nowadays, however, they are worn by people of all ages; regardless of their gender, be they male or female. There is every type of jeans imaginable, the popular choices for jeans include skinny jeans, mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, straight cut, distressed, traditional blue jeans, and more.

They were first introduced by Levi Strauss for his company in the 1870s and still continue to be made today. Levi’s famous 501 continues to be sold worldwide. 

They can be made out of a variety of materials and depending on the material used they can be low or high-quality jeans. They can be rigid and made out of pure cotton, or they could be stretchy jeans that include lycra or elastane in their fibers.

Khakis – What Are They?

Khakis or khaki pants get their name from the khaki color which is the most usual for this kind of trousers. So, technically they are trousers, or bottoms that cover each leg from the hip to the ankle, specifically made out of twill cotton fabric. 

They were initially referred to as military uniform pants because of their durability and rough look. Nowadays, however, they are more often than not used as a piece of clothing designed to put together the typical business casual outfit.

They haven’t always looked as modern as they do now, which means they’ve continuously been changing their look throughout the years. Yet, they hold a few staple features that help us determine that – yes, we’re talking about khakis.

Even though they are called khaki pants, referring to the color, they can be found in a variety of colors ranging from beige to even dark blues, purples, or blacks. You can practically find them in any sort of color you wish for. They are mostly considered business casual but they can also be worn on the daily if you want to achieve a slightly dressy, well-put-together outfit. Even if they don’t look so crisp and have a few wrinkles, they are great as a part of a casual relaxed look.

Now that we know what both jeans and khakis are in a general sense, we can compare them to find out what their differences and similarities are based on a few key factors. 


I feel like we know a lot more about jeans than we do about khaki pants. When we think about khaki pants we usually just think of s pair of beige pants or trousers. Maybe, you’re also familiar with the word chinos. These can have a few different types of variations, such as joggers or cargo pants, and khaki jeans.

Whereas, when we talk about jeans we talk about so many different types of jeans. There are so many of them that I don’t think I could name all of them. So, I would say jeans win this category because they have a lot more types that can be worn for practically any occasion.


When it comes to comfort, I think it comes to personal preference. However, I lean heavily toward khaki pants. Jeans are usually made out of stiff tightly woven cotton that keeps you warm during the summer and they are pretty heavy.

Unlike jeans, khakis are soft, lightweight, and way cooler during the summertime. I think their thinner material made out of twill fabrics allows for not only a lot more breathing room but also provides tons of comfort. So, khakis are my personal winner in the comfort area.


Both khakis and pants are durable pants, as they were both made out of rough fabric used for workers. However, I guess we could say that jeans are more durable but not by a lot. Especially because of the distressed jean trend, which basically already rips the jeans down and makes them a lot lighter. 

We could also talk about stretch fabrics that both of these types of pants are made out of. This happens by adding polyester to the cotton blend which makes them a bit less stiff and a lot easier and more comfortable to move in.


When it comes to styling both of these types of pants I think both can take part in a relaxed casual or business look. However, I would say khakis look a lot more formal and classy unless we’re talking about cargo pants or khaki joggers.

Either way, we can style jeans with a simple t-shirt for an everyday outfit or dress them up for a special occasion. Khaki pants are usually more formal than jeans and are best combined with a blazer or a coat.

However, the more sporty types of khaki pants such as cargo pants, joggers, or khaki jeans can be styled with a polo shirt or a t-shirt for a relaxed everyday look. The difference here is that jeans aren’t usually the statement piece of clothing, all the while khakis can be the centerpiece of a well-thought-out outfit.

How versatile are they?

When it comes to versatility I’m pretty sure jeans take the win. Unless we’re specifically talking about cargo khakis or khaki jeans, they are usually worn to achieve a more formal look. Therefore we can conclude that jeans are more versatile, as there are so many types and they can be worn with pretty much anything. 

Also Read: The Definition of Combed Cotton

Final Thoughts

I think it all comes down to personal preference, so if I were to give you my opinion I’d say khaki pants are a lot more comfortable and look slick and sharp. This makes them perfect for a business meeting or any type of more formal event.

On the contrary, jeans have a specific more casual look, which makes them great for any other occasion. The right type of jeans can even be worn at important events including formal ones. However, my overall opinion is that jeans are slightly overrated and I like wearing cargo pants.

This makes the khaki pants the winner of this article. Not only are they very comfortable and easy to put on, but they are also amazing for formal attire and a more relaxed cut could be great for everyday use.