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24 Different Types of Chino Shorts

Explore the many types of chino shorts available for men and women. You can find versatile fabrics, cuts, styles, and colors to suit any dress code or situation.

Pairs of chino shorts on display at a rack.

Wearing shorts instead of trousers can work for a variety of active and casual situations. Dressy shorts crafted from linen or cotton offers many options for outfits when you need freedom of movement or simply find it too warm to wear pants or a dress.

This shorter pant option provides a range of inseams, pocket styles, pleats, creases, and embellishments to decorate the front or back of the shorts. Numerous designs offer a pair of shorts for every type of occasion as well as an appropriate and comfortable fit for everybody’s style. Since they also come in wrinkle-free options that you can wear right from the dryer without ironing, they make for a go-to option more convenient than linen shorts. This fashionable choice provides the comfort of denim jeans with the dressiness of a dress pant.

Chino Style Shorts Defined

The term chino shorts refer to a lightweight, cotton pair of shorts originally crafted in China. A variation on the military pants made for the US military, these shorts vary in length and now come in numerous designs and colors. These shorts may blend another fabric with the cotton for a cotton twill. These casual shorts provide a hot weather alternative to the chino pant, a type of trousers worn by both men and women.

Chino Style Shorts Cuts

Both menswear and womenswear provide chino style shorts options. The two genders both wear long shorts, Jams, denim shorts, khakis, cargo shorts, baggy shorts, athletic shorts, and tailored shorts. Menswear offers swim shorts and swimming trunks. Womenswear offers short shorts and chino skorts.

Chino Style Shorts Lengths

Men’s shorts of the chino variety come in fewer lengths than women’s shorts. Men’s options include just below the knee such as Jams, just above the knee, to the thigh or just beneath it, the typical length for tennis shorts. Women’s shorts lengths include short shorts which hit just below the buttocks and sometimes get called hot pants, thigh highs, above the knee, just below the knee and Capri length which hits at about the calf.

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Chino Style Shorts Colors

You can still find the neutral colors with which chinos kicked off such as olive green, khaki, cream, white, and black. You can also find them in a rainbow range of hues including bold colors like bright oranges, electric blues, and sunny yellows, neon colors, prints, and the primary colors.

A few must-have colors exist. Nab a pair of navy, red, white, khaki, and pink chino shorts. Navy colored shorts dress up easily. They provide a versatile option for an evening that works like black to go with nearly any color top. A pair of red chino shorts lets you style a nautical look or holiday outfit by pairing it with a white top or striped top.

White shorts provide a crisp, clean look that works well monochromatically or with a chambray top or contrasting color in silk or linen. White chino shorts lend an air of sophistication to your look. Another sophisticated option, the traditional khaki shorts, mesh well with a short-sleeved, white dress shirt. You can also pair it with browns or tan tops for a desert feel.

Call it salmon for guys, but pink chino shorts look great on the beach. Choose a peachy pink rather than neon. These bottoms work well with a navy or white top.

Men’s Chino Shorts Styles

A man on a hike wearing a pair of red chino shorts.

Just like pants, guys got to wear chino shorts before women did. In most men’s styles, designers also make for women. The few options typically only available for a man’s wardrobe include chino shorts using a swimming trunk design.

Classic chino shorts

Tru-Spec Men's 24-7 Series Original Tactical Short, Coyote, 36

The term classic chino shorts refer to a cut of shorts that fits loosely through the legs and sits at the natural waist. The style features two angled deep front pockets as well as a hip coin pocket with two buttoned pockets on the rear of the design. The classic cut features a 9.5-inch inseam which results in a length that hits just above the knee on men of average height and builds.

Tech chino

Under Armour Men's Tech Graphic Shorts , Academy Blue (409)/Steel , Large

The term tech chino refers to a pair of shorts that repel water.

Mid-weight chino

HONTOUTE Men's Stretch Chino Short 7 Inch Mid Waist Casual Flat Front Skinny Shorts Pink 32

The term mid-weight chino shorts refers to a fabric thickness that falls between typical chino fabric and traditional weight khaki pants. This works well for spring when mornings may start chilly, but temperatures rise to warm by noon.

Straight fit chino

Dockers Men's Straight Fit Supreme Flex Ultimate Short, Montara Apple Flower, 33W

The term straight fit chino shorts refers to a relaxed, but not baggy leg cut that has no tapering or flare as the leg approaches the knee or the ankle.

Tailored chino shorts

AG Adriano Goldschmied Men's The Griffin Tailored Short, Vaquero Florence Fog, 38W

The term tailored chino shorts refer to dress pant-like shorts in waist detailing and pleats.

Jamaican shorts

A pair of jamaican shorts from ebay.

Source: eBay

The term Jamaican chino shorts refer to a leg length that falls between the knee and crotch line.

Bermuda chino shorts

Prefer To Life Men's Board Shorts-Printed Swimwear Water Park Beach Shorts -Quick Dry Beachwear Sports Swim Surfing Pants Wear and Stain Resistant(M Size Dolphin-Dark Blue)

The term Bermuda chino shorts refer to dress or walking shorts that fall to one inch above the knee. Typically, with a cuffed hem, these semi-casual shorts provide an option that falls between dressy and casual good for events such as a BBQ or football watch party.

Knee-length shorts

Volcom Men's Vmonty Stretch Chino Short, KHAKI, 36

The term knee-length chino shorts refers to the leg length of the fabric.

Toreador shorts

The term toreador chino shorts refer to a length of leg fabric that ends between the knee and the ankle. A lot of variation exists in these loose shorts that provide a great option on really hot days in situations where modesty matters.

Walking shorts

Hurley Nike Dri-Fit Chino 19 Inch Hybrid Boardshorts (MWS3760) 40 Waist/Khaki

The term walking shorts refers to the traditional classic knee-length shorts using cotton twill fabric and a zip front closure.

Cargo Shorts

Dickies Men's 13 Inch Loose Fit Twill Cargo Short, Desert Sand, 38

The term cargo chino shorts, or combat shorts, refer to baggy shorts populated by many storage pockets.

Swimming trunk shorts

The term swimming trunk shorts use the chino cotton twill fabric with the design of swimming trunks. They typically have a quick-drying liner.

Boxer shorts

The term boxer chino shorts use the chino fabric and the design of the shorts in which pugilists compete. They include an elastic waistband rather than a zip front. Body-hugging boxer shorts, or huggers/grippers, refer to boxer briefs that combine the design of men’s undergarment briefs with boxers.

Board shorts

SURF CUZ Men's Vintage Cruzer Stretch Boardshort Chino Shorts (Poppy Floral - Orange, 30)

The term board shorts refer to cotton twill shorts resembling swimming trunks, but with a drawstring waist and no inner lining plus a longer leg length than swimming trunks.

Knee hugger shorts

GINGTTO Khaki Shorts for Men Elastic Waist Cotton Spandex Short Shorts for Men 28

The term knee hugger chino shorts refer to knee-length shorts with hem you can adjust with a drawstring.

Women’s Chino Shorts Styles

Ladies’ wear offers many designs not available to the guys, but they get to wear all the same styles as the guys except swimming trunks which are not designed in womenswear. These include fashions meant to showcase the length and leanness of women’s legs as well as designs that combine the design of a skirt and shorts.

Booty shorts

Pairs of denim booty shorts.

Source: eBay

The term booty chino shorts refer to a short with an extremely short in length leg and low-rise. These have a tight fit and resemble men’s boxer briefs and women often wear them underneath short skirts as a makeshift skort.

Boy shorts

Amazon Essentials Women's 5" Inseam Chino Shorts, black, 10

The term chino boy shorts refer to high rise shorts with a slightly longer length leg than booty shorts. They also have a tight fit.

Boyfriend shorts

A close look at a pair of khaki boyfriend shorts from ebay.

Source: eBay

The term chino boyfriend shorts refer to a baggy, relaxed short pant with loose-fitting legs. The design is meant to look as if the woman borrowed her boyfriend’s clothing.

Capri length

Lee Women's Missy Relaxed Fit Austyn Knit Waist Cargo Capri Pant, Black, 14

The term Capri length chino shorts, or capris, refer to the length of a short that falls three to five inches below the knee.

Pedal pusher shorts

Hell Bunny Tina 50s Vintage Retro Style Capri Trousers 3/4 Length Pedal Pushers - Navy Blue (4XL)

The term pedal pusher chino shorts refer to a design using chino fabric that features fitted legs about two inches longer than the knee. This typically skims the calf muscle while capris cover it.

Cut off shorts

Levi's Women's Classic Chino Shorts, Crisp Light Pink, 24 (US 00)

The term cut off chino shorts use the cotton or cotton twill fabric called chinos, but appear to be colored denim jeans with the legs trimmed off. The edges of the fabric fray so they resemble homemade cutoffs, typically made when an individual cut off the lower leg portion of a pair of worn blue jeans just above the knee or higher.

Skorts

BALEAF Women's Outdoor Skort UPF 50 Active Athletic Skort Casual Skort Skirt with Zip Pockets Hiking Golf Khaki M

The term chino skorts refer to shorts made from chino fabric with a skirt overlaid and attached.

Wrap shorts

WDIRARA Women's Casual Mid Waist Zip Back Split Front Summer Solid Wrap Shorts White M

The term wrap chino shorts refer to a pair of shorts with a wraparound look. They can achieve this by using an extra fabric piece or a skort design.

Slim fit chinos

Volcom Junior's Frochickie Slim Fit Chino Short 5", Black

The term slim fit chino shorts refer to a cut of shorts that tapers in the leg to fit the body. These exhibit traditional chino fabric though without the stretch of the Lycra used in booty or boy shorts.

Where to Buy Chino Shorts

Many department stores carry chino shorts including Belk’s, Dillard’s, Foley’s, and Macy’s. You can also find them at Target and Walmart stores as well as their eCommerce websites.

Specialty stores also sell these chino style shorts including J Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, The Gap, L.L. Bean, Bonobos, Lululemon, Everlane, and American Eagle. Most of these stores also have eCommerce options, so you can also shop online.

Finding the Perfect Fit and Style

A cool outfit with shirts, a scarf and a pair of khaki shorts.

Finding the perfect pair of chino shorts to wear means far more than finding a leg opening you can slip over your thighs and hips. You need to find the right shorts for your body and body shape.

You need to determine what shorts are most flattering to your body shape. This means taking into consideration your entire body not just you from the waist down. A pear shape should wear different shorts and color shorts than a person with an athletic build.

A pear shape should chose fitted chinos since these will seemingly elongate the waist and legs. It provides a tucked-in waist that pairs well with a short-sleeved shirt. Pair with a matching woven belt for a tailored look.

Those with heavier legs can choose knee-length or longer chino shorts to disguise the heaviest part of the leg, typically the hips and thighs. Choose dark-colored bottoms since this draws the sightline upward to a lighter colored top. People’s eyes are always drawn towards light or bright colors, so pair navy or black shorts with a white, yellow, or cream-colored top for a slimming effect.

Those with an athletic build can choose shorter styles. They can opt for a fitted, slim fit, or booty cut. Their muscular build lets them successfully wear shorts with Lycra that cling to the body.

While taller individuals can wear essentially any length of shorts, shorter individuals should choose smaller inseams resulting in the length of a short that falls at least two inches above the knee. A mid-thigh length shorts leg works well.

Carefully choose your rise as well. The area from the crotch to the waist determines how your shorts will fit over your buttocks and thighs. The standard rise is 11 inches which can result in a baggy stomach area for those with a shorter torso. We are looking for a 9″ rise and 28″ inseam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Chino style shorts offer a vast range of choices. It makes it tough to find a favorite pair since so many options could qualify as just the right pair. This FAQ addresses the most popular questions asked about these lightweight, fashionable shorts for men and women.

Is chino a slang word?

The term chino refers to a shortened version of the phrase Chinese Pantalones or Chinese pants. The pants were originally crafted in China, but the nickname comes from the use of the bottoms in Mexico.

What to wear with chino shorts?

Chino shorts provide flexible fashion choices. Both women and men can wear these shorts with polo-style shirts, t-shirts, and button-down short sleeve shirts. Men might also pair these shorts with a tank top while women might pair these shorts with a camisole, summer sweater, or a fashion top.

Both genders can wear flip-flops or sneakers with these shorts. Men could optionally wear boat shoes, tennis shoes, Dockers, or causal loafers with chino shorts. Women might pair these shorts with low-heels for a dressy look or sneakers or tennis shoes.

How should chino shorts fit?

This depends on the cut of the chino shorts. These shorts typically fit loosely in the crotch and at the hip and thigh area. They taper as they near the knee. Exceptions include skinny fit chino shorts, slim fit, baggy, and cargo short styles.

What are women’s knee-length shorts called?

A few styles of women’s knee-length shorts exist. Among the chinos options, you have included walking shorts, culottes, capris, gauchos, and some skorts.

What are shorts that look like skirts called?

A skort combines the best features of shorts and a skirt. The designer sews the skirt portion over the shorts. This gives the skort the comfort of shorts and provides added demureness since regardless of how the woman sits, the shorts cover her crotch area. From another person’s perspective, the woman wears a skirt.

What length should men’s shorts be?

Men have many shorts lengths from which to choose. The typical lengths include just above the knee, two inches above the knee, and four inches above the knee, a common length for tennis. Numerically, the common options include 7, 9.5, 10, 11, or 12-inch inseam lengths.

Can guys wear shorts above the knee?

Men can absolutely wear shorts that hit above the knee. Just make sure you have nice legs. In Europe, especially western Europe, shorts above the knee prove more common. Avoid the short shorts though since there is a reason that they get made fun of in movies. Most men do not have the appropriate build to wear these shorts. Shorts that hit two to four inches above the knee, but cover the thighs can provide a hot weather option that looks good.

Why do girls and women wear short shorts?

Women with long, slender legs may choose to wear short shorts to showcase this feature of their build.

Is wearing shorts a sin?

Only if you accessorize incorrectly. Match your shirt or top to your socks, if you wear any with your outfit. Me sure that your shorts are a complimentary color to your top. That means a white shirt with any color shorts or complementary colors such as light blue on top with navy blue shorts. As long as the top and bottoms are in the same color family, you can safely wear them together. Lightly accessorize a shorts look with a simple chain for either gender. Women should carry a cross-body or clutch purse with a chino shorts outfit.

What do you wear with long chino shorts?

Men can wear a Hawaiian shirt or other casual short-sleeved button-down shirt with long chino shorts. A woman might pair these shorts with a crop top or a summer sweater.

Are short pants in style?

Chino shorts remain in style since they provide a classic look. Spring and summer always provide warm or hot weather somewhere making shorts a necessity.

What are those tight shorts called?

The tight chino shorts that hit at the hip height are called hot pants. Slim fit and skinny fit chino shorts fit closely in the thigh and just beneath it, but do not fit as tightly as hot pants.

Can chino shorts be made from linen?

Chino shorts and chino pants were originally made from cotton. In the past few decades, designers added Lycra or other fabrics to create a cotton twill. The blend typically includes five percent or less of the stretchy fabric.

Are khaki shorts the same as chino shorts?

You can purchase chino shorts that are khaki in color, but khaki also refers to a type of pants and shorts. The khaki style of pants and shorts uses a thicker material than chinos although the cut of the pants remains similar.

What is tie dye?

Tie dye refers to a clothing coloring and dyeing technique that disperses the clothing dye in bands of color. This disbursement of color creates variation in the hues and shading of the clothing. This coloring techniques became popular in the 1960s and continued in popularity in the 1970s. Other common dyes include the vintage wash which results in a faded coloring to the fabric and stonewash which results in spottily faded areas on the shorts.

References:

Sew Guide: Do You Know About These 18 Types of Shorts?

The Trend Spotter: How to Wear Chino’s

The Modest Man: The 13 Best Men’s Chino Shorts