I have cargos and chinos in two short styles. What exactly are chinos? There are also terrific cargo shorts without pockets that are tailored for a bit more. Chinos are loose-fitting pants that I pair with a casual top or even a t-shirt. Some may believe that one style is superior to the other. But I think they're both fantastic! It depends on your needs and what you're looking for.
I have two short styles—cargos and chinos. What are chinos? They’re more excellent cargo shorts available without pockets tailored for a bit more. Chinos are a relaxed style of pants, and I wear them with a casual top or even a t-shirt.
Chinos vs. Cargo Shorts
Chinos and cargo shorts are both great for summer. They’re both light, airy, and comfortable. But there are some key differences between the two styles.
For one, they typically make chinos from a lighter fabric than cargo shorts. This makes them ideal for hot summer days when you don’t want to be weighed down by heavy fabric.
Some chinos don’t offer the pocket space that cargo shorts do. This difference makes chinos less functional than cargo shorts. However, they look great and make a statement.
I own a couple of pairs without pockets for days when I have to dress semi-formal and a few pairs with two front pockets when I can get away with dressing down more.
Cargo shorts are the more functional of the two styles. They offer plenty of pocket space for your belongings. And they’re made from a heavier fabric, which makes them more durable.
How to Choose Between Chinos and Cargos
So, which style should you choose? It depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a bold statement piece that looks great and doesn’t have a ton of pocket space, then chinos are the way to go. But if you want a more practical style that will last you through the summer, cargo shorts are probably a better bet.
You can see why I have both. Why choose? Life is too short to limit yourself to just one style of shorts. So go out and get both! You’ll be glad you did.
I own several styles of both. When I’m heading out hiking, I don’t want Chinos. I need the extra pocket space to secure my phone, keep my wallet safe, and safely clip my keys.
But when I’m heading out for a night on the town or just meeting friends for lunch, chinos are more my style. They look nicer than cargo and don’t have the same “utilitarian” feel. Chinos also meet my office’s work-appropriate dress code. This is an excellent work perk for comfort and style!
But when I’m going out to the beach with friends, I’ll ditch the chinos and throw on a pair of cargo shorts. The extra pocket space is perfect for stashing sunscreen, phone, and other essentials.
Some people might think that one style is better than the other. But I say they’re both great! It depends on what you’re looking for and what your needs are.
Style Tips for Chinos
Now that you know the difference between chinos and cargo shorts, it’s time to learn how to style them.
Chinos depend on the fabric and fit to create an impressive look. I love pairing them with a plain t-shirt or even a casual button-down shirt. For shoes, opt for something fun, like boat shoes or sneakers.
To really dress up your chinos, pair them with a blazer, tailored top, and a pair of loafers or oxfords. This combination is perfect for more formal events like work functions or dinner parties with friends.
Whatever you do, just make sure that you choose the right style to match your needs! Whether chinos or cargos, you can create a fantastic outfit around either piece. So go out there and get creative!
Related: What Types of Shoes Go with Chinos?
Style Tips for Cargos
Cargo shorts are a bit more difficult to style than chinos. But that doesn’t mean they can’t look great! The key is the fit and choosing the right top.
I like to pair cargo shorts with a T-shirt. It’s comfortable and fits nearly every occasion. For shoes, I usually go with sneakers or sandals. What I never do is wear knee-length socks with my cargos.
If you want to dress up your cargo shorts, try pairing them with a button-down shirt or blazer. This creates a more put-together look perfect for dinner dates or nights out with friends. Just make sure that your top isn’t too baggy, or else it will look sloppy.
How to Care For Chinos and Cargos
Both chinos and cargo shorts are often made from natural fibers, which means they’re susceptible to shrinking. To avoid this, always wash them in cold water and hang them to dry. If you purchase a pair with synthetic threads, follow the washing and care instructions.
If you want even more protection, try washing your chinos or cargos with a fabric softener. This will keep the fabric from shrinking and also make it softer to touch.
I prefer to air dry mine by hanging them on a clothesline outside. But if you’re in a hurry, you can tumble dry them on low heat. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them and take them out as soon as they’re dry.
Also, use a stain remover as soon as possible if you get a stain on your chinos or cargos. This will help prevent it from setting in and ruining your clothing.
With proper care, your chinos and cargo shorts will look good for years to come! So take good care of them and like me, you’ll continue to enjoy wearing them on many occasions, from formal events to kicking back on the beach.