Men's Pants

History of the Khaki Pants


American Khaki Uniforms Source: (

Last two weeks, we take a look at what khaki pants are. In fact, if you asked your father or grandfather who lived through the World War, they will probably know the term “Khaki”.  However, if you missed our post, you can click here to read all about it. Therefore, today we will take a look at one of the historical pants, the Khakis which have become a fashion statement for men everywhere.

Dockers Khakis (Source: Amazon. com)

Dockers khakis (Source:



Out of all the places, the history of khaki pants begins way back in 1848, from India. In fact, the first people in India who wore the Khaki color pants is the British army. At that time, Sir Harry Lumsden, the British Lieutenant of the Corps of Guides commanded his regiment to wear cotton twill pants.

Indian troops wearing a khaki uniform (Source:

This is a strategic move from Sir Harry Lumsden because they were stationed in the Northen India, in Peshawar, Punjab. Unlike their army and brother’s way back in England, India is hot and humid. Therefore, to adapt better to the weather in India while serving, every British army changed to a more comfortable and cooling cotton pants.

Lieutenant General Sir Harry Lumsden (Source:

From there onwards, the local’s in India named the cotton pants worn as “Khaki”. However, why do you think they name it that way? Well, we are about to find out.



Google Translate Dust in Urdu (Source:

The word Khaki actually refers to the color. There are two sources in which the word Khaki came from. One of them mentioned that the word Khaki comes from the Persian word, Khak which means dust. Another, the Indian locals call it دھول, which in Urdu also means dust/ soil.


Therefore, the khaki pants actually refer to the soil/dust-colored pants worn by the Corps of Guides during 1848 stationed in Punjab, India. However, along the way, fashion manufacturers came out with similar pants, with the same color and called it chinos. This has caused a lot of confusion among men who always thought that both khaki and chinos are the same.



Though both khaki and chinos are dust/soil colored, there are slight differences which you can tell. Our next post will go into detail about them so that men all over the world will not be misinformed. Until then, stay away from Khaki-chinos!!!

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