The Rebirth of Khaki

Hello Indianapolis,

Well, all things seem to come around, and this time, it’s Khaki. Can you believe Vogue recently published, Khaki is the New Black!” We have all had something in Khaki at some time in our lives, and especially for men, they never really went away. Although in recent years it seems Khaki pants were consider “Dad Pants” and not a great fashion statement.

Khaki is has quite a tradition around the world. It’s rooted in the military, and was found in 1848 when it first appeared as an army uniform. Khaki has been called drab, although in later years it became a staple in America particularly for men’s casual pants. (sources: Wikipedia and Vogue)

I also remember the cut of Khaki pants, especially for women, was never kind with the side slash pockets, back pockets and tapered cut. In fact, I would say women could not wear them in a flattering way. I did later find an A-line skirt in Khaki that I wore, especially when I lived in New England a few summers when I was a nanny. I fit right in with my bright pink polo, of course. It was an acceptable outfit.

When I worked full time in an office I found a super cute Khaki color shirt dress that was double breasted with a tie front, fitted waist and A-line skirt. It was adorable. I suddenly looked at Khaki as a friend, not a foe.

With the popularity of stores such as Vine and Vineyard, Khaki is getting a second look by many of use who’ve shunned it for a long time.

Fast forward to today and Khaki is once again is cool with unstructured details, stripes, paints, splattered paint, stripes in dresses, pants, skirts, shorts, military jackets and other items. It comes in many shades of the beige to warm, cool and light to more brown Khaki shades.

Khaki Tips from your Indianapolis Personal Stylist

For men, the Khaki pant can be a work pant–the ones that are not distressed or splattered with colored paint–with a neat linen button-down shirt. Buy the narrow shape if it’s flattering to you and pair it with a dressy sneaker or Navy loafer. Add a stripe belt for a nautical or preppy flare.

For women, when styling Khaki think out of the box. You don’t have to pair it with tailored shirts and straight tops. Add tops with color, prints, shapes–but be sure and not go too extreme and add obviously BoHo tops. I stripe off the shoulder top would be great with Khaki pants, for example; as would a fun halter in a check; a military jacket and a bright red tank, etc. Think fabrics that somewhat go with Khaki–fabrics with structure.

Of course, a linen shirt is always a great addition to Khaki — especially in ice cream colors such as mint, pink, blue or white. A strip Peplum shirt would rock Khakis as would a knit tube top. The sky’s the limit. A denim shirt, of course, would be a logical addition to a skirt, shorts and pants.

A khaki dress looks great with some red accents to give some pop of color. Colorful sneakers and sandals, and caramel leather wedges would look great with Khaki, as would a navy or beige Panama hat. A saddle bag in navy or red as well as a straw tote would accessorize Khaki in a fun way.

The beauty of Khaki is that is can be going out wear, work wear or weekend wear. It all depends on the details. Check out some of these new cuts of Khaki and find something to rock this summer!

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, Indianapolis Personal Stylist