Most mornings start with the same question. What do I wear? And the answer has to be quick and elegant! In order to make sure that both of these conditions are successfully met, we need nothing more than one thing; Khakis. But where these versatile and elegant trousers really come from?
- A brief History of the Khakis
- The Khakis And The Rest
- 10 Stylish Ways to Wear your Men’s Khakis
- Khakis and Sustainability
A brief History of the Khakis
India; the 1840’s! English soldiers notice that Indian soldiers wear lightweight cotton trousers, dyed with tea, curry powder and mud in order blend in with the Indian landscape! Harry Lumsden, a British officer, notices it and adopts the technique for his Corps of Guides, stationed on the frontier between India and Afghanistan.
Using the local knowledge, the cotton cloth of the British uniforms is also dyed in mulberry juice and the resulting yellowish shade was named Khaki, after the Hindustani word for dust.
On the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, the United States Army adopted Khakis during the Spanish–American War, replacing their traditional blue field uniforms. But it wasn’t after the Second World War and the return of the soldiers from the battlefields that Khakis took by storm our cities and became one of the most used civilian garments!
The Khakis And The Rest
Made from cotton and not some fussy wool, Khakis are more durable, easier to clean, less class specific, but still more formal than jeans or other types of casual trousers. Khakis, as Chinos, have the advantage to combine easily with almost everything and are essential if you want to be able to create inspiring casual outfits of all kinds with the least items needed.
No wonder, that among many many others, Katherine Hepburn, JFK or Jack Kerouac are just some of those that used them and they had plenty of good reasons to do so!
10 Stylish Ways to Wear your Men’s Khakis
1. With Polos and Tees
It is so easy and yet so elegant. Choose a polo (white, black, blue, yellow) or just a tee and wear them with your Khakis. Depending on the fabric and the fit of your tops, your outfit can easily go from Casual to Formal in no time at all! Another factor that will determine your look’s nature? Shoes! Are you feeling sneaker-y or loafer-y today?
2. With denim
Denim is one of the coolest and most relaxed ways to wear your Khakis. Denim shirts, denim trucker jackets, denim Chore Coats; whatever kind of denim garment you choose to put on, your Khakis won’t complain. Trust us! Outfits with Men’s khaki trousers and denim are some of the easiest and most Casual you can create.
3. With Shirts
Button-ups, button-downs, Mao’s, Camp Collared ones, Hawaian, linen or corduroy or flannel; regular or slim fit, tucked or untucked. Shirts are one of Khaki Trousers’ best friends!
4. With A Pea Coat Or With A Parka
Two types of iconic jackets that will never go out of fashion? Pea coats and Parkas! And such a miraculous thing that navy blue and olive green combine so perfectly and elegantly with Khaki! So, surf and turf in the kitchen? Land and sea in the wardrobe! Grey or beige wool sweater beneath your coat or parka, a sailor’s beanie and a pair of black boots! Doesn’t matter if you are heading mountain-side or sea-side, your outfit will be perfect all-sides!
5. With Sweaters Or Hoodies
We are sure you have one sweater or hoodie that is your favourite one. We are talking about the one you bought impromptu ten years ago and without expecting it, it became the one that you wear almost every day! Exactly! This one! Take it and wear it with your Khakis. The first rule of style is to feel at ease!
6. With Polar And Puffer Jackets
When the atmosphere is ice cold you need to be protected! There is no polar or puffer jacket that you cannot wear with a pair of Khaki trousers. Choose the warmest and the one that best fits your body type, slip into your Khakis and open the door! Outside you might come across winter but inside you will be in the middle of a perfect summer.
7. With the Classic Cotton Shirt or Tank
We could otherwise call it the LA street-style! Or we could also call it the quintessential Hollywood classic! It is so simple and elegant as a perfectly-prepared cuppa! You just need a pair of Khakis and your grandpa’s classic cotton tee or tank top! Complete this minimal look with a pair of All Stars, Supergas (or even Oxfords) and the level of chic you will get will be maximal!
8. With a blazer
Tuck in a shirt or the formal top you prefer, wear a slim-fit blazer and a scarf, don’t forget to put on your Khakis and you are ready for any formal event that you have in your agenda! (A nice warm wool coat is also a good addition to this outfit if it is cold!) With such a comfortable elegance, you will forget what the word suit means. Formal outfits created with the best men’s Khakis trousers will be always relevant and in-style!
9. With Sneakers
It is raining, it is sunny, you drive, you run, you are muddy, you stroll on concrete, you are on the court, you cross fields, you go up and down canyons or you slide on the French Riviera… Wherever you choose to go, you will need the right pair of shoes! Thankfully, there is no pair that will not pair with your Khaki trousers! Jordans, Lacostes, Stan Smiths, Guccis, New Balance and Asics and Chucks! Surprise yourself and your trouser legs!
With whatever you want! Khakis are so versatile, so elegant, so effortlessly easy-going, laid-back and multi-faceted, that you can choose clothes from your partner’s closet (no matter the gender!) and you will still have no problem to create a perfect casual outfit with your khaki trousers!
Khakis and Sustainability
Today, Khakis can be more elastic than ever, the fabrics and materials used to make them can be innovative and fruits of the latest technologies available. All their fits are optimised to the highest degree and their sizes adjusted to the needs of ALL men! But the most welcoming and hopeful fact is that they are made with sustainable techniques and methods that guarantee a better world for ALL the living organisms that inhabit this unique and wonderful planet.
Several brands research, non-stop, in order to develop and implement eco-friendlier production methods in order to do their part in this urgent fight! With the use (and creation) of sustainable fabrics, recycled materials and innovative techniques like Water<Less®, fashion brands try to minimize negative impact and help our environment.
As for the aesthetic field? If Buñuel offered us the exquisite cinematic experience entitled “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” Dockers® offers us, since 1986, its fashion counterpart “The discreet (yet instantly noticeable) charm of the Khaki Trousers” Equally creative and equally unique! In this life we can debate about almost anything, but one of these subjects that are simply undebatable is that Khakis are comfortable, elegant and user-friendly for all Men! If you still don’t own a pair, get one and see for yourself! The khaki trousers-based outfits you can create are just unlimited!
Joan Calabia operates as the Digital Lead for Dockers® International at Levi Strauss & Co. Joan’s experience spans the intricacies of marketing operations to creating immersive consumer experiences. He continues to lead the brand direction adapting to the new generation of casual consumers in our era, while maintaining the California cool lifestyle that is heritage to the brand.