How To Make Khaki Classy And Chic

By Lisa Miller

See these looks and more on The Mommy Stylist Pinterest page! For image sources, scroll down.

Dear Mommy Stylist,

I love the look of khaki and would like to start wearing it. However, when it comes time to pull together outfits, all I can think of is Coldwater Creek – khaki pants, button-down shirt, jean jacket, and maybe a watch or necklace. The look is boxy and tired. Can you please suggest some classy and refreshing ways to style it?

Thanks, Beth


Dear Beth,

We can see why you would like to work khaki into your wardrobe- it’s super versatile, durable, cooler than denim (temperature-wise), and has the potential to look more polished than jeans when you want to be casual but not that casual. And, we totally get what you mean by the “Coldwater Creek” look. To be honest, it is one of the reasons I have avoided khaki in my own closet.

However, the fabric is making a comeback this season. Chances are you can find khaki pants, shorts, vests, blazers, and more on the racks at your favorite stores. Researching outfit ideas for this article caused me to change my mind; Khaki can be cool (style-wise). I turned up some looks that were both classy and refreshing. Go to The Mommy Stylist Pinterest page and click on the Look Classy in Khaki board for inspiration.

By the way, did you know khaki is a fabric as opposed to a color? Khaki is a Hindustani and Urdu word meaning “soil-colored.” This soil-colored garment first appeared as a military uniform for British troops in India and eventually worked its way into the mainstream. (Because of my background in vintage-reproduction clothing and a love of fashion history, I find this evolution fascinating.) When the khaki uniform was popular, available dyes were inconsistent which resulted in an array of colors. Thus, the term evolved to refer to the fabric instead – a tightly knit cotton or linen twill. For this reason, you can find many shades of khaki, like the green pictured above, although it is most often associated with the sand color in the other photos.

Thanks for writing and I hope our Pinterest album helps you find your perfect khaki outfit!


Image Sources:

  1. Love Ramsey
  2. Cute and Little
  3. The Wind of Inspiration
  4. Tumbler
  5. Look Book
  6. The Sartorialist

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