Khaki; the perfect neutral.

Its stay in spring collections has certainly been a prolonged one. In fact, one could go as far as to say spring – without khaki – is like April without showers. It’s a rare phenomenon.

Khaki’s presence has been consistent, and most definitely understated, to say the least. It remains the often-unsung hero if you will. It’s easier on the eye than black, fresher than your run of the mill grey or brown, more practical than white, yet when paired it oozes sophistication and chic in all directions.

For the 2011 spring/summer seasons, Khaki is ready to break out of its shy-boy mould and become the focal point of your outfit. Khaki is the double-sided coin when prepared to anchor for any colour that may be brought into the fold. With the emphasis on tailoring, clean lines and colour this spring, khaki has a central role to play in any man’s wardrobe; irrespective of the direction your outfits are taking.

On the Runway

Khaki on the Runways

From Runway to Wardrobe

Khaki has held its place on the spring stage for so long. It’s a product of its own easy-to-wear versatility and has paid its dividends twice over by returning each season.

Khaki, as a colour, is diverse. Its original sense refers to a light, dusty colour. Although it has been interpreted in to a darkish green and also a camel-like hue. This is largely due to military influence, meaning the colour keeps your wardrobe in good stead as military still has a firm grasp on high-street and premium designer collections collections, each and every year.

The colours versatility enables it to transcend seasons and trends – merging over multiple military and tailoring looks. The variation of shades means it will be put to good use in almost all of this seasons anticipated trends and is definitely one to keep for the future; is timeless a label given too soon?

How to Wear: Lighter Tones

Light khaki is not far from beige and tan in appearance. Dependent on how purist you are here, if April does grace us with showers, that trench coat – in the camel shade you bought for the fall – will certainly suit your khaki inspired outfit.

Lighter and more neutral khaki work well for a cleaner, more sophisticated look. A khaki suit is a fantastic alternative to the traditional grey, navy or black once the warmer weather finally arrives.

Top tip: Pair a khaki suit with a denim shirt and block colour tie for an outfit that will carry you from work to play in just a few minor tweaks.

Lighter Tone Look Book

Khaki Light Tone Look Book

  • ASOS Banana Chino Shorts
  • Ted Baker Smart Slim Chinos
  • Acne Unstructured Cotton Blazer
  • Burberry Prorsum Slim Military Shirt
  • ASOS Cotton Parka
  • Stone Geo Textured Cardigan
  • All Saints Headingly V-neck
  • BURBERRY PRORSUM Short belted trench coat
  • G STAR Lorch jacket
  • G STAR Fleet jacket
How to Wear: Darker Tones

Dark khaki is commonly viewed as the sole or major-stake shade of khaki; often the result of said military preconceptions.

The more ‘greenish’ appearance that this shade carries makes it a winner in the autumn and winter months where ruggedly inspired looks take precedence. This year’s spring trends take nod from the likes of the Sicilian fisherman – forming the broader ‘spring utility’ trend; meaning darker tones certainly have a role to play.

Create a look using cable knits and duffels with distressed or worn khaki accessories and basics. This is where you can also make use of your winter boots; pair them with shorts when the sun is shining for an apt take on military proceedings.

Darker Tone Look Book

Khaki Dark Tone Look Book

  • ASOS Military Polo Shirt
  • All Saints Idaho Chino
  • All Saints Arlington H/s Shirt
  • Voile Snood
  • ASOS BLACK Scoop Neck T-Shirt With Jersey Trim
  • ASOS Nylon Parka
  • Khaki Cotton Arc Leg
  • A.P.C. Lightweight Cotton Coat
  • Shore Leave Lightweight Nylon Jacket
  • marc by marc jacobs Perforated cardigan
  • Trait Khaki Ribed Grandad Neck Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt
How to Wear: Neutral Tones

Khaki, in its basic form, is a dusty colour – earthy in appearance. It will not look out of place when used to tone down an outfit featuring some of your more vivid purchases. It also pairs very nicely with this seasons must have tortoise-shell frames.

  • Cutler and Gross Tortoiseshell Aviator Sunglasses
  • Ray-Ban Brown Classic Tortoishell Wayfarer
  • Linda Farrow x Raf Simons Aviator Sunglasses
  • Illesteva Limited Edition Andre x Anabelle Sunglasses
Conclusion, Discussion & Part 2

So today we have broken down the new khaki trend and shown you how to wear the different shades of khaki that are available. Tomorrow we will be looking at mixing khaki with colour for spring/summer, as well as showing you how to create block khaki outfits. Here at Fashionbeans we think that khaki is a true essential for the season, and has the added bonus that it can be utilised all year round. But what do you think?

  • Has khaki become a true neutral that we should all have in our wardrobes?
  • Would you consider it as versatile as other building block colours like black, white or navy?
  • What is your favourite tone of khaki? And what pieces do you currently own in your wardrobe?
  • Is khaki now (or always been) a true timeless colour?

Let us know in the comments below…