Pick any piece of menswear and there’s a solid chance it’s done a tour in the armed forces. The T-shirt? Issued to sailors as underwear in the late 19th century. Bomber jackets? As the name suggests, designed to keep pilots warm in high altitude cockpits. The trench coat? Now you’re not even trying.

So it’s understandable that military notes pop up every season, be it a slightly missing the point acid camo, à la every Valentino collection, or the field jacket, which emerged as this season’s multi-pocketed, hyper-practical outerwear essential.

(Related: How to wear the field jacket)

So no surprise that the military’s preferred colour palette is equally perennial. It helps that khaki is basically neutral, which means you can pair it with anything. “Khaki looks especially good with black, so dress it down with black denim,” says James Lawrence, head of menswear design at ASOS. White and brown make equally happy bunkmates, if you feel like toeing the parade ground line.

Green’s in-the-ranks heritage also means it’s well-suited to utility wear, hence the proliferation of pockets, zips and campsite fabrics on this season’s greenest pieces. But the colour offers as many applications as shades and, for SS16, designers took those military notes and went AWOL.

Yes, there were the expected M65 jackets, albeit jazzed up with patches and cuts more suited to guys protesting the war than fighting it. “But green was seen on the runway at designers as diverse as Lemaire, Valentino and Yohji Yamamoto,” says Damien Paul, head of menswear at MATCHESFASHION.COM. It appeared on everything from suiting to souvenir jackets to, in Craig Green’s case, patch-pocketed karate coats. And such variety means there’s a plethora of ways to make green less uniform.

Slim Is In

Menswear may be moving in roomier directions, but leave baggy greens in the barracks. “While there is still a strong army fatigue trend, it was also seen as part of slimmer silhouette,” says Paul.

Burberry Prorsum took the shade in a typically suave direction, with figure-hugging suits just green enough to stand apart from your colleagues. Channel the aesthetic with a perfectly tailored two-piece in a warm-weather material like linen or cotton, grounding the look with a sky blue shirt and brown suede shoes.

Green Suit Lookbook SuitSupplySuitsupply

Key Pieces

Men's Green Suits

suitsupply harris green plain suit - Click to buyZ ZEGNA green two-piece suit - Click to buyMP MASSIMO PIOMBO Green Slim-Fit Cotton-Gabardine Suit - Click to buyRiver Island olive green skinny fit suit - Click to buy

Turn Over A New Leaf

If your tailoring rotation is looking kind of blue, green is the subtlest way to jazz things up. “Olive green is a great alternative to the ubiquitous navys and greys,” says Giles Farnham, head of River Island style studio.

Because the tone is lesser-spotted, and a touch less formal, you can break afford to break some other rules, too. “Try with a Cuban collar or granddad collar shirt for something that oozes relaxed seasonal style.” That’s two summer trends ticked off without breaking a sweat.

Green Blazer Lookbook Windsor ss16Windsor SS16

Key Pieces

Men's Green Blazers

topman Khaki Jersey Skinny Fit Blazer - Click to buym&s COLLEZIONE Linen Blend Tailored Fit 2 Button Jacket - Click to buysuitsupply green plain copenhagen jacket - Click to buyj.crew LUDLOW BLAZER - Click to buy

It’s Easy Being Green

Monochrome is always the right choice. But when it’s a touch too sunny for all-black-errrthing – and that barbecue you’re heading to means all-white is off the table – green steps in.

“Khaki is easy to wear and looks great head-to-toe, if you mix different shades,” says Lawrence. When colours can’t clash, experiments in print and shape are suddenly simpler to pull off. Which means the chance to dabble in oversized cuts, or add interesting patterns into the mix.

All Green Lookbook Simons 2016Simons le 31 2016

Key Pieces

Men's Green Pieces

topman Green Step Hem Longline T-Shirt - Click to buyJOHN ELLIOTT Olive cotton sweatshirt - Click to buyOUR LEGACY Tie-Dyed Stretch-Cotton Bomber Jacket - Click to buyA.P.C. GARY PATTERNED SHIRT - Click to buy

Legs Get It On

Green is the perfect base for paler shades because the dark fabric allows whites to pop. Which makes a khaki chino your trainers’ new best friend.

“It’s also an easy way to invest in green without going overboard,” says Farnham, who recommends switching chinos in wherever you’d normally pick denim.

They smarten up well, too. “The neutral tone will match really easily with any shoe, from a white sneaker to a penny loafer.”

Green Trousers Lookbook BurtonBurton SS16

Key Pieces

Men's Green Chinos

CLUB MONACO Connor Slim-Fit Cotton-Twill Chinos - Click to buyj.crew ESSENTIAL CHINO in olive - Click to buyMAYBURY SLIM-FIT CHINOS in KHAKI - Click to buymango dark green Cotton-twill casual trousers - Click to buy

Emerald Aye

Muted greens are an easy wear, but there’s a reason they’re picked for camouflage. If you’re looking to stand out, dabble in something more dazzling.

“Try an emerald green crew neck jumper,” says Farnham. Paired with jeans, a white button-down and a dark jacket the jewel tone catches eyes without people asking where your pot of gold is.

If a sweatshirt’s too much, try the shade in subtler accessories, like a tie, pocket square, or something as simple as your watch strap.

Emerald Jumper Lookbook J.Crew 2015J.Crew October 2015

Key Pieces

~Men's Emerald Jumpers and Accessories

ARPENTEUR MALO SWEATER - Click to buyExtra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater - Click to buyhugo boss Finely textured silk tie - Click to buyT.M.Lewin Green Spot Silk Pocket Square - Click to buy