Khakis have been a prominent menswear choice since the 1840’s when they were first introduced as military uniform for the British Army. Since their inception, khakis have become a staple of ‘smart-casual’ dressing all over the world. Khaki has even been used as a camouflage for both the British and American Armies during both WWI and WWII. They became increasingly popular with civilians post WWII when troops came back from war and started to wear khaki cotton-twill ‘chinos‘ casually.
It’s amazing to think that this trouser is steeped in so much history and it’s this history that gives khakis a sense of timelessness that has kept them a staple for men, year after year, season after season. Today, khakis still have a strong presence in menswear, especially in the US where they are the quintessential trouser colour for any ‘smart-casual’ dress code.
Whilst there is an abundance of khakis available today, it’s hard to find the right combination of price and quality. We’ve found some of the best khakis for your next ‘smart-casual’ outing for less than $120.
How To Wear Khakis
Khakis follow a similar style guide to chinos. Follow these rules and you’ll be well on your way to military greatness in the style department.
Fit & Style
There are plenty of fits available from wide leg to slim to regular. The most suitable fit and style is dependent on your personal preferences and what you’re wearing them with. For formal or smart casual duties, go slim. For more laid-back affairs go for baggier khakis.
Most khakis should have four pockets in total – two in the front and two at the back. Some variants like the ones in the featured image mimic cargo pants with extra pockets for a more utilitarian look.
Short leg, cuffed and tailored are the three most common khaki lengths. What you don’t want is to have them too long as this doesn’t pertain to any particular style other than off-the-rack.
Formal & Casual Duties
You can wear khakis with a suit or a sweater and that’s the beauty of their versatility. Again, the only thing you need to be aware of is the fit. Formal duties call for a cleaner and slimmer fit whilst casual weekend duties can let the khakis hang loose a bit.