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The Guy's Guide to Wearing Cool Khaki


Summer is here, the sun is beaming, and colors are popping. Prime your closet for more color with this series of guides for bold shades. Each week SG HQ is going to break down how to wear a stylish hue with easy color combinations and outfit ideas.

Catch up on bluebird blueamber orangelavenderarmy green, salmon, slateblood orangesharkskingoldteal, merlot, red, evergreen, white, cobalt blue, mint green, orange sorbetyellow and navy.

More than a pale shade of yellow-brown

When we say cool khaki, we mean more than a pale shade of yellow-brown: For a long time, khaki-the-color (and the iconic chino pants that often go by the shade’s name) got a bit of a dorky dad zone rap. But these days, khaki has made a major comeback as a wardrobe staple—no puffy pleated slacks allowed.

Especially as temperatures start to rise, it’s time for the this stone shade to work its way back into your everyday outfits.

Fun fact? Khaki can actually be traced back to the Persian word for dirt, and translates into “soil-colored” in Hindustani. This earthy tone is a must-have for every man’s closet, because it’s 1) tremendously neutral (as in, it goes with everything and works for pretty much any occasion) and 2) somehow able to elevate what might otherwise be a pretty casual ensemble into something that feels classic and cool. Don’t believe us?

See how to wear khaki this summer:

How To Pair

Go bright: Wear cool khaki with colors like sage, coral, and teal—but don’t stop there! If you see a sweet printed button up shirt with a ton of other hues worked in, you can safely assume it will go great with a pair of casual flat-front chinos in cool khaki. Conversely, don’t be afraid to keep things simple and pair this shade with navy, a pop of amber, and white for a more elevated and pulled together vibe: This is ideal combination for suiting (khaki suit, navy tie, warm brown belt) as well as shorts and a khaki tee.

How to wear a white tee five different ways

At the office

Shoes: Vince Camuto, $195  | Suit: J.Crew, $436 | Tie: Suit Supply, $69

Shirt: Banana Republic, $80 | Belt: Martin Dingman, $50 | Socks: Paul Smith, $15 

Pocket Square: Tie Bar, $10 Watch: Braun, $119 | Lip Balm: Stewart and Claire $6

What To Pair

Cool khaki doesn’t have the warm tones of other hues in the family. Look for spring and summer wardrobe staples—like shorts, shackets, button ups, and tees—in this shade, and then combine it with pops of more vibrant color.

Where to save and invest on summer essentials

On the weekend

Shirt: James Perse, $50 | Shorts: Bonobos, $78 | Sweatshirt: Folk, $130

Sneakers: Reebok, $80 | Socks: Stance, $10 | Belt: Michael Kors, $80

Hat: Herschel Supply Co., $50 | Watch: Timex, $52 | Cologne: Clinique, $50

When To Wear

Think of it as the dress up color that doesn’t look too dressed up: It great for work, weddings, and weekend mornings when you’re feeling a bit more style forward than rolling out of bed and into jeans.



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