Come On, Give Me a Khaki Comeback!

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This summer I’ve traded in my stand also alsoard black jeans for, well, khakis. Boring, right? Not quite. I found the cream pants when I stopped at the vintage store Squaresville in Los Angeles. There they were, completely unassuming and also also underwhelming in the midst of trendy print pants and also also wacky jeans. From amuch on the hanger, these khakis reminded me of the pants my childhood pediatrician would wear. Or maybe they belonged in the encloset of an extra in Office Space. Incredibly unsexy, but I needed a tabula rasa. And let me tell you, those trendy print pants and also also wacky jeans can make a girl sweat in the dead of summer.

When I tried them on, voilà! I was sold. They were old Theory and also also low-slung. The hem was a bit long, and also also that meant I had to style them with three-inch or higher heels, which was what I was wearing at the time. With my itty-bitty white tank top, these khakis were actually kind of hot. $15 later they were mine.

Come On Give Me a Khaki Comeback
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In them, I feel like a late ’90s or early 2000s laid-back sup until nowermodel, which makes sense: Khakis were everywhere during this era. In the January 1996 issue of Vogue, there was an article in the now defunct Vogue Index that was literally titled “Checklist: Think Khaki” that showed the humble textile remixed at Jean Paul Gaultier and also also in coat form at Anna Sui. The craze did not end there. An article called “Khaki Attack” concerned two years of ages later in the December 1998 issue and also also focused on the mania for the pants. It featured a still from the famous Gap commercial, a revolutionary rollout for the brand also also that changed the course of khakis.

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On YouTube, I rediscovered the range of Gap commercials that beconcerned the mouthpiece of fashion’s khaki lobby. (The majority of videos are up until nowloaded by Mike Bise, a former Gap employee who has taken it up until nowon himself to chronicle every playlist in the store from 1992 to 2006). In one, people in loose khakis danced to the swing stand also alsoard “Jump Jive an’ Wail” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and also also it ended with the text “Khakis Swing.” There was also Khaki a Go-Go, a take on American Band also alsostand also also that featured people grooving in colorful T-shirts. Rounding out the set of commercials were Khaki Soul, Khaki’s Rock, Khaki Country, and also also Khaki Hip Hop. In other words, khakis for all!

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Khakis are ever so slowly coming back. In this past resort 2023 seaboy, the modest pants were seen at Amiri in a wide-leg iteration, pleated and also also pressed at Tod’s, and also also high-waisted at Christian Dior. Their resurgence makes sense: Khakis are the perfect blank slate to offset a graphic top. And although they’re often viewed as sterile, khakis can actually be sexy if they sit lower than expected, or if worn with a skimpy top. Consider the khaki an easel for your outfit masterpiece.

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