Though commonly associated with military uniforms, safari garb, and pleated pants, this summer, khaki is kicking these sartorial connections to the proverbial curb. Instead of being relegated to business-casual trousers and epaulet-accented tops, designers are turning to the color for everything from moto jackets to multi-tiered ruffled frocks. Even cutting-edge talents like Rihanna and Alexander Wang have recently been linked to khaki, through what they wear (in Ms. R's case, a sandy pair of Gucci trousers) and work (Wang used the fabric in his collaboration with the Gap).
In addition to these true trendsetters, the season's runways also featured a fabulous range of khaki pieces. At Paul & Joe, the models worked linen onesies like the Cameleon Full-Length Jumpsuit ($294, on sale) with brightly color shoes and pendant necklaces, while at Etro, high-waisted Gabardine City Shorts ($530) were accented with fanny packs and patterned tanks.
With so many fine examples at our fingertips, we decided it was time to turn the spotlight on this utilitarian hue, hence today's Go Buy Now. Read on for our top khaki-colored necessities currently on the market!
1. Alexander Wang for Gap Moto Jacket ($88, available June 16th)
The Gap's partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has yielded two years of amazing interpretations of the classic white shirt, as imagined by up-and-coming designers like Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Thakoon Panichgul, and Phillip Lim. This year, the collaboration (officially known as Gap Design Editions) offers up another old favorite for modern translation: khakis. Fashion Fund winner Alexander Wang created four pieces for this collection, including the brilliant moto jacket shown above.
2. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses ($189) in olive
Sure you've seen the classic Wayfarer shape before, but how amazing do these popular frames look in a drab olive green? The army-fatigue shade is not only a perfectly laid-back choice for summer, it's also neutral enough to work with almost every skin tone.
3. Alexander Wang for Gap Shorts ($50, available June 16th)
Fear not, dear readers, because Alexander Wang did not create a typical, dumpy khaki short that's best suited for antisocial lepidopterists (a.k.a. butterfly watchers). Rather, his design features a full leg and an abbreviated hemline that makes the shorts seem more like a cool pair of culottes. Perfect for concrete anthropologists or saucy nature enthusiasts, these short shorts are sure to sell out quickly, so make sure you drop by the Gap on the delivery day!
4. 10m2 Khaki Tube Multi Strand Bracelet ($191)
If you've ever searched for a piece of jewelry that's the perfect amalgam of Scout-camp and sophisticated MOMA style, your quest is officially over. The item you've been looking for is 10m2's cord and silver-tube bracelet. This sizeable bauble has a stern sort of beauty; we love how it takes up a wide swath of your wrist. It's the chic choice for the ropes course or whatever summer activities you have planned.
5. Theory Division Filisa Rolled Capris ($225)
After all the crazy-love Current/Elliott received for their fantastic boyfriend jeans, we had a feeling we'd see this casual silhouette in other materials. What do you know: we were right! Though not distressed like their denim counterparts, thanks to its slouchy cut, Theory's version of the cropped-and-cuffed chino has an insouciant attitude. Something about these pants reminds of us of Clark Gable (in a good way): they're authoritative, classic, and look exceptional when cinched at the waist.
6. Paul & Joe Sister Athenes Asymmetrical Tiered Frill Dress ($240)
The one-shouldered ruffled mini dress is an inherently girly piece, but when said dress is offered in a standard-issue dark khaki color, the fussy factor sharply drops. The result of this frills-meets-fatigues combination is Paul & Joe Sister's Athenes Dress, a chic alternative to the season's pastel and bright frocks. Wear it with bare legs now, and then come fall, just throw it on over leather leggings for an equally stylish look.
7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Strippy Zippy Groovee Bag ($498)
We know that buying a bag right now is a tricky task. You want something that will work with your summery clothes, but the tote in question also needs to transition into autumn easily. One purse that satisfies these requirements and more is the Strippy Zippy Groovee from Marc by Marc Jacobs. The soft satchel will work with your wardrobe year-round and the style (it has double handles and a long shoulder strap) is equally flexible.
8. Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Strappy High Heel Sandals ($695)
Wondering what to wear with all your new khaki pieces? We say finish off your look with a neatly naughty pair of neutral sandals! These heels from Philosophy di Alberta have some bondage-lite appeal (they lace-up, corset-style, in the back) and cutout details. In addition to their sex appeal, the shoe's wood platform and cone-shaped heel provide a strong counterpoint to all the featured khaki products. In short, they're the perfect selection for today's story!