Subliminal Style
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Catching Rae

Parsing Trends: Killer Khaki

Khaki twill is an interesting fabric - the fabric of everything from the most conservative office chino to the most death-defying Safari ensemble... and this year it's even the fabric of J. Crew's pleated ruffle ballgown. Depending on the details, this color can be a world of contradictions but, this year, Fashion is skewing khaki big, wild, and adventurous.

Is khaki for you? It might depend on how boldly you are willing to wear it, which traits you'd like to enhance, and which traits you'd like to minimize. 

Positive Connotations

  • Adventurous
  • Outdoorsy
  • Travel-Ready
  • Sunny
  • Active
  • Capable
  • Subtle
  • Grounded
  • Practical
  • Traditional
  • British
  • "Indiana Jones"

Negative Connotations

  • Blue-Collar
  • Preppy
  • Suburban
  • Touristy
  • Bland
  • Vanilla
  • Childish (e.g., summer camp, school uniforms)
  • Default
  • Unimaginative
  • Colonialist
  • "That guy who killed Cecil the Lion"

In order to prevent your "khaki" from becoming "soul-sucking beige" (a term lovingly coined over at YLF), look for things like:

  • Large-scale details (pockets, ruffles, belting, bows)
  • Dramatic cuts (floor-sweeping high-rise pants, draped coats, culottes)
  • Non-Utilitarian details (ruffles, silk, tulle)
  • Deeper coloring (camel, rust, taupe, or olive khaki)

More of these through the end of the month! As always, I do take requests. Next up will be "Banker Stripes" - stay tuned!