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STYLE GUIDE OF THE 10 BEST KHAKI TROUSERS FOR MEN
Thankfully, in the modern age of men’s fashion, you don’t have to dress up in a suit to prove that you’re a refined gentleman. Gone are the times when men were expected to wear pleated trousers and dress shirts every single day. These days guys can mix things up with more casual clothing, without having to compromise on style or smartness. And when it comes to smart casual, no sartorial item does it better than khaki trousers.
What are khaki trousers and where did they come from?
Like many other iconic menswear items, khaki trousers come from military origins. Similar to other items such as white tees, bomber jackets and raglans – khakis were developed from a utilitarian need to help working men, and even date as far back as 1848 when the material was first introduced as a military uniform. Due to the fact these trousers were originally made from spare military fabric cut offs; khakis are often constructed of a heavyweight 100% cotton twill fabric. Over time, this style of trousers was given a lighter makeover using less heavy-duty fabric – and before you knew it the chino trouser (the khaki’s almost identical little brother) was born.
These days chinos are also often referred to as khaki pants, and vice versa, as the differences between the two styles are very subtle. Over the years men’s khakis also became closely associated with the concept of Casual Fridays, which the iconic menswear brand Dockers first helped to ignite in the early 1990s. This introduced khakis to a whole new world of wearers. Fast forward to today and the fashion landscape is completely awash with men’s khaki trousers and chinos of every colour and style, firmly cementing them into the fashion world as a true must-have for every man’s wardrobe. But with so much choice around, which khaki men’s trousers are the right ones for you? Here’s a roundup of ten of the best quality options around right now:
Top 10 best men’s khaki style guide:
1. AG Marshall Slim Fit Chinos: Perfect for any guy who prefers a slim leg fit, these ones are cut from Italian cotton-blend for ultimate comfort.
2. Vans Authentic Chino Stretch Trousers: This Sturdy Stretch pair offer up a timeless combination of classic styling and skateboard functionality, designed for men who are always active and on the go.
3. Levi’s XX Chino Slim Taper: These slim fitted chinos are tapered around the ankle and give added stretch too, so you’ll never feel constrained. They’re also made out of sustainable cotton, so you can do your bit for the planet at the same time.
4. Ronnie Chino Luxe Performance Sateen Army: A standard regular fit with a mid-rise, zip fly and a slightly tapered leg. These ones are crafted from quality army sateen to give a luxuriously soft feel.
5. Dockers Alpha Original Chino Tapered Fit: The perfect slim fit casual khakis from the brand who do khakis best. These are built with Supreme Flex and sustainable Water Less techniques and materials, giving you ultimate comfort, flexibility and durability.
6. Tommy Hilfiger Denton TH Flex Organic Cotton Chinos: This pair from Tommy Hilfiger come with advanced stretch technology and provide great shaping. They’re also made from independently certified organic cotton, giving an extra soft feel.
7. Dockers Men's Ultimate Straight Fit Chinos: The Ultimate Chino from Dockers is a brilliantly versatile khaki option, made for any situation and built for real life. The fit is straight and relaxed, while managing to never look baggy. Like many Dockers garments, these are also made from sustainable materials.
8. Arket Slim Stretch Chinos: These super casual chinos are made of lightweight cotton, cut with a slim fit and have a slightly broken-in appearance giving them a unique, rugged edge.
9. Dockers Smart 360 Lite Khakis: These lightweight khakis from Dockers pick up where your favourite jeans leave off, with a skinny fit and lean cut. Made with the brand’s unique Smart 360 Lite material, they give you a lightweight and breathable feel while also looking robust and smart. They also come in a wide range of colours.
10. Sunspel Men's Khaki Cotton Linen Drawstring Trouser: These khakis from Sunspel are designed with a low rise, straight leg and drawstring. Their higher price point is down to their French cotton-linen blend that feels wonderfully soft, giving you a lot of breathability.
How to wear khaki men's trousers
The beauty of khakis is their ability to be both casual and super smart. Unlike other trousers, they’re not designed to be high-waisted, pleated or baggy. Instead, khakis make for a more modern style of trouser, with their flat front and straight or slim fitted leg, sometimes with a little taper from thigh to ankle. This gives them their great all-around fitted and tailored appearance. They also have a mid-rise fit that sits snugly around the hips, without rising up to your belly button. Although khakis are built to be on the roomier side, what you don’t want is a fit that’s baggy, so bear this in mind when you’re trying on different pairs. Khakis are also perfect for those who have a “business casual” dress code at the workplace.
If that’s the case then you should definitely make them a go-to style, although you’ll likely still find a pair suitable for more formal occasions if you shop around and research the exact fit. Khakis come in just about every colour these days and aren’t just limited to the classic green or beige shade you might have traditionally associated them with. For ultimate versatility when pairing with shirts and tops, you should consider opting for a sandy, dark brown or navy pair. This gives a classic look and will enable you to easily pair them with a smart blazer, casual coat or a button-down shirt. If it’s a more formal look you’re after then opt for a pair constructed from fine, lightweight twill and trouser-like tailoring, perhaps with a leg that features a tab closure or cuffs.
In a nutshell, whether you’re dressing them up or dressing them down – there’s scope to match khakis with pretty much all of your shirts and t-shirts, as long as you find the right colour and fit that compliments your outfit vibe of the day. The key is to shop around first and find the fit and colours that suit you and the rest of your wardrobe best. So hopefully you’ll have come to realise now that men’s khaki trousers definitely shouldn’t simply be categorised as Casual Friday wear. Durable and rugged, stylish and comfy, smart and adaptable – khakis can do it all. Perfect for date nights, work meetings, traveling, adventuring and chilling out in, all at once. It’s definitely time you invested in a pair (or three!) of your own.