Khaki green, also known as olive drab, has a rich military heritage that makes it the perfect base colour for a summer wardrobe. Here’s how to incorporate it into your seasonal fits…
Khaki green is one of our favourite colours, but it’s like the Jordan Henderson of men’s wardrobes - does a tonne of good work but rarely gets any plaudits. It’s fair to say that khaki green (as opposed to the pale, sandy brown khaki drill) is one of the most underrated colours in menswear. It’s rich but also neutral, which makes it very easy to wear with a multitude of other colours. It’s great in jersey, shirting, overshirts, outerwear, you name it, but for some obscure reason, it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Perhaps because it’s an autumnal hue, we tend to veer towards lighter tones in the summer, but in fact, it’s a brilliant base to bounce and contrast stronger, brighter colours off. Rockers, mods, punks and just about every other subculture has at one time or another appropriated khaki green (especially the field jacket). It has also featured extensively in movies, not least on the back of Robert De Niro in the iconic 1976 film Taxi Driver. Its cultural importance as a menswear icon can’t be denied and that military heritage just gives it a touch of ruggedness that other colours can't match.
Maybe it’s the hegemony of the colour black that has drawn our collective eyes away from khaki green? Or maybe we’ve all become risk-averse and prefer to plumb for the safety of navy? Either way, if you don’t own any khaki green, we think you’re missing a trick. The very fact that it’s neither black nor navy is the first selling point as it adds a bit of diversity to the base colours in your wardrobe. Secondly, it can be a deep and wonderfully rich tone, displaying loads of texture in fabrics such as linen and seersucker. Thirdly, it's not a colour that likes to be pigeonholed - you’ll find many different nuances of hue under the “khaki green” umbrella, from forest and moss to olive and pickle, each with a slightly different personality. And finally, that earthy, rugged tone gives it a unique masculinity.
This season, we’ve used it in a variety of silhouettes and fabrics to bring it to the fore. From our linen Coram, Cromwell and Brookes jackets to judo trousers via bomber jackets and shirts, khaki green plays an integral role in the seasonal palette. We love wearing it in a tonal fit, bringing together the various nuances of green to create a sleek and minimal look.
But we also think it’s great as a canvas to bounce contrast tones off, especially white, which brings out the nuances in the green. Khaki is also a great foil for patterns such as checks (our Clerkenwell Tab shirts are a case in point), while it very easily partners up with pinstripes of a contrast colour. In fact, you’d struggle to find a colour that you can’t wear with it. If you’ve never worn khaki, we’d recommend you give it a whirl as it will definitely add a new angle to your wardrobe and provide a plethora of different styling options.
This season, we were lucky enough to be able to source sustainable or ecological fabrics for a number of our khaki pieces. Our Coram jacket in Evering Green and our Carrington Jacket in Westbury Green both consist of ecological linen for example, while our Warham, Havana and Hawaiian shirting styles in khaki are all made from 100% organic cotton. Each successive season, we try to improve on the sustainability credentials of the last. The provenance of fabric is very important to us as it helps us to reduce our carbon footprint from crop to shop and provides you with the peace of mind that you are making a considered decision when you shop with us.