A day didn’t go by in the early 80’s where I didn’t stare into the third drawer of my dresser and revel in the crisp neutral-ness of my khaki collection. I felt undeniably chic, neat and way smarter than I was. To me, khaki meant there was a little old money and boarding school somewhere in my past, present and future. Along with my graduated gold bead necklace and my grosgrain ribbon watch, I was ready accept the gift of genuine pearl earrings from anyone with a checkbook. But I lived in the crappy part of town and that wasn’t happening.
Even for posers like me, khaki exudes classic style and whether they’re wrinkled, ragged or otherwise mussed up, if you’re wearing khakis — you’re cool.
Khaki, as a color, is a muted shade of yellow brown. Khaki is a loanword* incorporated from the Hindustani language (ख़ाकी/خاکی ) meaning “soil-colored”.
The word khaki originally derived from the Persian word خاک or khâk, which literally means soil.
Off the high-style stage, khaki has taken over the last day of the work week in America, as throngs of office workers throw off their more formal attire and don them for casual Friday. It’s nice to know that the fabric’s military history has a place as a modern day work uniform. Whether you’re on team khaki or not, there no denying its enduring place in fashion and fabric history. Khaki – we salute you! –Caitlin
*A loanword is a word adopted from one language (the donor language) and incorporated into another language without translation. Thanks Wikipedia!