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What Color Do You Wear With Khaki?

by Jennifer Blair, studioD

Khaki is a staple color in plenty of closets because of its versatility. Generally seen in casual sportswear, shades of khaki can range from light tan to olive and everywhere in between. Whatever shade of khaki you're wearing, you don't have to play it safe with the colors that you pair it with.

Understated Neutrals

Create a simple, understated look by wearing khaki with other neutral shades. Pair a white T-shirt or tank top with khaki shorts or pants for a simple casual look. For a more modern look, pair olive-toned khaki cargo pants with a charcoal gray boat-neck sweater and wooden o-ring sandals. Khaki can also work with black, though striking the balance is tricky. If you do opt for this concept, use one color to accent the other or incorporate a third color that coordinates with both. For example, use a black belt to cinch a khaki shirt dress or wear a black blazer over the khaki and gray combo above. If you prefer a softer look, pair khaki with a black-brown shade like espresso instead.

Soft Pastels

In the spring and summer, make khaki look fresh by pairing it with soft pastel shades. Wear a light khaki pant suit with a pink button-front shirt. For a weekend brunch, pair khaki capris with a lilac button-down and cognac wedges. Even a light aqua is a pretty option; pair a shorts in a dark khaki with an aqua eyelet tank top and brown sandals or pair a khaki blazer and nude pumps with an aqua sheath dress. Mint green, sky blue and peach can all work well with shades of khaki too.

Bright and Bold

Because of its neutral color, khaki is an ideal option when you want to wear a vibrant color without looking too loud. Pair a magenta halter top with a khaki peplum skirt and woven peep-toe heels, or swap the skirt and heels for shorts and brown sandals. Spice up a pleated khaki skirt and canvas shoes with a lime green or tangerine polo shirt.

Rich Jewel Tones

If vivid shades like hot pink and tangerine are a little out of your comfort zone, you can still wear khaki with rich color -- just opt for elegant, sophisticated jewel tones instead. Pair a khaki pencil skirt with a ruby V-neck sweater and brown knee-high boots to look polished and stylish in the fall. Wear a pair of cropped khaki slacks with a sapphire or emerald chiffon-sleeve swiss-dot blouse.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images