How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Dust off your khaki. It’s the new navy for spring

  • Shane Watson shares how to wear khaki, this season’s spring style must-have 
  • UK fashion expert says it’s a ‘go-with-everything’ colour you can team easily 
  • READ MORE: Make a splash in this season’s crop boots

February is the month for taking a long hard look at your clothes. What do you love? What’s worked hard and needs replacing? What has to go because you were never going to wear it and it’s too tight anyway?

You can’t predict what will end up in which pile, but one thing’s for sure: if you own a khaki jacket, some khaki trousers and a khaki shirt, you’ll be holding on to them.

When navy makes you feel too uniform safe, black too drained and camel too bland, khaki is the go‑with-everything colour that keeps on giving.

And when there’s a strong utilitarian mood in fashion, as there is at the moment, you can’t beat it.

Khaki is always a keeper; the difference now is we’re not saving it up for summer.

Shane Watson (pictured) says: ‘Khaki is always a keeper; the difference now is we’re not saving it up for summer’

For years it’s been associated with warmer weather, perfect with sandals and a crisp white T-shirt. But not any more. Khaki trousers with a navy roll-neck sweater is shaping up to be a chic inbetween seasons look, and I’m wearing a Marks & Spencer khaki jumpsuit from a couple of summers ago, with brown suede boots and a leopard-print coat.

For something similar, try Whistles’ utility jumpsuit (£105, or Mango’s slightly heavier style (£59.99,

A word about the colour. Khaki is used to describe everything from a pale desert storm via sage green all the way to a dark oily olive.

The khaki I’m talking about — the one that looks good on pale blondes, dark-skinned brunettes and redheads — is warm and soft to the point of looking slightly faded. The shade is very important. The right khaki has the same ability to blend in with the rest of your wardrobe as navy and the lightening effect of pale shell pink.

Vogue Williams pictured effortlessly rocking a utility look while out and about in London in October, 2021

Singer and presenter Ashley Roberts pictured looking stunning in an all-khaki ensemble in February, 2021

The Princess of Wales pictured in March last year. She threw on a simple but chic khaki button-up

In my book, it’s as versatile as denim and works in a similar way. You’re not going to go for a floaty khaki frock — you’re wearing simple classics: four-pocket jackets, cotton trousers, T-shirts and shirt-dresses come summer.

The secret is to think of it as a neutral, only better. Nothing makes colours pop quite like khaki. If you’re scared of the impact of orange, khaki will dial it down; same with bright turquoise, red or a bold, striped shirt. The only way I’d wear shocking pink is with khaki — it’s an instant cooler.

If you’ve been noticing all the women in khaki quilted coats and regretting not having joined in, it’s not too late, the trend is going strong.


SOFT shades not olive.

STICK to classic pieces.

WEAR with colour.

INVEST in a shacket.

The one the fashion girls are buying, having worn out their Zara and H&M versions, is a sleek bottom-coverer (£229, Or there’s Marks & Spencer’s lightweight thermowarmth jacket in Hunter Green, aka the right khaki (£35,; this one has a ribbed collar so it’s got a hint of bomber jacket about it, also very spring 2023.

A khaki quilted jacket worn over a striped shirt, with dark trousers and clean trainers (the ones to have are Adidas Samba, from £80, is the relaxed but still smart look that will be sticking around.

Otherwise you may already have a safari-esque jacket you can wear over a slim sweater as the weather warms up. If not, then try a shacket — a more relaxed shirt fit.

For me, khaki plus glamour is the way to go, and since khaki looks like it was made to be worn with leopard print, why not combine the two? There’s a Kooples shacket (£120, with a leopard lining, epaulettes and bone-effect buttons.

Otherwise minimalists will love Arket’s utility jacket (£150,; the funnel neck gives it a sleek look that’ll modernise work trousers.

I’d also recommend some khaki trousers. Cargo pants are top of the fashion chart, but I’m more interested in wide-leg trousers like Arket’s cargo (£35,, that doesn’t have extra pockets.

Otherwise, Cos does a plain cotton trouser or a tapered leg style (both £69, It’s debatable whether they’re smarter than jeans for the office, but they definitely look fresher. It just feels new.

Source: Read Full Article