What Colors Go With Khaki? [A Guide to Khaki]

November 1, 2021
by Dan Skewes
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Owning multiple pairs of khaki pants and shorts is something of a rite of passage for the everyday man.

Khaki is one of the most versatile neutral colors out there, ranging in various shades from olive green to light brown.

However, just because khaki is a neutral color doesn’t mean you can be lazy when pairing it with other colors. 

The world of fashion is ever-changing and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the trends. In fact, a lot of the time, most people simply can’t be bothered.

If you’re comfortable and the clothes fit, then who cares, right?

Problem is, if your friends or partner have started to make backhanded comments about your lack of dress sense, you might want to start reconsidering aspects of your closet. 

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re deeply invested in your beloved khaki pants but you don’t want to spend too much money on a new shirt or sweater to go with the khaki, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll probably find everything you need in your own closet.

Here is everything you need to know about what colors go with khaki! 

So...What Colors Go With Khaki?

man on a bench in khaki pants

To be quite honest, you can basically wear any color with khaki. There’s actually an abundance of ways for guys to wear khaki.

The golden rule is to avoid wearing khaki colors with khaki, or at least varying shades of khaki alongside each other (for example, an olive green khaki shirt with light khaki pants).

Too much khaki can look a bit too overwhelming in the most boring way.  Here is a run down of the best colors to wear with khaki. 

Neutrals

Simplicity is often forgotten about in the fashion world. Sometimes, all you need to pair with khaki is a simple white or black t-shirt.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a khaki shirt, pair it with a pair of black or navy-blue jeans.

The key to wearing khaki is to not overdo it with the khaki, otherwise you’ll look like a light-brown earthy mess. 

For men with a bit more of a stylish flare, we recommend wearing a roll-neck black top tucked into a pair of khaki pants.

Or, for a more smart-casual look, wear a white shirt with khaki pants. It’s like a preppy-casual dream. 

The best part about wearing neutral colors like black or white is that they can be paired with virtually any color.

So, if you still think this look is a bit dull, you can pair the black or white shirt with a colorful blazer or a pair of shoes for a pop of color. 

Bold Colors 

Khaki in itself is a neutral color, so going on from the point we just made, you can always pair your khaki clothing with something bold.

Burgundy and magenta are great colors to match with a khaki shirt or pants without looking too overwhelming.

Khaki is mostly associated with the spring and summer seasons due to the light color, whilst burgundy is mostly associated with fall and winter.

Pairing these two colors together allows for a versatile, year-round look. 

We recommend pairing a burgundy shirt with khaki pants, or a burgundy blazer over a white shirt with khaki pants for an informal yet smart look. 

If you’re not quite prepared to wear a shirt or pants in a bold color, you can always wear a pair of statement shoes.

Depending on the style of the khaki clothing, you can incorporate bold colors into your footwear.

For example, wear some blue loafers with khaki shorts in summer. Or, pair your khaki pants with burgundy brogues in winter. 

Vibrant Colors 

Fashion is all about moving out of your comfort zone. So, if you’re prepared to do so, we recommend pairing khaki colors with vibrant colors.

No, this doesn’t mean you should wear that random neon pink t-shirt that’s still lingering in the back of your closet.

We’re talking rich jewel tones like emerald, ruby, and sapphire. Khaki is a versatile neutral, remember, which means it’s the perfect relaxed tone to make your colorful jewel tones pop. 

Even if you’re not quite prepared to wear a ruby shirt with khaki pants, you can always wear a white t-shirt with the pants and pair it with a vibrant belt or shoes.

The accessories are all part of the look, too. 

Patterns 

We know we keep saying it, but khaki is an excellent neutral color, so use it to your advantage.

The general rule of thumb is to not pair too many patterns with other patterns, but because khaki is a neutral and pattern-less shade, you can wear whatever pattern you want with it. 

Striped t-shirts are a staple item, and we like to pair a blue and white striped t-shirt with khaki shorts and white sneakers in summer.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, wear a Hawaiian shirt with khaki for a fun summer look.

Our favorite is to find a vintage shirt or t-shirt to wear with khaki pants, because then all the focus is on the patterns of the shirt. 

Plaid shirts are probably the most versatile clothing item you can have.

This pattern is sophisticated, stylish, handsome, and fun all at the same time.

Plaid shirts come in a variety of patterns, from burgundy to green to dark gray, allowing you to easily pair any plaid shirt with khaki. 

It doesn’t really matter what colors are in the patterns.

Just remember that too much khaki in one look can look a bit ridiculous, so try to avoid wearing a patterned shirt that features a shade of khaki. 

Contrasting Materials 

If you’re willing to push the boat out, we recommend pairing khaki with contrasting materials such as leather or denim.

A leather jacket with khaki pants is a good way to make the pants look less preppy. A denim jacket or shirt is also a good contrast that looks both stylish and attractive.

Both of these materials are great ways to make khaki look daring and - shock horror - even sexy. 

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