Khaki is an interesting colour…. I had always assumed that it was a dull olive green colour used in army uniforms around the World. However, in doing my research for this blog I discovered that the actual origins of the word comes from the Urdu word khāk, meaning dust or dusty.

Other dictionary definitions include the following:

  • Khaki is a strong material of a greenish brown colour, used especially to make uniforms for soldiers.
  • Khaki is a dull yellowish-brown colour

It also became apparent during my research that in America they use “khakis” as an adjective to describe a beige/tan coloured pair of cotton trousers similar to chinos. And it is rumoured that they became popular in the 1840s when British soldiers in India dyed their cotton trousers in tea, curry powder and mud to blend in with their surroundings.khaki

I am going to use the Pantone colour Green-Olive as inspiration for my definition of khaki – knowing that it could be lighter, darker or more sandy!

It is a great neutral colour as it can act as a backdrop for many other colours. It is however a VERY warm colour with yellow undertones so it isn’t the best colour to wear close to your face if you have cool colouring.

Here are some hints on how to wear Khaki depending on your skintone


Cool Skintones

If you want to add some khaki to your wardrobe choose skirts, trousers or accessories. If you want a jacket then ensure you team it with a cool colour like: navy, black, white, magenta, turquoise, burgundy, raspberry, rose pink, powder blue or mulberry.

Warm Skintones

If you have deep autumnal colouring then you can wear as much khaki as you like! Mix it with all your rich warm colours such as mustard, rust and deep browns. If you are lighter in colouring then mix with cream, coral and camel.




Images from a selection at  Reiss, Me + Em and Zara

Enjoy experimenting with this versatile colour BUT….. unless you know that it really suits you, keep it well away from your face!

If you are unsure if it suits you then I would recommend booking a colour analysis to find out!



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