Why I Hate Khakis

Khaki is making a comeback, and this fills me with dread. After thirteen years of private school, I can't look at them without think "dress code." We weren't allowed to wear jeans, and with Gap heavily promoting the coolness of khakis, they were the next best option. With the 90s push of a more casual workplace, the business sector was thinking along our lines.

Perhaps Gap was too good at marketing their product (and who could resist the swing commercial, really?) because they were soon everywhere. For a while, any pant that wasn't khaki, black, brown or (for the daring) olive disappeared. Men's wardrobes, it seems, still haven't recovered. Khakis became so prevalent, companies started to require a uniform of khaki and polo. (Improv Everywhere even made a joke of it by sending fifty people wearing blue polos and khakis to Best Buy.) Much how denim provides a hint of play to anything it's paired with, khakis can't wash off the stench of work. A blazer, striped button down, oxfords, and jeans can be a cool take on typical menswear especially considering the wear pattern of the jeans. But with khakis? Now you're just the CEO of my company. Even more casual cuts just look like they were made for more hands on jobs (of course, that could be my four years in cargo carpenter khakis talking).
Since khakis are swinging back into popularity, all these things juggle in my mind and make me cringe. They feel like a uniform. They feel like work. They feel like I'm complying to purposeless rules. They feel limiting.

*le sigh* This revival may be unstoppable, but can I at least request the pants are cut better than in the commercials above?


Unknown said…
I F#@!ING HATE khakis and all the dreaded beige-ness they bring to everything! I agree, they are just as much a Best Buy( or any other corporation) UNIFORM now as check pants are to chefs! YUK!!!
rachel said…
Once during spirit week in high school, about 90% of the student body wore red shirts and khakis, which was incidentally, the same as the security guards uniforms. Khakis are horrible.

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