Khaki pants have an interesting origin. This versatile pair of cotton trousers that are tan in color date back to the 19th century. Members of the British army wore white uniforms, a most impractical color. To keep their white uniforms from requiring too much laundering, they began dyeing them using combinations of coffee and curry powder – and the khaki pant was born.
These comfy pants are still a staple in many women’s wardrobes even today. You can find them nestled in most women’s closets next to their pair of black pants. Khakis are comfortable pants to wear and look crisp and stylish in warm weather, as long as you choose the right ones. Here are some tips for choosing a flattering pair of khaki pants.
1. Choose Khakis That Flatter Your Waistline
If you’re short-waisted, choose khaki pants that begin just below the waistline to add length to your torso. Stay away from high-waisted khakis that’ll further shrink your short waistline. If you wear a belt with your khaki pants, make it a thin one, not a thick, bulky one.
If you have a long waistline, choose khakis that begin just above your natural waistline to visually subtract length from your waistline. Keep the front panel simple without a lot of detailing. Elongate your legs by choosing a longer length that almost covers your shoe, and wear them with a pair of comfortable heels. Add length to your legs by wearing heels. This will make your long waistline look more in proportional to the rest of your body.
2. Choose Khaki Pants That Are Appropriate for Your Height
Shorter women look best in khakis with straight legs without cuffs. Flared legs and cuffs destroy the line from waist to heel, which gives the illusion of height. Go for a longer length and avoid cropped khakis or overly baggy styles. Wear a slim shoe with a pointed toe with your khakis to add the visual illusion of added height.
Taller women can wear almost any style of khaki including straight-legged, flared and cuffed styles. If you wear cropped khakis, pair them with a flat shoe or sandal rather than a heel.
3. Flatter Your Figure with the Right Pair of Khaki Pants
Too much tummy? Keep the front of your khakis simple with as little detailing as possible. Avoid tight khakis or ones with pockets. Straighter styles are usually more flattering if you have a problem tummy, but don’t choose a style that’s too narrow in the ankles, it will make your tummy look larger.
Call attention away from wide hips or a big bottom by selecting khakis without pockets or other detailing in the front. Side-pockets can gape open when you sit down and make your hips look wider. Pants legs should flare slightly from the top down, but stay away from billowing legs or bell-bottoms. Khakis with straight or tapered legs make wide hips look large. Don’t choose a style that fits too tightly.
4. Khaki Pant Features That Most Women Should Avoid
Khaki pants with cuffs usually only flatter women who are tall and slender since they visually cut length off of the legs. Most women also don’t do well with pants that have detailed front panels or side-pockets. These only accentuate the hips and tummy.
The Bottom Line?
Khaki pants are comfortable, versatile and fun to wear, but spend some time trying a variety of pairs to find one that feels good and flatters your figure. Then step out in style in this summer’s most comfortable pants.
References: Secrets of Style. 2003. Publishers of InStyle Magazine.