Thursday, September 18, 2008

Khakis: Business casual's medium of exchange

While jeans may be the most preferred article of clothing to wear at almost any time, anywhere, take a look at what men in the workplace wear when they're not in suits. Slacks of various colors are viable options, of course, but khakis are the go-to trousers for businessmen.

The origin of khakis go back to the 19th century, where Sir Harry Lumsden of Britain is credited with outfitting recruits in India in a linen-cotton twill that was tan in color. The style spread through the British Army and later, U.S. armed forces by the end of the century. Many a nation's military have since adopted khakis as part of its dress, and inevitably, civilians followed suit.

Like denim, khakis are worn for comfort and are known to last. I have become a bigger fan of khakis after having purchased a pair of Bills Khakis, which are styled after U.S. military patterns from World War II. They are a full-cut trouser with plenty of room in the legs and seat, which do not bunch up when I'm driving or sitting in airplane seats.

Add a blazer and a button-down shirt, I'm ready to do business (or party, for that matter) any time, anywhere. Khakis are versatile enough to dress up or down with, more versatile than denim. I travel with at least one pair of khakis packed in the bag.

These days, in the business casual era, it's not wise for me to leave home without 'em.

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