Privilege Blog

Can You Wear Khaki With Black?

One of my secret business casual tricks involves khaki and black. Now don’t get me wrong. Khaki loves white best. But when High WASPs crave just a little wickedness, we go to the dark side.

Bringing khaki along for safety.

In a minimalist palette like this, best to keep the details subtle but not strict. In this case, that means black Beautifeel heels with a patent leather accent, small preppy gold hoops. Not posts. Something, after all, has to dangle.

Oh, and the usual men’s Rolex Cellini. With a brown alligator strap, brown can play too.

The watch dresses up quite well, for non-business, non-casual too.

Long greying hair turns out to be an accessory on its own merits. Will wonders never cease?

Something about this outfit makes me feel as though I ought to be in Milan. Or Torino. Or anyplace that doesn’t include Park, Shire, or Village in its name. One can eke out a lot of excitement from very small adventures.

Vintage, i.e. I bought it ten years ago, black featherweight sweater, generic Bloomingdale’s cashmere
Vintage, in the same vernacular, tan pants from Armani Collezione
Black leather and patent heels from Beautifeel

59 Responses

  1. I love Khaki with black. I didn’t know that there was an “issue” involved with wearing those two colors together. Like the brown band on the watch with those two colors, also.

    I think that you look great. Now when will you be leaving for Italy?!! ;-)

  2. choosing favorite photos of you is like choosing favorite children, but it must be said: the ones you’ve been posting post-blonde are stunning. your expressions and posture are downright heroic.

    LPC fan club, LES chapter,

  3. I love you in this outfit and the black makes your hair and eyes pop. And khaki and white in the warm seasons, but black and khaki just as classic and clean looking. Also love navy and khaki. Your hair is looking better and better, more silver. Really beautiful.

  4. “With black” is pretty much the only way I wear khaki. Maybe I just live on the dark side all the time! You look very sleek in this combination, and I love the chunky watch.

  5. When I read the title to this post, then saw the picture I thought, “I don’t know if I can, but YOU certainly can!”

    Just lovely, Lisa.

  6. Khaki with black is such a classy combination. It’s chic without being fussy. I love wearing all black, but I always get covered in lint. Throw some khaki in the mix and I stay lint free. Love that watch :)

  7. Technically, you are wearing taupe and black in the photo. Always classic, although to tell you the truth, I think you’d been better served with a taupe, rather than black shoe.

    Khaki and black are tres chic anytime, but especially in the fall.

    I love your blog, but notice that everyone always agrees with you. Hope you don’t mind my more discerning comments.

  8. “Long greying hair turns out to be an accessory on its own merits.”

    UNDERSTATEMENT of the year. No, of the decade!

    Girrrrl, you’re glowing. [I’ll have what she’s having.] Despite almost nothing BUT khaki and black in my closet, I still can’t get myself up as divinely as you. Keep on keeping on, Lady Inspiration!

  9. I want to have hair like yours when mine grows out. I’m crossing my fingers that our coloring is similar enough to make it so.

    Rock that silver, lady!

  10. I feel a new energy in your image here Lisa and I don’t think it’s your clothing, it’s coming through your eyes a sparkle, a dash of mischief perhaps or maybe it’s a new passion.
    Whatever it is your are radiant and beautiful.

  11. That’s a really good sweater. And I always like black and khaki together. Just one comment though – I think you may believe yourself to be larger than you actually are. I would like those pants better with the boxy sweater if they were just a bit more fitted through the hip. However, this is not a problem I have myself ever had (I’m all hips and have those tailoring difficulties) so I could be wrong.

  12. You look smashing! I am a huge fan of khaki and black (with perhaps a white shirt underneath-it is the Northeast here, after all). I especially love the sparkle in your eye!

  13. OK, I was at first disturbed with your choice to let the hair grow out. I am one of those men who really likes beautiful chemically processed soft blond hair.
    Nothing pleases or excites me more. But your hair really is beautiful, and you look stunning. Well,
    now that I’ve commented, continue to trust your instincts. You rock! And I’ll get over it.

  14. The ensemble is wonderful. But Hostess has pegged it — it’s the spirit of YOU that is shining out of the photograph. Yes, the clothes are great and well put together, but you look happy and comfortable with yourself. Alive. Energetic. That is worth a million great outfits!

  15. You look divine — happy and strong!

    Black and khaki are an all-time fave at Casa Rubi, so I highly approve of your combo — I wear mine with chunky heeled loafers or chelsea boots. And often a scarf, because I’ve often got a scarf on in general.

  16. Sei molto carina!
    Simply must screw up the courage to grow out my grey. You are an inspiration, seriously.
    (Yes Bob, get over it ;)

  17. Khaki and black ROCKS!! It’s always been one of my favorite combos and, YES, it works particularly well with grey hair! Who’d a thunk? You look great (as everyone has already mentioned) and I absolutely love how your hair is transforming:)

  18. Loving what appears to be a low ponytail on you! Also, I like khaki and black together very much; sometimes I add a neutral scarf to pull the eye back up–at least that’s my intention. Just wondering if you would wear the same pants in a narrow leg with a flat or loafer, or would that be a bit too casual?

  19. I have to admit when I saw this title, I said to myself, “Please say yes, please say yes!” since I am a huge khaki and black fan and would hate to meet with your disapproval.

    I agree with the others, you look fab and HAPPY, which is the best accessory of all.

  20. The colors are quite chic together. You have my stamp of approval…in case you were looking for it! ;-)
    My only (unsolicited) advice would be a splash of color at the neck, a scarf perhaps? Love your blog!

  21. I’m glad to hear someone else say that long graying hair can be an accessory! I think mine is one of my best accessories.

  22. I couldn’t agree more! After all, didn’t we wear khaki breeches and black jackets to the barn with leather field boots, crop in hand? Ready to conquer for the sheer fun of it, I might add!

  23. Wonderful! And how satisfying that you pulled that together from your very own “vintage.” — may there be a stroll in Milan for this outfit’s not-too-very-distant future . . .

  24. Khaki and black, definitely. In fact, I have to disagree on your statement that khaki loves white best – it’s too washed out for my taste. You look great.

  25. I saw a lady in my lobby this morning with a stunning silver ponytail and thought of you :-)

    She was wearing a grey knit dress, which you’d think wouldn’t work with her hair, but it really did.

  26. Holy smokes, great outfit. I’d prefer a tighter fit but that’s just the guy in me. Is that a guilloche dial on the watch? Awesome look.

  27. I think of it as a warm weather combination.

    I guess when you live in California that’s year-round!

  28. I’ve always considered khaki and black to be a super-sophisticated, urban combination, at least when I’ve seen it on the UES gals of a certain age and tone. Looks fab when done well! But then, I’d expect nothing less of you, m’dear!

  29. Love this look on you Lisa! I think black and khaki is the only way to go for me, and I love it worn with brown ghurka leather or like your watch band. Hope the new job is keeping you very occupied and happy.

    xoxo Mary Jo

  30. I think khaki pants are a great choice for business casual. I also have a pair a little darker like yours in a color called “stone” which I also like. What do you think of scarfs worn with an outfit like this? Probably too fussy for a sturdy girl, but what is your take in general?

  31. Oh, I love khaki and black! It is my favorite way to wear khaki. Of course, I have dark hair and fair skin and khaki and white always makes me begin to look like Casper the Friendly Ghost donning a dark wig.

  32. You look great! Big pearls at the neck would add a kick to this. Or (Lisa, I know you have it) your pearl bracelet? And I like pale khaki, almost white with black too, it zings.

  33. Black and khaki make wonderful fashionable companions. I do love khaki and white, but sometimes that can be a spot too predictable. Khaki and red is another favourite of mine, and sometimes I add a spot of blue, too;-)

  34. I love this style of dressing, it really is simply perfect and such a refreshing change from all of the over embellished, over accessorised young style bloggers out there.

  35. Have worn khaki/black for many years reverse order to your outfit.

    Purple and khaki was one of my favourite’s back in the 90s. Ida

  36. que bella! molto Torino :-)

    Are you planning on cutting off the blonde tail anytime soon? Or do you plan to keep the bi-colour hairstyle?

    And once again, I see me in your office-style. It can be very comfortable, not wearing skirts.

    1. PS: sorry, I missed the comments on the hair earlier – have been away and are reading my way “down” instead of “up”. Looking forward to reading your to-come posting on cutting/not cutting ones hair.

  37. Ally – I’m guessing it’s only an issue for those of us with over-developed sensibilities. Italy. You know, I would not mind at all going to Italy.

    lauren – You are a darling. I have always needed a lower east side chapter. As in, all my life.

    kathy – Thank you. Glad to have another khaki lover on the black train.

    Cynthia – Heh. It’s the “dark side,” not the real dark side:). Thank you.

    Jan – Ha! Thank you.

    Cathy – I greatly appreciate the endorsement. Chic without fussy is a good thing.

  38. Susan – I am happy. Although a little bit I was also happy because of the outfit, if that makes sense.

    Cynthia – Taupe? I would say it was a burnt tan.

    Flo – Oh I am sure you are a goddess in your own right. But I thank you profusely.

    Louise – Oh hooray! A gray hair road trip companion!

    Hostess – I’m really having a great time at the new job. And I’m also getting more comfortable with the outfit posts. All sorts of things happening. Thank you.

    Julia – It’s weird. I don’t know if I think I’m bigger than I am, but I really do have a problem with buying pants that fit. I think they are OK in the store, and then I come home and they are too big. I think it’s Tight Pants Paranoia, and must be addressed.

  39. Madeline – Thank you:).

    Jen – Somehow I can see you in khaki and black. That watch has saved me from many a boring outfit.

    Bob – I have learned to trust my instincts first and foremost.

    Deja Pseu – Oh you have the Hermes bracelet, which I have coveted, so move closer and we’ll share:).

    Jacqueline – Thank you. This blog is a big part of it. Really, thank you.

  40. Valentine – Wow. Now I just have to try and do better:). Thank you.

    Rubiatonta – Thank you. I know that many would wear a scarf but I rely on jewelry for anything extra. Too easily over-stimulated I suppose.

    Rosie – Oh join us! It’s really fun. Thank you.

    Lara – Thank you! I think the gray does work better with this combination than my blonde did, you’re right.

    Town and Country – If I wore narrow leg pants, yes, I would wear with a loafer. But I am too long-torsoed for skinny pants, so it has to remain theoretical:). On the long-legged that would look great.

    Dawn – Hahaha. You guys are great. And a big cheer for happy! Thank you.

  41. TPP – Hehe. We’re really living dangerously.

    saretta – I truly appreciate your stamp of approval! I just am not the splash of color sort, so thank you for bearing with my minimalism.

    Janet – It’s so much your kind of style. xo to you too, stylish one.

    little augury – Thank you!

    Susan – Doesn’t it make you wonder why it’s not more common in the US?

    Sandra Jones – Thank you ma’am!

  42. Mags – Hahahahaha. I had forgotten that, but of course. Jodhpurs.

    Buckeroomama – I am so glad you also sense that little bit of wickedness:). With pearls is even better.

    Chicatanyage – Your approach is more sensible:). Thank you.

    Mater – Oh yes. And then what to wear in Venice:)…

    MJ – Thank you. I am learning what you already knew.

    Patsy – Aw. That’s so nice. I think about you guys too.

  43. Alan B. – It is guilloche indeed. I just love it. Good catch.

    RoseAG – True. True. We forget how unusual our weather is.

    Reggie Darling – If you think it’s sophisticated and urban, I need worry never again.

    Mary Jo – Thank you. Oooh. Ghurka leather. Nice.

    Lindy – I am just not a scarf person, unless it’s cold outside, or I’m in New York, and then I wear one religiously.

    Mardel – Ha! I doubt that, somehow:).

  44. Duchesse – Yes, big pearls would be good. Just too fancy for this job right now.

    Englishvers – I’d love to see your take on khaki.

    Tabitha – I do believe that style blogging, street style photography, and all the rest of our digital imagery proliferation have driven fashions towards the extreme. Black and khaki is not too exciting, not in low-res photos at least. In real life it still feels wicked to me.

    Ida – Purple and khaki? Now there’s a new thought. Clearly I have got to expand my horizons.

    The Style Crone – Thank you!

    geologysue – Oh thank you. That’s so nice to hear.

    Paula – grazie:).

  45. Speaking of khaki…I got two pair of Crew’s Waverly khakis, one light, one dark, and have hardly taken them off since the temp dipped below 70. Natch, that translates to, since the tan started to wane on my legs. They’re perfectly unstructured just not as heavy as the dream pair we’ve imagined. Too bad we’re on opposite coasts LPC. A khaki dynasty opportunity is being missed :)

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