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Cha-Cha-Chinos

August 7, 2013
by Sonia

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Khakis have been purposely absent  from my life for nearly a decade. After two years of wearing them as a part of my high school uniform, I was done. They were out of my closet like yesterday’s garbage. But then — there’s always a “but then,” isn’t there? — between doctor’s appointments on the Upper East Side, I ducked into a Gap to kill time, and like a throwback to my days of “back to school shopping,” there were chinos, front and center on display. Curious to see if I would find them as repulsive as I did the day I received my high school diploma, I tried them on and liked what I saw and felt. Lightweight, flattering, neutral color — cha-ching! 

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However, the predicament I was then faced with upon returning home was whether I could style them to actually look cool. Because I mean honestly, with the exception of Annie Hall, how many times have you looked at a woman wearing khakis and thought, “Bilbo’s beard! She is killing it in those chinos!” I’m guessing not too many. But fifty dollars later and I was up to the challenge to maybe make you say just that.

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The first task at hand was to make sure that whatever I put together held absolutely no resemblance to my high school uniform, so white polos and/or navy blue or burgundy sweaters were out. Fine. Who needs them anyway? Then I decided to focus on the neutrality of the pants — there’s obviously a reason men can get away with wearing these suckers too every formal event — and went with similarly mute tones.

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The result was actually a bit edgier than I thought it would be — who knew chinos could have such an effect? — but herein lies the point that much to my disbelief, khakis may be one of the more versatile things in a wardrobe. If a simple white blazer can negate any uniformy preppiness, just imagine what a leather jacket could do? Next time. Next time…

Gap khakis | Helmut Lang tank top | BCBG blazer (I like this one, too) | Pierre Hardy shoes | Zara clutch | Iosselliani necklace | Celine sunglasses

 

// photos by Emily Malan
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