Can I Wear Light Coloured Khakis All Year Round?

In the stodgy old days of strict fashion rules, wearing light coloured khakis in the colder months was verboten. But times have changed. And with them, the archaic notion that you can’t rock white after Labour Day. Well, this rule is old and outdated. Besides, the way we see it, rules were made to be broken — but to do so, one has to be thoughtful and intentional. We’re not suggesting you throw ALL fashion rules out the window, after-all. White or beige khakis — and actually, any form of light-coloured pants — work well in the fall or winter as long as they’re approached with the utmost caution and properly contrasted with dark, season-appropriate colours. We will draw the line at suits, however. Unless your name is Puff Daddy or Tom Wolfe, don’t wear white head-to-toe in subzero weather. We will call the fashion police on you.

Where do I Start?

So, the question remains: can you wear khakis or light coloured pants in the winter? First, let’s talk fabrics. Since we live in Canada, lightweights aren’t really an option (frostbite is a thing, remember?) and tone makes a world of difference. We can’t start walking around in white linen pants as if we live on the beach, so a heavier-weight and cozier option (think: cotton or wool) is your best bet. Light pastels scream spring whereas earthy tones (tans, beiges) are a little more seasonally appropriate. Dark navy and light beige can get wonky together — fast, so it’s important to be careful with your selections and pairings (but no need to overthink it). Fashion is supposed to be fun, too. Remember: not all fall and winter colours will fly with light pants — and footwear, outerwear, and accessories need to be taken into account as well if you’re going to pull this thing off. We’ve included a few ideas to help get you started.

Nick Wooster
Photo courtesy of Nick Wooster

Going Casual

Exploring casual options is always a good and safe place to start. Think laid-back, approachable streetwear. You don’t need to pull together an outfit that could be worn on the runway. Think day to day looks with a hint of edge for good measure. Start by swapping your worn-out jeans or everyday slacks for something a little… brighter. And don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone from time to time. Grab your best pair of combat boots and sling bag, and let’s dive in.

Beige Slim Fit Cotton Pants — like these from JOOP!

Beige Slim Fit Cotton Pants JOOP! in post
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These are the perfect transition pants if you’re just starting to dabble in the world of light coloured khakis and beige and tan pants in colder months. They’re crafted from a cotton blend for maximum comfort and are slim-fitting for next-level style. Pair with a short sleeve tee or long sleeve shirt and your favourite jacket for a well-rounded and casual yet stylish look. ($198)

Ivory Leisure Cotton Pants — like these from Brunello Cucinelli

Ivory Leisure Cotton Pants Brunello Cucinelli in post
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When you start to get more comfortable on this beige pant journey, you can take things up a notch. Nothing too fancy, just some added texture. These Italian-made, 100 per cent cotton, relaxed pants are a great in-between: perfectly sophisticated yet rugged and laid-back. Either way they’re completely on-trend and pair nicely with neutral tones. Don’t be shy to layer (think: white tee or polo under a chunky knit), slap on a bomber or jean jacket when the weather starts to get warmer and a wool coat perhaps in the meantime, your favourite sneakers or dress shoes, and you’ve got yourself a top-notch outfit. (Sale price: $795)

White Carpenter Jeans — like these from Dior

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Before you say anything — how could we not include denim on this list? But since we’re talking light colours, we thought these modern, white cotton denim, ‘CD Heart’ Carpenter Jeans were a suitable option. They’re an easy and guaranteed way to spice up an outfit — consider them your new statement pant — and their relaxed fit helps you keep it cool and casual. ($1,950)

Dressing it Up

Now, let’s talk business — as in business (and business casual) attire. Outerwear, chunky knitwear, and accessories are your friend — especially when it comes to taking your outfit up a notch. When it comes to your bottoms, chinos and trousers are where it’s at when you’re in need of a fancier look. It might take some getting used to but trust us, it works. Think about blazers, leather jackets, cardigans, belts, and more to really dress up your light coloured pants and get ready to wow your coworkers on your first day back from wfh. It might feel wrong but it’s oh, so right.

Beige Chinos — like these from Louis Vuitton

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We’re all familiar with a classic chino but let’s take it one step further. Chino’s with a modern twist — and LV Heart signature, of course! Italian-made, classic fit, 100 per cent cotton, beige. These pants can’t check more boxes even if they tried. For days at the office, business meetings, and dinners at your favourite fancy restaurant, these stylish beige chinos will be with you — and so will an abundance of compliments, and newfound confidence. ($1,120)

Beige Trousers — like these from Fendi

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These beige wool trousers are mostly ordinary but the yellow piping trim adds a nice touch. For when you need something comfortable and elevated but still want to make a subtle statement, these should be your new go-to. Pair with a white sweater or turtleneck and don’t forget your outerwear (a nice coat, of course), gloves, and work-appropriate shoes. Suddenly, you’re the most well-dressed lad in the room. ($1,100)

White Tailored Pants — like these from Louis Vuitton

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OK, if Louis Vuitton is going to appear on this list twice, it must be for good reason, right? Why, yes. These white, wool pants have a slightly loose fit for a somewhat baggy look and feel that’s both super trendy and comfortable. A bonus is the drawstrings that allow the length of the legs to be adjusted. I bet you thought those were just for show. Tuck in your favourite dress shirt or pull your best oversized knit on top for an effortlessly classy and fashion-forward look. Grab your trench or floor-length plaid coat and you’re ready to go. ($1,940)