- Ruffled cardigan: Ann Taylor
- Pale purple cami: Target
- Khaki skirt: thrifted, The Limited
- Wedges: thrifted
- Cork bangle: don’t recall
I seem to be recently obsessed with soft neutrals. I mean, gray has been my favorite neutral for some time now, but I’m fine tuning this fascination even further as a new devotee of what I shall call “putty” (like this ruffled cardigan) and “smoke” (like the flowing top or color block skirt with purple undertones I wore recently). In my mind, both of these shades of gray have great potential as spring neutrals — they’re storm clouds, bare bark, fuzzy new leaf buds, and wet river rocks — as long as they’re paired judiciously.
I don’t know if I’ve paired gray and khaki together before. It’s not a natural neutral combination for me, and yet I think that this could be the key to enabling my participation in this season’s khaki trend.
Actually, can we talk about khaki for a moment here? It’s everywhere this season, in both safari and preppy incarnations. I still have vivid memories of those Gap ads in 1998 with the swing dancers wearing white tops and khaki pants. None of my friends in Hawaii wore khaki, but I remember buying a pair of khaki pants for a trip to visit mainland colleges as it somehow seemed essential to my social success. I don’t think I ended up wearing them very much, though, once I began undergrad.Then again, I wasn’t the most popular kid at college. Can I blame that on my inability to wear khaki pants seriously?
My point is, this is the first major trend repetition that I have self-consciously participated in and it’s kind of making me feel old and it’s reviving old uncertainties about the viability of khaki in my wardrobe. Except now, instead of worrying that I’ll look like a preppy high schooler I’ll worry that I look like a stereotypical suburban soccer mom. Am I the only one with such formative memories of khaki?
Anyway, while I continue to debate the merits of the new slimmer fitting, ubiquitously cuffed, repeatedly cargo-pocketed khaki pant of spring 2010, I’m counting on the classic shape of this thrifted pencil skirt to keep my neuroses at bay. It’s a tall order, but I think the gray cardigan will help.