Here's how to pull off this classic (but tricky) pants style in 2020.

By Samantha Sutton
Updated Apr 16, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
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First, it was cardigans. Then, it was polo shirts. And now, khakis have made their way into our wardrobes once again. These beige, sometimes olive or light brown bottoms were a staple in the '90s and early '00s — celebrities were often seen wearing low-rise versions with shrunken graphic tees and chain belts (the ultimate throwback look). But, in 2020, we're suddenly stumped. We know there's a way to make these pants feel modern, cool, and less dad-playing-golf. We just need a little inspiration before putting together our outfit.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas out there for what to wear with khakis, and we've since learned to treat them like our favorite pair of jeans. Crop tops, sweatshirts, and button-downs are all acceptable options, and you can even switch things up by pairing them with denim or leather.

With a few quick tricks, these classically preppy pants can turn into a full, statement-making look, and might just become the most versatile thing you own.

Keep It Consistent

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When in doubt, stick with a scheme, styling your khakis with pieces from the same beige and brown color family. It will instantly look elevated.

Bring On the Basics

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Fully embrace preppy style by wearing your pants with a sweater, loafers, and a bold belt.

Add a Bit of Camo

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This can be in the form of a jacket, a button-down, or a T-shirt. The combination of colors always works.

Get Comfy

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With the help of an oversized hoodie and a pair of sneakers, khakis will seem more casual and laid-back.

Switch Things Up With Leather

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A leather jacket or button-down isn't something you'd expect to see with these basic bottoms — which is why it's the perfect choice.

Or, Try Denim


The contrasting colors and materials is what makes this combo especially eye-catching.

Give Your Pants a Sexy Spin

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Turn up the heat ahead of a night out by opting for a sheer top.

Pull On Some Boots

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Not only is the shoe choice great for colder days, tucking baggy pants into knee-high boots is a model-approved move.

Throw On a Vest

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Yes, vests are back, too. A puff-sleeved shirt underneath will make this outfit seem less stuffy.

Remember the Classics

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The good news is, khakis pair well with all of your other wardrobe staples, like white tees, blazers, and Converse sneakers, creating an easy outfit idea for days when you're in a jam.

Experiment With Different Styles

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Not all khakis are alike. Some are cropped, have pockets, or feature wider legs, so it's worth finding a cut that suits your specific style.

Complete Your Look With a Crop Top

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If your pants are a higher rise, this will balance things out and keep them from feeling bulky.

Don't Forget About Button-Downs

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It's a fool-proof choice. Both long- and short-sleeved options will help make these pants feel polished.

Try White Options

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It's a crisp, clean color pairing that is both timeless and seasonless.

Or, Liven Things Up With Color

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If you really want to stand out, reach for something red, which will always make a statement when styled with beige bottoms.

Break Out the Leopard Print

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This animal print is similar in color and will blend nicely with khakis, while also adding an element of fun.

Let Loose

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For summer days, a lighter pair of pants will come across as effortless when paired with a long, oversized button-down or a shirtdress.

Style Them With a Tank

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When it comes to warmer weather, don't overthink — khakis and a solid-colored (or even striped) tank top is already a full easy, breezy outfit.