While playful pinks, sunny yellows and neutral nudes might seem more in tune with the spring/summer season, this year a slew of celebrities have given their summer wardrobe an ultra-tough stamp by incorporating down-to-earth khaki colors and unfussy military accents. Of course, like most trends, the khaki craze was born on the catwalk—brands like Balmain, Phi and Oscar de la Renta all gave the military-chic trend a unique spin on the Spring 2010 runways—but stylish starlets like Jessica Alba and Alexa Chung gave the military-chic trend its wings, thanks to carefully selected pieces like cargo skinnies and flak jackets.
What does this mean for you? Happily, there are a ton of options. Stars like Rachel Bilson and Jessica Alba are elevating their skinny pants and boyfriend jeans by adding cargo pockets and strong shades of green. In a different way, Kate Hudson and Kim Kardashian are fortifying their feminine sides by wearing form-fitting dresses and high-waist skirts in washed olive and safari-inspired khaki. Or, of course, you can always take Alexa Chung’s direction: tempering girly fabrics like crochet with a tough field jacket. Whichever way you go, we are sure you’ll find all the inspiration you need from our five fashionable muses. With that, we present you with the latest edition of our Trend Report.
Although Rachel Bilson (far left) is known for her ability to elevate low-key looks into seriously fashionable ensembles, she truly impressed us in May when spotted out and about in New York City—we love her unfussy boyfriend-style cargo pants, ballet flats and simple tee, as much for their ease as their effortlessness. To recreate this look, pick a pair of military-green pants with a slouchy, boyfriend feel—we like Current/Elliott’s The Captain Trouser ($162) and J Brand’s Santa Cruz Chino ($216). Then, simply add a loose tee, like Casual Couture’s Jersey Cape T-Shirt ($53.10), and a pair of cute flats, such as Gap’s The City Flat ($39.50).
Actress Kate Hudson is one of those unique beings that can flit from a stunning red-carpet gown to a jeans-and-tee combo, and then fast-forward to a figure-hugging dress and flirty heels. As such, we aren’t surprised to see she pulls off the military-chic trend with no trouble, as evidenced by the muted khaki shirt dress she wore recently while filming Something Borrowed in New York City. For a similarly stylish ensemble, try pairing See By Chloe’s Cotton Cargo Dress ($142) or Lucky Brand’s Surplus Shirt Dress ($99) with a pair of nude sandals—we like Jimmy Choo’s Strappy Patent Leather Sandals ($675) and Pied A Terre’s Jagger Piped Detail Strappy Sandal ($168.50).
In April, actress Jessica Alba was spotted out and about in Brentwood in a pair of J Brand’s Houlihan Skinny Cargo Pants ($230), one of the most sought-after pieces of the season thanks to their no-frills cargo pockets and edgy green hue. We love how Jessica paired hers with a draped mocha cardigan and chunky sandals—while this trend first gained momentum in spring, Jessica’s look is perfect for the approaching fall months. Try this look for yourself by pairing Splendid’s Draped Jersey Cardigan ($63) with One Clothing’s Cap Sleeve Striped Tee ($19.99), and then adding a pair of strappy platforms—we like Proenza Schouler’s Woven Leather Platform Sandals ($451) and Nine West’s Livy Sandals ($80.06).
Kim Kardashian was one of the military chic trend’s early adopters—she quickly embraced Balmain’s embellished jackets and suede combat booties, and has been spotted in cargo skinnies in assorted earthy tones. In March, she gave the trend a feminine twist by pairing an olive-green ruffle skirt with a simple striped tee, statement necklace and nude sandals—all in all, the perfect ensemble for a day out shopping or a weekend party. To get Kim’s cute-yet-uncomplicated look, start with Cooperative’s Twill Paperbag Skirt ($48) and Gap’s Striped Cuff-Sleeve T ($9.99). Finish off your look with a pair of nude cage shoes such as Loeffler Randall’s Honey Perforated Pumps ($384.99) or ASOS’s Swirl Strappy Cage Shoes ($37.07).
Last, but certainly not least, we turn to British TV presenter Alexa Chung for a final dose of inspiration. In April, Alexa attended a party in New York City in a quirky-cool ensemble: she layered a soft green field jacket over a cropped lace top and denim cut-offs, and then finished off with a surprisingly stylish socks-and-sandals combo! To take a lesson in field-jacket fashion from Alexa, start with J Crew’s Solid Ripstop Field Jacket ($98) and Minkpink’s Chantilly Embroidered Crop Top ($37.07). Complete your outfit with statement-making shoes—we like Liliana’s Todo Platform Sandal ($23.65)—and socks, such as Free People’s Heather Rag Socks ($14).
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Images: Flynet, PCN, Wireimage