Old Khaki is widely known for their cool and casual mens and ladies wear. They’re the kind of store you visit when you need something to chill in for the weekend, right?

Turns out, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, if you need something cool and casual, you’ll definitely find it there, but what if you want to turn it up a notch, you know fancy things up a little? Maybe take a stroll on the dapper side of life. Up for the challenge?

I was, so I picked 4 shirts from the new Old Khaki shirt range to see if I couldn’t take them from ‘throwing a ball around the pool’ all the way to ‘busting balls in the boardroom’ – with a few options in-between of course.

So lets start at the bottom. Meet the Corey, a short sleeved button down ready for cocktail sundowners at a fancy Camps Bay beach bar. Now, it is possible to embrace summer without just throwing on a t-shirt and flip flops every time you leave the house! This is how it should be done.


The technique here was simple. Pick one thing that screams SUMMER, something that keeps a little fun in your look, in this case, the floral shorts. The rest just comes down to matching the remaining colours in your outfit to those on the shorts. They don’t all need to match, but they should all tonally work together. Ahhh…breeezy!

Lets move on to the Clint shirt. It took a trip to Hong Kong and Korea to finally give in to how cool a mandarin collar can look, up until then I had decided it could stay in the 90’s together with platform boots for men (yes, I had those too) and the spice girls. See, the thing is, when you pair it with the right stuff, that mandarin collar can give your outfit a little edge – fancy, but not fancy enough to need a tie.


Little things can keep your look constantly transcending between smart and casual without ever having to fall into traditional smart casual. Make sense? No? Let me explain, in this case, the blazer and pocket square, move the outfit into a more formal space, but the lack of a belt and the high cropped pants keep it in a great casual space. When in doubt, a pair of loafers are the perfect smart to casual shoe.

Next up is the Casey shirt, a simple check shirt with a button down collar. We all have one of these in our closet right? (Sure, I have about 20 – but thats because they’re so versatile) Most guys take a check shirt, roll up the sleeves and throw on a pair of jeans. That’s fine, I do that all the time, it’s a classic look. But a check shirt can bring an element of fun to a formal outfit, and get you one step closer to fancy without being overdressed – not that I believe you can ever be overdressed.


By now you guys know that this is my “signature look” a mix of patterns and colours coordinated to stand apart and work together at the same time. I give out a lot of tips and tricks on pattern mixing and creating focus in your outfit in my Fancy Friday category. In this case, I built it all around the shirt allowing the blues and greens in the shirt to dictate what I was going to pair together, little details like a blue tie clip on a solid green tie help pull it all together.

Lastly we have the Lawrence 37, a simple navy bengal striped shirt with a grey base. Another closet staple really. Now, it’s not uncommon to see a striped shirt around the office, but guys tend to play it safe with a thin pinstripe or muted blue tones. I had my sites set on something a little more bold.


Although I decided to go bold, I decided to still keep it classic. Everyone owns a navy suit, or if you don’t you should, it’s the first suit you should invest in really…or maybe that’s a grey suit (I can never quite decide, so best to play it safe an have one of each in your closet) A few simple details though, can make your ‘navy suit look’ stand out from the other navy suit drones at the office though. Your shirt and tie really is your opportunity to bring personality to your outfit. Stripes on stripes is tricky to get right, so make sure the scale or size of the stripes is vastly different otherwise it will just hurt your eyes. In the end, as always, it’s the details that help everything work together – like picking up on the red logo detail on the shirt with the tie and the pocket square.

That’s it gents (and ladies of course) lets see you start making the shirts in your closet the most versatile thing you own.

Okay. Stay fancy.

7 thoughts on “The Old Khaki Shirt Challenge

  1. Hello,
    Hope your day is going well… Want to know where can I find the shorts you wore with the Corey outfit.

    Thank you,

  2. What is the grey blazer he is wearing? We are planning our wedding for may and so far that’s a favorite but I don’t see the brand referenced

    1. Hi Tricia, I’m afraid this jacket is about 5 years old. I bought it on sale in Topman.

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