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Dark, cold days call for dark colors and warm fabrics. If you don a light-colored shirt with khaki pants in winter, you may look like you teleported from the Bahamas. Light-colored clothes are not an absolute no-no in winter, but they should be the right ones.
Khakis are usually made out of a cotton twill fabric such as chino. Twill is not banned in the winter – think tweed -- but the thinner, lighter type used to make traditional khakis doesn’t provide the warmth or richness of wool or suede. Khakis do come in a variety of colors ranging from stone to a deep olive. If you are committed to your khakis, consider going for the darkest hue possible.
Light-colored shirts are usually reserved for summer because they reflect the sun, keeping you cool. Dark-colored clothes retain heat, which makes sense for cooler climates. Light-colored shirts are often of light weight – think pastel silks and white chiffon. You can find light-colored sweaters, turtlenecks and hoodies, however, that may be worn in winter.
Even if you live in a warm climate, something seems just fashionably wrong about showing up in a ballerina pink button down blouse and stone-colored khakis for Christmas dinner. Men may consider khakis and a white shirt a basic year-round uniform – at least dress it up a little for winter by adding a navy or red sweater. You may be able to get away with such a fashion statement near the equator, but the United States has few – if any – true tropical climates. Be sympathetic to the poor souls freezing their tootsies off in Minnesota.
Khaki-colored tweed pants are winter appropriate. You could also wear a light pink or purple cashmere sweater if you crave the colors of spring as a break from the darks of winter. Avoid light-colored cotton sweaters in the dead of winter. These are more appropriate for early spring when light snows may still put a chill in the air.