If World War II had never happened, would khakis have ever become a staple of the American male wardrobe?
That’s the question I found myself pondering when my editor at Ralph Lauren Magazine said he wanted me to write a feature on khakis. What in the world was there to say that hadn’t been said? As I thought about it, I came up with this little alternate-history scenario.
If World War II hadn’t happened, there would have been no GI Bill that sent countless young men to college who might not otherwise have gone. There also wouldn’t have been tons of khakis available across the country at army surplus stores. The default pant countless American men have worn for over 60 years might instead have been — well, something else.
Alas the alternate-history passage ended up on the cutting room floor. That’s the writing business for you. Still, I think you’ll enjoy my musings about the pant that began as a uniform for the British army in India before making onto the legs of preps. Head over to Ralph’s site to check it out. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD