Real shopping: Style Police - Back in uniform

JAMES SHERWOOD does a U-turn on Utility-wear and explains how to wear army gear without looking like a Village People fan

We've all been there. You wake up hungover and ponder the mortification of the night before. It's that three vodka and Red Bulls feeling when you've done the actions to a Steps number, told the waiter you're in love with him then passed out cold on the dance floor. It is called getting carried away.

This week, Style Police has a fashion hangover. Yes, we said pedal pushers suit everyone. And then we saw a girl wearing white pedals so tight and transparent you could see her kidneys through them. So strike that. Pedal pushers suit everyone except for that girl smoking a Senior Service outside the Brixton McDonald's last Friday at 2am.

We've also been banging on about floral frocks, kitten heels and cerise sequined pencil skirts since January. We've declared a fatwa against Utility fashion and went so far as to suggest public burning of combat pants and trainers in Trafalgar Square.

But, oh the shame of it! OK, it's not nearly as bad as the idea of Jennifer Aniston falling in love with a mousse. But Style Police is smitten by a pair of khaki pants. This particular pair are Dockers K-1 khakis and this time it's for keeps.

When you get into a new season, you've got to go full-on. It's no good being half-arsed about it. We talk up the trends and would rather surrender the blood of our first-born than admit egg yolk yellow may not be a look.

But that little voice in your head advocates caution. Sometimes you've got to sip rather than slam. Khaki pants are like the soda in a spritzer. Sure, they aren't going to give you the intoxicating kick but they work as the balance. Real life dictates that we aren't always allowed to go full-on with fashion. You need to dilute and khaki pants are the mixer you must buy this season. After all, some mornings you just want a pair of trousers that goes through the wash on a fast coloureds cycle and makes your bum look like a peach.

How to wear it

"You're in denial," says She's Gotta Have It fashion victim Angela Buttolph. "You remember all those preppy connotations of khakis and it's giving you a mental block. You've dissed Utility so many times that you can't tell the difference between khakis and combats." How right she is. Dockers K-1 khakis are cut in two-ply cotton to the same specifications as the originals commissioned by the US Armed Forces in 1932. They are performance pants. But that doesn't mean they have to be worn as if one is being drafted to Kosovo.

It's all about that balance again. Style Police invested in a John Smedley pale yellow sea island cotton tank and couldn't make it work. The answer was easy. Put a seasonal piece like the yellow tank with a blank canvas like khakis and the look starts to make sense. Khakis are the foil for florals. They work with a white cotton peasant blouse or a Helmut Lang hot pink tulle vest top. Utility is utility only when you do the whole soldier clone story. The dog tag necklace, flak jacket and regulation Ray Bans are - how shall we put it - a bit Village People.

Where to buy it

Now this is why we love K-1 khakis. They are going back to source. When you have a design classic, there's no point reinventing it for the Nineties with beads, feathers or too many pockets. (We mean you, Gucci.) The design, fabric and details were perfected in 1932 and they remain unchanged in the Nineties K-1. With a design classic, you must remain true to the heritage and don't think about compromising with rip-offs. They are pounds 80 but you're talking timeless here.

What we really love about the K-1 is its limited edition status. There are 1932 numbered pairs worldwide. There are 300 in Europe; 36 of which are winging their way to Britain. Every damned pair has been bagged by Browns Focus. Despair not because the (unnumbered) K-1 will be available this season in the UK. But if you are a limited edition junkie, bear in mind that, now I've nabbed a pair, there are only 35 pairs left and remember the bit about the peachy butt and the spin cycle.

Address book

Browns Focus: 0171 629 0666. Dockers K-1 Khakis enquiries: 0171 394 3300.

Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Apprentice IT Technician

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

    1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

    £153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

    1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

    Sales Associate Apprentice

    £150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit