How to tackle a new neutral when your sartorial life revolves around a palette of black, white and navy? Enter khaki: the season’s most surprising alternative, and a blessing in disguise for New York-based stylist and expat, Ilona Hamer. She shares her tips for lending the look a softer edge and transporting it easily from day to night
“As one of the biggest advocates of a black tailored blazer, I am secretly thrilled to have added something new into high rotation recently — the relaxed khaki jacket. The nights have been becoming slightly cooler in New York, followed by scorching heating the next day, so I have kept this piece on the back of my chair to throw on before I leave the house, and consequently it has travelled with me everywhere.
I’m not someone to branch out with too much colour or print, but this “New Neutral” if you will, has fitted seamlessly into my wardrobe. Perhaps it’s because the utilitarian shade and soft shape reminds me fondly of Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. Frankly anything that makes me feel as though I’ve just returned from a safari is okay with me.
My latest trick has been adding a wide, tightly cinched belt to anything and everything – thick sweaters, coats, tailored suits – it seems to be the new zone for me at the moment, so adding this black cotton wrap belt was an easy addition and helped to punctuate the colour. Teamed with a cigarette pant with just-the-right cropped hem length and the new Modern Girl shoe (a perfect mid-heeled sandal you can actually run around town in), this conjures just the right amount of effortless polish and ultimately works for dinner with friends or set life with clients.”