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Ovadia & Sons quirky cargo pants take the stuffing out of traditional khaki trousers.HANDOUT IMAGE - No credit requir

Now that spring is here, I’m hoping to refresh my closet with a few snazzy items. The key word is refresh – I love khakis, but is there a way to update this classic preppy look?

Indeed there is! While the word “khaki” potentially conjures up images of prim trousers meant for the college set, today’s takes on the look are chilled-out, more design-savvy and, dare I say, very hip. What you want to look for are unique details and interesting fabrics that lend some singularity.

New York-based brand Ovadia & Sons showcased khakis in their spring 2018 show that featured novel updates such as side-striping and, in the example shown here, olive-green detailing at the waistline and on oversized cargo pockets. Bold but not showy, these could be staple trousers all season long.

Banana Republic’s cargo pants are subtler in style – the pockets are tone on tone and the tapered leg makes them decidedly grown-up. Their cropped length, though, speaks to a modern and relaxed sensibility. Bare those ankles and leave the deck shoes at the yacht club; wear them instead with espadrilles or leather sneakers for brunch and other joyful occasions.

Even more casual-cool are H&M’s drawstring chinos; their slouchy silhouette plays off the sportiness of the waistband. The good news is you can show this detail off or keep it concealed, depending on where you’re headed. Unlike other garments that boast a drawstring, these trousers tread the line between athletic and tailored well.

If the appeal of academic attire still calls you, J. Crew’s khaki cords are an updated take on preppy trousers thanks to their slim silhouette and micro-wale texture. While they’re lightweight enough to be worn until fall, you won’t want to retire them when the season’s change; corduroy is set to be one of the biggest autumn trends. Talk about getting a leg up.

Get the look

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Tapered core temp cropped cargo pant, $124 at Banana Republic (

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Drawstring cotton chinos, $34.99 at H&M.

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484 slim-fit pant in lightweight Bedford cord, $104.50 at J.Crew.

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