By Alex Holmes
With the British Open back in England we take a look at the trouser that has a distinctly British origin: the Khaki.
As the story goes, in December 1846, Sir Harry Lumsden (right) and William Stephen Raikes Hodson, two commandants of a British Military regiment in India’s North West Frontier, were tasked to raise a fighting force of British Indian recruits from Peshawar. Lumsden and Hodson noticed that the native’s natural garb stood out considerably against the region’s sandy backdrop and rendered no level of uniformity between the men. The traditional British Red Coat was no use either as the heavy fabric was too hot for the climate didn't create much more contrast with the natural surroundings.
So it was that Hobson and Lumsden imported tan drab fabric from Hobson’s brother in England and started creating Khaki kits for their troops. The regiment was known as the Corps of Guides (left) and quickly became an elite fighting force in the region. Their khaki colors proved to be so functional that the British Army adopted the look as the standard uniform for the entire colonial campaign.
So, when you’re watching the Open this week, remember that both the Beatles and your beat-up old khakis are just two different pieces cut from the same British cloth.