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Obsessed: Olive Drab Pants

· Olive is the new black ·

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I exited the military, eager to leave my green, camouflage cargo pants behind, forever. But a part of me must not have wanted to let go, because I’ve documented 11 pairs of olive green pants/capris in my Flickr archives.

Why do I choose olive? Black is boring. Navy looks like a denim-wannabe. Khaki is business casual. Brown is just ugly. Olive drab is the perfect neutral. It’s casual but edgy and goes with everything.

Outback Red
I actually bought this pair while still in the military, at a PX in Okinawa. I can’t find them documented on the blog (they are now covered in paint and used for yard work), but I did wear them to pound rice for mochi with my neighbors in Japan.

I bought these super-unflattering, cropped, wide-leg pants at a Target sometime in the early noughties. You can see why they never made the blog! (But they made it hiking with my youngest sister.)

Sitwell (via Anthropologie)
Have you ever bought something that barely fit just because it was at a fancy store and on sale? Yeah, me too. These corduroy capris only fit me on my skinniest days, and then just barely.

Old Navy
I wore these pants to death. Not so much on the blog, but often on weekends. They were magic pants: comfortable, but slimming. And olive goes with everything!

Forever 21
Do you remember when the J Brand skinny olive cargo pants (the Houlihan) were all the rage (7 years ago)? I drooled over the pair that blogger Maegan wore. I heard about a knockoff at Forever 21 and made my way to the nearest store. However, the store only had a size medium and I could barely get them on. I bought them anyway and just hid the ill fit under tunics and short dresses. (It’s not too late to make my Houlihan dreams come true, though. I see them for sale on Poshmark!)

Da Nang
I went from too tight to perfectly slouchy and drapey with this silk pair of camo pants I found on consignment. My only gripe: I have to wear them with heels due to the length. But I do look fabulously tall with a 2-3 inch heel hiding under them hem.

Lauren Ralph Lauren
I got spoiled with my first pair of silk pants and soon found another, in the jogger-style. I like that I can wear them with flats or heels.

Arizona Jeans
I bought these capris at a second-hand shop in Independence, CA. I bought them with hiking excursions with children in mind. I usually hike in shorts or leggings, but was looking for something less revealing to wear around minors. I ended up liking these so much that I often wear them around the house or to dog agility.

Banana Republic
When I needed professional pants for teaching and speaking, I headed to Banana Republic. I did buy a black pair, but was also seduced (once again!) by olive green.

I planned to hike in Denali during my work trip to Fairbanks. Remembering the mosquitoes I encountered in my Alaskan summers when younger, I didn’t dare hike in shorts or leggings or even thin cotton pants. I needed something they’d have trouble biting through, but also light enough for hiking. Are these pants mosquito-proof? I have no idea because I didn’t see a single mosquito in Denali.

Calvin Klein Jeans
These are not jeans. Just another pair of olive pants. From the same thrift shop in Independence. These are only flattering with the right styling, but I have to admit to loving and wearing them often (off camera). In fact, I wore them for a photography shoot this week. They make me feel like a butch bad-ass.

I only have seven of the eleven pairs of pants, still. (And one of those is the Outback Red pants from 2003! They still fit and I still wear them for dirty chores.) Seven pairs is enough to qualify as a serious olive-pant hoarding problem.

I’m wondering, when I begin my monthly Army National Guard service in camouflage utilities, will I cease to be obsessed with green pants?

What clothing item to you buy over and over and why do you think that is?