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Matthew Allsopp

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The Shirts and Pants
 

Do you know how khaki was invented and why? Well, the British officers in India wore white uniforms, but they were constantly getting coated in brown dirt and dust from the day’s travel. One innovative soldier dyed his uniform in tea and it turned a light brown color. From then on, he didn’t have to worry about the dust showing up as easily on his duds, and the color khaki was born. At least, that’s the story I was told.

click to enlarge
Indy's shirt in Raiders.

Indiana Jones’ khaki pants and shirt, while loosely modeled after U.S. Army wear in the years preceding World War II, are really more of a throwback to the safari wear of the 19th Century. To this day, khaki remains a practical adventure color for clothing as it repels heat and masks the dust of travel. The amount of khaki clothing in other films is a countless amount.

Designed by Indy’s safari shirt has the distinct feature of two pleats that run from the shoulders, through the pockets to the end of the shirttail. His pleated pants are a kind of taupe color without cuffs and they sport flaps on the back pockets. The shirt and pants were manufactured by Noel Howard of MBA Costumiers in London for the Indiana Jones films and up until a year or so ago, Howard was still offering these items. He has since retired, but it seems that Indy jacket maker Peter Botwright has taken up the challenge. At www.wested.com, Mr. Botwright is offering the Indy shirt and pants for the die-hard fan.

 

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