Khaki is a fabric, but in the fashion world, it's also a color, and you're going to see a lot of both this spring and summer. The fabric that was first introduced in 1848 for British colonial troops in India is also now far from the barracks.

Today, we're seeing fun and trendy khaki for people of all ages.

Original khaki was a blend of cotton and wool. It may still be that combination for cold weather, but in warmer months, most khaki is 100 percent cotton or a cotton and synthetic blend. This year, khaki ranging in shades from sandy to olive drab is used for everything from dresses to skinny cargo pants and shorts of all lengths.

"Khaki never really goes away," says David Wolfe, a New York fashion trend consultant for the Doneger Group. "I think we're seeing a lot of it right now because it represents the halfway mark between no color ... and the tsunami of color that is coming fast and strong,

"And it's safer than going gangbusters into bright color as the top European designers are doing this spring and even more so for next fall," he said.

Many designers, both European and American, have combined khaki and other fabrics, such as gingham or voile, for spring looks. Another selling point: Khaki is a solid neutral that works well with almost any color -- white, navy, black, red and myriad prints.