Despite taking a few seasons to gather pace, camouflage – with strong showings at Pitti Uomo and on the runway as of late – has been growing in popularity. Designers, in particular, seem to have finally pinpointed fresh ways to use the print in order to avoid the once unfortunate stigma that came attached.
Little over a year ago, I wrote an article detailing the camouflage trend as a contender for spring/summer 2012. The print has since been circling for the past twelve months, despite many predicting it would be given its marching orders early on in its tour of duty. In the face of cries that the look is nothing more than a flash in the pan, it has stood its ground and soldiered on.
We picked the print out as one of our ones to watch for AW12 and again in our five key pieces to keep from 2012. For the coming season, fashion’s most undercover trend is shaping up to make its biggest mark yet.
Camouflage Circa 2013
As we slowly but surely enter the spring season, camouflage has been invading collections from high street to high fashion. Valentino was a huge advocate of this militaristic print in their SS13 collection, as were Dries Von Noten. The former opted for bomber jackets featuring the ironically standout print whilst the latter went for relaxed tailoring, trousers and detailing in the military favourite:
Our very own Deputy Editor, Luke Todd, also chose to feature camouflage prominently for his ‘FashionBeans x Burton Bloggers Choice’ edit. Mr Todd demonstrated the versatility of the print – especially in the leg wear department – and proved just how wearable it is, especially when paired with neutral, timeless basics:
How To Wear: Camouflage SS13
Look One: Camouflage Print Jacket
It’s the season to make a statement. Forget using camo to blend in, opt for print on your outerwear and go bold. Bomber jackets derive from military means and are shaping up to be huge this spring/summer. Find one in camouflage to combine two trends in one piece.
Anchor the bold bomber with simple basics that your wardrobe will undoubtedly be stocked with. A plain tee and pair of chinos are the perfect foil to the jacket, allowing it to do all the talking:
- Allsaints Ranger Crew T-shirt
- Bellfield Camo Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Tullum Textured Heavy Canvas Trouser Midnight
- Car Shoe Leather Driving Shoes
Look Two: Camouflage Trousers
Smarten up the print with a pair of camouflage trousers alongside a plain white shirt and navy double-breasted jacket. The contrast between the utilitarian nature of the trousers and the sartorial excellence of the shirt and jacket works surprisingly well, providing an unexpected modern twist on the print.
Finish off the look with a pair of brown shoes which err on the smart side; loafers are a great spring/summer option if the weather permits. To elevate the look that little bit further, accessorise with a pocket square and lapel pin in neutral colours:
- American Apparel Classic Long Sleeve Stone Washed Oxford Button-down
- Topman Navy Hopsack Double Breasted Suit Jacket
- Austin Reed 7-pack White Handkerchiefs
- Beams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Trousers
- Lanvin Buttonhole Flower Pin
- Reiss Flood Laceless Oxford Mid Brown
Look Three: Camouflage Shorts
Upgrade the ubiquitous combat shorts that grace the high street every spring/summer to a pair of more flattering and stylish tailored shorts in a camouflage print.
Wear with a plain polo, lightweight jacket and loafers for a great off-duty look that is on trend yet retains a long lasting appeal:
- Asos Polo In Pique Jersey
- A.p.c. Slim-fit Washed-denim Jacket
- Allsaints Camo Shorts
- H By Hudson Tyskatu Brown Tassel Loafers
Look Four: Camouflage Accessories (a)
When the print went mainstream last year, one of the ways it was most interestingly used was through accessories. Little touches can add on trend camouflage accents to an outfit without being too overbearing.
In particular, using the print in an unexpected manner – e.g. through traditionally formal accessories such as ties and pocket squares – is a great way to put a twist on an otherwise stiff ensemble.
The brown suit has seen its stock rise over recent years. Versatile and stylish, the hue is a great alternative to your standard neutral tailoring. Dress your suit down with an off-white t-shirt and casual shoes for a more relaxed take on a structured classic:
- Topman Off White Neppy Roll T-shirt
- Reiss Pinot B Two Button Cotton Mixer Taupe
- Beams Plus Camouflage-print Silk Pocket Square
- Reiss Pinot T Cotton Trouser Mixer Taupe
- Loro Piana Suede Belt
- Common Projects Chukka Boot
Look Five: Camouflage Accessories (b)
Utilise camouflage accents in an even more casual manner. Backpacks are having a prolonged menswear moment and are an easy way to inject print or colour into a look.
This rucksack with a camouflage body and block-colour panels is an interesting take that will provide a real focal point to any outfit. Add it to a look that is composed of simple pieces for maximum effect:
- Asos Cable Jumper
- Slowear Incotex Straight-leg Cotton-blend Chinos
- Herschel Settlement Woodland Camo Rucksack
- Burton Tan Casual Ankle Boots
Current Camouflage Pieces
- Burton Grey Camo Printed Pocket T-shirt
- Denim & Supply Rl Short Sleeve Camo Shirt
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Green Camo Short Sleeve Shirt
- Allsaints Libre Shirt
- Topman Camouflage Skinny Chinos
- Allsaints Camo Shorts
- Bellfield Chino Short With Camo Turnup
- Allsaints Nelson Crew Jumper
- Asos Bomber Jacket With Camo Sleeves
- River Island Camo Jacket
- A.p.c. Mens Camo Solider Jacket
- New Look Brown Camouflage Inlay Belt
- Asos Camo Pocket Square
- Beams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Bow Tie
- Herschel Camouflage Heritage Backpack
- Topman Clarks Original Camo Print Desert Boots
- Green George Camo And Suede Brogues 154496
- Topman Finnis Camo Print Slip On Loafers
Camouflage has soldiered on, despite its critics. Having fought the good fight it has established itself as a major force in menswear. As a print it’s versatile and, as Mr Allinson described in his five key pieces to keep article, should be considered a “new neutral”.
From the longstanding elegance of Valentino to the on trend high street players like TOPMAN and ASOS, menswear has finally begun to surrender to this unashamedly unsubtle of prints.
So, what do you think:
- Have you succumbed to camouflage?
- Has your opinion on the print changed from last year?
- How are you integrating it into your wardrobe?
- Are you a fan of statement camo or do you use is as an accent?
Let us know in the comments section…