Camel has had a long-standing presence in men’s fashion. This is hardly surprising considering that the shade has been recognised as a colour in the English language since 1916, when camel hair was a popular material used by dressmakers to craft clothes.
Far warmer than cream and beige but lighter and softer than brown tones, camel has been sent down the runways on a countless number of occasions since then. But while this sumptuous hue has most commonly been associated with outerwear in the past, designers have more recently sought to demonstrate that it can be styled in a variety of different ways.
Today, FashionBeans aims to prove that camel is one of easiest colours to incorporate into your wardrobe as autumn fades into winter. After a brief round-up of how the hue was conveyed on this season’s runways and a discussion of how it’s been seen out and about on the street, we’ll explore some modern ways camel can be worn for both smart and casual occasions…
Camel On The AW14 Runways
Camel stamped its mark on many AW14 collections at the global fashion week previews earlier this year.
Louis Vuitton, Prada and Ami went for head-to-toe neutrals, combining camel tailored separates and wardrobe staples together for a tonal aesthetic. Some of these looks even came complete with matching camel accessories, such as thick woollen scarves and wide-brimmed fedoras.
Those keen to portray a more subtle approach to the trend included Valentino, Fendi, Tod’s, Trussardi and Christopher Raeburn, who opted for classic overcoats, sleek blazers and cosy knitwear in the shade, often matched with dark surrounding pieces in order to let the camel piece pop.
French brand Agnés B – who started creating menswear in 1981 – found the middle ground, sending their models down the runway in rich corduroy separates and checked camel shirts complemented by dusty boots:
Street Style Camel Looks
When a strong theme is presented at a series of fashion shows, it’s often only a matter of weeks – sometimes even days or hours – before it’s seen on the street. Thanks to the rise of social media sites such as Instagram, we have access to the way others wear looks at our fingertips.
Favouring handmade suits and chinos, freelance journalist and personal clothier Fabio Attanasio’s interpretation of the trend is extremely elegant. Although he isn’t afraid to experiment with different prints and textures, the founder of thebespokedudes.com maintains tradition by keeping them to a minimum, letting his camel clothing become the focus.
Spanish blogger Alberto Bennett and American menswear enthusiast Adam Gallagher – who post under the guises I’m Bennett and I Am Galla respectively – have been seen channelling a more modern vibe this autumn/winter, wearing their camel blazers with rolled-up jeans or jewel-toned bottoms. Bright silky pocket squares and striped shirts complete their getups.
By rocking his sandy ankle-skimming trousers with deep blue velvet skull motif Duke & Dexter slippers, sophisticated Swedish businessman Kim Andersson also seems to favour a more contemporary take on the trend.
Mariano Di Vaio, on the other hand, is among those wishing to totally reinvent the way the world views camel. The Italian model and actor succeeded in making the trend his own by swapping classic straight-legged trousers for slouchy, almost shapeless, harem pants with heavily tapered ankles.
For more on Instagram, read FashionBeans’ article on the ten style-focussed accounts every man should follow.
Ways To Wear Camel
As brands and influential personalities have quite clearly demonstrated, there is plenty of scope to adapt this trend to suit your own personal style preferences and needs this season. For the more reserved fashion fans, perhaps one of the most straight forward ways to introduce the colour into your wardrobe is by investing in a luxurious camel overcoat.
Acceptable for a day at the office and most other smart-casual functions, double- and single-breasted styles are something you’ll certainly be able to recycle for many years to come. Just bear in mind that because this coat should finish somewhere between mid-thigh and an inch above the knee, they are often better suited to individuals with tall frames.
Massimo Dutti and Reiss are stocking some sleek mid-priced options for AW14, and if budget is not an issue, try Gant or Hackett.
If you want something more appropriate for dress-down Friday or have a smaller build, go for a camel pea coat or duffle instead. Although not quite as refined as an overcoat, the hue will still add an air of luxury and elegance to your outfit – even when matched with skinny jeans and trainers.
If your personal style leans further to the casual side of the spectrum, why not consider an all-American varsity jacket or heavyweight bomber this season? Throw it on over the top of all your usual off-duty ensembles for an effortlessly chic update.
H.E. by Mango and ASOS are stocking some great luxe-looking bombers that won’t break the bank this season.
Lookbook Inspiration: Camel Outerwear
- Asos Wool Overcoat
- Peter Werth Wool Overcoat
- Asos Bomber Jacket
- Gloverall Mid-length Dark Beige Duffle Coat
- Topman Classic Camel Wool Mix Overcoat
- Fidelity Peacoat Made In Usa
- He By Mango Tailored Wool-blend Overcoat
- He By Mango Reversible Bomber Jacket
- Uniqlo Men Wool Cashmere Chesterfield Coat
- Collezione New Camel Hair Double Breasted Coat With Wool
- River Island Camel Woolen Faux Fur Collar Peacoat
- Kolor Wool And Cashmere-blend Duffle Coat
With their defined shoulders and sharp cut, blazers have rightfully cemented their place within every well-dressed gent’s wardrobe over recent years. Versatile enough to team with jeans or trousers, it’s not hard to see why keynote men’s fashion bloggers are such proponents of the item.
But the benefits of a camel jacket doesn’t stop there – they’re also one of the only pieces that you can confidently don in every season: try matching with white chinos or patterned shorts in spring/summer and wool trousers or slim corduroys during the colder months.
- He By Mango Premium Brushed Cotton Blazer
- J. Crew Ludlow Sportcoat In English Camel Hair
- Asos Black Slim Fit Blazer
- He By Mango Cotton-blend Pique Blazer
- Burton Camel Flannel Skinny Fit Blazer
- Wool Rich 2 Button Jacket With Cashmere
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
- Scotch And Soda Cotton Blazer
- French Connection Machine Gun Stretch Blazer
Already splashed out on new outerwear that adheres to other key AW14 trends such as military, monochrome or orange? We’ve spotted many other chic camel staples on the high street that would be just as effective at helping you nail the aesthetic.
Camel knitwear would complement the navy, khaki and burgundy pieces already in your wardrobe and can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion. A thin gauge camel merino wool cardigan or jumper layered between your navy/grey suit would look particularly striking in this office this autumn/winter.
The same applies to trousers: camel chinos are an obvious and easy to wear choice for work and weekends, but seasonally-appropriate slim-fit corduroys/jeans are also worthy of consideration if you really want to stop your style from becoming stale.
- Asos Black Lambswool Rich Bomber Cardigan
- French Connection Portrait Plain Knitted V-neck Jumper
- J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Shetland Wool Zip Cardigan
- He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Garment-dyed Trousers
- Asos Lambswool Rich Cable Jumper
- He By Mango Contrast Back Cardigan
- John Lewis Lumsden Chinos Camel
- Austin Reed Viyella Camel Lambswool Mix Half Zip Jumper
- Polo Ralph Lauren Hudson Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
After a quick fix? A couple of carefully chosen accessories are guaranteed to give any outfit a final on-trend flourish.
While camel scarves, hats and pocket squares will of course bring something extra to low-key looks, they can really breathe life into your formal attire. Set them against monochrome tailoring and suiting for a sophisticated contrast.
If you’re feeling twee, opt for braces or a bow tie – printed styles offer room for individuality. Only fancy making a small nod to the trend? Allow your camel socks to peep out from above your brogues or chunky boots.
- Topman Camel Puritan Hat With Leather Look Trim
- Asos Pork Pie Hat
- Topman Camel Pork Pie Hat With Stripe Trim
- Falke London Sensitive Socks
- Dsquared2 Elasticated Braces
- Dents Suede Gloves
- Pantherella Ribbed Cotton-blend Socks
- Lloyd Mens Belts Belt – Brown
- Reiss Ashberry Cashmink Scarf Camel
Camel is a timeless hue that is able to bring a stylish and sophisticated edge to any ensemble, casual or formal. Whether you opt to make a statement in a luxurious overcoat or simply accent your formal attire with a couple of well-placed accessories, it’s a colour that all men should be considering for AW14.
But what do you think – do you currently own any camel pieces? And how do you like to work the hue into your looks?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…