Of all the trends to tread lightly with this fall, camouflage really requires the most care. While paisley can most definitely be overstated and florals need to have a masculine edge, camo can go sideways in any number of ways: too much, too early (fall/winter, folks). Wrong colors in the wrong places with all the wrong patterns (orange is out). Pants, period. Never wear camouflage pants.
But as dangerous as it is, and as often as it is butchered, it is a staple (what’s style without a little risk?), just one that requires some forethought; we’re going for fashion-forward, not Cobra Commander.
The first order of business is identifying key contributors, people consciously bringing camo into the fashion fold. Nick Wooster’s collaboration with shirtmaker Hamilton 1883 stands out. Ditto Penfield’s Campbell jacket. Carhartt’s WIP (Work in Progress) project, aimed at “reshaping an outstanding Carhartt legacy,” also has some interesting offerings.
And that’s “the box”: the pattern should be tight, not giant blobs. The colors should be subdued, faded, light browns and greens. And most importantly, camo should be an accent, a singular statement piece worn with solid colors.
Outside the box is where things can get hairy. Camo ties seem to be cropping up (which can be worn well but are often not). Shoes, too, but to reiterate: accenting is the way to go. As always, confidence is key; if you’re comfortable in what you are wearing, others will be comfortable with you wearing it.