There’s no way around it, camouflage is a commanding pattern. Most guys don’t even give it a second glance when browsing, and that dismissal makes sense. Camouflage is meant to look disorderly, so for the well dressed guy who’s used to assembling complimentary pieces into one sharp look, incorporating camo can be a chore. However, it can be done successfully if you’re a bit more adventurous. And even if you’re not? These three tips can be applied to any pattern or color risk you might try in the future:
#1. KISS (Keep It Simple… you Stylish man)
Due to the complexity of the pattern, whatever camouflaged item you’re wearing is going to overshadow or overwhelm other more “interesting” elements to your outfit . It’s a very loud pattern and constantly draws attention on the street (there’s irony there), so let everything else you’re wearing cater to it. Any other patterns in your outfit? Let’s,..get rid of them; at least for now. Go with solids as often as possible, otherwise you may end up looking like some sort of horrible optical illusion.
Take things slow and experiment with a casual outfit just to see how camo even works with your current clothing. White button down, camo pants, clean and minimal looking shoes. DONE. Seems boring, but it won’t be. Fairly certain camouflage and boring don’t go together.
One big camo item, plus a bunch of casual solids and a basic shoe is super simple, and really easy to pull off. Even if you’re usually more conservative when it comes to adopting or trying trends.
#2. Better With (Textured) Friends
So other patterns are tough to wear with camo, but other textures look great next to the visuals that camouflage brings. For example, consider:
- Denim jacket
- Knit tie
- Suede shoes
- Grained Leather belt
Now you’ve got a bunch of awesome side dishes to help round out the main course in a favorable way. For example, in addition to adding texture, the denim jacket adds another layer. It helps bolster the look, and cleans up the otherwise casual leanings camouflage can project.
#3. Go slow. Use Sparingly. Start with small stuff.
Using various camouflaged elements can be too much too quickly; so use it sparingly. And despite it’s tenacity as a trend, it’s still very trendy. So much so that it was tough to convince Dappered, which usually isn’t all that trend driven, to publish this post (Editor’s Note: Yep. I’m a fuddy-duddy.) Look, it’s pretty easy to come off as “I’M #MENSWEAR AND I’M MAKING A STATEMENT”, so go easy. Start small. Try a camo pocket square with a navy chino sportcoat, jeans, and an ocbd. Or switch out your bold striped socks for camo in a smart casual outfit. Once you’re feeling comfortable, use a color wheel as guidance to help you bring other colors into your ensemble. Designers are making camo in more than just the standard green/beige so you’ve got options.
One piece per outfit = enough. L-R: William Rast Belt – $21, Richer Poorer Socks – $12, Ted Baker Driver – $110.90, TheTieBar Pocket Square – $10, 1901 Necktie – $25.90 (similar version also available at TheTieBar)
Learning to use this pattern can be a fun way to change things up a bit, as well as add some interest to an otherwise basic, easy outfit. Keeping the rest of your outfit simple, working in some texture where possible, and going slow by starting with small stuff should get you using and liking this otherwise somewhat difficult to pull off trend.
The pants seen in the post are the Dockers slim flat front Alpha Khaki. They’re hard to come by now, but a few sizes can still be found on Amazon.