How to Wear the Trend: Camo

In the past, most of us reserved camouflage for real, mean, hide-in-the-forest type bustle. And for the brave who rocked it, they infiltrated the military thrift stores and made their own anti-society fashion mark on the world, sometimes alone. We looked at them and thought, man they must be a tough cookie, because if they walk into a dark forest they might just disappear…and then what?

Those days are over. No one will think you’re GI-Woman come to life. But you can be — dare I say it — trendy. Top designers like Phillip Lim, DKNY, Equipment and even Manolo Blahnik have taken this otherwise brute feeling pattern and made it high-fashion and all over the streets of style. The colors are always neutral in nature, ranging from green to khaki, with subtle hints of grey. For the bolder, you’ll see movement into the reds and blues, the special forces of high fashion camo.

So now that you can buy it from SINGER22, how do you wear this pattern? It’s neutral in color and yet so bold in nature, which makes it hard for a lot of us to wrap our heads around how to make it good. Follow some key guidelines:

Elizabeth and JamesTEXTILE Elizabeth & James Camo Cooper Jeans | Local Heroes Last Clean T-Shirt | Sam Edelman Gigi Sandal | Sugar Bean Jewelry Single Stud Earrings

1. Keep it the centerpiece of your look: Camouflage print stands out a lot, so you don’t want to clash and clutter your look trying to add some other avant garde pieces you found in your closet. Don’t worry we’ve all made that sad mistake—you’ve got something bold, you don’t know what to do, so you grab something else bold in hopes that you’re nailing the perfect contrast that makes you look runway fabulous. It just doesn’t work with this print. The good news is that if you’ve invested in a pair of fabulous camouflage pants, then you don’t need anything new to wear it. Grab your favorite basics like a basic tee, comfortable sandals and stud earrings. You can fool everyone into thinking it took you forever to put this masterpiece together, when really the hardest part was pulling out your credit card to pay for your centerpiece.

ParkerTEXTILE Elizabeth & James Camo Cooper Jeans | Parker Rae Top Sequin Top in Linen | JOIE Raquel Cut Out Lace Up Shoe | Shay Accessories Macrame Bracelet | Primary Solid Python Clutch

2. Make it feminine: While camouflage has undeniably been great at keeping the bad guys away in our urban war zone, it’s much better done feminine. Add girly textures and materials like silk, lace and sequins. While I don’t recommend contrasting colors, I would venture hard into these pieces even if it feels like it doesn’t go. This is where that runway fabulous contrast works—neutral colors in feminine cuts and materials. Throw on high heels to really nail in the look. You’ll take the hard edge of camouflage and balance it out to bring together the perfect look.

TEXTILE Elizabeth and JamesTEXTILE Elizabeth & James Camo Cooper Jeans | Equipment Signature Blouse | Jennifer Haley Oversized Foldover Clutch | JOIE Raquel Cut Out Lace  Up Shoe

3. Stick with neutrals: Whatever direction you go, whether you’re taking on the basics, going for a feminine appeal or your own path less traveled, just promise me one thing, you’ll stick with neutral colors. The undertones and motif of this print really shine when they aren’t clashing and the best way to avoid that is to complement it. Neutral tones like nudes do that best, whether it’s army green or special forces blue (note: special forces don’t actually wear blue, I just think it sounds cool to call it that. note2: we added some fun sunglasses, because, hey why not).

The trend isn’t going anywhere for the fall or winter as you can see in Vogue, so you better get shopping. It’s an urban jungle out there so wear it well.

About the Author: Mona Safabakhsh is Co-founder of What Goes With This? a Q&A forum for style. She manages the WGWT community, where you can find outfits around popular trends (like camo!) and provide inspiration around fashion questions. Mona loves fashion, laughs easily, eats pretty much anything and loves to run in the rain.
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