My love-hate relationship with camouflage clothing












We have all heard the jokes before. Someone is wearing camouflage trousers, and another person quips ‘Where are your legs, I can’t see them!?’ Everyone busts out laughing – repeat with every new person you meet… for the entire day. Needless to say, I haven’t been a MASSIVE fan of camouflage prints in my day-to-day wear.


Camouflage (or camo) clothing, originally came from military personnel around the world. The obvious reason that people would wear this fabric was to blend into their surroundings, and thus a variety of prints and colours emerged. And of course, in cities and towns, camo clothing would do the exact opposite - you would stand out like a sore thumb. The first time camouflage patterns were included in trendy fashion was in 1919, in a ball (held by the Chelsea arts clubs no less) called the ‘dazzle ball’. The pattern was taken from dazzle camouflage which was popular on ships in the First World War. Not meant to conceal the ships, the dazzle camouflage (also where we get the term ‘razzle dazzle’) was intended to make it difficult for the enemy to determine the ship’s range, speed, and where it was heading.


In the 60s, anti-war protesters used camouflage as a dress to protest ongoing wars, and thus found its way into ‘hippy’ culture. Many artists and fashionistas eventually found a way to incorporate camo into their pieces and it became the hot new trend. Army inspired clothing finally became quite fashionable in the 90s, with large fashion houses like Galliano, Dior, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, employing the humble camouflage to spruce up their designs and was thus more accessible to people and social groups.


I personally have never owned a piece of camouflage clothing. I was never that much of a fan. But I thought – try it, at least once and see how you feel in them. If I was going to wear camo, I wanted to find a print that went beyond the normal and drab and see if it could be a bit nicer. A bit more ‘fashion’. No baggy cargo trousers with orange camo for me. The abstract camo skinny trousers from ASOS were just the ticket. They seemed upmarket enough that I wouldn’t look like a lunatic walking the streets, but cool enough that it wasn’t the same old boring and bland blue/black/grey trousers. However, the minute I put them on, I felt like these trousers were slightly more dynamic than your average trousers. I felt like I could climb walls with them! The warrior in me started to emerge and all I wanted to do was jump around like a weirdo. So I did just that.


I paired my interesting abstract print with a cashmere black jumper from Saks Fifth Avenue and shoes from Converse, to give the look a luxurious but relaxed feel. My love-hate relationship with camouflage clothing turned into a more ‘loving’ relationship and I felt like I may have been missing out the past few years… it just made me think about what fashion I have been neglecting that I may actually like. Jorts, anyone?