For years, camouflage has been a big part of urban style. Although soldiers have been wearing it since the 18th century, it became a fashion trend in the 1980’s. Since then, it hasn’t really wavered and it has remained an iconic style statement to this day.
This article will look at camouflage through the years and provide tips on how you can work it into your every day looks.
History of Camouflage
Camouflage was first worn by soldiers in the 18th century. It was introduced as a way to blend into the landscape to ensure troops would be protected from enemies.
Although, camouflage had been around for hundreds of years, it first got its name from the French slang word ‘camouflage’ during WW I when it was heavily integrated into military tactics.
Camouflage as Fashion
Vogue magazine first used camouflage as a fashion statement in a photo shoot they did in 1943. However, it really exploded in the 80’s during Gulf War.
During this time, desert camos also came into fashion. The browns and green tones were popularly seen on civilians and non-civilians alike.
After that, camouflage continued to evolve in street and military fashions.
In the 90’s, the Persian Gulf War brought a ‘chocolate chip cammie’ which had dark browns, grays and black flecks. That quickly evolved into a three-color desert pattern of tan, brown and light khaki green. Black and white nighttime vision camo was also introduced at that time.
In 2004 the Iran and Afghanistan wars broke out and brought a new cammie with it. Soldiers were wearing a three-color computer-generated mix of green, tan and gray.
In the future, the Army says it plans to update to an Operational camouflage pattern which is mix of muted green, light beige and dark brown.
Today, in street patterns, anything goes. There are camouflage varieties in all colors including pink, yellow and blue. It can also be mixed with other prints like animal prints and florals.
Obviously, these are not army inspired. Remember, the goal of the army is blend in, not stand out!
Is it Okay to Wear Camouflage if You’re a Civilian?
With so many people wearing camouflage, it’s appropriateness in civilian wear may go without saying. However, there are people who question whether or not it’s disrespectful. It should also be noted that camo prints are also sometimes incorporated into anti-war art.
But the general consensus is that wearing camo shows support more than anything. Some soldiers have said that when they see people wearing the print, they feel like they are seeing a friend.
How to Wear Camouflage
Today, camouflage prints can be worn on just about anything. It can be worn on leggings, dresses, skirts, tops, hats, jackets, shoes and accessories. There’s really nothing you can wear that you can’t make camo.
Because camo is a print, you want to pair it with something that isn’t too loud. Vibrant colors like reds, yellows and oranges will stand out against the subdued tones and neutrals will also go well. Camo also looks great with denim and leather.
Camouflage started out as military wear but it has since taken a front seat in the world of fashion. It has been a popular streetwear style for almost 40 years and it’s still going strong. How do you incorporate the print in your wardrobe?
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