Free Press Journal

Here’s why men are dressing in camouflage again


Men are seriously returning to the fun fashion trend of dressing in camouflage. Sapna Sarfare discovers more about this style which is creating waves

Men always crib of having so little fashion trends for them. But not anymore. Just peek around to see amazing fads created especially for them. The one making a re-run walking down from the runway to your doors is the camouflage trend.

The return mode
Designer Sarab Khanijou totally agrees that the camouflage trend has been reinvented and redecorated the world over by diverse designers. “Internationally, be it Bottega, Cerruti, Dries Van Noten, each is approaching it in a less “military” form of fashion. Prints have been experimented with; the military shades of olive and moss green, khaki, beige, fawn, dirty brown and the like colours have been picked up and mixed with others to give it a more soothing and chic look. Camouflage isn’t just considered a rugged man’s domain only in fashion anymore. It’s got a versatile and global appeal and is very metrosexual in nature. It’s a mix of things and an interpretation of how it would look different by experimenting with prints, patterns and shapes in different modern and contemporary silhouettes.”

Model in full Camouflage attire

Sanhita Dasgupta, who is a Myntra Fashion Stylist at the leading Indian fashion e-commerce company Myntra, feels camouflage trend has returned due to the comeback of the 90s trend. “It was a time when camouflage became the representative attire of hip hop culture. The throwback of camo print was cemented when Greenery became the Pantone colour of 2017. Fashion is an art form and like any other art form, it thrives on breaking free of the norms. Camouflage is an element that helps fashion achieves it due to its long history of political significance.”

That’s perfect
Considering that men are becoming dandier these days, one can presume that camouflage trend is quite perfect for them. Sanhita considers the stylish blend of functional prints and neutral hues as matchless. “Moreover, as an element, camouflage is outdoor-centric and combative which complement the generic behaviour of men.”

Despite the military origins, Sarab finds it making more of a fashion statement or an expression of art via dressing these days. “It’s being tweaked to suit the changing trends. It’s cool, casual, and suave and not just for looking rugged but to look and feel cool and relaxed and stand out in your own unique style.”

Model sporting Camouflage fashion

Catching fancy
Any trend catches everyone’s fancy when designers create wonders in their latest collection. Sarab reveals, “I really found the international designer label Dries Van Noten SS17 collection quite interesting. I personally really like the idea of layering and the whole colour play within the military-camouflage look that comes to the fore. I really like the military olive green and khaki beige shades and love loose yet structured, rough and tough throw on jacket, some cool pants and rugged statement footwear to go with the entire outfit.”

Sanhita has seen a plethora of innovations this year, right from Givenchy to Valentino. “Men were seen flaunting longline jackets, skin-tight pants and many other outfits that created a grunge look altogether which was new and fresh.”

Work on it
It is time that men get down to the basics. Know the latest in the trend and wear it with aplomb. Be the centre of attraction. Sarab suggests, “My advice is that do not follow any trend blindly. I believe that your own style and comfort must come first, no matter what. It also reflects how you feel and look too. Experiment with layering your look. Try out jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, or cropped pants with interesting details or texturing to make you blend in with this uber cool yet seriously fashionable trend.”

Sanhita adds that 2016 saw complete bombardment of camo-printed bomber jackets. “And we don’t think the trend is going to fade anytime soon. As for new additions, camo scarves and camo-soled shoes have taken a place in the list. However, an army-printed raincoat would make one stand out, even in a heavy downpour.”

Camo accessory

Match it up
Yes, you can get spiffy accessories in camouflage to complete the look. Sanhita sees 2017 come up with long weekends for trip-junkies. So there is a definite need for some camo-printed backpacks. “For shoes, there are options aplenty – from flip-flops to plimsolls. One can also opt for subtler options like white kicks with camo-accented uppers. We also have running shoes with camouflage soles these days.”

Sarab adds that those with serious bag addiction can try out backpacks or side throw slings with a camouflage print or in shades of moss green, or khaki or brown. “Also, try out shoes from the rugged doc martin shoes, to even canvas camouflage prints or shades to keep it cool this summer.”

Going official
These days, it is all about breaking the rules. Sarab agrees that mixing camouflage with formal clothes is a possibility. “You can always team up a white shirt, a black blazer and camo pants. Try to stick to fitted pants and not baggy to add a formal look. Or sport a camo tie with a dark navy suit would also have you hitting high on the trend score meter while keeping it formal yet edgy.”

Sanhita too feels it is a tricky component to blend in formal attire. “However, if one sticks to accessories like ties and socks, it can be done, especially now that we have more variety in terms of colour. A camo-printed tie in icy-blue will definitely spruce up a formal look. A folio briefcase in this combat print is another way to take the camo route to the office.”

Thug it off
One can call this trend to be a bit risqué as it can make a man look like a thug. Sanhita considers going for head-to-toe camo as a bad idea unless you want to serve your country. “On the other hand, this trend goes well with athleisure elements. Wearing a longline camo jacket with joggers is uber-chic and comfortable. Another intelligent way to beat the summer heat in camouflage is stocking up accessories like camo-printed sunnies, baseball caps or camo espadrilles.”

Sarab suggests, “Mix and match, or coordinate the camouflage print garments with other neutral shades or silhouettes to give it a balanced and chic look and not going overboard with the trend. But have fun with this easy breezy and casual cool trend and keep it stylish!”