As if the Marines have taken a seasonal vacation to the big cities, a lot of men in New York are hanging up their utility jackets, peacoats and work blazers, and choosing to don camouflaged attire. Sport coats, ties, jackets, pants — the trend is slowly marking its spot in both mens casual and office wardrobes.
There was a time when camouflage was a sign of the unfashionable; it marked the folks who lived in rural areas with no regard for what’s “in.” So what’s changed? It can’t just be because they’re slimmer and more form fitting.
Perhaps it’s an attitude change.
GQ ran an article last fall about the continuation of outdoorsy menswear, asking, When is it gonna end? It hasn’t yet. Camouflage is the next stage of that trend. One way of thinking says that men are throwing on their boots and buffalo plaid shirts in the hopes of reuniting with their rugged nature, and there’s apparently still more reconnection to be had.
If the incorporation of outdoorsy attire into a man’s wardrobe represents a display of masculinity, then so does camo.
The reasoning behind the desire to grasp onto a masculine image is that men suffering heavy losses from the recession can no longer fulfill that manly role of the primary bread winner. Camo is becoming more associated with the urban street scene and is being styled with more of a hip-hop vibe to it, while men’s luxury fashion is embracing higher-end materials like fur and shearling for coats.
Then, is camouflage more of an economic status symbol? Wealthier gents sporting the fur coats seen on the runway aren’t the ones being emasculated by the economy. Is it a class trend?
Why do you think the camouflage trend is hitting it big with men?