Why Camo? Why Now? — Dissecting Trends

camouflage pants
DapperLou.com

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.

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Tips for Picking the Right Shirt by Ratio Clothing’s Eric Powell

A lot of men have a hard enough time shopping for clothes, but taller, larger, shorter and slimmer men have it even harder. “As much as I love brands, I still can’t fit into anything,” Eric Powell of Ratio Clothing tells The Menswear Journal. At approximately 6′ 4”, he always had problems with purchasing clothes, especially when it came to shirts. “I [sometimes] wanted a smaller neck size to make it fit in the body, but then it would be too tight in the neck.”

This constant frustration motivated him to start his own made-to-measure shirt company called Ratio Clothing, located in Colorado. “I bought custom-shirts in Asia but I wasn’t impressed with the quality,” he says. “I thought there was an opportunity in the market for casual shirts and I didn’t feel like there was a good option.”

Plenty of guys share Eric’s dilemma but most don’t have the knowledge to work these problems out for themselves. In case you’re either wary of custom-made shirting or can’t find the funds, The Menswear Journal chatted with Eric about how different kinds of men can pick the right shirt.

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Camouflage for the Anti-Camo Guys

Standard Issue windbreaker, $109; Sundek by Neil Barrett, $112; The Hill-Side pocket square, $50

I was never that big into camo. It reminds me too much of high school guys riding around their dirt bikes in my home town. On the other hand, I have never seen this print styled the way designers have been this season, though I’m still ambivalent. If you’re of that semi-conservative mindset that I am and tend to avoid this kind of print, you may want to reconsider.

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Navajo-Inspired Menswear Hand-Picked by The Art of Reuse

Navajo for The Art of Reuse's Interim
Nick Romano for The Menswear Journal

Ever been in a thrift store? The racks upon racks of clothes can be overwhelming and a turn off for the unfamiliar shopper who doesn’t know where to begin. “Patience is key,” says Sean Brown, who’s himself a perfect example of this value.

As a co-founder of The Art of Reuse, Sean and his Toronto-based team spent 6-months exploring thrift shops and hand-selecting navajo-inspired pieces to present as part of a one-day shopping endeavor called Interim. “We’re trying to change the thrift shop experience across the board,” Sean told The Menswear Journal. “We try to take you away from the brand name and look at the authenticity of the clothes.”

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Stylist Tips — Lena Piskorowski Talks Detroit Style and Building a Wardrobe

Photo: Courtesy of DRESS

New York style, L. A. style, Miami vibe… Each city has its own unique crop of people with their own distinct styles, and for the most-visited locations, you always hear visitors ask, “How do you dress like a New Yorker? Californian? Floridian?” For the most part, these looks have already been covered, but what about cities like Detroit?

The Menswear Journal reached out to stylist Lena Piskorowski to get her take on what makes men in her city stand out from the rest, and her tips for building a wardrobe.

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How To Wear Rugged Menswear This Fall

Black Fleece shirt, $175; Levi's jeans, $215; Wolverine boot, $325

That manly, rugged look hit big in men’s styling last year. Just about everyone wore boots, something waxed, a chambray shirt or buffalo plaid at least once in the winter and it looks like it could hit again.

Rather than falling into the same routine as before, how about finding new ways to wear the outdoors on your sleeve.

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Stylist Tips — End of Summer and Into Fall

menswear shirt hanger
Très Bien Shop; Flickr

There are plenty of sources out there for men to obtain their fashion advice. GQ, Esquire, Mr. Porter — they all educate men on how to live their lives stylishly; but when it comes to a professional opinion, there’s none more valuable than that of a personal stylist. In order to get help on how guys can transition from summer into fall, The Menswear Journal contacted stylist Tina Gill to get her expert opinion.

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Chambray’s the New Plaid

The Hill-Side, Chambray Scarf: $94

Chambray is a lightweight, plain weave cotton cloth that has the look of denim, but feels like soft linen. It’s the statement of the season and is rivaling plaid for the must have look.

A chambray button down takes you back to the classic American, “Every-Man” sort of guy from the era of industrial work wear. Even now, however, designers are straying from the basic shirt and broadening the fabric’s horizons, like with the creation of this chambray scarf.

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