Despite the fact that we constantly are embracing new and innovative trends in the fashion industry, there are certain ones that always seem to return. Plaid, leopard print, polka dots and of course, camouflage. Interesting how something that originated in the world of hunting and military warfare eventually made its way onto the runways in Milan, but that’s the fashion world for you. Nothing is off-limits.
The origins of camo stem from World War II, when artists were hired by the U.S. to find the best patterns that would make the troops and the ships invisible to the enemy. Hunters also rely on camouflage to make them invisible to their prey, allowing them to better blend in with their surroundings. Camouflage is a popular choice in clothing when hunting ducks, bears, geese, turkey and other animals.
Because we now find ourselves in mid-fall with winter steadily approaching, hunting season is in full swing. In a place like Wisconsin, which is a major deer hunting destination, camouflage is huge right now. Celebs like Rihanna and Gwen Stefani are big fans of camo print, and fashion designers and retailers have taken to adding a twist to the dated print: camo with sequins, pink camo, mixing and matching various camouflage colors and prints.
Interestingly enough, according to an article by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the primary customer who purchases camouflage is “the mom or female head of the household who does most of the shopping.” Many women like to hunt, but there are others who simply want to support their family lifestyle by dressing the part, even if they don’t own a rifle. Children’s camo is also quite popular, and shows like “Duck Dynasty” and “Swamp People” that are based on the outdoors and the hunting lifestyle have only added to the increased popularity of camouflage clothing.
Events like 9-11 also brought on a sudden increase in camouflage print purchases. According to Sandi Keiser, chairperson of the fashion department at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, “Fashion is a reflection of what’s happening in the world around us. Fashion doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”
Whether we like it or not, camouflage is definitely here to stay. While I’m not a huge camo person, I certainly think it’s better than other trends, like wearing your pajamas to work. Army chic, anyone?