I Know The “What” – But Not The “Why?”

The word “camouflage,” from the French camoufler, means “to disguise.”

And that’s exactly what the military has used camouflage for, for centuries – to disguise the presence of equipment, installations and, most importantly, military personnel, to blend in with their surroundings and hinder the enemy’s efforts to find them:

soldier cropped

Animals use camouflage, too, and for the same reason – to blend in with their surroundings and hinder predators’ efforts to find them.  Like this very cool leaf-tailed gecko:


The whole point of camouflage is to not be seen.

So why, I wondered, do civilians wear it?


Clearly these people want to be seen, preferable by many, many other people.

Those in the fashion-know call this print pattern “camo” for its resemblance to military camouflage.

And there’s an abundance of it out there for women…


Including – seriously?  Wedding dresses:

Wedding-Dresses cropped smaller

And for men…



2016-Spring-Fall-Little-Boys-Fashion cropped

(Guns…the perfect accessories.)

And, of course…

dog cat cropped reversed

And we mustn’t overlook A$AP Rocky, who favors camo when he’s not languishing in a Swedish jail:

ASAP Rocky

But camo isn’t worn only by the high-profilers – I recently saw a woman I’m pretty sure wasn’t a Kardashian or someone equally important, coming out of a restaurant wearing pants like these:

WRUP1LF04E-Z48M_1104 cropped

Are these pants sending a “don’t look at me” message?

i think not cropped fixed

So why camo?

There are plenty of articles online, and they seem to concur that camo became popular when civilians “started wearing the print with irony, as a counterculture statement against the Vietnam War.  After that, it wasn’t long until Vogue wrote its first article on camouflage print clothing in 1971, saying it’s a ‘functional, practical, good-looking print and just as wearable as the everyday blue jean.’”

And the venerable Harper’s Bazaar, which considers itself the style resource for “women who are the first to buy the best, from casual to couture,” called camo “perhaps fashion’s most divisive print” and offered this advice:

“Don’t wear more than one piece at a time and keep the rest of your ensemble very simple.”

And the equally venerable Fashionista stated unequivocally that camo “is back for good”:

Fashionista (2)

Bombshell also declared that camo “is back for good”:

Bombshell (2)

And Glowsly included camo on their list of “Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Print Trends”:

Glowsly (2)


With that reinforcement ringing in my ears, I’m off to visit my “nearest army surplus store,” and embrace my inner camo.

And I’ll try to refrain from wearing more than one piece at a time.

model more than one model just a guess
Apparently this model didn’t get the word about “Don’t wear more than one piece of camo at a time.” Just a guess, but – I’m thinking this model didn’t find his outfit at the nearest army surplus store.

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