Menswear takes its influences from everyday life more often than the flights of fancy we see designers employ for the fairer sex. Brogue boots and herringbone sport coats come from British hunting tradition. Peacoats and trench coats take their inspiration straight from the military and this season, guys are embracing something straight from the battlefields: camouflage. Blame it on Nick Wooster, the style icon and luxury brand consultant who surprised the fashion world when he took on the post as JCPenney men’s creative director last year. We are hailing him as the harbinger of the camo trend, as he’s been snapped multiple times by street style photogs wearing pieces of this trend during fashion week, on his way to grab his morning coffee and more. He even curated a special trade show in New York, Project Wooster, which featured camo print on just about everything. Now , civilians and professionals alike can dip into the trend with our top picks in this bold print.
One of the standout pieces from Project Wooster was Nick Wooster’s own collaboration with popular swimwear line Orlebar Brown. The label has become known for trim, tailored pieces that guys can wear from the beach or pool straight to a bar without missing a single beat. Orlebar Brown’s Bulldog cut ($275) is its most popular, giving fashion-leaning guys a cut that’s trimmer than your usual Quiksilver board short without flashing too much thigh. But the bright, graphic riff on camo that Wooster used will do anything but blend into the background. It’s bright, bold and best of all, made of a fabric that’s quick drying and sturdy enough to wear out on its own.
Available at Mr. Porter.
For a bigger statement, Dockers Alpha Khaki in Grey Camo ($64) tones down traditional green camouflage in a more subdued hue but lets it make a huge impact in the brand’s newest cut. Now fronted by adventurer Bear Grylls, Dockers proves that its wares can brave both the urban jungle and the actual one without fail. These aren’t your dad’s Dockers any longer.
The Alpha Khaki is the brand’s slimmest fit and borrows from guys’ everyday uniform: the jean. These chinos have double reinforced stitches, a lower waistband and details such as a coin pocket, heavier weight fabric and more that make them feel like every man’s favorite pair of denim.
Available at Dockers.
For guys who want to keep their camo more hidden from view, Stance’s Deer Hunter sock ($12) is a more quiet way to work the trend into everyday situations. The print is more of an earthy neutral, which pairs perfectly with everything from jeans to suiting (a cheeky flash of ankle is the new pocket square, after all) and the brand’s special combination of cotton and elastics means that your socks won’t fall to your ankles during the day.
Available at Stance.
During last fall’s New York Fashion Week, the FTD team took a little break from the shows to visit the GQ/Nordstrom Pop-Up. One of the most coveted items was the L.L. Bean Hunter Tote, screened with a Thom Browne-inspired GQ logo. While the camo tote is no longer available, the original, sans-screening, is a classic L.L. Bean go-to and is always available for order from the venerable outfitter. Made of thick nylon woven so tight that it’s water repellant, the go-anywhere (and with anything) Hunter tote ($29-39) pairs with the entirety of a guys’ wardrobe. It’s lightweight, durable and practical, all while making a huge statement in this season’s must-have print.
Available at L.L. Bean.
Leave it to quirky-cool brand Jack Spade to give camo a geometric remix. Their Camo Dipped Travel Dopp Kit ($165) won’t get lost in your luggage, but it will stand out in any bathroom. Small enough to fit in your daily tote (stock it with essentials such as lip balm, cologne, toothbrush and more) but big enough to trek with you all around the world, it has a bright white divided interior that will make looking for your things quick and easy.
Available at Bloomingdale’s.
Photos courtesy Bloomingdale’s, L.L. Bean, Stance, GQ, Orlebar Brown and Dockers