While it’s hard to point out the exact moment when the army influence began affecting street-wear trends, it might just be safer to assume that the ongoing affair between military and fashion spans its long-lasting existence over many decades. Never really gone for good, the military aesthetic is constantly determining the shapes of the current trends, evolving in order to translate to modern but standing its ground.

The camouflage upgrade sparked off a new revolution of style that has the militaristic print constantly expanding its horizons while infiltrating further aesthetics. The clash of styles is what keeps the element of novelty in play and the levels of excitement in a perpetual growth.

Looking at men’s fashion trends in fall 2013 and into 2014, it’s no surprise that camo prints remain steadfast among the list. Read on for more, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up with all the latest.

camo print for men
Image: camo print in the Diesel men’s F/W ’13 Lookbook

Camo print for fall / winter 2013

The reinterpreting of the camouflage print marches on as we enter colder grounds, with fall in full bloom and winter waiting just around the corner. Building upon spring and summer’s bold tweaking and unexpected use of the military pattern, this season serves as a reminder that camo might be about blending in, but never in the fashion world. Here is where camouflage continues to be used either as hallmark of modern masculinity, or to merely contradict its very purpose of passing unnoticed.

While taking a very first glance at how camouflage emerged for fall 2013, things could appear deceivingly unaltered. After all, we are talking about a print that shares a long history with fashion, not all of which is based entirely upon progress and innovation. Needless to point out that once it invaded the new season, the camo print did salute change, sometimes by the way of ingenious patterns, other times by simple yet effective shifts in styling. Here’s what fall brings along in terms of novelty:

  • Sturdy materials and substantial garments built on traditional takes on camo
  • Both more subtle and daring new camouflage patterns
  • Fine tailoring in heavy camouflage prints
  • Smart camo alternatives for the classic print
  • A subdued color palette of earthy browns and navy blues
  • A shift in styling headed towards a newly defined sophistication

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Camo print at Michael Kors F/W ’13 men’s, Valentino F/W ’13 men’s and Perry Ellis F/W ’13 men’s.

The camouflage look: how to wear it now.

When talking trends, we already know that things undergo constant transformation, yet they have the tendency to stick with what has been already proven efficient in terms of style. Fall is when the camo print takes on a little bit of weight, looking dashing when sported as outerwear, practical when used for cozy layering and smart when set against fabrics and silhouettes carrying opposite characteristics.

Camouflage as outerwear.

Every cold season brings along the need for a statement outerwear piece that blends together functionality, poise and modern appeal. The fall 2013 runways were high on pointing towards camouflage as being the it print for the season. We have to agree after seeing it effortlessly shine on heavy coats with fur lining, lightweight rain coats and sleek padded jackets.

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Camo printed outerwear at 3.1 Phillip Lim F/W ’13 men’s, Perry Ellis F/W ’13 men’s and DKNY F/W ’13 men’s

The modern camouflage

Sometimes sticking with the traditional camouflage works in highlighting the print’s heritage and military origins. But the great thing about the ever-evolving fashion trends is their ability to use that same origins only to recreate a pattern that’s bigger, bolder and better. Trust the modern takes on camouflage to enhance your fall gear with both their subtle, and unexpected nods towards the army.

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Modern camouflage at 3.1 Phillp Lim F/W ’13 men’s and Richard Nicoll F/W ’13 men’s

When you’ll be delving far into camouflage this season, you will want do it in a manner that still reads fashionable. Nothing over the top, nothing screaming that you’re trying to hard and nothing making you look like you’re ready to go hunting. Here’s how to work the camouflage in your favour. Try:

  • wearing solid pieces to balance the bold camo statements
  • paring the camouflage with matte black for a safe way of sporting the trend
  • layering the camouflage with equally basic pieces in solid hues
  • mixing the camo print with dark denim or black leather for a youthful approach
  • avoiding the head-to-toe camo outfits and opt for bold separates instead

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Camo print at DKNY F/W ’13 men’s, Robins Jeans men’s F/W ’13 lookbook and Walter van Beirendonck F/W ’13 men’s

Alternatives to camouflage

If camo doesn’t do it for you, not even in its most subtle of renderings, there’s always an alternative to staying on trend while wearing something totally different, yet equally effective. 3.1 Phillip Lim’s intriguing patchwork done as to resemble camouflage, serves to prove that a little bit of imagination goes a long way in the fashion industry. Rock this look with heavy knits, ankle boots and military inspired jackets.

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Patchwork resembling camo at 3.1 Phillip Lim F/W ’13

Camo print: wardrobe staples for fall 2013

If you’re looking to invest in some camouflage staples this season, opt for subtle camo prints in cozy sweaters and jackets, as these will prove to be both practical and wise investments on the long run. For something less on the obvious side, try refreshing your fall wardrobe by the way of some statement camo accessories, much like a cool leather backpack or a modern pair of printed lace-up boots.

Mens camo print trend for fall 2013
Shop the trend: Valentino Camouflage Intarsia Cashmere Sweater at Mr Porter; WOOLRICH hooded camouflage jacket at Farfetch; Master-Piece Surpass Camouflage Nylon and Leather Backpack at Mr Porter; ORTIGNI lace-up boot at Farfetch.

Camo print for spring.

Among the styles that managed to successfully energize the fashionable menswear department, camo stands tall and still confident. The timeless print, often perceived as unconventional and bold is being reenvisioned for spring 2013 appearing more polished, more daring yet effortlessly cool, having power houses like Dries Von Noten, Valentino and Commes Des Garcons advocating for its militaristic appeal.

Camo print on the runway at Valentino S/S ’13 men’s

Giving the fact that we are talking about a print that represents a rather constant choice on the fashion map, it’s important for you to acknowledge how exactly did the camo print trend embrace change once it crossed over into spring / summer 2013. Even if a lot of last season’s garments might still prove themselves useful, here are the main elements that will highlight your camo outfit as relevant this season:

  • Lightweight fabrics, key to summer comfort
  • Standout camo prints that steer away from the classic black and green combo
  • Relaxed tailoring
  • Sporty/casual sillouethes

Camo print on the runway at Dries Van Noten S/S ’13 men’s and Qasimi Homme S/S ’13

The camouflage look: how to pull it off

Although we’re talking camo, a print men actually feel comfortable and confident wearing, this doesn’t automatically mean that patterns are the easiest to pull off in a flawless manner. Without loosing its essence and by strictly focusing on its strengths, here’s how to make the most of camouflage prints:

  • Moderation is fundamental so avoid a head-to-toe camo outfit unless you feel like making a statement
  • For the best use of camo, pair the military print against sleek neutrals
  • Search for timeless camouflage items that will blend in with the rest of your wardrobe
  • Always bet on cool camo accessories for a subtle take on the trend – think pocket squares, bow ties, boots or commuter bags
  • Think of camouflage as the highlight of an outfit, so do team it with classic items
  • Bet on layers of camo print for a double take on the trend

Camo print on the runway at Dries Van Noten S/S ’13 men’s

Traditional versus modern

When people in general think camouflage, the traditional lizard, woodland or European patterns come to mind, dressed in combinations of army green, khaki, black, sand and brown. While this particular type of print is still relevant due to its association with the military uniforms, designers this spring love experimenting with variations of colour, reimagining unique and even abstracted camouflage patterns by playing upon different scales and by clashing prints (think leopard-camo). Either you plan on sticking with tradition, or following onto the path of novelty this season, you’ll still look suitable and right on trend.

Traditional versus modern camo prints on the runway at Comme Des Garcons S/S ’13 men’s and Kenzo S/S ’13 men’s

Camo print: wardrobe staples for spring 2013

If you plan on refreshing your wardrobe or introduce the camo print to your closet, here are the staples worth investing in this spring. A camouflage print men’s bomber jacket will easily be complemented by a plain t-shirt, a pair of basic trousers and a pair of sneakers allowing you to casually sport the trend.

In that same manner, a pair of camo trousers or shorts can be turned into a smart statement if paired to a classic button-down, a tailored jacket/blazer and a pair of sandals/loafers according to the occasion.

Camo print staples on the runway at Valentino S/S ’13 men’s, Dries Van Noten S/S ’13 men’s and J Crew S/S ’13 men’s

A camo ribbed knit represents a cool alternative for the colder days and nights, especially when brought to life by a bold complementary color choice such as orange. In the outerwear department camo is better used as a subtle accent, enriching the sleeves, the collar or the hemlines of your lightweight coats.

Camo print staples on the runway at Pringle of Scotland S/S ’13 men’s, Kenzo S/S ’13 men’s and John Galliano S/S ’13 men’s

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