our everyday life

How to Dress in Camouflage

by Jennifer Blair, studioD
Ease your way into wearing camouflage by choosing a pattern that uses bright colors instead of traditoinal olive, tan and brown.

Ease your way into wearing camouflage by choosing a pattern that uses bright colors instead of traditoinal olive, tan and brown.

Military-inspired details often make their way into fashion -- think cargo pants and epaulettes -- but camouflage print is usually one of the trickiest looks to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe. That's because camp infuse a look with a drab, masculine look that doesn't exactly scream high fashion. But that doesn't mean you should overlook this distinctive pattern. With the right styles and companion pieces, you can go camo in a way that's chic for just about any occasion.

Keep It Neutral

Since camouflage prints are traditionally brown, tan, olive and black, the best way to rock the pattern is with other neutrals that won’t compete with it. Wear a fitted camo jacket with black skinny jeans, a black V-neck tee and black boots to break up the solid color, or pair a camouflage tank top with khaki shorts and brown gladiator sandals for a casual summer outfit. If you want a dressed-up look, slip a camouflage blazer over a fitted, white button-down blouse, dark-wash jeans and black ankle booties when you’re headed out for the evening.

Go Girly

Since camouflage has such a rugged, masculine look, you can create a striking look by pairing it with feminine pieces. Wear a camo jacket with a delicate, pink chiffon skirt and pumps for a fun, edgy look. Soften the look of camouflage shirt dress by pairing it with a pearl necklace and olive peep-toe pumps. Combine a lacy ivory blouse with a camouflage-print pencil skirt and classic black pumps for a polished take on the look. You can even slip a button-down, camouflage-print shirt on over a slip dress and knot the shirt at the waist for a flirtier look.

Go Subtle

If you want to ease your way into wearing camouflage, opt for subtle ways to incorporate it into your outfit. Look for a basic black tee that has camouflage just on the sleeves, and pair it with a denim skirt and black ballet flats. Dress up a simple, tan boyfriend sweater worn over a white tank and skinny jeans by looping a camo-print scarf around your neck. If you’re wearing a black sweater dress and knee-high boots, give your look some personality by carrying a camouflage handbag.

Play with Color

While traditional camouflage print may be brown, tan, olive and black, those aren’t your only options. Choose clothing that uses camo print in different colors to create a softer look. Instead of a neutral camo print, slip on a camo shirt dress in pastel shades like lilac, aqua and mint and step into a pair of nude ballet flats. Wear a blue camo-print tee with khaki shorts and blue wedge sandals for a fun summer look. Or try a pink, white and brown camo-print sweater with brown skinny jeans and boots.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Kristy Sparow/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images