Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Webster’s dictionary defines “irony” as an “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result,” but sadly lacks all references to camouflage, the most ironic of all patterns. Designed to make the wearer blend in, this pattern only succeeds in making the wearer stand out in most situations.
Most people don’t know the true history of camouflage. It was originally devised by Cubism artists during World War I, not only as a way to help soldiers blend in, but also as a way to make a ship’s exact location as hard to decipher (known as Dazzle Camouflage). For a full rundown of the various types of camouflage and their historical uses, check out our full article.
You might be wondering, “why I have such a seemingly random piece of history in an article about fashion?” The thing is, camo is quite a divisive pattern. People often associate it with the military or hunting, and this creates preconceived notions of how it should exist in the world of fashion. Camo needs a fresh start: where people see it as an art form that can exist in many different capacities.
1) Naked and Famous: Doublesided Camo Melton
First up is a 16oz. melton wool zip jacket from Naked & Famous. It features the traditional duck hunter pattern in dark brown/green tones on the outside, with light brown and beige adorning the inside. The camo on this jacket works particularly well due to the highly textured nature of the fabric and the minimal number of seams breaking up the pattern. This jacket is finished with a YKK zipper, so you can be sure it will be around for a long time to come.
Available for $340 from Tate and Yoko.
2) Kapital: Canvas French Work Jacket in Camo
Next up is Kapital’s French Work Jacket, which features splinter camouflage, identified by the raindrop design layered on top of a multicolored pattern of sharp-angled polygons. Like all of Kapital’s products, this jacket has top-quality materials–in this case, a durable canvas and Corozo nut buttons.
Available for $419 from Unionmade Goods.
3) Wings + Horns: Spruce Camo Combat Jacket Sage
Wings + Horns continues the trend of using Corozo nut buttons, this time placed on a four-pocket combat jacket. Every detail on this jacket is designed to make it blend and appear seamless; the pockets feature hidden snaps, and a placket hides the front buttons when the jacket is closed. The only visible details are the buttons at the cuffs and a single button at the collar.
Available for $176 from Haven Shop.
4) Stone Island: Flowing Camo Watro
Stone Island consistently produces well made streetwear with traditional influences, and this flowing camo jacket certainly continues the trend. The exact pattern used is hard to identify–it seems to be primarily inspired by brushstroke-style camo, but printed vertically rather than horizontally. Whatever the pattern, this bomber jacket won’t disappoint; it features double-woven fabric with a linen weft, and the entire jacket is treated to increase resilience to water and wind.
Available for $437 from Stone Island.
5) Spiewak Golden Fleece: Camo Canvas Woodland Parka
The weather is cooling down, and what better way is there to prepare for winter than with a new parka? This Woodland Parka from Spiewak features a fleece-lined hood and a buttoned placket that helps to cover the primary zipper closure. The outer shell is made from a cotton/nylon blend to help with water resistance, and the jacket finished with waist tabs to let you taper the hem if you so wish.
Available for $264 from END..
Plus One – Barbour x White Mountaineering: Wave Print Lapel Jacket (Navy)
While most camouflage patterns help the wearer blend in on land, this Barbour x White Mountaineering jacket is designed to help people blend in at sea. Not only that, but the waxed cotton used for this jacket will assure you are not only the driest person on the ship but also the most dapperly dressed. This jacket is completed with numerous cleverly hidden pockets, and a traditional rifle-stock shoulder patch.
Available for £215 ($330USD) from Kafka Mercantile and Supply Co.