Camouflage – can grown men wear it?
It won't die, will it? And it's certainly everywhere this season, in fashion shoots and in storefronts, on jackets and vests and bags. The patterns vary – they're not all the classic hunter's combination of forest green and brown.
Camo in jagged greys and other geometric or op-art patterns are just as popular. It's part of the workwear trend that has got men mixing rugged items with fine ones – boots and plaid with bow ties, for example. Guys think that the military associations of camo are going to make them look tough, as if they might just break out a shotgun and take down a passing duck at any given moment. I'm not so sure.
Teenagers wear a lot of camo because it makes them look like army guys. I'm no army guy. And I don't hunt. Do you? Are you going to hunt here, in this Starbucks?
I get that camo is often worn ironically – particularly by the bow-tie crowd, which is just playing with pattern and register. Obviously a camo computer case is pure irony.
But I don't believe in ironic dressing. Elegance is too serious a matter for me. I find camo patterns universally unflattering and juvenile.