Eight Unexpected Ways to Wear Camo

From bright colorways to abstract versions, some non-traditional takes on a classic pattern

Whether it’s an abstract take on the classic pattern or a bright colorway, flashy fabric or unexpected texture, there are plenty of non-traditional ways to wear camouflage—for all genders. Inspired by nature and adopted by military uniforms, camouflage made its way into everyday wear a long time ago, and while its popularity has ebbed and flowed—at times even making rather iconic appearances— it’s still commonly seen on stylish dressers from Manhattan to Nagoya. As it’s a staple of many at CH HQ, especially when it comes in tote bag form, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite unexpected takes on the classic pattern. Even if you’re not a traditional camo fan, there’s something in these selections that’s equal parts compelling, curious and forward-thinking.

Axel Arigato Loafers

Almost everything about Axel Arigato’s loafers ($205) are traditional, except their flannel camouflage fabric. The cozy shoes—which are handmade in Spain—also feature a sporty, white wedge that offers just enough height for everyday wear. While the tassels and shape are classic, the texture and flash of white add a little edge to an otherwise ultra-traditional look.

Kapital Canvas French Work Jacket

With fall on the horizon, there’s nothing quite as functional as a light canvas jacket. This 100% cotton slim-fit option, from Kaptial, has been carefully constructed in Japan and features vented cuffs and and an uncommon variation on traditional camo—a little more geometric and peppered with lines. Altogether, the Kapital Canvas French Work Jacket ($419) pairs quality, functionality and a play on the recognizable pattern.

Carhartt WIP Camo Fleck Shirt

Carhartt WIP channels the rough and rugged history of its workwear forefathers with this 100% cotton poplin long sleeve button-down ($108). The shirt’s “Camo Fleck” pattern calls to mind a traditional digital camo design while its non-traditional Bordeaux color makes it street-wear ready.

Valentino Rock Runner Sneakers

Complete with the brand’s iconic stud details, Valentino’s Rock Runner Sneakers ($795) are (perhaps) too decadent for the gym, but the spunky colorway and design make for the perfect addition to any casual look that needs a little jazzing up. With a camouflage canvas upper, suede and leather trim and clashing red and burgundy hues, these trainers are nothing if not bold.


Vintage-inspired denim lovers Current/Elliot add a unique dimension to the classic denim button down with an understated “abstract camo” print. The Surplus Perfect shirt ($218) is subtle, yet distinct from the hordes of denim and chambray tops you meet on a night out.

Wings + Horns Tiger Spruce Camo Field Pant

Canadian label Wings + Horns is all about the details, and they’ve made no exception with their Tiger Spruce Camo Field Pant ($350 CAD). Aside from having a beautifully sinister version of tiger camo, the pants also feature a slub herringbone twill fabric, reinforced seat, flap pockets and corozo military buttons—making it the perfect alternative to your daily denim.

ADIDAS Superstar Camo Sneakers

While they are a subtle colorway—all white and shades of grey—the ADIDAS Superstar Camo Sneakers are anything but demure. With all-over camouflage patterning (even on the soles) these shoes—new this season and available in limited numbers—are a modern take on the brand’s classic ’70s style.

Carven Wool and Mohair-Blend Sweater

A more delicate take on camouflage, Carven’s beige and pink sweater—made from 70% wool and 30% mohair—is a cozy item to take into the colder months. As texturally appealing as it is visually, this sweater champions tradition only in its shape—a classic crewneck sweater that can be paired with everything from ripped jeans to A-line skirts.

Images courtesy of respective brands