Although camouflage (military inspired fashion) has been around for a while, there is an increased obsession of these army patterns of late. From dresses, sweaters, trousers, blouses, T-shirts inscribed with the word army, jackets, and shoes to caps. And one can get any of these at a price as low as Shs10,000 from shops within and outside the city.
On whether these outfits do not clash with the existing army uniform, Daisy Birungi, a stylist and tailor says there is no problem with individuals wearing camouflage outfits, “In fashion, we wear anything. There is nothing wrong with the fashion world getting inspiration from the army uniform,” Birungi says.
But as you rock that camouflage outfit, from time to time, expect all sorts of questions from people (especially those who do not follow fashion trends) for instance, whether you work in the army, which rank you hold and how you got an army uniform and yet you do not even work there, among other questions.
Just tell them that it is not an army uniform but rather a fashion inspired outfit.
How the camouflage became a fashion trend
There are few inventions as revolutionary to military uniforms as camouflage which became a staple during the World War I era.
The military first used camouflage to hide, not people, but locations and equipment. When machine guns, trench warfare, and aerial photography emerged, France, England, Germany, and the United States, abandoned the traditional, brighter uniform colours, and opted for a muted olive drab colour and began developing low-visibility uniforms.
In 1940, the United States Army Corps of Engineers started experimenting with camouflage uniforms and by 1943, United States Marines started wearing reversible beach coveralls with a “frog” pattern of green and brown. But by the end of World War II, camo lost favour once more.
Select units of the Army continued to experiment with camouflage throughout the 20th century but the first official camouflage uniform did not emerge until the mid 1980s. As early as 1943, Vogue magazine picked up on the field trends and incorporated it into the fashion world.
It explained military camouflage to its readers but it was not until 1971 when they featured a trend collage on camo with images of girls dressed in the tactical gear. The camo craze exploded in the 1980s, when hunters and civilians started sporting all types of green, tan, and brown apparel.
Today, camouflage is available in all shapes, colors, and styles—on everything from lingerie to shoes.