Evolution of Camouflage print: From a military uniform to everyday fashion

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Evolution of Camouflage print: From a military uniform to everyday fashion

Here's how camouflage come into existence

Evolution of Camouflage print: From a military uniform to everyday fashion

When we say cargo pants, what comes to our mind? Camouflage cargo pants, right? This is how this pattern is widely, and may we say, wisely identified by everyone. 

This pattern was not discovered in the fashion industry but was adapted by it. But did you know how it was thought of in the first place? 

In prehistoric days, hunters attached attached grass, leaves and small tree branches to their bodies or their clothing in order to camouflage with nature. 

Later when wars broke out, small-scale tribals started adapting the same idea as their uniforms, to camouflage and hide into the wild from their enemies. 

But for many centuries, camouflage lost its strategic importance as most battles and wars were fought in open fields, with swords and spears. 

During the time of colonialism and wars over territories, armies and nations realised the need for camouflage techniques when they were on the ground, especially near forests. 

During the nineteenth century, British military forces in India adopted the colour Khaki as uniforms for its soldiers. Khaki uniforms became a standard for the British troops in the 1980s. 

But wait. Before we move ahead, we need to go back a little. 

During the world wars, German, French, and other forces painted themselves in camouflage paint to reduce their visibility from tanks and bunkers. 

In 1920, the French military introduced the camouflage pattern for warfare and soon other forces followed. 

Camouflage paint helped disguise combat military vehicles. It was during this time that camouflage was once again adapted as uniforms for troops. 

Photo Credit: Swargya

As the use of camouflage cloth became more common, troops started facing unique problems while at the frontlines. They were unable to distinguish allies, and foes as everyone used to wear same uniform — camouflage. 

In World War II, the US troops stopped wearing camouflage except in their helmets. The US continued to do the same till the Korean War, but made an exception in the Vietnam War and Gulf War, where camouflage outfits were widely used. 

Photo Credit: unsplash

In the late 1960s, camouflage cloth made its entry into the civilian closet. But this trend faded away for a few years and made a comeback in the 1980s as a street style. 

In the 1990s, camouflage cloth entered the civilian markets. The trend of this print began in sports jackets, dresses, and skirts. Later, designers like John Galliano, Anna Sui, and Rei Kawakubo incorporated camouflage cloth in their collections. 

By the 21st century, camouflage cloth was seen both in military and civilian wardrobes. And today, no casual and street-smart look is complete without a camouflage pant or a jacket or even a skirt. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Aarushi Dawar, a city-based fashion stylist, said,  “Camouflage is now a mainstay in the fashion world. It plays a huge role in modern clothing styling.” 

“Camouflage is best styled with solid colours. This print has evolved to colours other than green, like red, blue, pink, and cream. Camouflage print can be accessorised with popping colours of footwear and handbags,” she added.