If you're looking to make a statement with your style this year, the go-to pick has to be a pair of camo pants. Sure, camo was made to blend in, but these days you can use it to stand out. Camo has gone in and out of fashion and in the past year it is common to see camo adorning the more sartorially-minded men and women who live in big cities. Fatigues and vintage army gear are commonplace and (generally) very easy to find in vintage stores from San Francisco to Brooklyn, as are well-worn Mossy Oak and Real Tree tees and pants. Vintage isn't the only way to go, though. Heritage American brands like Filson and L.L. Bean still make a lot of hunting gear that easily crosses over with the current fashion zeitgeist. Americana labels like Todd Snyder and Ralph Lauren have always borrowed from military and workwear silhouettes. Even streetwear brands like Southern California's Stüssy are collaborating with Mossy Oak.
Camouflage has, ostensibly, been used for thousands of years — think hunters hiding themselves with paint and mud. The camo we're talking about, though, came much later. It was first introduced to soldiers for the purposes of large-scale war by the French in World War I. With close combat, single-shot muskets and sword fighting phased out of battle, the need to blend into one's surroundings was now at the forefront of the soldier's mind. They started by camouflaging large weapons but quickly moved on to uniforms as well. In 1929, the Italians introduced the first mass-produced camo with the chocolate-brown and grey-green shades of the M1929 telo mimetico pattern. Americans introduced the iconic frogskin pattern in the 40s and the rest is history. While camo has evolved a lot throughout the years, it's likely that you now see some form of camo clothing each and every day, which makes it easy to see why brands have been incorporating all kinds of camo designs into lines. If you're looking to add some camo pants to your wardrobe this year — but don't want to go for the Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops route — here are 14 Gear Patrol-approved options to get you started.
Dickies has been making some of the most popular workwear for decades, so it is no surprise that the brand would dip its toe into the workwear-adjacent camouflage world.
These pants from Urban Outfitters actually are vintage, so you are not only getting into the camo world but you're also doing it with some OG camo gear.
If you want to start with something subtle, and undeniably casual, these joggers from Abercrombie are a great place to start. The resurgent brand is making some of its best apparel ever, so now is the time to tap in.
Inching a bit closer to the menswear and fashion world, we make a stop at Gap, which has added one of the most approachable camo patterns to its comfy, stretchy cargo pants.
These fatigues from workwear legends Stan Ray definitely look, and feel, like the real thing — updated with a modern fit that goes with anything.
Did someone say tiger camo? Though this is not necessarily the most discreet pattern, Dockers has made some great pants in collaboration with Jon Rose. So if you're looking to stand out, these are the pants for you.
These badass cargos from Carhartt's upscale sister brand, Carhartt Work In Progress, have all the bits you'd expect from vintage-inspired camo.
If you're looking to add some serious streetwear cachet, pick up a pair of these allover print-adorned elastic-waisted cargos from Pleasures.
At the intersection of streetwear and workwear, you'll find California's Stussy. The brand has been around forever and consistently knows how to find the pulse, as they do with these hardy canvas work pants.
Nigel Cabourn's homages to military clothing are some of the top examples you can find in the fashion world. These pleated chinos take a desert camo pattern and make them worthy of everyday wear.
One of the icons of American hunting and outdoor apparel, L.L. Bean can be trusted to make authentic hunting pants that can also be worn all winter long thanks to a wool and PrimaLoft combo.
Ralph Lauren loves to borrow from the military when it comes to designing his clothing, which you can easily see thanks to pocket flaps, drawstring hems, huge cargo pockets and tabs for waist adjustment on the hips.
Todd Snyder loves to play with historically preppy and traditional hunting designs for his namesake label, which is evident with these chinos that boast a fun, but not overwhelming, duck camo print.
A more obscure camo print comes from American designer John Elliott, who added a rusty camo print to his Daze jeans making for a pattern you likely won't see on anyone else.
These hard-working, long-lasting pants are guaranteed to get the job done.