Neutral Zone: A Case for Camouflage

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Long gone are the days when camouflage was strictly utilitarian; today the pattern is high fashion, adorning everything from chic coats to gorgeous high heels. From Valentino Rockstud handbags to Burberry makeup palettes, this military inspired pattern is super chic with metallic details and sequins or seen in lux leather and soft cashmere. It has become, like animal prints, another "new neutral", making it the perfect pattern to update your look. 

FEED + Faribault Tote

I would love to say that I discovered this amazing FEED + Faribault Tote, but I actually spotted it on my fashionable friend Andrea Augustine and consequently became obsessed with it. Andrea uses it as her work bag which is what I am doing as well--it is the perfect combination of form and function. The Faribault camo wool material from the heritage mill and leather corners make it stand out chic, and the tote's shape fits an amazing amount inside. I stuffed my tablet, wallet, various lipsticks and a leather coat in it at one point, which made me feel a little like Hermione Granger (for all you Harry Potter heads) when I began pulling things out again.

For those of you unfamiliar with FEED, it is a company founded by Lauren Bush Lauren in 2007 with the idea of creating products that would help in the fight against hunger by connecting people to the cause directly.  Each FEED product has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. My bag has a 300 stamped on one of the leather corners, signifying that the purchase provided 300 meals. It is a purchase you can truly feel great about. 


dusica dusica boots and Habitual Denim

Last year my husband and I landed in NYC in January and it was one of those winters where you could feel the cold through your boots, plus the streets were really icy.  All of the footwear I had packed were like wearing ice skates, so I dashed into dusica dusica in Soho and bought this pair of lug sole boots. Perfect. Not only do they look cool (in gray--hurray!) they kept me on my feet while on the slippery streets of New York. The uber chic Italian made brand carries shoes and clothing for both men and women. I love the look of mixing greens with gray and neutrals, (or even with a pop of bright), so I chose to wear these Habitual wax denim in a very subtle camouflage print. This J Brand pair is a great alternative. Add a little leopard for a fun pop of pattern--this J.Crew Wild side Wide Bangle has the perfect amount of subtle sass.

anthropologie Shimmer-Sleeve Anorak

I have a little bit of a coat obsession, so I am constantly on the lookout for something that is just a little different. I love the look of sequins in the daytime, especially when you pair sparkle with something low-key, like a soft sweater or a pair of denim. Anthropologie is always a good place to find unique pieces, which is where I discovered this Hei Hei Shimmer-Sleeve Anorak. The sophisticated swing coat style and the edginess of the distressed army material make the perfect foil for the cream sequin patterned sleeves. FYI, the website today said it was sold out but I found quite a few of them in the actual store in downtown Seattle, so it is worth checking into if you love it. 

Neutrals needn't be boring, and utilitarian doesn't have to mean practical--just seeing someone in a pair of camouflage Rockstud Valentinos may be proof of that. I like wearing camouflage with pinks, blues, and reds too. Whether the camo pattern is bold, like the tote, or subtle like the denim, it definitely ups your style game. Cheers.