Avid sneakerhead and streetwear enthusiast, Ian has been experimenting with style so you don't have to.
What's Realtree Camo?
When people think of this pattern, they often think of the dude who drives a beat-up pickup and hunts deer in his free time. While this isn't entirely wrong, it is becoming less prevalent as people co-opt this pattern for their own personal statement pieces. Huge brands such as Stussy, Supreme, and even Yeezy have their own realtree line (or a similar aesthetic). From people like Kodak Black, to that cool guy you might see walking down the street, Realtree and realistic camo are becoming less about hunters and hillbillies, and more about fashion and trends.
Why Is Realistic Camo So Cool?
I think this is one of the bigger questions on your mind as you read this. After all, these types of patterns have been associated for the longest time with dudes who listen to Rascal Flatts and own a decked-out game shed. Famous people, skate brands, and rappers aren't the first thing to pop to mind when you hear the name "Realtree." So what made it cool? I have a couple of ideas
First is that this is an extension of the military hype we've been feeling since 2017. The utility of camo, along with the looser and utilitarian silhouettes, comfortable fabrics, and versatility of the drab, neutral colors makes this type of camo a prime candidate for this type of fashion. It's about as easily found as regular camo in your average milsurp store and even a local Bass Pro Shop or hunting store. This ease of access and the love of military-style make realistic camo among one of the top choices for this year's fashion.
Another theory is the pure versatility of this camo pattern. It doesn't clash as much as your average woodland, desert, or Rothco patterns, so it makes it easier to style, colorize, and wear. With military camos you'd need to coordinate around the item itself, but with this Realtree style, you can wear it with most things (but it looks especially good with neutral colors, yellow, and orange). This realistic camo also comes in several garments that military camo comes in, making it easy to find military silhouettes with Realtree patterns
My last theory revolves around the fact that it's just gained hype. Stussy collabed with Realtree, and so did Supreme, Nike, and many other brands in this last year or so. And because so many brands have come together to collaborate with this hunting brand, tons of people have flocked to it as an attempt to imitate this hype. Celebrities wear it, regular people wear it, and people are hopping on the trend just to stay up to date.
Now, W2C? Or where to cop. And honestly, you can find this camo pattern anywhere. I'm not even kidding when I say this. From hunting shops, to Amazon and eBay, to Walmart and other large retailers, you can find what you need. If you want some hype, Supreme, Yeezy, and Stussy all have their own collabs with realtree. Heron Preston even has a few Realtree camo inspired items, and they look very good. And if you just want that workwear look to pair with that camo pattern, Carhartt has solid options with this camo pattern as well. Point is you can find whatever you're looking for wherever with this pattern. So W2C? Anywhere, dude. Just look around, and you'll find something for any price point.
How Do You Style It?
As stated earlier, this camo pattern is extremely versatile and can be worn with a variety of things. The styles produced are diverse and can work with practically anything in your wardrobe. However, I can give a few tips
- Tip one: avoid hiking and hunting boots. Vintage combat boots are fine, and skate shoes and trainers are better. However, hiking and hunting boots just complete the hunter aesthetic. And chances are, if you're reading this, you're not going for that look. A pair of Sk8 Hi or Authentic Vans would pair well with the looser cut cargos and pants, as well as with the shirts and sweatshirts. However, try to avoid the more modern boot. If boots are a must, look for older pairs or Doc Martens.
- Tip two: stick with neutral tones, yellows, or maybe even orange. While you can always do black and white, neutral tones and yellow/orange look really nice with this look. They add to the pants, and they don't clash with something that's already your statement piece. Try and avoid other patterns, since different patterns clash with one another. Keeping it simple is a key rule with any camo, and while this pattern allows for more experimentation, it's nice to start with the basics and go from there.
- Tip three: looser cuts and laid back look. It's obvious this style is being taken by hip hop and skate culture, which emphasize the comfortable, loose cuts. Looking around for super tight-fitting performance tees, or skinny pants just don't look good. Taking to this laid back, baggy look is not only the aesthetic of 2019, but it's the aesthetic of this camo pattern.
© 2019 Ian Barron