Camouflage—or more commonly referred to simply as “camo” these days has become one of the newest trends in fashion. Today’s camo is up there with yesterday’s leopard print. And as the leopard print has become both a new neutral and a mainstay This mixture of olive green, brown and gray is rising to the top of the new normal in clothing.
It took me a while to come around to leopard print–and I am in absolute love with this leopard pencil skirt I picked up at J. Crew Factory. So how do I feel about camo–and how can we “mature” girls wear it? Keep reading to find out….
It’s been around for decades. I can remember back in the late sixties, oversized camouflage and army fatigue jackets being worn at war protests and rock concerts. And when I was in high school, many of the boys I went to school with had the iconic army fatigue green jackets that they wore with their torn jeans and long hair.
Who knew that the print on the camouflage uniforms these Green Berets were wearing in Vietnam would end up becoming the new neutral trend decades later…
And the uniforms worn at protests would become fashionable?
My brother, Tommy, had the original G.I. Joe complete with a camo ensemble!
Barbie’s fashion certainly has a run for the money now–GI Joe’s outfit is more of a statement these days!
And camo has inched its way into our everyday fashion.
You might think that it’s a print strictly for the younger set. I mean, everywhere you go, you are bound to see a millennial dressed in a variation of the camo!
They are younger women, but I’ll tell you this much–any older woman would be able to rock any one of these outfits!! I’m especially sweet on the middle one!
But I digress. Camo is age-appropriate for everyone—even for women over 50 and beyond. Yes. We mature women can rock camo like it’s nobody’s business. We just need to know how to rock the look!
That’s right ladies!! Yours truly climbed aboard the camo love train!
Quite honestly, I never thought I would get aboard the camo train. But I did. And I love it. And that’s one of the great things about pro-aging! We can take risks with clothing that we would have never done back in our twenties or thirties. These days I find that I’m going for a more relaxed look in clothing than I did going back just five years or so.
Anyway, I had been thinking for a while about how to incorporate camo into my wardrobe because, like leopard, my opinion is that it looks better when it’s discreetly done and not over-the top.
Yes–I said discreet! High fashion is not always the way to go!
But how to start? In small doses. After Googling “camo tees for women”, I came across the perfect tee at American Eagle Outfitters. Online, it looked great but it was also worn by a model who could not have been older than 22—how would it fare with me? Luckily, there is an American Eagle at the local mall and when I saw the shirt in real life, it looked surprisingly better than online.
The tee is soft and feels well-worn. The V-neckline is extremely flattering. The camo print is muted and not too much. The shirt is relaxed and has a loose fit. I ended up purchasing two. One in a small, that is slightly more fitted—it would make a great top for office casual wear. The other, a medium runs looser and a bit larger and is great for weekend wear.
The tees I bought at Americal Eagle. They are so soft and comfortable with a loose fit. Got ’em in two sizes. The sleeve length is great too because it’s a true short sleeve!
In fact, I wore the smaller camo tee today to work. I paired it with olive green pants and a natural colored linen blend blazer. The blazer offered a more polished look to an otherwise very casual vibe. To add a bit more polish I wore pointy-toed flats. The point was to bring everything together and have the camo item blend in rather than to stand out.
I wore the smaller of the two shirts today to the office. Paired with my olive green pants from J. Crew Factory–it’s a very age-appropriate look.
I’m hooked on that front tuck! And the V-neckline is extremely flattering. I don’t even care about my crepe-ish neck!
And the $7.00 thrifted J. Crew flats gave the ensemble some polish…
A lightweight schoolboy blazer from…..J. Crew Factory tied it all together for the office!
It was rainy today but this outfit will do well into the fall!
Since it’s summer, the camo tee also looks great with white jeans and will look just as good with a pair of white denim shorts. I follow the K-I-S-S rule “Keep It Simple Simple” One camo item with solids.
I wore the shirt with white jeans this weekend and wore Rondini Tropezienne sandals for a super-casual vibe!
A closer look with the white jeans!
In the fall, a camo tee will suffice with darker jeans.
BTW, I purchased these AG jeans at Nordstrom Rack. My “fall” purchase. Check out Nordstrom Rack before heading to the Anniversary Sale–you’ll get a better deal! I love the raw hem!
I’ll be honest. As much as I love these jeans, they are too heavy to wear in the summer. I’ll be saving them for when the weather cools off–too bad because I love the fit. These AG jeans are very flattering to the mature body!
Not to stop there, I treated myself to a pair of camo jeans. Here’s where it gets tricky and you have to know your body type.
These camo print Rockstar jeans from Old Navy are absolutely incredible. Light enough to wear now and they hug the curves. As you can see from my hind quarters I got the hips and the skinny jeans are fine. But–this camo print isn’t “in-your-face” loud. The darker colors blend in nicely. It’s a great pair for the “over 50, 60, 70..” woman!
Camo pants come in a variety of styles. Unless you are incredibly long and lean, the baggier camo pants can make you look squat, sloppy and add to any extra pounds you may have.
Off the bat, I know of two mature women who could carry these pants off and both are extremely lean and on the tall side…but for the woman with a bit of meat, these could be an unflattering fit..
..and although I love the sneakers, the tight knit cuffs ruin the long line of a skinnier pant.
Instead, if you have curves or don’t care for the baggy look, stick to a skinny pant style. I found these Old Navy Rockstar jeans on sale and I’m thrilled with them. The raw hem gives it a bit of an extra edge and, they are light enough to wear in the summer.
These lightweight camo jeans from Old Navy are another great way to incorporate camo into your wardrobe. And at $30, the price was right. I might wear these into New York City this weekend.
Even this Violet wig by Estetica Designs in Caramel Kiss RT/4 goes so well with camo!
Here’s a close up of the print. The darker camo is more subtle and that one item of camo can really make an outfit look sharp!
What other camo items would I wear? Well, presently on my radar is the search for a camo pencil skirt. This could be a great item for fall and winter. Paired with a black turtleneck and black boots, I can see a very age-appropriate ensemble—and one that all mature women can rock.
Finding a skirt in this style but with a darker camo print would definitely be a plus in your winter/fall wardrobe! Might I recommend different shoes though?
Also, on my Wishlist is a camo jacket, but I refuse to spend a ton of money. Again, Old Navy (what is it with Old Navy lately?) has a great camo jacket—I’m just waiting for the right sale! This jacket is perfect for fall-into-winter casual wear. I think that for a more mature woman, a fitted camo jacket can also look fantastic!
I am in lust with this camo jacket from Old Navy. It isn’t expensive and is another wonderful way to incorporate camo as outerwear!
Another idea is a blazer like this one–it’s fitted and feminine without being twee! I like this look!
Remember—the key is to keep it simple and not overdo it or not to overdo it! If you’re unsure of the print, maybe starting off with a scarf would be a great choice.
If you don’t want to commit to camo clothing, accessories can do wonders to add that something-something extra. A camo scarf is perfect!
Or pointy-toed ballet flats!
I can’t even with these shoes. My eyes misted up with happy tears when I saw these shoes. They are precious!!!!
Whatever your feeling is, I think camo will be sticking around for a while! Have fun with it and remember, you can own the camo look!!! For your shopping pleasure I created an idea list on my Amazon page for you. Camo for the Mature Woman Print the page out, put it in your purse and take it out when you go shopping to get some ideas!!
And remember–don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re too old to wear camo! You can wear whatever you want!!!
I was looking for a ‘utility’ jacket which is all the rage ( apparently) but that olive color does nothing for me. I found a silky lightweight one by Guess in the prettiest, subtle camo green but more of a light green then olive. It looks so nice with a pink scarf. Camo is like leopard it plays well with pink, fuchsia and red as well as black and white. Cole Han has a subtle metallic camo tennis shoe that’s cute. Less is really more I keep reminding myself, I don’t want a one way ticket to Edith Prickly-ville with too much camo print.. My 22 thinks it’s hilarious that Mom has a camo jacket…I pointed out that with all its brass zips and ruche hem it’s a bit more fancy ass than what is sold at the army-navy store downtown. I like those Old Navy jeans…..
Hey Momcat!! That jacket sounds really nice! Youre also absolutely correct about the colors that the camo goes well with. It really is a new neutral!! LOL–I love that line about the one-way ticket to Edith Prickley-ville! Damn–Andrea Martin and the rest of SCTV were great! Aren’t those ON jeans the bomb though–I think in many households across the US, Canada and other parts many young adults are either shocked or thinking it’s hilarious that their moms (and maybe dads) are on the camo train these days!!! XOXOXOXO
I love camo but I am realizing now that I haven t got one single item with camo! Uh! BTW, I love the way you wear your hair!
Hi Nancy! You gotta get aboard that camo train!!!!!! LOL. My fake hair hides a multitude of sins and bald spots!!! XOXOXOXOXOX
Love both your new pairs of jeans, the raw hem gives them a current vibe. Not sure about the pencil skirt myself, not that I’d have the legs for it, lol! Xx
Hi Fiona. I don’t know what it is about those raw hems. Yes I do know–they remind me of the frayed bottoms of jeans I wore in high school!!! XOXOXOXO
Catherine, fab blog and great ideas. You made the look chic! Defo the key was the more fitted version of camo. I need to search Zara or H & M as we now live in Almeria Spain!! I have just started following your blog and brilliant!
Hi Carole! Definitely check out Zara and H & M. Do you have Naf-Naf in Spain? That may be a great store to check out as well! Don’t be a stranger girlfriend! Keep enjoying and commenting!!! XOXOXOXO
Yep, I can’t do olive next to my face. But I like the jeans. I will have to try them on in person, and see how they look on my ample self. I also quite liked the shoes, and usually, I am not a pointy toed flat fan.
Hi Susan. That’s why I like the V-neck. The olive isn’t next to my face. I can’t wear green eyeshadow either because my eyes get all wonky looking! But those jeans are so great!! Those shoes. I will hunt those babies down somehow!!! XOXOXOXO
Oh I love camo! All things camo! And I really love camo paired with a touch of leopard…it is so, so good. I just added two camo jackets to my wardrobe last year and now I am just waiting for cooler weather to start wearing them again. That camo blazer is to die for! And you are looking amazing in all of your edgy, cool camo pieces, my friend. (I used the word “camo” a lot of times in this comment!—7 to be exact.)
Hi Shell! Oh..I plan on getting that camo jacket from Old Navy soon. Very soon! It still amazes me how much I am digging this camo thing!!!! XOXOXOXO
OK, I always learned that K-I-S-S meant Keep It Simple, Stupid. Yours is much more polite.
Hi Bridget. I’m really glad that you noticed my change up in the saying. There’s a reason I repeat the “simple”. It’s because “stupid” was one of the few banned words when my kids were growing up. Calling someone stupid is so vulgar, vile and rude. I cannot stand that word. I cringe when I see those T–shirts that say “I’m with Stupid” it’s so demeaning and downright abusive. In fact, there’s a book series for kids titled “The Stupids” and was even a kids movie. It shocked me that there would actually be a book series called that. It’s a word that really bothers me. The other word that was banned was “retard”. It’s an insult to all people who are mentally challenged and my sister, Beth Ann, rest her soul, was challenged. I have no use for either word!!! XOXOXOXOXOX
You look incredible in all of these outfits and I am so glad you did this post because camo rocks! I have just a few camo items and I love them, they really are neutral pieces that go with everything. I have even worn my camo pants with a pink gingham top and I loved the look since the camo was more subdued – it worked! You have such great style, I bet your co-workers LOVE seeing what you’re wearing every day!
Hi Kellyann. Wow! Camo with pink gingham sounds so spectacular! But it’s true. I hear women say all the time that they are too old to wear this and that and it’s–no your’re not! LOL. My co-workers do get a kick out of my wardrobe–it’s fun!!!! Thank you so much!!! XOXOXOXO
totally off topic but i just had to tell you. I was driving along with my partner listening to my radio yesterday, a program that pits University Dons against the Students that I listen to every week and try to answer the questions.
‘ What famous French photographer made his name in 1914 using his particular technique to show a blur of motion as a car raced away, thus enhancing the feeling of speed and excitement ‘
Well guess who knew the answer and had one VERY impressed partner !
Jilly!!!!!!!!! Get out!!!!!!! I just told my husband and he was beaming! His grandfather was pretty well known and it’s fun to see and hear about his exhibits! LOL. Your parter is now impressed by your photographic knowledge. Well done you!!! XOXOXOXO
Love camo! And love your ideas! As with most things, as we age, restraint is key. You got it right. You look terrific in all your interpretations. I also love the fringe bottom jeans. Thank you for all the inspiration, Catherine!
Hi Molly. Thank YOU!! And you are most welcome! I do agree that as we age restraint is definitely key. I’m not of the flamboyant side to aging–tis better to be discreet!!! Yeah. Those fringe bottoms are right up my alley!!! XOXOXOXOXO
You look great in all the looks…simple is key, you’re right…but did I miss something: why buy the same tee in 2 sizes? The smaller one to wear under a jacket for less bulk? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
Hey Jeanne. Two sizes–one for a more fitted office look (you got it–under blazers) and one for my loosey-goosey weekend look!!!! XOXXOXOXOXO
You have a winner here! Great piece, Cathe.
Thank you Vava!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO
I love your work look with the jacket and camouflage tee!
Thanks so much Anne!!!! XOXOXOXO
I love that camo tee on you – the outfit is incredible. I firmly believe very few trends or ideas are off limits to the older woman – it really is how we wear it, and maybe we wear these ideas better than a lot of younger women as we have taken the idea and combined it with who we are. Like you say, simple that’s key.
Next thought – have you read https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/31/les-parisiennes-anne-sebba-review – a fascinating book, a difficult read but so extraordinary. You’ll either love it or hate it, I only seem to do “marmite” books at the moment
Hi Juliet. Oh, you are so correct. We older women can handle any trend because we are aware of our own personal style and how we choose to incorporate those trends to work for us. Younger women are still searching!
But that book. I haven’t read it but I put it on my “winter reading” listing. I think that book would require time and concentration and it looks like a very interesting read. Thanks for the tip on that!! XOXOXOXXO
Great post! I hadn’t thought of using Camo like leopard, makes sense. Where can I get that scarf-it’s perfect.
You styled these pieces so well. I love the look of the camo with white. It’s so fresh and youthful. You look fabulous pretty lady. Thanks for the tips. I have a jacket, but now I’m going to search for a skirt or a pair of pants. I love the idea of pairing it with black boots and a black sweater for winter. Love your inspiration! Hope you have a great weekend. – Amy
I have the ON camo jacket. I’ve worn it countless times, and…..POCKETS!!! It washes beautifully, cold water on delicate, hang to dry.
I can’t wait to put together some camo outfits this fall after seeing this. You look great in all of them! Would you mind telling me what wig that is in your first pic with the work outfit (black sweater & camo skirt)?
Thanks for the fashion update with camo. Wouldn’t have thought it would work on my 76 year old body.
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I’m over 50 and wear camo pants a few times a week. Funny, since they are associated with “army” I often pair them with an India inspired golden elephant t-shirt to create a pleasant contrast; a subliminal conflict of war and peace. I get many compliments of being stylish. 🙂 Your outfits are great and I LOVE your hair!!
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You look wonderful! I have a different (more round) body type and I’m trying to figure out how to make an olive utility jacket work for me — I’m well into my 60’s. Is it even possible to make this work?
Thanks Trish! Anything is possible! You might want to go with a Utility Jacket that falls just below the hips to give your upper body length. It’s all about proportion. I gained some weight over the holidays and the pants are tight in the gut so I’ve been wearing longer sweaters and shirts!!! XOXOXOXO