5 Fun Ways to Style Women’s Camo Pants
Wondering how to wear camo pants in 2022? You’re not alone. One of the year’s biggest trends also happens to be a wardrobe mainstay for many, including a number of celebs and musicians. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s always as simple as dressing like one of your favorite stars.
First and foremost: pay attention to cut and color, both for your camo bottoms and what you wear with them. Playing up a sense of proportion and finding a balanced silhouette is key, as is ensuring that your shades don’t clash.
Whether you already have a favorite pair of women’s camo pants in regular rotation, or you’re simply curious to see what all the fuss is about, we’re here to offer some timely advice. If you're seeking ways to style camo pants, look no further!
Camo Pants in Fashion
In order to give you the lowdown on camo pants in 2022, it’s important to take a look at their history. Traditionally associated with military garb, camo was worn to conceal and protect, allowing the wearer to blend into their surroundings. Ironically, outside of this specific context—think on the sidewalk as opposed to in the jungle—camo definitely draws the eye.
Adopted by musicians, actors, and members of the late 1960s counterculture, camo was gradually embraced by civilians, too. By the 1980s, it had become a street style staple, and in the 1990s, it appeared on a number of designer runways. As pop and rap performers gravitated toward camo in the latter part of the decade, and men and women alike began incorporating it into their wardrobes, it officially became part of the fashion firmament.
Trend-wise, camo ought to be considered a near-constant. But more recently, it’s often closely associated with Y2K style—making it oh-so-timely right about now. If you’ve been following fashion, or even scrolling social media to check out your favorite stars, you’ll know camo, and cargo pants in particular, are big. Let’s talk about ways to style camo pants.
What Should I Wear With Camo Pants?
Unlike a lot of denim, joggers, or sweats, camo makes a bold statement. (More subdued prints, or camo pants in neutral shades like gray or tan, can appear more low-key.) With this in mind, it makes sense to let your camo trousers become your outfit’s center of gravity. In other words, this is where people will be looking!
This doesn’t mean that anything you pair with your camo should be boring. Instead, think of these pieces as complementing your camo bottoms. What does that look like IRL? Say you’re going with an of-the-moment cargo cut. These bottoms are roomier, pocketed, and probably come in a heavier cotton or cotton-twill. (We’ll also discuss dressier camo options, including different materials.) These pants will look great paired with leather or cashmere in cooler months and cotton and silk when it’s warmer out. It’s all about creating contrast—with materials and fabrics, as well as with colors, prints, and cuts.
While there are a number of ways to style camo pants, we’d advise opting for a top in a solid shade. White, black, and navy are always sure bets—especially if your camo is colorful. If you like to go a bit bolder, we’ve also seen great pastel and neon pairings. Prints like polka dots, stripes, and even florals can add great visual appeal, but it’s best to keep these subtle.
When it comes to silhouette, more form-fitting looks go well with baggier pant styles. If your camo pants are slimmer cut or jogger-style, feel free to pair them with everything from roomier sweatshirts to button downs.
What Types Of Outfits Go With Women’s Camo Pants?
Understandably, camo pants have a reputation as casual-wear. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean you can’t dress them up for a night out. With the right accessories and thoughtful styling, camo pants can easily transition from day to night.
But back to more laid-back looks: consider camo an alternative to denim—or even sweats. Celebs in particular love to wear white tanks and cropped tops with their camo pants, emphasizing their curves and abs. If showing a little skin isn’t your thing, just play up a proportional silhouette. Pair baggy trousers with something more form-fitting up top, or slim-cut joggers or leggings with a loose tee or hoodie.
There are a few ways to style camo pants when going out: your first option is to wear the camo pants you rock during the day, swapping casual kicks for a pair of heels and your cutout long-sleeve for a more polished blouse or top. Another option is to choose camo pants in an unconventional material like silk or satin. Add a pair of heeled boots or stilettos and your outfit instantly becomes after-work-ready.
What Kinds Of Tops And Jackets Can I Wear With Camo?
Think of your favorite jeans and what you wear with them: v-neck sweaters, cropped leather jackets, classic crewnecks, denim shirts. Camo pants have a similar utilitarian quality to denim and often look great with the go-tos already in your closet. If you’re looking to mix it up a bit, start with color. Neutrals are always a sure bet with camo, but softer shades of pink, purple and blue, for example, add a touch of the unexpected. Go for a vibrant twist-back sweater or top off a tank in a pretty pastel with a denim jacket or cropped cardigan.
While doing the matchy-matchy thing—pairing camo pants with a camo jacket—is definitely a look, it’s probably better left to performers. Just remember that too much of any print can overwhelm the wearer, especially up close!
How Can I Pair Camo With Streetwear Or More Athletic Looks?
Since camo functions similarly to streetwear and even some athleisure, wearing it during your downtime or on the go is easy. If you’re looking for ways to style camo pants that nod to streetwear, consider a hoodie or bomber jacket with your trousers, plus a pair of sneakers.
If you want to keep the look more traditionally feminine, layering is key. Pair baggier camo pants with a cropped or curve-hugging top and finish it off with a zip up. If your camo’s slimmer or straight-cut—think joggers—add a sweater and a pair of flats to dress up or a roomy sweatshirt and sneakers to dress down. Camo leggings look perfect with oversize hoodies and bombers.
By now, you’ve probably seen camo cover everything from socks to sports bras. If your print is relatively subtle—read: hard to distinguish from far away—feel free to double up: Wear your camo pants with a coordinating cropped top or bra. Or, hit the gym with camo leggings and an on-trend camo baseball cap.
What Kinds Of Shoes Look Good With Camo?
When you think about ways to style camo pants, your first thought might be how comfy they are (or aren’t). It’s hard to deny the appeal of comfort clothing, especially in the last couple of years. Just think about all the women who wouldn’t leave the house sans heels, and are now bonded to ballet slippers! Luckily, camo loves a comfy-shoe pairing.
If you’ve glimpsed a celeb wearing camo recently, there’s a good chance she was wearing sneakers. Boots, including combat styles, look great too, but chunky or classic sneakers lend just the right amount of chill when running errands or kicking back. And if you want to up your shoe game a notch, try a pair with camo trim.
Want a shoe that’s less casual than a sneaker, but not necessarily ready for a night out? Try a low-heeled leather sandal. Flat leather slip-on styles also look great, particularly with cropped or warmer-weather camo.
TL; DR: Camo Pants
Need a quick summary of everything above, plus some helpful links? Not a problem. (We’ll even give you some handy bullet points.)
- History: Once reserved for the military, now a (mostly) casualwear staple among celebs and civilians alike
- What To Wear: Keep cut and proportion top of mind, balancing the silhouette and playing up contrasts in fit and fabric
- Outfits & Occasions: Probably easiest to style for day and as part of a laid-back look but can be dressed up in a silk material or with heels and jewelry
- Which Tops & Jackets: Think figure-flattering tees and tanks, plus cropped jackets—and don’t be afraid of a little color
- What About Streetwear: Camo pairs especially well with classic streetwear pieces like hoodies and bombers, as well as athleisure items
- Which Shoes: Sneakers, sneakers, sneakers—or, low- or high-heel sandals, depending on what you’re up to ;)