This weekend, I stole my friend’s huge real tree camouflage-print denim pants. I cinched the waist shut with one of her belts and put on the cool-toned yellow sweater her sister bought for her in Paris. In that moment, I felt like I was a goddamn huntress. On this blizzarding day, cold and damp, I felt hot as hell, almost as if I could melt the goddamn sun with my fashion prowess. Since when did camouflage look good on a stone cold futch (femme butch) such as myself? Since when did this seemingly tacky, tasteless print, endemic to Menard’s-goers of the Wild Midwest, look decidedly good on a very gay Jewish Seattle native? I thought the same thing as I stared at myself in the full-length mirror in the second floor of WLFM House. My friends assured me that I was not dreaming, and that I did in fact look fire in the camo pants. So here is my hot take for the week: real tree camo – not solely for the hobby hunters, but an absolute staple in the collective gay wardrobe.
For those of you who do not know, real tree camo is the type of camouflage made for hunters, where it looks like someone opened an Outdoor Life magazine and collaged all of the ads together. While it has the same color scheme as traditional army camouflage, real tree camouflage boasts an additional potpourri of sticks, leaves, trees and the occasional deer. While it is most commonly seen on hunting enthusiasts, I firmly maintain my newfound belief that real tree camouflage belongs in every social situation, and encourage the popularization of this trend.
Mainstream fashion has been incorporating an increasing unprecedented variety of textiles and patterns in recent seasons, successfully progressing into uncharted terrain in the industry. Examples of these include the resurgence of shoulder pads, the introduction of unconventional fabrics and, of course, real tree camo. Taking the domain by storm, real tree camo has combined the dynamic forces of the fashion industry, which the gay community is entrenched in, with the Cabela’s frequenters who originated this fire trend.
Real tree camo has done the impossible: joining the forces of gays and straights in more than a petty coexistence or trivial gay-straight alliance. By uniting people in fashion, real tree camo is creating friendships that span the space-time continuum that is the contemporary fissure between these two unlikely groups. I encourage all up-and-coming gays to venture off to Menards or Cabela’s or even the Fox Valley Thrift Shoppe and meander through the racks weighed down with Midwestern Gothic clothing. Especially in Wisconsin, it should not be too long before you come across something with a real tree camouflage print. Whether it is a hat, a pair of dungarees, a sport coat or a life vest, I can confidently say, as an authority on all things fashion, that real tree camouflage is building bridges not only between communities, but between individuals in quotidian life.
Please note that I do not condone hunting.