Ferguson, Missouri's police department has approximately 54 uniformed officers — and according to the city budget, it has spent more than $213,000 on "wearing apparel" over the last four years. That works out to just a little under $4000 per officer, and from the look of things over the last few days, much of that is being spent on camo. So we have to wonder — where are they shopping?
While menswear designers have been bombarding shoppers with an endless barrage of weaponized swim trunks and combat-ready varsity jackets for the last several seasons, the War On Plaid has mostly been a losing battle. Everywhere you look, camo is on deep discount. With $213,000, you should be able to outfit an entire U.S. Army division! So the Ferguson police department isn't just trampling on the 1st Amendment rights of American citizens. It also appears to be wasting their money.
With professional peacekeepers like these Yemeni riot police dressing with the bombastic flair of a back-up dancer in some lost Janet Jackson video, Givenchy has decided to deploy all its firepower in its effort to put an R&R spin on battledress. The result: An outfit so garish not even the fog of war can dampen its destructive force. We expect to see these on the streets of Baghdad soon.
With their covered faces, camo pants, and simple black tees, this strikingly well-coordinated Mahdi Army flash mob almost looks as if they are about to surrender to 2014's most hegemonic force — normcore. And yet note the emphatic gestures of resistance. Fluorescent explosive devices and sweatbands. Skull face scarves. We are astounded that amongst all the upraised right hands, there is not one clutching an iPhone and taking a selfie — because this is the most self-consciously fashion-forward rebel army we've seen to date. When Opening Ceremony decides to get serious about invading the Gap, they know who to call.
Normally we steer readers who ask away from camo. But if there's anyone on earth who should be taking advantage of the collapsing camo market's post-peak prices, it's Blue Steel and Le Tigre here as showcased by this NY Times article. As ISIL runs unchecked across Iraq, shooting anything that moves, these guys are wearing electric vermillion and plaid? While we admire their commitment to style in the face of adversity — if not actually their style — we can't help but wonder about their choices. Even wrapping themselves in a giant matador's cape would be an improvement over their current outfits.
Q: I am overweight and poor, and as a result I have a wardrobe that is five years old. I'm trying to make the best of it so I come to you with a question: When are camouflage pants/shorts acceptable? --Ben
A: Two situations, Ben: 1. Protecting America's freedom, and 2. Halloween costume.
Fast for a day, take the money you would have spent on food and head to the clearance rack at Target, where you will always find multiple pairs of XXL Converse One-Star pants marked down to $10 or less.
Ultra-casual Brett Favre looked surprisingly natural in a suit at last month's ESPY Awards, but he clearly missed the MB memos on camo and graphic tees as he left Green Bay yesterday. Also, those sunglasses veer dangerously close to reflector blades. A true diva needs true diva shades. Like Madonna in Versace.