Being from a city, for the longest time I had no idea how much of a “thing” camo even was. For me, camouflage was merely the object of mockery, a fashion faux pas that, when worn, would garner only a litany of “Where did you go?” and “I can’t see you” jokes. In essence, I never took camo seriously and I wasn’t even aware that some people did.

Upon moving to Delaware for college, I found that not only is camouflage common, it has an entire culture surrounding it. That culture is hunting, obviously, which I wasn’t aware had the deep following it does in rural areas. Hunting managed to bleed into the everyday lives of those who wear its companion gear, leading many streets in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania to flood with green and beige on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Is this necessarily a good thing? Personally I’m not a big fan of camouflage’s style, but having been more exposed to its presence, I sympathize with those who think otherwise. Practicality and comfort are good enough reasons to indulge any fashion statement, so I’m not going to ask those in rural areas to stop wearing camo.

People in cities, however, should know better. The camo pattern isn’t appealing to look at: large blotches of mismatched colors make the wearer appear as if someone threw up on a perfectly good shirt. Any attempt to make camo something it’s not—casual wear/hunting gear or, of course, military apparel—will invariably end in disappointment and ridicule. I’m sick of seeing purportedly “high fashion” outlets peddling camo with no sense of self-awareness, because anyone who truly believes camouflage can be reworked into fancier wear is a very deluded person indeed.

So please: If you want to hunt or serve your country, carry on. But everyone else needs to take their camouflage-patterned clothes and congregate at the nearest dumpster fire. Trust me—you’ll be doing yourself and the rest of us a favor.

Photo: iStock/pablo_rodriguez_merkel