December 3, 2012

Today's Everyday Fashion: Military Influence

Inspiration: All the Pretty Birds

Yesterday's outfit was camo skinnies, today's is an olive military jacket, and I've always been a sucker for a navy peacoat. It's safe to say that I'm a big fan of clothes with a military influence! But it was recently brought to my attention that wearing camo can be offensive to our armed forces. Which totally bummed me out, because I have the utmost respect for those men and women in service and I sincerely hope I didn't upset anyone. I had never heard this before about camo, so I asked my Twitter readers for more information:

"From my husband - military Vet- wearing military clothing is fine. Only the patches for rank and isignia are illegal." - Brittany's Pantry
"As a military wife, I or my hubby don't think it is offensive at all." - Michele Smith
"My military husband dislikes camo as fashion, finds it disrespectful. He'd never say anything to someone wearing it though." - Jo Cowan
"It's by no means offensive unless you wear rank or medals you didn't earn, or inappropriate display the US uniform." - Shauna W

These were just a few of the comments, and by no means do they represent the wide range of opinions that people hold on this subject. I did some Googling, and camouflage is first and foremost something that comes from animals, much like we use leopard print on our clothes, we also use camouflage. The military was the first to use it on clothes for combat, and now it is also widely popular for hunters and in the fashion world. I would love to hear what you guys think - is camo offensive? What do you wear or not wear when it comes to "military" inspired clothing?

ps. I ordered these mint jeans from Macy's.com yesterday. Their Friends & Family event - which means 25% off almost everything - ends today, use code FRIEND. I hope these jeans work out!

Jacket: c/o Conversation Pieces, $45 (similarsimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar similar)
Sweater: H&M, old (similar)
Chambray shirt: Mudd c/o Kohl's, $20 (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle, $25
Belt: H&M, $20
Boots: Steve Madden/Endless, $47
Purse: Karen Millen, $235 (similar, vegan)

1. Dillard's  2. Gabrielle Rocha  3. Alloy
4. Mango  5. Vivienne Tam  6. New York & Co.
8. Urban Outfitters  9. Quiksilver 10. Toms  11. Ray Ban
I did a search for "military" and thousands of results popped up. It's a theme that is widely popular in our clothing. These were just a few of the results!

88 comments:

  1. Personally don't think camo should be considered "fashionable". It reminds me of rednecks hunting or someone in the service.

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  2. When I think of Camo - I think of hunters... Most military that I see isn't in the green camo, they are in the tan camo.

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  3. The military doesn't even wear the style of camo that is popular in fashion anymore, they wear digital camo.  My husband is a Marine and I have a pair of camo pants that I LOVE and wear all the time!  That doesn't bother him at all, the only time he gets mad is when he sees people dressed in a full uniform with rank and everything when they are not actually in the military.

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  4. While camo is not a trend I'm jumping on, I don't find it offensive at all! If anything, I think of those serving in our armed forces more often because of how many people are wearing fashionable camo.

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  5. I think that it's a little silly for some people to get offended by wearing camo, such as the pattern that you're wearing. Camo, is just like you said - designed to mimic the patterns of animal prints, so if you're going to get upset about camo, then they shouldn't like any other animal prints as well. Though I would agree that wearing any sort of badge or insignia that is meant to look like an award, rank, or medal would be crossing the line a bit. 

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  6. Continue doing the great job you do, J. Pay no mind. It just means you are getting more popular and the critics have found you. I mean this IS a fashion blog. Duh. There always has to be that one that stirs the pot.

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  7. Jealous haters!!!!

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  8. I have been looking for that kind of jacket for a while now!

    xo,
    janmloves.blogspot.com

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  9. I can understand why some people would find wearing camo offensive, but I agree that as long as you are not disrespecting the uniform or wearing medals that were not earned, it's ok.  I thought your camo pants were styled perfectly yesterday.  Heather

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  10. J, I hope you didn't read my comment as saying it was offensive.  I was saying I am a military wife, and my husband says it's not offensive at all. : )

    Nyx

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  11. The Fashion CanvasDecember 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I am loving all of your military inspired themes lately. With that and the camo from the other day, you could be the cutest army girl ever. 

    Check out the blog I started.
    www.thefashioncanvas.com

    xoxo

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  12. Camo is not offensive, I would think its an honor for people in the military to see others who want to have their military swag. And I worn an outfit similar to that last month when it started to get cold...might bring it out again this friday!!!!! 

    xo Cassy








    http://theworkette.blogspot.com/

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  13. That is super interesting. However, here in the midwest, I associate camo with hunting way over associating it with our armed forces.

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  14. So is it offensive when hunters wear camo too? Honestly, that is ridiculous. If you're getting upset about a fashion trend that pops up every few years, you are way too sensitive. 

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  15. I never in a million years would have thought it would have been offensive. Like many have mentioned, if you are wearing the ranks or medals, I would understand, but just the military inspired, I don't get.

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  16. I don't find camo to be offensive.
    Btw didn't you get that purse for FREE?

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    1. I'm just curious as a reader how you knew that?

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  17. Promo code is FRIEND with no S...just an FYI :)

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  18. i echo some of the previous comments--the kind of camo you're wearing makes me think of hunting more than military.  and, even if it does make some people think military, i can't imagine how that's being offensive!! 

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  19. I don't wear it because it reminds me of hunters and guns. I have no problem with anyone else wearing it. 

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  20. Thanks Nedela. The purse was my payment for a full day's work. ;-) I don't believe that falls under the FCC's guidelines for gifted merchandise, since it was not in exchange for a feature on my blog. Let me know if I'm missing something though!

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  21. Hi Nyx! No I wasn't thinking of you when I wrote this, you are sweet though!

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  22. I just recently started reading your blog and I love it!  The Celebrity Pink brand of jeans/pants are one of my favorites, I'm 5'7" and a size 3/5 and they are a PERFECT fit, I own about 5 different pairs :-)  If you ever find yourself near a Joyce Leslie, they carry them all for $25, and pretty regularly are on sale for $20!

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  23. Wait!!  Isn't camo worn by hunters?  It's not exclusive to the military.  btw, my nephew is a marine, my FIL is army vet, my hubby is an army vet and none of them care what we wear as far as camo goes.  

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  24. I found this article helpful and it looks like I'm good to go:  http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus71-ftcs-revised-endorsement-guideswhat-people-are-asking Thanks for keeping me honest!! :-)

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  25. I never would have associated it as being disrespectful. But being from Ohio, I wouldn't wear it as it is too closely associated with hunting and girls who wear camo around here are sometimes looked at as kind of trashy. So I think for me its a regional thing. Im sure amywhere else in the country this is a non issue.

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  26. It's not offensive and I love this look.
    Method Clothe

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  27. Love the outfit and like with anything its the meaning behind something. Your meaning behind wearing camo pants is a fashion statement, nothing more, so I personally don't think it's offensive. The problem is that there will always be someone who will get offended by something you wear. AS long are your intention is good, that's all that matters,

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.wordpress.com

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  28. coming from a Navy wife, this is insane...wearing camo should not offend anyone unless you are wearing legit, military issued articles of clothing (aka someone who used to serve gives you an old blouse)...the print for our military is specific to each branch, and is owned by the government.  The print used for fashion is not a replica of our nations camo, but rather inspired by.  America literally needs to stop being so sensitve...you can't take a deep breath anymore without hurting someone or some groups feelings!

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  29. Jeanette, Thanks for the "article", maybe some day i'll be able to spare a couple of hours to actually read through it... I'm afraid you missed the point, the comment wasn't hateful, but your renspose sure was defensive. So allow me to clearify this for you. See, by quoting the price you are actually MISLEADING your readers into thinking you actually BOUGHT the purse, all on your own, with your own money, no job performed, you simply walked into the store and purchased this purse no mutual agreement with the designer nor the store nothing. Not the case! It's not rocket science J. many bloggers do this it's called sponsporship and it's ok as long as you are honest about it. That's all, no articles needed it's all good, but please keep in mind honesty goes a long way and readers find it offensive when you lie/mislead them:)

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    1. Quoting the price indicates that's how much an item costs. J included the link to how that she took the time to research your nitpicky question and from a 3rd party point of view, your response does come off as hateful. See Nedela, the EXAGGERATED use of capitals and the tone that you're speaking to a child is uncalled for. --Melody

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    2. SO ALLOW ME TO CLARIFY THIS FOR YOU, NEDELA. You're RUDE and who cares if she got the purse for free. Go gossip with your friends if you're that desperate for a reason to act like a 14 year old girl. THANK YOU

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  30. As a military wife/family= NOT offensive!! I was shocked that someone would say that actually. The new BDUs (uniforms) aren't even that pattern anymore!

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  31. Not sure what the miscommunication is, but I definitely didn't think your comment was hateful and it didn't bother me one bit. ;-) I really appreciate when you guys keep me honest and I learned something new today by researching an answer to your question! All is good on my end!

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  32. LOVE camo & military inspired fashion.
    maybe we can look at it as a stylish way of giving thanks to those who serve :)

    xo - heather
    www.ThisLifeIsYours.com

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  33. You definitely can't please everyone. My little brother practically LIVED in head to toe camo when he was a little kid because he just loved it so much (I'm talking mismatched camo tshirt and camo pants.. major fashion no but as a 5 year old, he didn't care). Everyone loved his little camo outfits and thought he was the cutest kid ever. Can't win em all. Do your thing, J.

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  34. Totally agree Emily! Absolutely anything you wear will offend someone. All you can control is how you react to it. It didn't upset me one bit that someone brought this up, I think it's a great subject and something I enjoyed learning about! I simply wanted to share what I learned with you all! :-)

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  35. I don't wear camo or mil-inspired clothing at all, but not because I don't think it's cute or appropriate...I am a female in the military and it just feels weird to me to wear it when I'm not at work. There are a lot of cute ways to wear it though, like the camo skinnies from yesterday. Super cute! My husband, also military, gets a chuckle when he sees non-mil wearing mil clothing, but he's hardly anyone to take fashion advice from! haha

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  36. I am a Marine wife and I do understand why people are offended by the improper use of military attire. 
    Service members work very hard to earn the right to wear their uniforms. They spend hours and hours preparing those uniforms to be worn as well as for various inspections.(My husband spends a good 3-4 hours preparing his blues for special occasions and several hours on his cammies before inspections). When civilians wear things like that, it can be portrayed as disrespectful when it is worn in a "fashionable" way and not in the way it was designed to be worn. 
    Many celebrities (especially rappers) have worn uniforms in very disrespectful ways (http://bothmyeyes.wordpress.com/tag/g-unit/). I think this leaves people weary of anyone wearing military gear in ways that it is not meant to be worn.
    While the above may not necessarily reflect my personal opinion, I think this is where people are coming from and I can understand why they are upset. 

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  37. Apparently that link did not work. If you just Google "50 cent in military uniform" you will see what I am referring to. 

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  38. Love it! I just ordered a military inspired jacket! Can't wait to get it :)

    www.daisyraeboutique.com
    www.kacieskloset.blogspot.com

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  39. I very much appreciate this feedback! I agree that military members deserve our utmost respect. I know I will be aware of what I'm wearing going forward - no dog tags, patches, etc. is where I personally plan to draw the line!

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  40. As an Air Force girl friend, I do not see it as disrespectful as long as ranks, medals, or flags are not displayed inappropriately. Camouflage pants, olive green jackets, or boots worn in my opinion are fine. I have a military inspired jacket and a pair of black lace up boots that look similar to combat boots, BTW my boy friend actually bought me the jacket. He shares the same opinion as I do.

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  41. One vote for not offended here. :)  Love the look and understand the respect needed for an actual miliary uniform.  Actually purchased a similar of pants from Zara AND ecently scored a cute camo jacket from Nordstroms.  In addtition, it doesn't bother me one bit that you put the price of the purse. :)  If only we could make EVERYONE happy...

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  42. I think the opinions vary person to person.  My brother was a Marine Gulf War veteran who is no longer active, although he often works with the military.  He still loves camo and even loves his little girls wearing cute pink versions of it.  He has given childrens' camo outfits as gifts to my little grandsons.  My opinion? As long as it isn't disrespectful, and you aren't trying to pass yourself off as a soldier, a camo jacket or T or whatever is fine.  

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  43. I've been wearing my green military jacket so much this season! Love the look!

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  44. I never thought about camo on this perspective... so after I see this post I decided to read a bit more about it... I guess this is one of those subjects that it doesn't have a correct answer. I hope I never disrespect those who fight for us.

    Monica from  Fashion Koketi

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  45. I think this is a very interesting question! I never thought of it as being disrespectful because the military generally doesn't use this type of camo-- theirs is considered "digital camo". I would find it disrespectful if clothing replicated the digital camo, otherwise, it's not clear why camo is disrespectful.

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  46. I really love the military/forest greens for fall plus it's a really easy color to dress up or down

    http://emmastyleguide.blogspot.com

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  47. I've always associated the type of camo you are wearing with hunting, not the military. And olive green military inspired jackets don't really look like something that a person in uniform would wear anyway. I feel like there are clear distinctions between the trendy use of camo and military colors and styles in fashion and celebs or people who inappropriately wear military garb or medals. I asked my close friend who is in the Navy whether or not he found it weird or offensive...he just laughed and said no, but that he's always wanted to walk up to a girl wearing a camo mini skirt and strike up a conversation about where she's served, if she went to an academy, etc. just to be funny!

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  48. Aw, I feel bad, I didn't mean to upset you about leaving a comment about not liking camo because of it's military relations!! It's just my personal opinion. I feel that turning a uniform of honor and life saving/risking/taking work into a fashion statement is just downright disrespectful; I understand that many women don't understand or even think about this so I don't take it out on them but rather merely the fashion industry as a whole. Soldiers have earned those uniforms. I know it's not exactly the same, but imagine if doctor's lab coats became a huge fashion statement/trend... don't you think the real doctors out there would be a little baffled/offended? They worked extremely hard to earn the right to wear those coats professionally and continue to honor what the coats stand for in their everyday work. I'm not sure if that clarified how I feel at all, but like said it's just a matter of personal opinion which is always going to differ between people :)









    Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com 

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  49. Isn't this the same purse that you called a "splurge" a couple of months ago? FYI - anything that you get for free is not what most people consider a "splurge" and the way that you posted this IS misleading because it appears as if you bought the purse - you didn't. Since this was a topic of discussion before, I am surprised that you didn't anticipate that someone might call you out on it again. By the way, the criticism you are receiving about this is not because you "care" or because you call yourself "frugal", it is because it is misleading to present something as if you purchased it when you didn't. I don't think that most people have a problem with bloggers buying or receiving expensive pieces as long as they are up front and honest about whether they bought it or received it free.

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    1. Shut up about the freaking purse. Jesus. If she put it as free then that wouldn't really make sense because not everyone gets it for free. You're petty and rude. Stfu

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  50. WOW. I never thought about this at all, I also associate it with hunting/fishing not the military, but defiantly interesting to hear all the opinions on the topic.

    http://fromcoasttocloset.blogspot.com

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  51. I have several friends in the military as well as an uncle in the air force and a cousin in the army. As long as the outfit is not worn inappropriately and there are no pretend signs of rank, camo is a go. Go for it! :)

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  52.  Personally, I don't care whether or not she got the bag for free. If it's something that I like, I like being able to scroll down and immediately see if it's something within my price range that's worth a second for me to look into (in this case, not so much). But I don't care how much the blogger paid (or didn't pay) for it, I care how much I would have to pay for it myself. If, at the bottom where it's listed, it just said "free" or "gifted"...that doesn't really help me. I say NBD.

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  53. J. I am a female in the military and I am perfectly fine with anyone wearing camo. What I find offensive is when people take our actual military uniforms and jackets and wear them as fashion, or try to copy the same uniform too similarly. For example, I've seen a few rappers and other celebrities wearing the Marine Corps Dress Blues Coat.  Sometimes they have no rank, and once I think I saw one with upside down rank.  I earned that uniform and then someone's taking my jacket and turning it into a fashion statement and I don't appreciate that. We have certain standards to how we must wear our uniforms and they definitely didn't earn that jacket or follow the standards we wear it to. for example: http://www.upscalehype.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Ibn-Jasper-77.jpg

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  54. My husband served 30 years in the Navy.  I have always loved military inspired fashion, even before we were married, especially Navy inspired clothing.  I have never even thought about military inspired fashion being disrespectful of those who serve.  Wearing medals or insignia is another thing.  I wouldn't wear camo because I think it's ugly -- sorry :)

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  55. No not at all girl!! I respect your point of view totally. In fact, I felt this issue was important enough for something for people to consider when they get dressed!! All opinions are always welcome here. I ask people to respect my opinions when I post and I hope to show the same to all of you! :-)

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  56. Just curious, since when is it the end of the world whether it was purchased or given? Its a beautiful purse, and J provided information on pricing in case her readers wanted to buy it...I don't see how that indicates whether or not she bought it and I really don't see why this is an issue.

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  57. I live in an area where hunting is very popular, and I've seen camo in women's clothing as a derivation of that.  Besides, women's clothing as influenced by military uniforms is nothing new.  The wide legged jeans which have been popular off and on for decades are derived from Navy uniforms, and even the stirped shirts with the bateau neck came from French Navy uniforms I believe.  So, in my opinion, no big deal!!  And certainly no disrespect.  As far as camo, it isn't quite my idea of a fashion statement, but that's what is great about fashion....everyone can have her own look.

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  58.  I don't see why posting the price is really a problem. It's how much it costs. I know so usually posts what price she paid for it but if you look at other posts specifically the NYE post she stated in her post that both dress were given to her and she is sending one back. You know what she has next to the dresses at the bottom? The prices. I think we can give her a little break on it. I don't think it dishonest in the least.

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  59. I think the issue with the purse is that this is "everyday fashion" "not a personal style blog, but the study of one girl's closet. How far can you make a small (couple hundred dollars a month) budget stretch" so people have different expectations.

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  60. I have always associated camo with hunting, but the appeal of military inspired pieces is, to me, more about practicality (such as cargo pockets) and less about fashion. 

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  61. I am a human and make honest errors and typos from time to time! (Don't we all?) It's pretty disappointing to have someone try to spin it like there is evil intent behind it though, and say I should've "anticipated being called out" - and I'm not being "up front" or "honest". If you've been reading my blog for any time, I think it's pretty clear I'm open and honest and willing to make changes to anything people find that I may have overlooked.

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    1. You're great J. Just let it roll:)

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  62. I never thought about camo being disrespectful, I really wanted to order a pair of pants and now  I'm on the fence about it.

    amy
    Leopard and Lillies

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  63. GOOD INTERPRETATION !!!!
    ANASTASIA - FASHION DESIGNER
    http://www.letthemstare.com/backless-white-dress/

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  64. I love the military influence in clothing but camo-uh no.  I live in a small southern town and camo means hunting. Whole families clothe themselves in it and then go out to eat at the local Mexican restaurant. Ugh. I would never wear something that implies I kill amimals. So I find it interesting that many people think military first when they see camo. Guess its all about georgraphy!

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  65. J,
    I looked at this with my husband last night, he served in the Air Force. I also asked my dad:  retired career Navy, my brother in law: retired career Air Force, and a friend who served in the Army. They all told me the same thing I suspected: not offensive at all. 
    You are great. I love your consistently positive attitude, and your "nice always wins" moto.
    Those camo pants were adorable. Keep wearing them!
    -Ellen

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  66. My first thought was hunting also, not military. But for the actual camo look. Now there is all kinds of different camo when it comes to hunting. Grass looks, cornfields, etc.... And I find when I wear it, the guys usually think it's hot.

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  67. J- You are absolutely right and, in retrospect, my comments were unduly harsh.  Please accept my apology.  

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  68. I have a huge respect for people in the military but if they find it disrespectful to wear camo, they should never come to the South. Ever.

    I mean we're talking camo prom dresses. 

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  69. J, 

    I've been in the Air Force for 5 years - and in no way have I ever considered military influenced apparel offensive. I usually don't buy and wear anything camo, but it's probably because I have to wear it every day :) But I love it on other people and how you incorporate it into your outfits!

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  70. I really love the military Dresses I so enjoyed your blog. Excellent content. Please keep posting such great content.Sale on Izod

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  71. As another poster said, let it roll, J.  It shouldn't but it always surprises me when I see comments like Nedela's on blogs I follow -- anyone who reads this blog for long should have a pretty good impression of the type of person you are.  Depsite apparently being a reader for long enough to spot this "issue", this person has no clue. 

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  72. I am not offended by the camos.......but I would prefer that you dress like the pretty girl that you are .

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  73.  She's also received M.Kors watch as a family gift and doesn't ever post the price, does she? This purse was also a gift and some honesty would really be much appreciated. I don't have a problem with free stuff but I do find the price quotation on this purse to be offensive as it suggests she purchased it herself - and she did not.

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  74. I've actually had several people request I list the price of the watch even though it was a Christmas gift, because they felt I was hiding the price. So I really can't win - some want me to post, some don't! 

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  75. This is the first I've ever heard of camo being offensive to military personnel. My dad is a Marine and I have grown up wearing camo along with my 3 younger siblings, it's a staple piece of clothing. This is the first time such a concept of it being offensive has ever been brought to my attention. I say you keep using the great green pattern!

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  76. Good, I'm so happy to hear that; no hurt feelings for sure and respect for all opinions (unless they are deliberately hurtful, of course)!! Glad you feel the same, J :)









    Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com 

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  77. Love the military trend! :)

    XO Nathttp://www.natinlove.com?cm=1

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  78. I served Active duty in the Marine Corps and I don't think it's disrespectful.  Unless you are wearing the patches and rank insignia for a fashion statement.

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  79. The military don't have a patent on camouflage. Just because they were the first, doesn't mean it's the only use. Like you said, hunters wear it too. You're not wearing rank or patches, you're not pretending to be military. Don't worry about people's extreme opinions. I'm sure there's people out there who can find a reason to hate everything you wear. It's fashion, it's personal. It's not meant to please everyone. Just so long as it pleases you. :)

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  80. What about all those that hunt? I mean, they might be connected somewhere but I can't imagine all those hunters not wearing their camo. As retired Navy I didn't wear camo (and still don't, I don't really like the trend) but I don't think it's offensive. I know plenty of military wives that wear it because it reminds them of their deployed husbands.

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  81. I love the steve madden shoes you have on in this outfit, and I just found a similar pair. Can you do a few more outfits featuring this shoe? I love them but I don't know of too many ways to pair them in work-appropriate outfits. Please help!

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  82. J, I agree with the posts that say not to worry about people's opinions as long as you are not wearing rank or patches.  You are not being offensive.  Fashion is very personal and I can think of a lot of truly offensive outfits seen in the Wallmart lately.  You are always put together and lovely.  Keep doin what you're doin.

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  83. I think people just try to find anything to get offensive about these days.. I agree with you completely about how we're just mimicking the pattern of nature... Its not like you're wearing fur and a defenseless little animal had to die for it.... It's just a pattern. 

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