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Navigate with Style

Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.

One Woman Army

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Daddy, the Colonel, insisted I ride side-saddle. He said it was the only way for a lady to ride, so graceful. Silly of him. Nobody rides side-saddle now, but it’s the only way I know. Just kidding. Those are lines from Auntie Mame. My father indeed was a Colonel in the Army, however I never called him Daddy and I don’t know how to ride a horse.

What my father did teach me was an appreciation for the armed services. He knew from an early age he wanted to be career military and started his Army development in a youth program when he was 14. Some people are just really compelled to serve. There’s a lot more I could share about his impressive military career, however the point of all this is much more fluffy: I really like camo prints. And olive drab.

I can spend hours (and do) in Army/Navy surplus stores. I have loads of authentic garb and regalia plus many commercial pieces, mostly from J. Crew. I don’t ever need camo to “come back in style” because I just never let it go, trends be damned. And I know I’m not alone. There are always plenty of options from major retailers, designers and brands.

The trick is making camo pieces feel more fresh and interesting than last season, so I’m loving this slightly muted camo print by James Perse. It helps that James Perse and the like make softer versions than the United States Armed Forces, who care not for comfort but durability. This jacket can be worn so many ways (dress it up! dress it down! yada yada yada, you know the drill) and I’m forever a fan of sweats (pants, shirts, you name it).

Then there’s this soft as hell sweatshirt in a color they’re calling Artillery Pigment, which is quite creative, I think. I wonder how many different ways people have tried to make the color Olive Drab sound less D R A B?


I think it goes without saying, though if it did, I wouldn’t feel compelled to SAY IT NOW: One piece of camo goes a looooong way, so do not ever wear more than one camo print ANYTHING at one time. I know they say there are no rules in fashion, but I’d argue that point on the subject of camo alone. It’s important to also shy away from trying to look too authentic in store bought military gear. Stolen valor is really insulting, and wearing camo looks more like a costume when overdone. Aaaaand one more point: My father always felt the need to approve the patches and pins I’d randomly pick out from surplus stores, because he said something could be offensive in its use or placement. If you don’t have a member of the military to consult, the best thing to do is talk with the staff at the surplus store for guidance before making a purchase of pins, patches and other embellishments.


There’s this song that I love (and love to sing), that perfectly captures for me what motherhood feels like.

Never knew what I was signing up for
Knew it was hard but not this hardcore
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

Wanna give you everything I never had
Love you and teach you good from bad
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

What I do, I do for you the best I can
Build a life for you with my own two hands
Never gonna stop, never gonna give up on you
No matter what I do

Here I am baby, I’m your one woman army
I’d fight for you, I’ll die, I’ll be your protector
Here I am baby, I’m your one woman army
No matter what may come, I won’t surrender
— Kate Earl

Sometimes parenting is like going into battle. Good thing I have so many olive drab coats.