Today’s apparel, lighter weight and breathable, may make hunting easier and more comfortable, but let today’s hunters just try making a bow tie work with their camo and face paint.

Hunters in North America began to adapt military garments for hunting in the post-WWII years, and the influence can still be seen in most of the styles and patterns today.

As a practical matter, waders and hip boots are a necessity, and have lent themselves to different looks through the years.

Courtesy of Mary East

Often more functional than fashionable, a hat is nevertheless an honorable piece of backwoods gear and still has the power to complete your look with flash and dash. Will today’s hunters, in their ballcaps and insulated beanies, look as distinctive years from now as these two hunters from two different decades of hunting chic?

Courtesy of Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Judging by the number of ducks, this is not only a classic look from a classic time, but it’s also functional and effective. before the fleece Tops and lightweight parkas of today, hunters decked out and kept warm in rugged, canvas jackets. And we can vouch that coffee has never gone out of style.

Sport hunting originated on English estates when the well to do dressed up and hunted their own grounds. you won’t find many hunters of today walking into a Cabela’s and asking for a tweed jacket and pair of breeks, but even with the military influence on modern hunting fashion in North America it is clear duck hunting chic has always left room for a hunter to reflect his personal style. A sporty hat or checkered flannel shirt can round out a look and a set a hunter apart from the crowd, even when he’s hunkered down in a blind or hiding behind a hardwood tree. He’ll just be harder to see in the current woodland patterns.

Photos 1-3 courtesy of Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. No. 4 courtesy of Dale Spartas