For a growing number of the outdoor sporting crowd, it is no longer good enough to simply dress appropriately for a hunting or fishing trip. Every outdoorsman knows, or should know, the clothing essentials – sturdy boots, socks and sock liners, gloves and glove liners, hats, rain gear, etc. But there is hunting and fishing gear – and then there is upscale hunting and fishing gear.

Fashion has come to the woods and the water.

“Without a doubt, fashion is more important than it was in the past,” says Martin Truex Jr. “Everybody wants have the best gear, the coolest stuff. People want to have stuff that’s top of the line. Maybe that makes you believe you’re going to be more successful.”

Truex, the defending 2017 Monster Energy Series champion and dedicated outdoorsman, has his own line of clothes that is sold on his web site. Most of the items are NASCAR-related, but he does have Camo hoodies and T-shirts. He says there is a possibility of adding more outdoor-related items.

“It’s definitely different now than it was years ago,” Truex says. “You look at old videos and old pictures and people were dressed to match a tree. I guess it’s just how things have evolved. There are so many options. I think people today are a lot more concerned about how they are perceived by others. If a guy has all the cool looking stuff and a good-looking boat, people are going to think he’s a good fisherman. That’s just the way it is.”

Adam Sherer, Truex’ friend since grade school, is a fulltime policeman in Stafford Township, N.J., but he also operates a charter fishing boat in his spare time. He understands why some of his clients wear the hot brands of outdoor clothing because “A guy who is a 9-5 attorney, or an accountant, or a stock and bond [trader] – whatever kind of job he might have in the city — when he leaves the office on Friday at noon to go fish for giant tuna, he wants to play that part of, ‘Yeah – I’m a fisherman.’ So he wears Aftgo or Salty Crew gear to fish, or if he’s a hunter, maybe he’s going to put his Real Tree on and get ready for a big weekend.”

William Shakespeare is credited with originating the phrase, “Clothes make the man” in the 15th century. He couldn’t imagine that six centuries later, it would extend to the great outdoors and his saying would evolve into “Clothes make the hunter” or “clothes make the fisherman.”