How the Military has Influenced Everyday Style

I started out my research with a simple google search: “Why are military jackets a fashion trend?”  I did not find an exact answer.  What I did discover (as what usually happens once you start randomly browsing the internet) was a rich history of how military uniforms have heavily influenced civilian fashion throughout the years.

The Trench Coat

Our modern day idea of a trench coat wasn’t always so chic.  The beginnings of this coat are credited to Thomas Burberry who began manufacturing a coat in response to a need for protection against the wind and rain.  It became a staple during World War I and was worn by soldiers in defense of the weather as they stood in the rainy trenches.

Khakis

The word khaki comes from the Persian word “khak” meaning dust, earth, or ashes.  Harry Lumsden, a commanding officer of a Bengal cavalry, decided that bright red British overcoats were impractical for battle in the Punjab. He created lightweight garments dyed with mazari, a local plant, and mulberry juice to create the yellowish tan color we all now commonly refer to as khaki.

Other military garments that have infiltrated the ready-to-wear world that you may be familiar with are:

  • cargo pants
  • hooded parkas
  • safari jackets
  • sailor pants
  • camo print
  • bomber jacket
  • aviators
  • White t-shirt
  • Pea Coats
  • Doc Martens
  • Cardigans

I’ve included some links at the end of this post that dive deeper into the history of these items.  I personally found them intriguing to read.

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The most obvious fashion trend on the runway is the military jacket.  We are seeing it interpreted in a variety of colors, fabrics, and embellishments. It is also a trend that resurfaces year after year.  Runway Photos of Military Jacket Trend   Military jackets come with a nod to past and the nostalgia of tradition.  The concept of a uniform creates conformity among the individuals wearing it and ceremonial reverence of those who proudly march in formation.

1 of 3 things are happening when someone wears a Military Jacket:

  1. They are embracing what it represents.
  2. Rebelling what it represents
  3. Simply following a fashion trend without any idea what it represents.

It is also worth mentioning that it seems to be quite a juxtaposition that the garment that demands conformity is being worn as a statement of individuality.  Regardless of the reason you are sporting this trend, I highly doubt you can wear one of these jackets and not feel a little more in command of the world around you.

torrid jacket 5

This must be a feeling I need, because upon inventory of my closet, I realize that I now own four of these jackets.  A burgundy corduroy style, as seen in my previous post, two with navy with silver buttons (one is more casual than the other) and my newest addition: this incredible black with chiffon trim from Torrid.

I love the high low cut of this jacket, the big bold brass buttons, and the shorter collar.  It feels like a throwback to the uniforms worn during the French Revolution.  The chiffon lining and trim is feminine and flirty providing a nice balance of hard and soft.  I feel like a vintage punk rocker (is that a thing? lol) when I wear it.

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The absolute best thing about owning a military jacket is the multitude of ways you can style it.  Seriously, you can wear it with almost anything!  It is an amazing statement piece when styled with a simple pair of denim, it can be thrown over a dress for some added pizzazz,  worn in place of a traditional blazer in less conservative workplaces, or paired with a mini skirt and high boots for a super sultry date night look.

However you decide to style your jacket…own that sense of power it gives you. Be that boss girl and conquer whatever lies in your way to becoming the best you, you can possibly be.

Additional Reading:

https://www.highsnobiety.com/2014/08/14/the-military-influence-on-fashion/

http://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/clothing-types-styles/military-style

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/magazine/how-the-army-jacket-became-a-staple-of-civilian-garb.html?mwrsm=Email

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