A l e x a n d r a A z a r o v a
There are many ways we can dress to exude power but nothing expresses a combination of strength and style like military-inspired clothing. Ranging from coats and jackets to pants, footwear, hats and gloves, military style is a perennial staple of fashion. Among whole panoply of military styled items, what to choose to look best and not overdressed? That’s what we have chosen.
An army, navy or air force influence normally expresses itself through specific styles and tailoring, especially in jackets, but also in pants, boots and hats. This type of clothing is worn by military forces for its utilitarian value, so its use as regular streetwear depends on whether or not it is fashionable or useful.
Camouflage itself is popular on single items such as cargo pants, t-shirts or hats because it is not seen as exclusively for the use of soldiers, but as just another print. Camo works particularly well on cargo pants, which will always look army-themed and not like actual army. Besides that, they also add a rugged element to most urban or sportswear looks while remaining functional. T-shirts are also popular military-themed items due to the fact that usual solid army colors (tan, olive drab, navy, grey etc.) do not differ greatly from regular T-shirts.
Jackets are arguably the most popular military element in fashion. They are featured yearly in many fall or winter fashion lines, simply because they are warm, stylish and fit well into an F/W color palette. Double-breasted pea coats of varying lengths, black, grey, tan or brown, are both formal and casual. They look equally great with jeans and T-shirts or with business suits underneath.
Flight (or “bomber”) jackets come in many styles. They are usually black or brown leather (but some can be nylon parka-style), either with furry collars or not. The collars can be prominent around the neck and lapels and also extend to the interior and around the base of the jacket and sleeves, making for a warm coat that functions for outdoor use and lends a rough and rugged look when worn in the city.
Military miscellany to add
Field jackets are a perfect example of how to use military colors or styles to add to a look. If you took an army cap, cargo pants, a field jacket and combat boots and put them all together, you’d look like you just walked off an army base (or like someone pretending to be a soldier). Individually, each of these items can be used for different purposes. Many military items add a look of power or strength. If you were dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers, replacing the sneakers with combat boots would add a hard edge. A dark-colored military sweater (the kind with stitched shoulder and elbow patches) would do the same.
Other items can serve different purposes. Cargo shorts are a casual alternative to sport shorts that still have an active look, but have a texture closer to pants. Certain items, like aviator sunglasses or Kevlar gloves, are very stylish, having become so common that they are no longer exclusively associated with the military.
Choose your military items carefully, still don’t be shy in experimenting!
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