Military Style Clothing Is Ubiquitous, Useful and Universal Style Statement

Military style clothing influences women's fashion from khaki to trenchcoats, striped tee-shirts to yellow rain slickers.

More perennial style favorites than you probably imagine have originated in admiration for the people who sacrifice so much serve their countries.

Faahion pays tribute by imitating the classic styles of these heroic men and women.

Military Is Mainstream

Styles borrowed by civilians from the army, navy, and marines include all of the following, according to Richard Martin, and Harold Koda (Swords into Ploughshares, 1995) and some added from other sources:

  • Aviator jackets and glasses

  • Bell bottom pants with drop front

  • Braid as decoration and to reinforce seams, including gold braid

  • Brass buttons embossed with a seal or icon

  • Calvary pants as riding apparel

  • Double-breasted coats and jackets to protect the organs and keep the chest warm

  • Fabrics including khaki, olive drab, and camouflage prints

  • Knit sweaters worn by commandos and seamen

  • Navy blue suits

  • Peacoats favored by sailors

  • Tailored suits with a crisp look

  • Trenchcoats

  • White pants and suits worn by Navy officers

Styles that originated in the rugged, comfortable clothing for the armed forces is so completely integrated into modern fashion, we can hardly go without it.

How to Pick Trends that Are Right for You

The important choice for you is what military style clothing looks good with your overall wardrobe choices.

Tailored suits are for practical Athena and sophisticated Metis. Peacoats and sweaters are clearly for athletic Artemis.

Hecate may prefer something more hand-crafted, such as gold brain trim.

Trend-setting Kali may choose something dramatic and cutting-edge, such as a fitted fashion officer's dress jacket in an off-beat color such as purple or yellow.

The Trenchcoat Is Ubiquitous Rainwear

Everyone loves a trench coat. Even you want a raincoat that is unique, you will find it challenging to avoid trench style.

Nautical fashion, especially strong in summer when everyone thinks of hitting the water, transitions to winter in the form of women's pea coats and horizontally striped sweaters.

Nautical Style Influences Summer and Boating Fashions

Can you think of a single summer when horizontally striped cotton tee-shirts weren't being sold everywhere?

This military style clothing fashion favorite originated with French seamen.

Even the bright yellow slicker is a nautical fashion klegacy from the seafaring history of the Western world. Read more about the fascinating history of nautical style.

Khaki fabric, popular as twill slacks for casual Friday business wear, had its start as a practical solution to dust staining the white hot-weather uniforms of England's colonial armed forces.

Military Style Don'ts

Broad-shouldered women should avoid coats and dresses with epaulettes. These are little flaps, often with buttons, that draw the eye to shoulders.

Everyone needs a trenchcoat, but swimmers and others with strong shoulders may want to forego this trapping of the style.

Years when the military influence is especially strong can produce suit jackets with showy metal buttons and lots of braid trim -- typical of nautical fashion and often adopted by the yachting and sailing set. Petite figures should avoid this kind of busy-ness in your outfits.

Instead, if you are small, opt for one dramatic touch, such braid trim down the front of the jacket to create a horizontal line.

Military Medals Are Not Fashion Accessories

It is never okay to wear false medals.

Military medals are important honors. They are honor those who have served with distinction.

If the medals are family heirlooms of a sibling, parent, or grandparent, find some other way to display them, such as a shadowbox.

If the medals are entirely false, chalk it up to the fashion ignorance of the manufacturer and remove them. Wearing medals found in a thrift store also should be off-limits.

In short, military style clothing has long-standing status as a source of fashion inspiration. Our hero-worship of those who give so much to keep the rest of safe has created fashion inlfuences that are ubiquitous, useful, and a universal component of American fashion.

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