Menswear Trend: The military jacket

Posted on 3rd October, by Colin Chapman in menswear. No Comments

Sometimes trends take a LONG time to come around, and since my 18-months ago Brandish post about Italian ‘Sartorialist’ men using military jackets as a stylish cover for their suits, the trend has become a familiar item in womenswear and come back to hit us as a definite menswear street current. Always a New York thing, worn by such anti-style gurus as Woody Allen in his heyday, the look was very prevalent there during my recent trip. The casual slouch of worn, military green can somehow sharpen up a pair of faded jeans and at the same time, at least in the hands of experts such as NYTimes ‘T’ Style editor Bruce Pask, be the perfect antidote to the stiffness of a shirt and tie. If you happen to get hold of a proper, vintage version bear in mind that it may need waterproofing, an easy process with some wash-in proofer to fend off the English damp.

Bruce Pask rocking a military jacket, jeans, shirt and tie ensemble

I’m currently waiting for the delivery of a 1970’s M65 military jacket from an army surplus outlet but when in New York I also spotted a glorious version at Rugby Ralph Lauren, one of my favourite New York stores (the line doesn’t yet ship to the rest of the world). Perfectly proportioned in the brand’s signature slim fit, I also loved the rugged clips used as fastenings.

Rugby Ralph Lauren’s military jacket for fall

I’ve already posted about my love of UNIS, the Nolita store. I tried on a vintage jacket there (their own-make military jackets being out of stock) and more recently came across this piece in GQ about owner/designer Eunice Lee’s love of the classic, green military jacket. I particularly love the designer’s attention to detail as she describes how the proportions of the jacket needed no editing, the American male of previous eras being smaller and more compact in stature.

Eunice Lee’s beloved jacket

I currently have a crush on the green military jacket, on a par with my summertime love of the blazer. Whilst I can’t wait to get my hands on this particular piece of American history, I’m also planning on a serious rummage in militaria stores on our upcoming road trip through California. The other thing I want is a Vietnam-era army shirt with counter-cultural patches, some great jeans and a damn big military holdall to bring it all home in.

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