Military boots, khaki trousers, camouflage prints, parkas… it seems the fashion world has recently stood to attention, and embraced the legions of stylistic potential the military has always had hidden in its arsenal. I’m not surprised at the emphatic re-emergence of the military trend because as we all know, all good trends never die down but instead are merely reborn.
The history of military wear can without question be traced back to imperialist Britain and those eye popping bright red army coats. Sure when you think military wear you don’t think bright red, but while in the hands of the British it appeared as a tactical blunder; in the hands of fashion it was a statement that you could take the convention of your usual military wear and turn it on its head. Fast forward to the 1940’s Hollywood and military wear wasn’t the preserve of war zones, instead they were romanticised as well as the men who wore them in such films as Casablanca and a Farewell to Arms. But the biggest contributor to the military aesthetic emerging into fashion, was the 1960s and its anti-war sentiment. At first rebellious youths wore the uniform on top of tie-die t-shirts as an ironic statements, but soon this snowballed into an iconic statement piece.
While of course on one side the trend is durable, versatile and extremely practical; but at the same time the latest generation of military cool, has undoubtedly been spear headed by the ideology of taking bulky unflattering shapes and deconstructing, reshaping and giving them a more luxurious appeal and twist. And you can thank the likes of Burberry for their shearling lined aviator jackets, Prada for their bold green and red camouflage reimagining and last but not least, Kanye West who continues his march to fashion domination in collaboration with Adidas for his latest AW15 collection. We’re talking an entire blanket of every possible shade of green out there; from Avocado, Artichoke, laurel to dark green. And doing what Kanye does best, he adds his own unique spin and ignites a mini revolution with plunging necklines, deconstructed bullet proof vests and degenerated jumpers. It has barely been a heartbeat between Kanye transitioning his own personal style into military wear to compel more and more of the fashionably in doubt to follow suit.
But be warned there are room for errors in the pursuit of military style and certain things are well worth avoiding. For example because military wear is all about hard fabrics such as cotton and waterproofs, I recommend you pair with softer and lighter pieces; try paring a parka or military jacket with a cashmere jumper or simple white tee. Also stay away from Timberlands, we know the temptation is strong and it may seem like a perfectly great idea in your mind; but if you’re not a 90s rapper than stay well clear, instead think combat, Chelsea and desert boots. And finally stay well clear of head to toe khaki and veer towards mixing it up with some navy, grey and other earthly tones, but that’s only if you want to avoid looking like a guy who plays way too much COD.
Let me know your thoughts on the military trend by commenting below and if you want to purchase the Kanye West created military staples head over to adidas.com. But if you’re in the mood for something a lot more intrepid head over to www.prada.com