How Military Style manages to stay Timeless and Trendy?


You might think I’m crazy. In my last post, I was writing that I didn’t like wearing uniforms and today I’m posting about military style…

Why are clothes coming from military closets as khaki shirts, parkas, trench coats, peacoats, bomber or safari jackets both timeless and trendy?

It’s still a major trend on the catwalks

adb3751e01c0da2a0e7be4c4300125d0Alexandre Vauthierkenzo-defile-printemps-ete-2017-1_5868737

From left to right: Balmain, Alexandre Vauthier and Kenzo

 

Just as in the streets…

Paris fashion best street 4picture from My fashion Muse

Tous les styles de la veste militaire femmepicture from Archzine
 

In fact, the transformation of military clothing into a popular fashion trend has a long history.

Initially, it is some of its functional or aesthetic characteristics that are taken up by some designers, such as Paul Poiret or Thomas Burberry at the beginning of the twentieth century, who both worked for the army.

gallery-burberry-trench-c-007(The Burberry Trench was created for WW1 British soldiers in the trenches)

Or Coco Chanel, with sailor blouses for women.

Coco-Chanel-1920-1

 

la-mariniere-le-t-shirt-de-la-marine-nationale-

french-navy-sweatshirtThe French navy sweatshirt on De toujours webstore

But it was not until after the Second World War that exhibiting the wardrobe of soldiers became a fashion fueled by the success of war films and by the fact that governments wanted to resell their huge military surplus stocks.

Ava Gardner MogamboAva Gardner and…

Grace Kelly MogamboGrace Kelly in Mogambo

And trench coats were not worn only by men anymore…

Lauren Bacall wearing Bogie's trenchLauren Bacall in Bogie’s trench

 

audrey2Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany

 les parapluies de CherbourgCatherine Deneuve in « Les Parapluies de Cherbourg »

 

In the 1960s, the GIs brought back the jungle camouflage print, which paradoxically became a pacifist symbol and a way of fighting the established order during protests against the Vietnam War.

were-protests-against-vietnam-war_505fc4a9a464f526

In England, the Mods were wearing long khaki parkas

mod-parka-2

and the Beatles distracted officer jackets just as Jimmy Hendrix did.

sgtpepperjimi_hendrix_military_jacket

A new unisex style appeared mixing military standards with protest fashion codes.

A trend that also emerged on the catwalks, when Yves Saint Laurent offered to military style its first fashion recognition by revisiting the Safari jacket and the peacoat.

 

yves-saint-laurent-definitivement-genial-photo-30Yves Saint Laurent, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise photographed in a safari jacket by Helmut Newton for the opening of YSL men’s boutique on Rue de Tournon

 

And today, « Half of the people on the street are dressed to kill », wrote Troy Patterson in 2015 in the New York Times

Gain in self-confidence

So why khaki parkas and other officer coats are so popular in the streets? Is it for their comfort, robustness and aesthetic appeal? Is it, as suggests Timothy Godbold in his book (Military Style Invades Fashion) to gain in self-confidence in cities attacked by blind terrorist acts or gratuitous violence (in particular against women)? « Putting on military clothing provides valuable assets to the wearer, » he says.
It’s certainly true that we’ve often forgotten all about the military past of these clothes and we aren’t really aware of dressing as « warriors ». But it certainly gives us a « je ne sais quoi » of allure and protection.

 

How to wear military style today then?

1/ Avoiding the total look and mixing it with feminine details, as heels, a skirt, a statement handbag or jewelry…

Atlantic Pacifipicture from Atlantic Pacific

9f539d5f98f3a5e5b1a763b1cedf732dPicture from Tendances de Mode

ac3119b58ae2d5a5882af5f8397886e9Picture from Tendances de Mode

 

 

2/Not taking it too seriously, matching it with a tee and jeans or adding quirky pins and patchescf3a41544b75e675f2ae09acab9bc555Picture from les babioles de Zoé

 

11e3a50c8a0df9da7bc37ec86d9f2e4cPicture from Et pourquoi pas Coline ?

 military stylepicture from Etam

 

military stylepicture from Etam

 2048x1536-fit_partie-collection-liberte-cherie-collection-liberte-cherie-maconlesquoy-2017Macon&Lesquoy beautiful hand-embroidered patches

74d706527ce095572bf1419baffdd1eb

 

And you, how do you like to wear it?

 

 

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