Many of our clothing has its origin in the armed forces. They were the first to order large amounts of industrial made clothing of high quality. The amount saved costs. After the war, overstock was a great deal for the quality. Read how you can have ageless style in the military trend.
- What Is the Origin of the Military Trend
- How Military Item Became Mainstream
- Best Military Trends for Ageless Style
- Debatable Military Trends
- Risky: Military Style Cuts, but Different Fabric
- Military Trends to Skip
- How to Style the Military Trend
- How to Wear the Military Trend at Work
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What Is the Origin of the Military Trend
Adoption of armed forces’ attire is a long time tradition. It goes back far in history, that clothes worn by the soldiers got adopted in everyday wear. Think of the pants with different colored vertical stripes that you see in the Firenze neighborhood parades. Think of the history of the plain T-shirt.
It doesn’t stop at garments. Think of the pumps that originally served Persian soldiers to get good stand in the sand when shooting their arrows. Recently, gladiator sandals have a moment. They go back to the Roman soldiers’ footwear. Combat boots anyone? What about bulky, white, high insulated Bunny boots? They were made for combat in cold regions. The cavalry was wearing tall boots.
How Military Item Became Mainstream
First these clothes were designed for duration and with motion ability and weather in mind like the trench coat for rain and wind protections. Read, they are comfortable and practical. Second, after the war manufacturer had overstock to get rid off. Consequently, customers could get comfortable, high quality clothing at a bargain. Some bought the clothes also because their heroes wore them, others because they had worn them during the war and found them practical and comfortable or just because they had them.
Other examples of soldier clothing that made it into mainstream fashion are the duffel coat, often called Montgomery, the classic navy blue with gold brass button blazer that was part of the formal attire, bomber jackets of all kind and the sailor’s pea coat.
Best Military Trends for Ageless Style
Here a list of military inspired items and trends that work well for women over 40 and that are timeless:
- Bomber jacket in leather
- Brass buttons on a simple pea coat or jacket
- Aviator sunglasses
- Navy style blazer
- Knit jackets, cardigans, sweaters, coats or jackets in military style
- Sailor pants
- Safari jackets
- Camouflage print
- Slim tailored cargo pants
- Military inspired bags
Debatable Military Trends
Camouflage prints are often discussed as a No-No to look chic in fashion over 40. Consider camouflage as a neutral like a leopard print. Therefore, you can style our camouflage items in the same way as you style neutral colors or leopard print. When buying camouflage clothes, apply the same criteria as you do for leopard print items: Go for the “natural colors.” When you are not familiar with the concept, you can find a guide about how to style leopard print at the link.
Risky: Military Style Cuts, but Different Fabric
Often designers use the very practical and functional cuts of military clothes, but choose an everyday fabric. These are military-inspired trends like for instance, an aviator jacket in a solid fabric. If the cut of the item works for your body shape and you like the trend style the piece with your classic basics. For example, see how to wear a floral bomber jacket.
Military Trends to Skip
Here is what to my experience doesn’t look ageless when it comes to military inspired clothes.
- Brass embellishment all over the clothes. It looks like a holiday tree. Period.
- Anything you can buy in the junior department. It looks great on your kids, but cheap on anyone over 20.
- Military trend from head to toe unless you are actually in the military and wear your uniform or you participate in the Cologne Rosenmontagszug or are at the roof of Cologne Cathedral watching that parade.
How to Style the Military Trend
The photos in this post give some inspiration how to wear the military trend.
Pro tip: The trend looks the most timeless when you style the items with other work clothes.
Here are further posh chic outfit inspirations wearing military items. What’s your favorite look? You can find more style tips on wearing utility jackets in the guide at the link.
How to Wear the Military Trend at Work
The outfit idea below shows how I am wearing a military inspired black dress for work.
When you liked the outfit recipes of this post, and want recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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