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Lookbook Store asymmetric fit-and-flat blazer

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.

  1. What Is the Origin of the Military Trend
  2. Best Military Trends for Ageless Style
  3. Debatable Military Trends
  4. Risky: Military Style Cuts, but Different Fabric
  5. Military Trends to Skip
  6. How to Style the Military Trend
  7. How to Wear the Military Trend at Work

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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 plainT-shirt.

midlife blogger wearing camouflage pants and a pink biker jacket
London Jeans camouflage cargo pants with GNW Luxe sweater, Newport News leather jacket, Jaeger tote, and Steven pumps (all own)


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.

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.


fashion blogger wearing an olive shirt dress

stylist in military inspired dress for work
Nova Military inspired dress with pumps and structured bag for work


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.

fashion blogger looking ageless in a bomber jacket
VS leather bomber with Loft tropical print skirt, GNW Luxe sweater, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, Jaeger tote, and DIY belt (all own)


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:


mature stylist in sheath dress with safari jacket
Sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store with own Great Northwest suede safari inspired jacket, Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps, and Jaeger tote


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.


stylist in chic camouflage cargo pants and leather jacket
Oliveo linen button-down shirt, London Jeans cargo pants, Steve Madden lace-up sandals, Lookbook Store leather motorcycle jacket, statement belt (all own), and Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source


midlife woman in military inspired shirt dress
Sidney wooden watch c/o Jord with own military inspired dress, Coach bag, Gabriella Rocha gladiator sandals, and Ray Ban aviator sunglasses


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 towear 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.

midlife blogger sheath dress with safari jacket Sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store with own Great Northwest safari jacket, Steve Madden camouflage pony hair booties and a lilac Coach bag for an ageless military inspired style

pencil skirt and safari jacket Pencil skirt with Great Northwest safari jacket, pearls, Madonna Truth or Dare floral pumps and Modalu Pippa bag for an ageless style in army inspired trend (all own)

style book author in a winter outfit in navy inspired pea coat Excelled Collection pea-coat with wool beret, gloves, polka dot tights, structured bag and Pour la Victoire lace-up open-toe booties (all own)

mature woman in posh shirt dress

midlife woman in militray inspired summer dress

midlife woman in military look
Military style inspired Nova shirt dress with statement belt, Ray Ban sunglasses, and Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps (all own)


If you liked any of these outfit inspirations, it would help me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.


How to Wear the Military Trend at Work

The outfit idea below shows how I am wearing a military inspired black dress for work.

little black dress with back zipper and military details

armed forces inspired LBD

style blogger in black formal attire
Victoria Victoria Beckham military style LBD dress, collier de chien belt, and multi-metal kitten heel pumps (all own)


Do you have military inspired items in your wardrobe? What did you splurge on? What are your style challenges with this trend? Let me know so I can help you.

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.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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