The military style of fashionable clothing, which today can be seen in women’s magazines, dates back to the beginning of the twelfth century, however, it’s still going strong and doesn’t give up its popularity to any of the newer trends. The First World War started the trend to wear military-styled clothing, and 1940s saw civilian clothing designers consciously imitating military uniforms. But this doesn’t mean that military-styled clothing has to look like combat fatigues; it only borrows certain decorative elements, colors or cuts from them.
The difference is that military-styled clothing isn’t real military greatcoats, or camouflaged uniforms, or garrison caps. It’s made of normal clothing, not the special one used for uniforms. One shouldn’t take the military style used in high fashion for quite a long time too literally; it’s just stylization of appearance to look like something you could see at wartime.
Cuts of women’s military-styled clothing
The silhouettes created by the women’s military style are angular and sharp, which makes the cuts seem somewhat aggressive. Widened shoulders, clearly visible waists and narrowed hips are the telltale signs of this style of clothing. But in general, what does this style include?
One of articles of clothing which clearly belongs here is the coat similar to a greatcoat, form-fitting in its upper parts, widened below, with a standing collar, sewn-on pockets, hard shoulders, with a buckle and one or two rows of large buttons. Among other most popular articles are military-styled shirts with breast pockets, lapels and a leather belt, very elegant riding breeches which should be worn with high, heavy boots, and baggy trousers sewn from crude materials, with a studded belt and a lot of sewn-on pockets.
Another very trendy piece of military-styled fashion is a fitted jacket with a belt and shoulder straps, which should also have sewn-on pockets and large buttons. In other words, it should resemble an officer’s tunic. The same could be said about military-styled dresses, which should be form-fitting, with large buttons and of any convenient length.
One should never forget about two elements which are mandatory in the military style: a wide belt and sewn-on pockets of a large size. Also in the category of women’s military-styled clothing are straight or slightly bell-shaped skirts, often long, with the mandatory belt. Various kinds of fatigue pants with a lot of pockets also belong here. A shirt in this style should be long, also having various stitchings, cuts and pockets. One article of clothing which gives great choice in design with the military style in mind is the outer jacket. Various zippers, stitchings, sleeve insignia, large metal clasps and sewn-on pockets are welcome elements of its design.
Colors and hues used in the military style
The main part of the military style we can often see in fashion catalogs is the color. The basic color scheme is camouflage, and the main colors are camo pattern, khaki, muddy green and dusty brown. Other colors used in military-style fashion are various hues of green, sand yellow, gray, brown, sometimes with spot-like prints; in other words, all the colors used in real military uniforms. In some cases, the fabric is of single color, such as brown, green, blue or black. Olive, or even dark red, orange and gray-green can also be seen sometimes.
But it’s important to remember that the main point of the military style in clothing found in the fashion press is combination of the uncombinable. It isn’t fashionable to wear just something similar to an uniform; it is, if it’s combined with quite peaceful and utterly light-hearted, bright and provocative elements. For example, the military style in the clothing you can see below contains decorations such as silver braids, elegant and stylish faux medals, a golden ornament. This jacket will look fine with single-color form-fitting trousers or jeans.
Footwear and accessories in the military style
Military-styled footwear, designed to look like real military boots, with thick soles, with no heel or a low heel, with rounded toes, is the silhouette which is now the most popular. Crude boots with blunt toes, with lacing and wide heels, along with boots on thick tractor soles, are also considered military-style footwear.
Rectangular handbags, glasses, belts, watches with militaristic design elements are the accessories required for military style. Also this category includes brooches which will likely attract interest of younger women. Their key design details are imitations of medals, coins and Victorian-era military decorations, which look very beautiful with ribbons. The military style always means looseness, boldness and audacity.
A fine addition to a wardrobe in this style is a handbag made of crude matte leather with a minimum of decorations, but as practical and functional as possible. Such a handbag can be successfully combined with military-style boots. Watches in this style should have massive metal bracelets or leather straps; brooches which imitate sleeve patches and insignia are also advised. A combination of metal and leather in accessories like watches looks very impressive. And the choice of accessories is large: dark single-color neckties, medal-like jewelry with ribbons, broad belts with buckles and so on.
The military style was very popular among women in spring and summer of 2011, and if you tend to favor it, you shouldn’t forget about military-styled handbags, because it’s the accessories which often lay the foundation of any style. And the color scheme of combat fatigues constantly reappears in the fashion collections of the most famous brands, and has long became just as classic as the safari style animal prints.
This spring and summer, the military style of women’s clothing is especially popular among many leading designers, as we can see on the photos. Some glamour, a tidy shape, the military color scheme – and we have a ready stylish military-styled accessory with which you can boldly go to any club party. Some collections have somewhat brutal and crude bags in the military style. One example is the carpet bag, which has a manly character and is a fine variety of a traveling bag which goes well with military-styled boots. With such a wardrobe detail you should wear clothing of green or brown hues, khaki or denim. Some collections have whole lines of handbags following the military trend.
Outerwear and trousers in the military style
A distinguishing part of the military style is crispness of the silhouette and strictness of lines. Woman’s military-styled coats, the photo of which can already be found in the newer fashion catalogues, have standing collars, two rows of buttons, straight lines of shoulders and a belt with a large buckle creating a crisp waistline. Such a military-styled coat, as you can see on the photos, goes well with military-styled trousers of a straight and loose cut, made of dense and hard material, and high military-styled boots with massive soles.
A military-styled jacket has large, magnifying shoulders which do not add to femininity at all. However, if one wears such a jacket with a dress and high heels, the resulting image will be very impressive and balancing, though hard to understand for most people. Military-style jackets must be present in the wardrobe of every modern girl. And do not hurry with conclusions if such clothing appears crude to you. Details of a golden color (brooches, buttons, rosettes, epaulets or even embroidery) make any strict-appearing articles of clothing original and very stylish.
Many fashion collections by well-known designers offer such a wide selection of suit jackets, coats and outer jackets in the military style that you can use them to create almost any image, even a feminine and bohemian one.
For example, for an image in such a style as rock chic, military-styled jeans or leggings are the best, in a combination with high heels, a military-styled shirt and, of course, a jacket. For a feminine image you can take, for example, a bright red jacket with epaulets, and a floor-length skirt – maybe it isn’t very convenient or practical, but the needed effect is achieved. Varieties of military-styled jeans usually are peppered with cuts and holes and look aggressive, yet stylish and sexy. You will look especially impressive in them if you pair them with beautiful military-styled boots. Another very fine variety of clothing are straight trousers in the military style with a dim metallic sheen, very feminine, glamorous and quite convenient. They make a peerless combination with fashionable blouses.
People who wear military style clothing and accessories often have a hard character and are relentless in their decision. They are strong and self-assured people which do not fear a heightened attention to themselves. Such an outfit may showcase one’s physical fitness or alignment with a certain political or social group. And many women like the military uniform on men.
Sometimes in life, moments happen when you have to change your image or people’s opinion about yourself. So why not, give a try to the military style? Experiment, try, and remember that the decisive choice is always yours. And do not forget that you shouldn’t get too involved; everything must have a measure to it.