12 Military Fashion Trends That'll Make You Want to Enlist Now

12 Military Fashion Trends That'll Make You Want to Enlist Now

Wow! Just when you thought military fashion wasn't a real thing! Wait until you see these stylish, sophisticated trends

Military fashion is here to stay.

Military style has had a lot of influence on fashion-focused people for a long time, but what you might not know is that it’s always been a bit of a two-way street.

Yup, the military might seem like a gruff bunch, but they took a lot of fashion tips from popular styles back in the day, too. Next time a military man is teasing you for dressing well, throw that one back at ‘em.

Many of the jackets, boots, shirts, and accessories that you see worn on the street every day are military inspired. They're practical and stylish, which is why they're so popular.

In this article, we’re going to show you 12 military style trends that’ll make you want to enlist ASAP. Look good, feel good. That’s what they say in the military, right?

1. Trench Coat

Thomas Burberry was commissioned to make a jacket for the front line soldiers in WWI and the rest is history. The water-repellent material used in the trench coat was practical for...well, the trenches, but also became an iconic part of the English style.

Burberry jackets are still in demand today and have influenced countless variants over the 100 years of the trench coat’s existence. It’s a classy and timeless piece of fashion.

2. Plain White T

Believe it or not, the t-shirt actually sprung into existence as a piece of military wear in the early 1900s. American soldiers took the style home with them after the war and you might say it took off. By the 1950s, actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando were openly sporting the white t-shirt as part of their style.

Easy and cheap, it’s the perfect garment for wearing around the house, but throw a leather jacket over top and you're ready to hit the town.

3. Desert Boots

Desert boots reside somewhere in between casual and formal. Nathan Clark was stationed in Burma in the 1940s when he came across these suede boots that were worn primarily by off duty officers.

They’re a staple in both men and women’s shoe collections nowadays. Clark’s are one of the most popular and stylish shoes out there.

4. Aviator Glasses

Aviator sunglasses were merely a practical solution to an unpractical aviation problem.

As planes got more and more advanced and pilots were able to fly higher, they needed something to combat the headaches and nausea that came with exposure to the sun. It only took a few years for the public to latch on to these; by 1937 they were an eyewear mainstay.

5. Bomber Jacket

Sticking with the aviation theme, military bomber jackets started as protection for pilots against freezing in the cockpits and paratroopers hopping out of planes into the night sky.

The first bomber jackets were made of heavy-duty leather and lined with sheepskin, but now you’ll more often see them made out of nylon.

6. Peacoat

Now one from the sea.

The peacoat was designed for the 19th-century naval soldiers. Post WW2, a lot of peacoats made their ways into military surplus stores where civilians would pick them up due to their formal look and practical warmth. Most peacoats are navy because of their naval origins.

7. Chinos

Developed from khakis, which had their own military origins, chinos were popularized in a similar way; to keep a low profile when getting down and dirty. The earth tones that we normally associate with chinos and khakis helped camouflage British soldiers stationed in India in the 19th century and the idea kind of stuck.

In the 1950s, Chinos were all the rage on college campuses around America. They're comfortable, smart, and go with anything.

8. Dr. Martens

Literally concocted by a one Doctor Marten; a German military doctor in WW2 that was holed up in the Swiss Alps because of an ankle injury. He noticed that his military issued boots weren't giving his aching foot the support that it needed and came up with these.

A softer leather and a more cushioned sole gave him the boot he was looking for and Dr. Marten's hit the market. Today, we associate Doc Martens with the punk movement of the 80s and they remain a fashion symbol of the counterculture.

9. Pilot’s Watch

Not everyone wears watches anymore, but the pilots watch is a great example of an understated, practical watch that will go nicely with most outfits. 

The simple color palette and easy to read face were designed to help pilots reach destinations on time. Now, they're one of the symbolic military timepieces.

10. Fishtail Parka

The fishtail parka was designed to keep soldiers warm in cold weather. The jacket's flexibility allowed them to detach parts and the fishtail design was to give them extra insulation around the legs if needed.

During the Korean War, soldiers were experiencing chilly but wet weather. The jacket was designed to be warm but not cumbersome like other military parkas. Using waterproof nylon and cotton, they achieved the perfect balance to keep the soldiers warm and dry. 

11. Cardigan

You probably don't think military-inspired clothing when you think about the cardigan, but it is in fact. The "cardigan" was used by the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Brudenell, during the Crimean War of the 1850s. 

The initial design was a sleeveless vest based on the waistcoat, but sleeves were eventually included and now the cardigan is used as a fashionable way to keep warm by almost everyone imaginable.

12. Welly’s

Wellington boots were heavily used during WWI to deal with the constantly flooded trenches. Trench foot was becoming a huge issue and they needed something to combat those conditions. Welly's originated, however, when the Duke of Wellington wanted to mod his Hessian boots.

Using technology developed by Charles Goodyear, almost 2 million pairs of these later Wellingtons were commissioned for the British Army. 

Now, they're a perfect and surprisingly stylish option for a rainy day.

Military Fashion Moving Forward

It's hard to tell where the relationship between military and fashion will go from here, but classic military fashion remains a staple in streetwear all over the world.

People aren't going to stop wearing white t-shirts, boots, or stylish jackets anytime soon. But, we'll see where the need for military innovation will take our clothing into the future. 

To shop for your military apparel online, visit Custom Military. We've got military caps, Navy apparel, and, of course, custom military apparel for an affordable price.