Recently, I went with one of my friends to our local Army Surplus store to help in his quest for the perfect “Maverick” Halloween costume. Once inside, the plethora of military garb got to me, and I of course had to try on my own army onesie. I wish I could say that I didn’t think it looked fabulous and contemplated the purchase for a good 20 minutes—though I ultimately put it back on the rack. Well, as if the mysterious fashion gods were reading my mind, the new Hans Feurer book landed on my desk, and, within its bounds, five pages of 1960s military-inspired fashion (above). It pushed me over the proverbial, khaki-colored edge. So, to the interwebs I turned to create my own army homage:
1. J.Crew Sherpa-Lined Parka: It may not feel like it today in NYC, but it is winter and, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s going to be a cold one (yes, I do occasionally read the agricultural manual). Heed my advice: buy a warm jacket that doesn’t make you look inflated. Jenna, once again, gives us an ideal option. And a winter jacket for under $500? Not bad.
2. Madewell Tomboy Workshirt: No army look would be complete without fatigues (i.e, non-battle work clothes). I’ve stolen my dad’s shirt from his army days, complete with my (also his) last name sewn above the left breast, patches indicating rank and duties, and a healthy smattering of tears and rips. But if you’re not the spawn of a veteran and/or are looking for a cleaner, slimmer, work-appropriate version, Madewell’s feminine take on the green work shirt is your answer.
3. R13 Boy T-Shirt: Remember how good Jake Gyllenhaal looked in Jarhead wearing that army t-shirt stretched across his glorious muscles? While this top won’t necessarily bestow you with Jake's bulk (that might be a good thing…), it will work just as well with a skirt or jeans.
4. TEXTILE Elizabeth and James Coated Debbie Skinny Jeans: “I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops.” Need I say more?
5. Rag & Bone Cozen Boot: I would argue that almost any outfit—no matter the time of year, the type of weather, or suggested dress code—would benefit from combat boots. Nick has a Common Projects pair that earns him compliments (from me) every time he wears them. I've got a pair that have been re-soled an embarrassing number of times. And now you’ll have a pair to wear every day, too.
I will admit that all of these item worn together as a full outfit might be too literal a take on 'military chic,' but if that’s what floats your boat (USS Your-Name-Here?) or toots your horn (to the morning Reveille), then I salute you.