Now I love life, the gift of breathing is something special, and right now in my life I have two major passions. The first is serving my country, me being an officer in the United States Air Force, and the second, if you haven’t guessed already is fashion. I’ve been in love with fabric since I can remember, but never have I known that both of my loves have been secretly entangled behind my back. The military uniform has been the single largest contributor to both classic and contemporary fashion for centuries. Of course the uniform is self-explanatory when speaking of its origin. It was created for consistency, every one has the same uniform because we are all brothers and sisters in arms, not to mention you want to be clear on who and who not to shoot. The uniform also gives a sense of entitlement and belonging, which is imperative in any group. But this wasn’t why many designers were inspired by it, it was the standard that was set, the silhouette of formal dress, the close cuts, and the innovative designs that they incorporated into their uniforms for different purposes. Designers were drawn to the decorative regalia of officers, how uniforms are so fitting but still functional, and the uniforms ability to make the weakest of men (or women) look like a superhero. So I did a little research and wanted to share some of my findings with you……
The double breasted coat was inspired by the Naval “Reefer Jacket,” also known as the Pea Coat, this is also why the double breasted blazer is also known as the “Reefer Blazer.”
In 1920, Coco Chanel introduced her famed “Yachting Pants,” which is a direct reflection of the Navy’s bell bottomed pants on their sailor’s suit.
The modern necktie is an adaptation of the “Cravat”, an early form of men’s neck wear. Well the cravat was introduced by 17th century Croatian soldiers from the Ottoman Empire. When they visited King Louis XIV in Paris, he loved with their attire so much that he adopted it and made it royal attire.
While on the subject of neckwear, the diagonal striped necktie was introduced by the Brooks Brothers in 1920,but few know that it is actually inspired by the British “Regimental Tie.”
Wrist watches were invented during World War I for the simple fact that it is easier to look at your for time than grabbing your pocket watch, especially with your life on the line.
The trench coat, also known as the “Mackintosh,” is one of the most famous adaptions of military clothing. It was a standard issue for soldiers in World war I, hence the word “trench,” but it found its way in movies and runways.
Another fun fact: The buttons on a male’s jacket are always on the right side, this is because it made it easier for a soldier to draw his sword.
Torregrossa, Richard. Cary Grant A Celebration of Style. N.p.: Bulfinch Press, n.d. 10-11. Print.