A Fashion Tribute

Just like The Chuckle Brothers, Fashion and history come as an inseparable package. If you were to probe any fashion designer or take the time and study their collections, you will almost certainly recognise that a particular theme, era, trend or period in history will have inspired – or in some cases – completely shaped their collections. Without influences from history fashion wouldn’t exist, and without fashion those historical moments wouldn’t have that unique identity that helps to define those special moments in time.

That very significant time of year where a red poppy becomes the must-have accessory is once again upon us, and it is also around the same time every year that my thoughts are provoked and I turn to the elderly (or failing that, Google) for guidance. Each year the arrival of Remembrance Day reignites my life-long fascination with the World Wars, and whilst that may seem slightly morbid to some, my interest runs far deeper than an interest in “weapons and fightin’ ‘n’ stuff”.

The lifestyles that these men led, the qualities they possessed, the feelings that they felt, I often wonder how great the knock on affects of their bravery has shaped the way that we live today – and of course – as the inner fashionista within me is always begging to ask; how have they helped to shape men’s fashion?

The military trend alone seems to have dominated and inspired the vast majority of the recent menswear autumn/winter trends over the past few years – just as the sailor-esque nautical trends have the spring/summer attire. Take away the military boots, aviator jacket, military style shirts and overcoats, and this season’s wardrobe is left looking somewhat malnourished. Perhaps we have EVEN more to thank them for than we first thought?

Lookbook.nu Military Outfit Inspiration

So here is a look at how males are creating outfits using military pieces or the military ethos for this season:

Military Influenced Outfits for Men

The Look Book

The R.A.F Military Outfits

Possibly one of the biggest trends to hit this season, the Flying Jacket (or Aviator, Pilot Jacket) comes fresh from the cockpits of the First World War. Originally designed and distributed in 1917 to US Pilots for keeping warm when flying aircraft with open cockpits, it very quickly caught on in the U.K. A gentleman by the name of Leslie Irvin supplied the sheepskin-lined jackets to the R.A.F Pilots of World War II to keep warm at bombing altitudes – which could reach temperatures of minus 50 Degrees Celsius. The most popular of the flying jackets would probably be the G-1 (which a highly skilled Ebay’er might even still be able to get their hands on) as donned by non other then Tom Cruise in the Americana classic, Topgun.

R.A.F Inspired Outfit for A/W 10:

  • Brown Contrast Trim Aviator
  • Oatmeal Yoke Cable Jumper
  • Khaki Check Shirt
  • ASOS Cargo Tapered Trousers
  • Marc Jacobs Studded Military Boots
  • Calvin Klein Chunky Boot Socks

United States Army Uniforms: 1941

As you can see above there were an array of different uniforms and styles within the U.S. Army during the Second World War. From waist belted pea coats and double breasted overcoats to jodhpur style trousers and fully buttoned up military shirts, you can quite clearly see current trends within these heroic soldiers outfits.

U.S. Army Inspired Outfit for A/W 10:

  • Black Wool Melton Admiral Coat Vivienne Westwood
  • J.Lindeberg Ward Button Down Dashing Oxford Shirt
  • Stone Textured Socks

The Royal Navy Outfits

The Royal Navy is the oldest of the HM Armed Forces and their uniform has been evolving ever since 1748. Again, they have a number of outfits that have changed throughout the years, but even by simply Googling ‘Royal Navy uniforms’ it is quite clear to see where some modern day designers gather their inspiration. For me the Mess Dress uniforms (as pictured above) are something to be admired. The bold tailoring, structured shoulders and ‘militant bling’ defines power, sophistication and masculinity.

Royal Navy Inspired Outfit for A/W 10:

  • Navy Trench Detail Pea Coat D&G
  • Stone Chunky Roll Neck Jumper
  • Cheap Monday Tight Skinny Fit Jeans
  • Brixton Hats Fiddler Fishermans Cap
  • ASOS Charm Pendant Necklace
True Heroes

Forget Kanye West, George Lamb or Justin Timberlake. These men are the inspiration, and personally, I couldn’t think of any other that I’d sooner proudly parade the streets within the shadows of.

R.I.P to all of those who have fallen for our future x

Ashley Cover