Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Standard issue: How the military has influenced fashion forever

Written by Natalie Barnabas
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Clem Onojeghuo

Whilst the population is in fear of a Third World War, it’s a sobering time to think about how military formation has shaped who we are now. It is no coincidence what we wear right now carries with it a weight of a time we may have forgotten temporarily but holds a past chapter of what we faced before.

We unearth some timeless classics and the first designers on the scene to land a historical mark on the world.

Explore with us, the “standard issue” uniform worn by our ancestors which we continue to see adopted on the runway and appreciated as daily essentials.

The Trench Coat- Brilliance Delivered From The Passion Of Power

It was Hugo Boss that developed the iconic floor length trench coat and double breasted belted trench for meticulous purpose and spellbinding power.

Hugo Boss changed the game back in 1931 upon being an active member of the Nazi party and in so doing, dressed the infamous Third Reich.

History is unable to blot out their style contribution to one of the most feared movements in the last 100 years. But it is also beyond all reasonable doubt how far such fashion prowess Hugo Boss has forever transversed into the modern wardrobe that we see time and time again.

Standard Issue Boots- Elevating Standards

Dr Martens or as the label proudly reveals “Air wear” originates from the British Paratroopers designed to secure a solid footing on the ground from great heights. Which of course is where their popularity returned them to.

Made of thick leather, the brand is renowned for, all over the world from Japan to the US.  Its military origin was built, not for style, but for function and through focusing on its purpose alone, became a classic to perform on all fronts.

The modern take on such laced up ankle and knee high boots have been replicated across the board into cheap remakes but remain to be appreciated by brands and solid manufacturers committed to the value of quality with craft and vegan leather.

Waxed Jackets- Built For The Harshest Of Conditions

Barbour was founded in 1839 producing waxed cotton coats cherished for harsh weather to shelter fishermen and sailors.

Such practical utility quickly saw themselves better served in the military and thus boomed in popularity across the military and civilian daily use.

Barbour has landed a new affinity for the outdoors, offering reliable protection for nature lovers.

They are still hand stitched in the company’s factory at South Shield, England, with an annual production of 100,000 jackets.”

Source: www.apparelsearch.com

Epaulettes- Worn by Kings and Commanders

The ornamental feature we see on the shoulders of jackets for structure was adopted by the French during the late 18th century but was seen as early as Roman Greece providence.

The word épaulette, diminutive of épaule ‘shoulder’ in French and a close descendent of Latin spatula, is derived from the late Latin sense ‘shoulder blade’.

Epaulettes continue to be adopted in military decorative recognition however they were partially intended to prevent shoulder belts from slipping, not just aesthetically. These ribbons were tied into a knot that left the fringed end free.

Appreciated before it went mainstream, Michael Jackson adorned many a military epaulette laden piece. This structured classic continues to play a huge role in work wardrobes and seriously hardcore pop idols now.

No matter what the future holds, we’re all wearing a piece of history.

History’s speaking for itself, why not network with like minded individuals at our next event on 19th June in London here.