Military trends rooted in history


Have you ever thought to associate military and fashion together? Well, I am stoked to open your eyes to the ways in which the military has influenced the fashion industry.

The trend largely started with the two World Wars at the beginning of the 20th century. WWI involved many countries, which created an influx of young men joining. Therefore, this was the first time each branch needed a different uniform. Later, during WWII, not just men, but women also were joining the military. The uniforms modernized slightly, and more articles of clothing developed.

Today, you can see many trends for men and women that are influenced by the military. Some of the more common items include outerwear, pants, accessories, shoes and color.

Military outerwear, used for protection during the war, has transformed into a variety of everyday jackets that are seen on the streets today. The bomber jacket, military coat, duffel coat, pea coat, and trench coat are just a few examples.


The military coat, which was first made as a part of the military uniform is a common pieces of outerwear for both men and women today. The most popular version is the 1965 field military jacket, which you can see in stores like Gap and Zara.

Likewise, the trench coat was specifically made for soldiers living in the trenches full of muck. Thomas Burberry created these coats and was asked to chemically finish them with waterproof repellent for the soldiers. Today you will see many versions of trench coat, whether in different colors or styles.


As for bottoms, khaki trousers and cargo pants largely stem from a military background. The first wave of popularity for khaki trousers came about in the 1960s when American soldiers would return home from combat and visit college campuses. So many students at this time were seen wearing khaki trousers, and the trend has continued for decades.

Another influential military item is combat boots. Combat boots were and are one of the most, if not the most important part of a soldier’s uniform. Soldiers depend on their combat boots to be able to last through rugged terrain. What then was a vital part of soldier’s uniform has now become a popular, everyday street style trend.


Some other trends that began in the military, are camouflage, Ray-bans, and watches. What once held strictly functional uses are now viewed as decorative touches to an overall look. Who knew that so many of the popular trends we see today derived from the military? Now when you see some of these items, you’ll recognize the history behind them.

Esprit Westbrook, '20

A creative and determined, young woman of God who hopes to one day change the world through international traveling and the intelligence behind the fashion merchandising industry