Tips for Nailing Your Military Inspired Fits
All opinions about the Military aside, there is one thing that is undeniable: they have a unique and identifiable style. Characterized by utility, durability, and prestige, military clothing values function over form and tends to feature thick cotton fabrics, lots of pockets, and earth tones. However, perhaps the most important part of the military look is how it is worn: tucked in everything. This makes the overall look sleek, organized, and efficient, just like the military strives to be.
Now before you go running off to enlist in the ROTC, remember that this is about military inspired fits. You don’t need your very own uniform hanging in your closet, because military style has made a huge impact in the fashion world and can been seen in malls and runways alike. Even military supply companies such as Alpha Industries and Rothco are sold in Urban Outfitters these days, so there shouldn’t be too much trouble finding some garments for yourself. There are many components of military style than can be introduced to your wardrobe, so let's go through them, starting at the bottom and going up.
If you wanted to, you could get a pair of combat boots that are Marine tested and approved, which can range from around $140 to over $300. However, for a military inspired outfit, any tall, slim lace up boots will do. If you want to flex a bit more, Yeezy has released many combat boots over the years in many of the different military colors, including camo. A more versatile option would be some Doc Martens, which can easily be implemented in other outfits in your wardrobe. If you are on more of a budget, there are more affordable options from the likes of Zara or your local Big 5. You can also get a used pair on Ebay for a fraction of the price.
For the pants in a military inspired fit, there are really only two things that matter: they can’t be too skinny, and they should be tucked into the boots. If these are both checked off, there will be no doubt where the inspiration for your outfit came from. Although not totally necessary, having cargo pockets will also help sell the look. Using typical military colors (black, green, brown, and any variation of those colors) would be more authentic, but any color can look good. Rothco offers a wide variety of military pant styles and patterns for reasonable prices, and thrift stores are also always a good place to look.
Any tactical looking belt will really complement a military fit. You can go for the classic canvas web belt, or get something more flashy such as a grommet belt. This is also a great place to accessorize for the hypebeasts out there, because an Alyx rollercoaster belt or Off-White Industrial belt is a good high-end option.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about shirts except they should be on the tighter, fitted side, and also need to be tucked in (because how else will everyone see your cool belt?). Any military color will be safe, but you can always go outside of the box if you want to incorporate some other colors into your outfit.
There are a variety of jackets that will work well in a military inspired outfit. Heavy cotton and denim jackets with multiple pockets look great, and an oversized fit complements baggier pants really well. Bomber jackets are another option if you want to give off an Air Force vibe. For a tactical look, jackets with many contrasting zippers or use of straps will do the trick. A quick google search of military jackets will yield options of many price ranges.
There are a couple hats that I would recommend. First is the cadet hat, which is similar to a dad hat but is more cylindrical and usually has a shorter brim. It is pretty basic, but improves the military look. Second, there are berets, which give off huge military vibes so be careful not to pair this with too many other military inspired items, or you might be mistaken for an actual soldier. Lastly there are boonie hats, which give a more laid back look to your outfit. Rothco (as always) has many variations of these three for purchase.
When it comes to military inspired fits, jewelry can really shine. I think silver jewelry would look the best, but really any color of necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc. will improve your look. You can also include gloves or bandanas, and if you want to further learn how to accessorize, you can read more about it here. There are also many backpacks and chest rigs that can complete the look if you can’t quite hold everything in your pockets.
Now, an important disclaimer when making your very own military inspired outfits: don’t overdo it. You don’t want people to think you are actually in the military, because that would come across as dishonest and, at least for me, a bit immoral. But including a couple elements of the military look into an outfit along with some other cool pieces of clothing is great. Military style has definitely had a big influence on my own sense of fashion, and it looks good on anyone when done well. So get out there, tuck in your pants, and get shopping.
Words by Andrew Powers