Introducing a new fashion series here on NLU, where I give you the readers a look into my personal wardrobe along with look into the closet of some of my good friends. I believe this will give readers a chance to see fashion theory and a lot of what Masculine style talks about in practice in normal everyday surrounding. At the end ‘ll try and name the brands, give a price point (to the best of my memory) and link to wear you can find some of the stuff on your own. That way you get a picture of the total cost of the outfit for budgeting purposes. First an introduction from Masculine Style
One of the easiest ways a man can dress in a more masculine fashion is by embracing clothing that pertains specifically to male-dominated areas. And for that, where better to look than the military?
If you take the time to type in “military jacket” to google, you’re going to get a myriad of options and results. These can range from leather, shetland-wool bombers, to wool toggle coats. While all of these are great, there is nothing quite so versatile as the fatigue jacket.
First introduced in 1943, these jackets were made to be worn in tough situations. In face, that’s where the term “fatigue” comes from. The military had two types of uniforms: dress – which was used for situations like awards and parades, and combat – which was worn for almost anything else. “Fatigues” became the nickname for battle uniforms and stuck with these jackets as they progressed into civilian life.
While many servicemen wore these after having done their tours, they didn’t become ubiquitous until the 70’s when they could be found for pennies on the dollar at Army Navy surplus stores. Add to that, images of anti-war protestors, civil rights activists, and popular media figures like Travis Bickle, and the fatigue jacket became a staple of the 20th century. As a result, you can invest in one of these knowing full well that’s it’s something that will still look good 20+ years from now. Masculine Style
In 1976 Scorsese’s Taxi driver dropped starring Robert De Niro as a mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran driving around a taxi at night and talking to himself. Besides the great performance the other thing about the film was how De Niro rocked his army fatigue jacket with such swag that the jacket almost became a character in and of itself. It instantly became a fashion movement for the remainder of the decade. As the war was over in 1975 men in military jackets were common sight but I have a feeling because of this movie average guys and hipsters of the day soon adopted the look as a statement of rebellion. To my memory one doesn’t have to look any further than to spot the OG hipster Woody Allen rocking one in 1977’s Annie Hall.
Now a days the fatigue jacket seems reserved for homeless guys begging for change in Georgetown and hipsters like Ted Mosby. But don’t get it twisted for certain fit men who can walk with a certain masculine stride this can be a powerful versatile jacket to own. Every fashion label comes out with their own interpretation of the military fatigue jacket every couple of years. From high end designers like Dolce and Gabbana to the common mall stores like Armani Exchange and even Guess (if you choose to shop there). Today’s brand goes back to the the 1970’s era and puts their own spin on things. Making them slimmer and more versatile.
Having two stepfathers that were both in Vietnam I know how one is supposed to look on a guy and I’ve seen first hand swag of a military guy who knows how to carry it off. After being patient and looking for some time, last season I found a great one at Diesel. The Wedo Cord Jacket. The many silver buttons, the perfect sized pockets and arm pockets to store things like camera’s, cell phones, condoms, a few Slim Jims, gum, airplane bottles of whiskey, you know the stuff every guy needs on a night out. The double draw strings to make it more form fitting and less oversize “bummy” looking. The large collar that buttons up all the way to the top on extra cold/ snowy nights but on not so cold days looks stylish when undone and left open. The two tone green. It was perfect. I saw it in early winter but waited till it went on sale at ASOS for something like $250 (originally around $450) if memory serves me correct.
(Chinatown to go see Argo)
This year the jacket has quickly become my go to grab and dash jacket while running errands during the weekend or if I know that late afternoon trip will turn into meeting up with friends later for drinks. I’ve received a few compliments from the ladies as well so I know it’s on point. But what I didn’t expect was how easily I could work this into my office look. Sometimes I don’t feel like suiting all the way up and because of the fit and fashionable look of the Jacket I wear it into the office and it still goes with everything.
There are many things to think about when buying a military jacket. Of course fit is the most important. I bought mine one size bigger than usual because in the winter I go from 169 to 183 so I have to be able to move around in it. Again though if you get one that stylish you get to wear it around from the office, around town and even a casual first date. Once you find one you’ll wonder what took you so long to get into it.
If you wanted to Swag Up this look even further aviator sunglasses would be an excellent addition to the outfit and increase the military look your going for. I would suggest the Cromwell Brushed Sterling from Warby Parker my favorite brand out right now.
All pictures of myself taken by the talented Candy Sandwich
Jacket Diesel Wedo Cord Jacket, $250 (on sale) from ASOS.com
V-neck T from Express, $20
Jeans Levis Matchstick $64 on sale (No longer in stock) Levis.com
Shirt Express $60
Green skinny tie Express $40
Pants part of United Colors of Benetton suit $150
Sunglasses $145 at Warby Parker