Learn all about the history of the military jacket, when it has been on-trend in fashion, as well as everything you need to know about styling a military jacket.
The military jacket, also known as a military coat is a form of outerwear and can be worn by men or women. Military jackets were originally designed in the 17th century as military uniform but just like the trench coat, this garment has evolved into a modern day wardrobe must-have! With its eccentric design elements, including flamboyant buttons and intricate embroidery details, military coats can vary in appearance. Some have a cropped waistline, whereas other designs may feature a longer hemline that sits just above the knee.
What is a Military Jacket?
The military jacket as its name suggests, started out as uniform worn by the military which was first invented during the 17th century. In my personal opinion, the military jacket is one style trend that I feel never truly goes out of fashion. This may mean that it reappears in another collection not too far in the future or sometimes an element of the design such as its prominent buttons may make its way into the design of another type of garment, such as the blazer jacket – creating another unique form of jacket in the process.
Military Jacket Fashion Trends
Designer: Inspired by 18th century military uniforms, it was first made famous by Yves Saint Laurent and famously worn by influencer John Lennon.
John Lennon was known for making military jackets popular in the 60s. These military jackets were the khaki combat style. The Beatles also made military jackets popular during the sixties when the four band members wore satin military jackets in the colours blue, red, chartreuse and pink for their 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
YSL also had a huge influence on the military jacket trend when they released their “Saharienne jacket” also during the 1960s.
Later on in the 80s, military jackets came back into fashion but this time taking inspiration from 18th century Britain and France (worn by Michael Jackson/Adam Ant etc.)
During 2004-2006, military jackets returned again, this time with a more minimal, feminine appearance and were favoured by the likes of Sienna Miller and Kate Moss – feminine shape jacket, no embroidery, just a line of simple gold buttons. This season’s version mirrors the 18th century inspired jackets (also seen in the 80s) with plenty of embroidery and decorative buttons.
Styling a Military Jacket
Androgynous fashion items like this item of clothing are extremely fun to style, providing you with numerous outfit options and the opportunity to elevate a look from casual chic to elegant and sophisticated. The military jacket can serve as very universal, despite its rather extroverted appearance. Unlike a leather jacket, which don’t suit everybody’s body shape and facial characteristics, this jacket is a versatile staple that can be worn by almost anybody. Additionally, military coats will double up as a sophisticated and elegant form of outerwear similar to a blazer, as well as allowing you to dress them down to appear more casual or masculine.
Wear your military jacket open and unbuttoned with a simple plain t-shirt underneath for a cool, rock chic look. For a more groomed and feminine look, fasten the buttons of your jacket all or most of the way up. Usually in fashion, over accessorising a garment will devalue its overall appearance. Interestingly, despite the overload of detailed design features on military coats, they can be styled to look casual and laid back or glamorous and slightly formal. The pretty button detail and (on some designs) the lace trim on the sleeves and collar add a subtle touch of finesse which is why you should keep your jacket buttoned up to accentuate this if you wish to create a feminine, tailored style with your jacket.