Military Trend Setters
We are proud to support our troops for a multitude of reasons. Their contributions to serve and protect allow us all to live a life of freedom to self-expression. It’s ironic however, that one very prominent, yet underappreciated, contribution our militaries have made is to the evolution of men’s fashion.
Many of the desirable elements that contribute to modern men’s elevated style aren’t “original” designs. Open a men’s fashion magazine and, if you know what you are looking for, you will see that many design features are taken from a variety of military attire.
From Medieval banquets to modern day military balls, the need for at least one stylish military dress uniform has influenced the desires of today’s “must-have” features. Interestingly enough though, many unique designs used in today’s fashion stem not only from formal military attire, but the essential safety elements of a combat uniform as well.
A couple of old school looks taken from the military uniform are WWI elbow pads, the gun patch, ammo pockets and the shoulder epaulets. These badass elements of clothing have seized the interest of trend seekers and are killing the game of fashion.
For over a hundred years, many countries have utilized elbow pads for various military uniforms. If you can imagine, there was a lot of crawling going on in WWI with soldiers trying to keep their heads low in trenches and crossing no man’s land. The aesthetically pleasing elbow pads we now see on many sport coats were originally used to help keep the soldiers from scraping their elbows raw. So while some might take this element of design for granted, remember, soldiers had their elbows wrecked before the evolution of elbow pads became an alluring fashion trend. You’re welcome.
The shoulder epaulets we see used in fashion today are not as eye popping or insanely huge as ones from one hundred plus years ago. The origin of shoulder epaulets goes back to the 18th century, in which they were used as insignia of rank in the military. These shoulder decorations have continued to develop to what we see today as the narrow strips of fabric that garnish the collars of men’s jackets and button-downs. A casual look can be accomplished when epaulets are paired with chest pockets with either a short or long-sleeved shirt. They are also a great feature to have with a more tailored look due to their ability to alter one’s appearance to enhance shoulder width and fullness, thus increasing confidence in posture and stature. However, of all the fashion influences evolved from military uniforms, modern shoulder epaulets are better left understated and always avoid being paired with cargo pants (unless you’re going on a safari).
The realm of military fashion is continuously influencing the modern look men strive for. It’s one thing to be provided the support of freedom of expression by the military, but it’s a bonus to be given the influence for a professional or casual ensemble. Evidently, in the war of fashion, the military is an excellent ally.