Getting into #armystyle – part 3

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So, here we are back again for part 3 of my #armystyle guide. If you missed the first instalment of this gripping series, you can find it here, this part covered a little background and gave you the simple rule of keeping the obviously army items to a single piece. Part two is here, and this part looks at what is obviously army of origin and how we can work around this limitation. This is part 3 and here I turn part 2 on it’s head.

Army style of look, but not of design

By this I mean garments that look like they may have an army origin, but it’s only looks. The garments themselves are of quite different designs. This could be something as simple as a t-shirt with a camouflage print or plimsolls in olive green ripstop fabric. There is no hard science at work here, so bear with me while I give you a few examples from my own collection.

Monitaly Mountain Parka “Army tent”

The mountain parka itself is a non-military jacket. Granted, somewhere deep in it’s DNA there is likely some army design influence, but today is is a outdoors jacket with a lot of utility value. Monitaly have done it in various fabrics, but none as distinctive as this one. By sourcing deadstock 1950’s vintage US Army tents and incorporating tent-features into the design, each jacket is unique in olive shades, markings and actual repairs. Looks army, isn’t actually army. Looks like it could be a field jacket, but much better. Lots and lots of pockets as well. We like pockets. Note, I have unbuttoned the extra tent pockets and bits on this photo.

Realm & Empire jacket

Realm & Empire enjoy an enviable relationshop with the IWM and get to mine their archives for inspiration. One of the more miliary-looking results of this is this jacket. Yes, olive colour strikes an armyc chord, but the style of the jacket is less so and the cotton fabric is a lighter weight than you might expect. Then you notice the pockets, with the distinctive pattern on them, the uniform style shoulders, and even two pockets on the rear, much like the Swedish army wool jacket. You could make this in a different colour and without the rear pockets and it would just be a quirky jacket, but as it is it looks like something that could have existed.

Lavenham jacket

Lavenham are known as masters of the quilted jackets. Usually orientated more towards the farming, horse-riding and hunting market, this one caught my eye in that it’s not obviously quilted, and the outside is a splendid olive ripstop fabric. Ripstop fabrics are again a very army thing, as is the olive colour, but I can’t recall ever seeing the army use a jacket looking like this. A very handy jacket it is as well, warm and easy to wear, either as a standalone jacket or a layer.

Maharishi jacket in DPM Harris tweed

Maharishi are a company I’m still trying to work out. On a first glance they appear to be making expensive streetwear. At a second glance they also upcycle a lot of army surplus material. Then they also describe what they make as “Pacifist Military Designs”, so you can hardly berate them for promoting army wear at all. In fact, the more I look into them the more I appreciate what they are doing. Also, the guy behind the brand, Hardy Blechman, has written the definitive tome on DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material aka camouflage patterns) and designs great alternative patterns such as the “British Bonsai Forest“. And the bonsai pattern is what we have here, printed on Harris Tweed and made into a jacket. This has to be an original idea.

 

So, three examples here. No doubt I’ll almost instantly see more, and I haven’t even looked at trousers or footwear. I’m not into cargo style pants, as the bulky thigh pockets tend to disrupt the silhouette of my legs (read this as: it doesn’t help a shorter guy to have super-bulked up legs). In shorts form this is especially bad, just say no to cargo shorts. Heck, do you really need to have that much kit in your pockets?

When it comes to footwear I think it’s more vintage army styles that may be interesting. And by vintage we’re looking at styles from around 100 years ago, such as these WW1 boots from William Lennon. Modern styles tend to be very utilitarian and technically orientated, which is all well and good, but much like Goretex, it’s not really a gentlemans style.

William Lennon “WW1 B5 Boot”

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5 Comments

  • Jack 26/05/2017 at 23:12

    You post some great stuff man!

    Reply
    • nick 27/05/2017 at 09:42

      Thanks, Jack!

      Reply
  • Ed 01/06/2017 at 09:13

    I’m a massive fan of the Realm & Empire jacket, so much so that I have it in blue too. The blue has received many positive comments. I’ve been pairing the green with a £4-from-ebay army surplus desert shemagh scarf, which is a lovely golden sand colour. Total convert to R&E!

    Love the site, by the way. Cheers!

    Reply
  • Realm & Empire 05/06/2017 at 16:21

    Cheers for the feature Nick! Great feature you’ve got going on here!

    Reply

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