Your last line of defence against cold: the bomber, the souvenir jacket, and overcoat
Photography: Glen Montgomery + Rex Features | Styling: Akim Jardine
The reason why military style will survive in your wardrobe forever has got to do with more than mere aesthetics. Every single item has been thoroughly stress-tested under fire, and so if this functional gear is tough enough to stand up to the demands of war, it can definitely take whatever punishment you’re able to put it through. And while cultural appropriation seems to be the topic on everyone’s twitter feed these days, you can confidently rock whatever military gear you want without worrying about some peacenik pushing a daisy under your epaulettes.
We exhausted our Top Gun references when we wrote this piece on why the bomber jacket takes our breath away. However, the simple shape and lightweight construction means that the 90s style icon is still a key style this season and the go-to jacket for A/W17 is the same, upgraded with the type of detailed embellishments that hark back to when American GI’s had their service jackets decorated in Vietnam.
Stylist's tip: Because most airplanes in World War 1 were convertibles, pilots needed to wrap up in functional leather coats with high wraparound collars, wind flaps, snug cuffs, snug waists and a fur lining. This is a seriously warm jacket.
An overcoat can take on many different forms, like the trench coat that dates back to 1853 and the Crimean War, later updated by Thomas Burberry whose modifications to the large-lapelled officer’s raincoat in 1901 included a patented cotton garbardine fabric. The pea coat dates back even further, made popular in the 16th century by the Dutch navy, their double-breasted wool coats easily modified depending on the region in which they were sailing to. We like the name ‘greatcoat’ as it has the ability to make men look really great. Look out for something that has a similar configuration to what Napoleon Bonaparte liked to stick his one hand into: double-breasted and a length that falls past the knee.
Stylist's tip: There are plenty of variations in length, colour, fabrications and fastenings. So while the cut is traditional, you can really push the boat out when it comes to modern updates.