Did I scare you for a minute there? I’m sorry. The draft is no joking matter. Neither are our current military controversies. The military has been everywhere in the news lately – the Obama Administration appealed the stay on DADT, Lt. Choi attempted to re-enlist, the possible war with Iran, constant, near-daily drone strikes in Pakistan, 90% of the victims of which are civilians, and the State Dept. announcing a massive sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
In less troubling news, though, the military is also showing up all over the runways…again! The military trend has been going strong for a while now and it’s not showing any signs of fading out.
Coats and jackets are the most obvious go-to pieces if you want to incorporate the military style into your existing wardrobe. But they’re far from the only option, and if you’re looking to tackle this trend without going overboard, there are lots of other articles of clothing that can inject some of that into your everyday style in a subtler way.
First, let’s take a look at sweaters. I pulled some sweaters that are military-inspired, some more so than others, in varying price ranges. Just click on the image to purchase the piece, as always.
Ooh, this looks so comfy. This is a wool and cashmere blend from Nordstrom’s. Here, the dual buttons, patch pockets, and lapel add a militaristic look to the piece.
A more cost effective option from ASOS. It’s double-breasted with those cute buttons and a cowlneck. Not bad. Certainly no wool and cashmere blend, but at that price, eh.
I really like how the military look was incorporated into this turtleneck sweater: just those cute buttons on wide banded cuffs and the vertical lines on the actual body of the sweater. Simple and understated but definitely on-trend.
This feels almost like cheating because…um, it’s a vest. A military vest. There’s a certain obviousness to it. But sweater vests are still functional in their own way, especially if you’re too warm in a sweater or it just won’t work over your outfit.
Technically, this is called a ‘pullover,’ but it’s just a short sleeved sweater with epaulets. And I just like how it looks. I might layer it with a lace-trimmed camisole over black trousers and pumps, just to mix up the tough military style with the soft, feminine lacy look.
Anthropologie always adds a fun twist to already trendy pieces (although some of their stuff is totally ordinary-but-overpriced). I love the colorful stripes they wove in with this double breasted military cardigan look. How fun.
It’s not difficult to find military inspired tops, either, if you’re not really into sweaters.
This is from Express. I know Corporette is all LAWYERS SHOULDN’T SHOP AT EXPRESS but I think that’s ridiculous. I’m all for us not wearing totally skin-tight, low cut things to work every day, but if something fits you fine, you shouldn’t have to dump it just because you found it at Express, nor should you feel pressured to only buy it if you can find it in a size larger than your actual size. More on that in a later post, I guess.
This one’s an oversized top, military inspired and silky, and that’s why I like it – I love combining the more masculine military style with feminine fabrics like silk.
And we’re back at Anthropologie for this cute, sparkly top for your casual days. Again, I like little details like the slight sparkle and the color pink, which soften up the military look.
Now, I have to admit, I was skeptical when I started poking around for military dresses for you all. I thought they’d be double breasted, top to bottom buttoned, shoulder padded nightmares. To be fair, a lot of them were. But some of them turned out to be entirely work appropriate.
This Kenneth Cole dress is subtle in its military inspiration (and now that I look at it, I wonder if it’s a little too short, since I usually try to play it safe for everyone by sticking to just-above-the-knee dresses, but I think it’s fine, use your personal judgment). It’s structured and double breasted, and made from merino wool, meaning it will be pretty warm and cozy, since merino wool is spun in such a way that the fibers have little pockets of space between them that really help trap body heat.
Aaaand we’re back at Anthropologie. I just can’t get away from that place. This pleated dress is reminiscent of fatigues with the long sleeves and details.
This Trina Turk “Brigadier” dress is none too subtle about its fashion roots, but it’s still pretty cute. Plus, that fatigue/olive green shade is one of the most versatile colors: it goes with everything!
Let’s move on to skirts, shall we?
Pretty and simple: a military-inspired pencil skirt.
I love this Vivienne Westwood skirt. Love, love, love. I love the tweed/herringbone, I love the color, I love the cute, I love everything about it.
Do you prefer long skirts? Here you go!
And finally…the accessories!
I’m not a big fan of hats personally, but that’s because I’m pretty sure I look weird in them. They’re just not for me. But I’m sure some of you will like these military hats in different fabrics: wool, tweed, twill…
Need a new belt? Try this one from J.Crew.
If you’re curious about military inspired handbags, here are a couple:
If you’re looking for shoes that are hot on this trend, they’re easy enough to find. Some of them were pretty blech, though, and some of them were only ‘military-inspired’ because they were military green, but here are some of the choices out there. I’m not wild about all of them, but I’m putting them up anyway for you to peruse.
And there you are! Tons of pieces that will add some military flair to your wardrobe – that is, if you like to keep up with current trends. Don’t feel bad if you were reading this thinking, I couldn’t care less! because I’m with you. I very rarely dress for trends. Mostly because I live under a rock and by the time I get around to clearing my schedule enough to go shopping and actually buy something trendy, the trend is over and about to hit Canada. So I’ve pretty much given up on all that.