Military Style Invades Fashion

Military dress has played a role in fashion for the last six decades; a book from Phaidon explores how

For a soldier, it must be hard to imagine why his clothes for barracks, battlefields or ceremonies would ever inspire luxury or high street brands.

Yet military garments have found their way into civilians’ wardrobes since the explosion of popular fashion in the 1960s. Military Style Invades Fashion, a new book from Phaidon written by fashion designer Timothy Godbold, explores this phenomenon.

Through essays and thematic chapters, the book looks at the context and meanings behind wearing military clothing. It picks up details such as pea coat coats and explains how they were originally intended for sailors with numb hands. Or why hippies chose to wear US Army khaki and camouflage to denounce the Vietnam War.

Military Style Invades Fashion also includes an introduction from the fashion author and historian Colin McDowell:

“It might seem that there is a clear contradiction at the heart of military clothing when co-opted into the world of fashion. While fashion appears to be concerned, above all else, with self-expression, freedom, and individuality, military dress tends to be about anonymity, the subordination of the self to the group, and adherence to often random rules. In fact, the two world are closer than might be expected.”