Members of the military often face harsh conditions that cause unique challenges, some of which have been solved using innovative clothing. Some of these unique designs have proven useful and appealing to the general public as well, making their way into popular fashion. Below, you will find just a few examples of military garments that you might have in your own closet.
The U.S. military introduced the first official flight jacket in 1927. Fighter pilots faced extreme conditions, including bitter cold and precipitation, necessitating the development of a coat that could keep them warm and dry without restricting movement. Since their inception, flight jackets–or bomber jackets–have gone through many developments and iterations. Today, you can recognize them by their elastic sleeve cuffs, ribbed collars, and zippered pockets.
You can thank the British Military for cargo pants, a common loose-cut style with extra pockets on the hips. These were originally designed to allow soldiers to carry crucial supplies, such as first-aid kits and maps, more easily. It turns out the general public was excited by the extra pocket space as well, considering they are a popular style still today. Cargo pants are often associated with people who are active outdoors, and shorter versions have been adapted for casual wear.
Like bomber jackets, aviator sunglasses were invented for fighter pilots. Early designs had thick frames and rounded lenses intended to help reduce sun glare. Bausch & Lomb, producers of some of the most famous aviators, eventually became the well-known brand Ray-Ban. While Ray-Ban now sells a variety of styles of sunglasses, aviators remain a popular choice among consumers.
Boots have a long history in many different professions, but combat boots specifically can be traced back to military use. Combat boots are often made of leather, have low heels, and have either laces or zippers. These boots were intended to aid soldiers who had to walk long distances and be easy to take on and off.
Clearly, we can thank the army for several practical, stylish fashion trends. Do you have any of these military-inspired styles in your closet?