This original article was first published here: The History of the Military Jacket: From Battlefield to Fashion Statement
The military jacket has a long history that has seen it evolve from a functional garment designed for soldiers to a popular fashion item worn by people of all ages and walks of life, both men and women.
There are several types of military jackets, each with unique features and characteristics. However, one of the most known is undoubtedly the M-65 Field Jacket, equally durable and functional, with features like multiple pockets, sturdy zippers, and often a camouflage pattern.
The M-65 field jacket has a durable outer shell made from cotton sateen, nylon, or a blend of the two, designed to withstand rough conditions and protect the wearer from the elements. Inside is a removable lining, typically made from quilted material, that provides additional insulation and can be taken out in warmer weather. Traditionally hidden in the collar is a hood that can be drawn up over the head for extra protection.
The M-65 field jacket has several pockets, including two large front pockets, two breast pockets, and two lower pockets, a front zipper and button closure for added security, usually covered with a flap, and adjustable cuffs and waistband that allow the wearer to customize the fit for comfort.
This classic military jacket was introduced in 1965 and was widely used by the US military during the Vietnam War. It was also worn by soldiers during the Cold War, particularly in the 1980s, issued as part of the standard uniform and by and large worn in conjunction with other cold-weather gear.
The M-65 Field jacket resurfaced during the Gulf War in the 1990s, this time as part of a desert camouflage uniform designed to provide cover in the arid desert climate. It has also continued to be utilized in modern conflicts, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. After all those years in service, it’s evident that the design of the M-65 field jacket hit the spot proving to be as versatile and adaptable as it gets.
The M-65 field jacket has also gained popularity outside military circles, with civilians adopting the style for its rugged and practical appeal. It has been featured in many movies and television shows, worn by characters ranging from soldiers to rioters to fashion-conscious urbanites, helping cement its place in popular culture. On the wave of the anti-war movement in the 1960s and 1970s, the jacket also became a symbol of counterculture and was often worn by rebels and nonconformists.
The streetwear community was the first to embrace the M-65 field jacket due to its hardy and utilitarian aesthetic. Still, it has also made appearances on the runway and in high fashion collections, with designers reimagining the jacket using myriad materials and colours, giving it a fashionable twist.
Ralph Lauren has included the M-65 field jacket in several collections, often giving it colourful linings, high-quality materials, and luxurious, high-end pieces. In Alexander McQueen’s fall/winter 2010 collection, the M-65 field jacket was paired with edgy, futuristic pieces for a bold, urban look, and Marc Jacobs’ spring/summer 2011 collection saw the M-65 field jacket paired it with feminine, floral dresses for a contrast of styles. Versace and Gucci have also used the M-65 field jacket in some of their lines, with the latter matching it with high-waisted, wide-leg pants.
Also, celebrities have incorporated the M65 field jacket into their personal style in all sorts of ways. Brad Pitt has worn it in many of his movies, including “Inglorious Basterds” and “World War Z.” David Beckham and Shia LaBeouf have been spotted wearing M-65 field jackets, and so is Kanye West, known for his love of military-inspired fashion. The famous rapper has been wearing an M-65 field jacket on several occasions, with a range of other items, from sweatpants to tailored suits. You can follow their example or create your own look. Whatever you choose, there are several options to consider.
The M-65 field jacket is often worn as a casual, everyday jacket due to its practical and versatile design and because it’s made from enduring materials developed to resist wear and tear and harsh weather. It’s also a genuinely comfortable garment with, in general, a generous fit. On top of that, the jacket has a number of pockets which can be helpful for carrying items such as keys, phones, wallets, and other essentials.
As with many military fashion pieces, the M-65 field jacket can be easily dressed up or down, making it suitable for varied occasions, not only hiking or day-to-day dog walking.
For a casual, laid-back look, match yours with jeans and a T-shirt or sweatshirt and add a pair of sneakers. Pairing the M-65 field jacket with chinos, a button-down shirt, and a pair of loafers or boat shoes will add a dash of preppiness to your outfit. For a more formal occasion, try putting together the M-65 field jacket with dress pants, a dress shirt or sweater, and a pair of dress shoes or boots. That will doubtlessly add a touch of edginess to your ensemble.
The M-65 field jacket is a practical and stylish choice for an everyday jacket suitable for various settings. Needless to say that its past is an integral part of its enduring appeal and it is a must-have item for any man’s wardrobe.
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