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Bob Hudson

Military uniforms influence on fashion

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I long ago learned to check the women's clothing racks at thrift stores when searching for vintage military uniforms at thrift stores. There are so many different kinds of women's clothing that mimics real military issue that something like a pair of vietnam jungle combat pants with its side tabs, various leg ties and it's OD color often ends up with the fashion stuff based on militaria.

 

I've wanted to start a thread about this for some time now and even took a couple of photos a few months ago. But while I procrastinated, the daugher of a forum member got an article published about this very same topic. Here's some excerpts - the full article with more photos is at http://pub.lucidpress.com/843d7b6b-9792-48dd-a8ad-2658c7166fe0/#iASHBhv6baof

 

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I did not have any stylin' models when I took some photos at thrift stores, but I did match a few fashion pieces with GI issue.

 

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Leg ties, side button tabs, pockets inside a cargo pocket, count the ways this was influenced:

 

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Good article. It's interesting how much (and how far back) fashion wanted to copy (or at the very least was inspired) by military issue uniforms and even equipment. I am sure many of us have been walking through a flea market or thrift shop, spotted a 'military' uniform, only to see it is actually a fashion piece. I used to see people (mostly ladies) coming into a militaria shop and a couple of surplus stores to buy for fashion wear. Surplus is not the sole domain of the grizzled hunter, or the bearded outdoorsman. Stuff that would have sat for years (or sold to an overseas rag mill), would be purchased by the fashion-minded and re-purposed into something that actually was an improvement; often requiring ingenuity beyond that usually seen in such stores.

 

It's a good way to reuse something. The funny thing, is that collectors tend to balk at the prices of some items, but as those with fashion experience well know, the stuff we can balk at is a true bargain compared to the prices of newly produced fashion pieces. Collectors don't want to pay the prices, but the fashion people recognize the added value and have no problem. Look at the WWII denim, it could be fairly hard to find. However the limited collector interest made the stuff almost worthless in the collector market for a very long time. Fashion has no problem paying what it is worth, so it sells to them, and most sellers don't waste time trying to sell to a collector who only wants to pay 1946 surplus prices.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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I do believe there are two instances where civilian fashion influenced military fashion.

 

Let see, lets test your Military History knowledge, what were they?

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How about this 1986 movie jacket from Aliens, the cut is scarily close to the current USMC shirts and the colours are very much a nod to Multicam/scorpion, not bad to say a 30'odd year old movie prop was way before it's time.

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I do believe there are two instances where civilian fashion influenced military fashion.

 

Let see, lets test your Military History knowledge, what were they?

I think ones the British desert boots that were used during WW2 that were copied from civvi ones. I think the other was waxed Barbour jackets

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I think ones the British desert boots that were used during WW2 that were copied from civvi ones. I think the other was waxed Barbour jackets

Wasn't aware of that, but I wasn't thinking about those B2z, something else.

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This is the time of year to hit the thrift shops to find some militaria being passed off as Halloween costumes. Yesterday's run did not yield any real military, but I did find this Ralph Lauren fashion piece that turns out to be worth about $100 or more on ebay. Lauren's DENIM & SUPPLY brand produced these in many variations, many of them looking more like Sgt Pepper or the Marine band than anything.

 

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Interesting that they chose to copy the pre-1941 USN buttons. You should take some photos of the front and back of a sample button and post it in the button section for reference. People have been told before that there were 'modern' made pre-1941 regulation style buttons, but wouldn't believe it.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Interesting that they chose to copy the pre-1941 USN buttons. You should take some photos of the front and back of a sample button and post it in the button section for reference. People have been told before that there were 'modern' made pre-1941 regulation style buttons, but wouldn't believe it.

 

I'll have to get some photos of the backside to see if they copied old backmarks.

 

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I do believe there are two instances where civilian fashion influenced military fashion.

 

Let see, lets test your Military History knowledge, what were they?

Lets see, two instances where I believe civilian fashion influenced military fashion. These would be I.m thinking in the late 18th early 19th Century, and this would be hair, most armies in Europe and here in America do away with either wigs or long grown hair, the latter, being clubbed or queued, and on special occasions, powdered, one's that don't do it right away say, the Russians, will do so in short order. This being because of the change in fashion, men start to go away from wigs and growing their own hair long, side burns right, that becomes a popular feature at this time. Then there is the military coat, reflected in men's fashion changes, high choker collars, waist high with cutaway tails, unlike the previous items men wore, long skirts, broad , or narrow flat or stand and fall collars.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1795%E2%80%931820_in_Western_fashion

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Not just styles but camo patterns too. This kid's shirt is heavily influenced by 'tiger stripe' I'd say.

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My boss walked in wearing an outfit that looked exactly like a Wave searsucker jacket. The only difference was notched lapels instead of rounded


Home Alive in 45

WWII Research

Website coming soon

2 million Army and AAF names and counting!

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More from Ralph: it's called the "ADMIRAL'S BLAZER" but it has enlisted sleeve insignia. Notice the rating is a WWII era Emergency Service Rating with the "R" for Recruiter.

 

You can get one on sale for just $714.

 

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Looks just like the USN CPO service dress white coat that was discontinued in 1974.. Patch pockets, 8 buttons, and I'd wonder if the rating badge has RL brand as the specialty mark

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I'd wonder if the rating badge has RL brand as the specialty mark

 

Think you're right: the R looks a little off center, so that would make sense if it was "RL".



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For the collector, a little bit of a caution with that fashion piece.. Looking at the 1948sh to 1975 style of the rating badge, somebody has the template and the ability to continue to manufacture older style rating badges. May be something to think about if a sudden glut of WW2 style rating badges suddenly appear on the market place..

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More from Ralph: it's called the "ADMIRAL'S BLAZER" but it has enlisted sleeve insignia. Notice the rating is a WWII era Emergency Service Rating with the "R" for Recruiter.

 

They also have a couple of officer style blazers (one with UK style rank) that have labels inside that are clearly inspired by real WWII-era USN uniform labels. The wording is different of course, but one even has an 'NXsx' number.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Think you're right: the R looks a little off center, so that would make sense if it was "RL".

I would of loved t see a new-ish member get a hold of a loose example of this RL rate and post it as an unknown, chances are even the more experienced Rate guys would of paused a bit and figure what it was, maybe even thing for a bit that it is a heretofore undocumented rate :lol:

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