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Classic Military Vintage Styles

Military fashions are ever more relevant in today’s postmodern fashion world. Historically, military styles have influenced mainstream fashion in many ways. For example, khaki pants were originally worn by the British Forces in India, “khaki” meaning “dust” in Hindi. Today, there is nothing about khaki chinos that seems military influenced at all, but if not for the military, dark blue, black, white and grey might still be the primary colors for men’s pants.

Other civilian fashions have a more obvious military heritage. The pea coat, a mainstay for those looking for understated class and style in a cold climate strongly resembles a service coat worn by a navy officer. In fact, the influence is strong enough that difference between an actual military coat and a pea coat is quite insignificant.

Military influenced clothing can sometimes be associated with a particular subculture, and carry with it the connotations and implicit messages of the values that subculture holds dear. These subcultures can carry widely differing messages. Even when referencing the same branch of the same military, one subculture might emphasize vastly different things than other. Although this is not a hard and fast rule, subcultures with more extreme political and religious ideals tend to gravitate towards the battle dress side of a military uniform, while more moderate and mainstream fashions tend to be pulled from the service dress uniforms or formal wear.

Generally, anything with camouflage pattern is worn in battle, and is also worn by more extreme subcultures. Service dress is worn by military personnel for formal occasions, and specifically any non-combat situation, and is the armed forces’ equivalent of a business suit. Because of this emphasis on formality, the polarizing messages that are often implicitly sent with the battle dress components are not sent, and the individual simply looks classy, in an understated and slightly patriotic way.

Top Rank Vintage has a wide selection of military coats and other clothing, the vast majority of which is sourced from the service dress side of the military uniform. This means that our clothing is neutral in message, and integrates well into a civilian wardrobe. Service dress based military clothing is conservative, durable wear that cuts across trends and fads, and remains continuously relevant. Vintage style is unique, yet not too much so as to be unusual.