The military usually isn’t the first organization that pops into your mind when someone says “fall fashion.” Just take a quick look around the barracks at the boot Marines and junior soldiers rocking tucked-in polos with undershirts and sneakers for a night out at the local watering hole — not necessarily what you’d expect walking the streets of Madison Avenue. But the times they are a changin,’ and even the biggest brands want a piece of that warfighter style.
Introducing the Vintage Surplus Cozy Fleece Jacket from Urban Outfitters:
Screengrab via Urban Outfitters
There’s something strikingly familiar about this particular garment. Not sure if I’ve seen it paired with a high-waisted jean skirt before, but I’ve certainly seen it somewhere … Oh, that’s right:
New York Army National Guard soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 101 Signal Company, prepare to close off entrances to Interstate 287 in response to Winter Storm Stella at Camp Smith, N.Y., March 14, 2017.Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis
Urban Outfitters’ Vintage Surplus Cozy Fleece Jacket, which comes in at $59 and went on sale in late September, is essentially a vaguely stylish knockoff of the off-grey or coyote brown Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) Fleece Jacket issued to active-duty troops. While it’s certainly cozy, it’s not really vintage — more like the post-9/11 Central Issue Facility fall and winter catalog.
This is hardly the first time an apparel company has pulled inspiration from post-9/11 gear to produce something akin to combat chic, with Nike debuting a familiar — really familiar — set of new kicks in November 2016. But say what you will about seeing a piece of weathered combat garb on the clothing rack at Urban Outfitters: $59 is still a hell of a lot cheaper than a four-year enlistment — even if unit patches don’t come included with this particular jacket.
H/t to Lindsey Kibler for flagging this deadringer for Project Runway: Kandahar.