Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown delivers the keynote address at the Surface Navy Association's 21st annual West Coast symposium on board Naval Base San Diego, wearing the haute coutoure black leather jacket Aug. 22, 2019. (Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall)
If crisp white dress uniforms and reefer jackets weren't enough, Navy surface warfare officers will soon be able to rock an additional item of standard-issue swag: a black, fully-lined leather jacket with a zipper front, knitted cuffs, knitted waistband and a pointed collar.
Starting this June, Navy SWOs can wear the jacket at sea or ashore, but only with their service uniforms, explained Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr., deputy chief of naval operations for manpower, personnel training and education in a branch-wide statement on Thursday.
The peacoat is a staple of maritime service as timelessly fashionable as it is warm. If you enlist in the Navy, you can get one from Supply for free; if you’re a civilian, you can head to an Army-Navy surplus store and pick one up for less than $100. Or, if you can only be warmed by unearned rank insignia and wool/cashmere blends made in Italy, there’s this $3,500 pea coat from Ralph Lauren.
Tactical gear — packs and clothes that are 90% pocket, camouflaged, and covered with straps and buckles — are all the rage among civilians right now. This should surprise no one given American society’s years-long love affair with “military-style” anything, but this trend has become especially egregious in recent years. Just take a look at how prevalent MOLLE has become.
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.
Boho female retailer Forever 21 has coopted the standard issue Army PT workout shirt and turned it into...um, high fashion? The shirt, which is an exact replica of the one soldiers wear but with a giant knife-slash down the back, is very expensive. It’s also very stupid.