How the Military Has Influenced the Fashion Industry


Not everyone can join the military. Nevertheless, each of us can wear the clothes and accessories that were inspired by the military forces. This way, we can showcase our appreciation for the troops and boost our looks at the same time.

There are many examples of popular clothing items with some ties to the US Navy, US Air Force, and other service branches, ranging from Ray-Ban aviators, combat boots, and bomber jackets to camouflage print, cargo pants, and neckties. If you would like to learn more about these elements and other ways the military has influenced fashion, feel free to read on.



Introduction to the US Military

The US military is one of the most important and influential organizations in the country. It is a part of the Department of Defense and comprises five branches, including the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard.

The military’s mission is to help the country be prepared for any potential threats and carry out operations when necessary. Thus, it has been involved in many conflicts throughout history. In fact, it was founded during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775.

The modern US military was formed in 1789 when the United States Army was created as a distinct organization within the government. Since then, other branches have been established and added to their ranks. It is one of the largest and most powerful armed forces in the world, with more than 2 million active-duty soldiers.

Because of its large size, there are many different types of jobs available in the US military. Each position has its rank and salary. There are also various benefits and rewards for service members that you can learn about here.


Fashion Driven by the Military

Throughout the years, fashion and style are greatly influenced by the military. That’s why we can see many elements that were first introduced and designed for military use on every street corner today. There is a vast selection of military clothing items that you can easily buy here. Let’s take a look at some of them.





The aviator sunglasses or Ray-Ban aviators had their roots in the 1930s and 1940s when this model was originally produced for airline pilots to protect them from sun glare while flying. However, they became very popular among civilians due to their stylish design. The original aviator glasses had thick frames and lenses with rounded angles like those seen on WWII fighter planes. The most famous aviator sunglasses were produced by Bausch & Lomb, which later became Ray-Ban. Today, this company is one of the most successful producers of sunglasses in America. Their aviator shades are still a favorite among celebrities and other people who want to add some personality to their everyday look.


Tank Tops

Tank tops originally emerged as inner tank-suit jackets that were worn under overalls or boiler suits (they were common among coal miners). These suits provided good protection from sparks and other conditions that might damage their clothes while working underground. During World War II, tank tops were issued as an optional addition to men’s uniforms in the army since they provided additional protection from snipers who had a habit of shooting at soldiers’ upper bodies when they came into view at the edge of trenches during combat.

Later, these garments were adopted by various sportsmen and people who needed something durable yet light enough for exercise or work outside in hot weather. Today, you can see tank tops worn by many different men all over the world, whether they’re playing baseball, golfing, or barbecuing hamburgers on their backyard grills, or simply relaxing at home.


Bomber Jackets

The original bomber jacket emerged in 1931 when American airmen commissioned a special type of coat that would protect them from harsh weather conditions while flying over open terrain at high altitudes. The first bomber jackets were made with several layers, including a quilted lining that provided warmth even when it got wet (which happened quite often during rain showers).

During World War II, they became widespread among US military personnel because they offered good protection from shrapnel and enemy fire while enabling soldiers to move freely during combat. In fact, they became one of the most iconic items of clothing within every branch of service, including the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, and Coast Guard.

After World War II ended, bomber jackets remained popular among civilians because they help keep people warm during cold seasons without being too heavy or restricting movement. Military jackets have been manufactured by numerous companies ever since, including Barbour International (UK), Apsley (USA), Canada Goose (Canada), and Alpha Industries (USA). There are countless variations on these jackets, but they all have some features that distinguish them from ordinary coats:


  • Ribbed collars
  • Zippered pockets
  • Elastic sleeve cuffs
  • Top-stitched seams
  • High-grade material like wool or leather
  • Bomber-style zipper pulls
  • Knit cuffs with inset buttons or tabs


Some people wear them as casual outerwear while others use them as sportswear for walking long distances or running outdoors during cold weather.

Bomber jackets are very versatile garments that can be paired with various styles ranging from casual to formal, depending on what else you’re wearing with them at that time. Overall, bomber jackets have become a staple piece of clothing for all fashion-conscious men who understand how important it is to look good while staying warm during any season.



Boots are a very popular type of footwear for men, especially those who work outdoors, whether they’re walking on rugged terrain or performing other activities. Military boots were developed in the mid-19th century when the US Army started searching for a new design that would be more suitable for soldiers who had to walk long distances and stay on their feet for extended periods of time. Thus, boots were made with strong leather uppers and rubber soles.

During WWI, all branches of service adopted the use of service boots with hobnail soles and low heels. They were used by soldiers throughout WWII and remained popular after the war ended.

Today, you can still see military boots used by soldiers around the world, although many have adopted the use of combat boots due to their weatherproof design. Boots designed for military use are usually available in black or brown leather and feature lace-up or zip-up closures for easy on/off.


The Bottom Line

Military clothing items, initially designed for soldiers, have been commonly used in everyday life. Army garments have also been an excellent reference to use for other purposes in the fashion industry. You can notice many people, from kids to seniors, wearing military outfits. Military-inspired clothes help people look stylish and show their deep respect to the soldiers and veterans.


Photo credits

1. Dami Adebayo on Unsplash

2. Dillon Kydd on Unsplash



You don't have permission to register