The legacy of those 1900’s designs is still evident in the fashion choices of today. The continued influence of Military Parade Jackets especially on jackets from thereon is undeniable. Some styles might have clear similarities which you can identify having their roots in military clothing.
If we have to take something from havoc by Napoleon Bonaparte that is positive then this could be the transformation of fashion. The main objective of the battles fought between 1803 and 1815 was to advance the French empire. And military dressing played a prominent role in it.
The soldiers of England, Prussia, and Russia had spectacular military outerwear due to which the monarchy of the states was obsessed with them. The impressive appearance is another great weapon in the arsenal of the involved powers.
You must be in shock. The fact remains that almost every Military Parade Jacket design has historic origins linking them back to military outfits. So, without further ado let’s shed some light on this matter and explore the extent of this influence.
The History Behind Them
A staggering two hundred years have passed since Napoleon put together La Grande Armée. Yet its echoes are still reverberating in modern-day men and unisex fashion. The gilded details of Vintage hussar Jackets, with braided epaulets and swords, have bled into the sartorial inventiveness of today’s designers.
The most unlikely candidate for this example is the formal suit. This could be called as the apparent but this also takes back to the dress uniform of the French and Russian military.
For the French soldiers, the Military Parade Jackets were single-breasted white and blue coats open at the front. Beneath it, they wore an ivory waistcoat, same-colored breeches, and shoes or boots with gaiters. Russians on the other hand flaunted a deep green double-breasted jacket with popped collars.
The Expansion of Military Style
Of course, the evolution period of Military Fashion happened over decades. It began when the military wear aesthetic started to infiltrate the clothing of civilians after the campaigns by Napoleon. Foreign fashion was a consequence of Europe being ravaged by war for at least two decades. Many tailors of the region perfected themselves in the cuts and designs when they dressed soldiers. Subsequently, these newly learned sewing techniques and styles seeped into ordinary people’s clothes
Apart from this factor, when soldiers of war settled back in society, they wanted some connection with their Military uniforms. It was a form of remembrance of their former days of glory. The most popular example of that was Beau Brummel. He was one of the greatest pioneering souls of men’s wear.
England was the focal point where fashion birthed from during that era. But the Russian and French armies were the major influence on dressing styles. The reason behind this was simple: Everyone loves the victorious side.
The French army with their Royal military jackets was the dominating power in the region until 1812. Once they retreated from Moscow after that, the Russian military became the top dog and inspiration for fashion. This was the DNA that ran inside the veins of 19th-century vogue and carried on to the present.
During the Victorian period, the single- and double-breasted jackets, were mimicry of Hussar-style Jackets. The cavalry officers of the Napoleonic era had the same high cut for the armholes in their uniforms. Fashion has always and still is derived from creative inspirations. The designers of old found the might of the reigning militaries inspirational and this set those styles in motion.
The Influence on Modern Fashion
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Men’s Military Parade Jackets took the form of their modern version. The look was also similar to the loungewear of the Victorian period, which was akin to sportswear back then.
Most military clothing has transformed quite a bit in the modern-day. However, the greatcoat is one of the few which remains mostly the same. Its shape and design have not changed much from how they were in its battlefield days in the 19th Century. Except for its name as we all know it as an overcoat today.
Originally the Military parade jackets had rows of elaborate gold braids and tasseled epaulets. The traces of it even seeped into women’s clothing from its early days. The braided trim and fur details present in military pieces were intermingled in the dressing of the fashionable 19th-century ladies.
The trend might have begun as a way to show solidarity with husbands in the military. Yet it was an undeniable fact that they also looked very flattering.
The brass and braids scattered through the designs were bold yet appealing. It was exciting to see them reworked in delicate dresses despite coming from a decidedly masculine outfit. But women’s Military jackets are still a favorite of many fashion-forward females.
Long after the end of the hussar battles, fashion and military blended again when a shop on Portobello Road, London. The store has antique military wear ready to purchase. Eric Clapton the rock star was first in line to buy followed by Mick Jagger and John Lennon.
A red Grenadier drummer’s jacket was chosen by Jagger and worn in the performance of Ready Steady Go. As celebrities have been the next most influential source of spreading fashion, the tradition went on.
The Iconic Vintage Look From the 1800’s Military Jackets
Jimi Hendrix who was himself a former soldier bought an antique hussar uniform back from the 1850s. One can see it in his most iconic photos, worn bare-chested and wild. The look was unique and worlds away from how it was originally worn ninety years ago.
At the same time, military jackets made an eye-catching appearance in the costumes of the Beatles. They were specifically designed for their brand as a mock Edwardian period fashion. The acid brightness of the outfits was a mischievous nod to the decline of a grand empire.
From there on, the various versions of the original pelisse became a rock and roll staple. Michael Jackson himself was an avid wearer of this fashion on stage. The King of Pop was always ready to play the part, with his royal scarlet costumes bedecked with braids and gold tassels.
Chris Martin, Rihanna, and Adam Ant have all worn variations of this style, adding more layers to Military Fashion history. Fashion designers from Givenchy to Lagerfeld have incorporated this design into their creations.
Wearing it now not only mirrors the regality of past days, but also a certain rock star-inspired hedonism.
Going back to the 1940s
Britain imposed regulations considering wartime, because of which clothing became boxy and less embellished. The fabric and style were formal. People also went with the formal style of pockets and did not like the idea of flapped pockets
As women also joined in the war, wearing the same uniforms as men, which made the design common later on. The youth of the subcultures embraced the utilitarian design when the war ended. In the ninety’s grunge and punk style, there is a hint of the gritty version of the version.
Drawing upon these inspirations, high and fast fashion regularly come up with new versions of Military Parade Jackets. This military outerwear was a perfect concoction of glitter and fatigue in the era of 2000s. The negative vibes that kept on rising with the glimpses of military outerwear faded away.
And camouflage prints and khakis are just other styles in fashion. Each fashion season new ways of reinventing military jackets come forth. The references to their historic origins are all blended to make a new look.
Though most of what filtered down from the past era military uniforms have seeped into formal attire. There are also casual influences of the clothing which are evident in modern fashion. The flight jacket and genuine men’s leather jackets all have roots in Airforce wear back from the early 1950s. The field jackets worn in WWII are now complete fashion-forward trending outfits.
Hence, if it wasn’t for military wear and its rich history of fashion, today’s clothing wouldn’t be so versatile. We have staples in our closet today which we don’t even recognize as military wear.
But most of them have strong roots in what the soldiers wore in their magnificent parades all those years back. Knowing about these historical origins gives these pieces a whole new meaning.