For the last few years, military jackets (or marching band jackets) have been slowly rising up the ranks towards trend-status. When the late, great Michael Jackson passed away earlier this year, their fate was sealed and the military jacket quickly surged to the top to become a major trend for fall/winter. After a brief mention in The Hot List: September 2009, we decided it was time to give military jackets the attention they deserve.
When asked, many fashion designers cite music as a key inspiration and Balmain designer, Christophe Decarnin, is one of them. Clearly ahead of the game, he sent several models down the Spring 2009 runways wearing Michael Jackson-inspired jackets with crystal embellishment, marching to the tune of vintage Madonna tracks.
When Balmain (bottom, right) sent the military jacket to the runways for Spring 2009, they let the jackets do the talking. Pairing each jacket with a set of distressed skinny jeans, from white to tie dyed versions, the jackets were undoubtedly the focus of the look. Stars like Beyonce, Victoria Beckham and Rihanna quickly tuned in to the trend and were seen out and about in a variety of Balmain jackets.
Earlier this year, the military jacket was a highlight during the Fall 2009 collections and both D&G and Haider Ackermann featured the look, though in very different ways. At D&G, they paired their version of the military jacket, complete with full-length sleeves, with a pair of cropped knit pants and round-toe pumps. At Haider Ackermann, they balanced the strong silhouette by combining the jacket with loose, flowing skirts and draped tops.
From skirts through to skinny jeans, one thing is for certain; the military jacket is versatile, making it perfect for the transition from fall to winter. From lightweight versions to leather looks, we’ve got you covered in October’s Trend Report.
For those that prefer to take their style cues from the runways, look to Balmain (bottom, right). Although the crystal embellishments give the jacket a nighttime feel, the distressed denim takes emphasis away from the jacket, which essentially tones down the look for day. For a similar look, we love BB Dakota’s Battalion Jacket ($79.99) from ModCloth paired with BDG’s Double V Tee ($16) in Reagan Grey. Add either the Carmen Super Destroyed Skinny Jean ($54.99) from Bebe or Rich & Skinny’s Super Skinny Jean ($73) to complete the look.
While you might favor celebrity style over runway style, when it comes to military jackets, even the stars are taking their inspiration from the catwalk. As we previously mentioned, three of our stylish celebrity muses have opted for Balmain military jackets.
Beyonce (top, right) has kept her look within the realm of Balmain’s original styling, with a simple tee and denim combo and a pair of strappy sandals. Grab a Basic Short Sleeve T ($5) from American Apparel and pair it with Levis 424 Straight Jean ($58) and these Strappy Wrap-Around Stilettos ($32.99) from Charlotte Russe. Try this look with the BB Dakota jacket we already mentioned or AKA New York’s Admirals Jacket ($325).
As always, Victoria Beckham (top, middle) keeps things classy, with a sleek black leather military-style jacket and a pair of tie dye skinny jeans (again, reminiscent of the Balmain’s runway look). Both Bebe’s Knit Inset Leather Military Jacket ($249) and Charlotte Russe’s Military Band Jacket ($34.99) will provide you with a stylish alternative to Victoria’s leather jacket. To finish off the look, we love these Members Only Storm Jeans ($99) in Black Wash.
Rihanna (bottom, left) has kept things simple with a denim military jacket paired with white shorts and a loose tee. BB Dakota’s Indigo Blue Marsh Jacket ($70) is perfect for the girl on a budget, while Current/Elliott’s The Majorette Denim Jacket ($348) is a pricier alternative. These Istanbul Shorts ($56) by Bop Basics and Bebe’s Multi-Tone Chain Necklace ($39) put the last touches on the look.
Our final dose of inspiration comes from Mischa Barton (top, left) who has set herself apart from the rest with her usual bohemian-luxe vibe, pairing a long military coat by Temperley London over a black mini dress and gold headband. This Military Coat ($72) by Rue Royale is a chic and colorful substitute. Add Free People’s Chain Link Headband ($24) for good measure.