Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
In a bit of a style rut this season? One of this season’s hottest pieces for your wardrobe is the military jacket. Read our definitive guide on how to wear a military jacket without fail.
If there’s one thing that Kanye West and the military have in common, it’s jackets. Kanye based an entire Yeezy collection around them (as well as ordering custom ones for his Yeezus tour) and, is even credited with increasing bomber jacket sales over the past year.
Almost every menswear staple has its roots in wartime uniform, so what better way to update your wardrobe than with the classic military jacket? Trust us, it won’t leave your side for the next few years.
When it comes to military style jackets, the standard olive green bomber is without a doubt the first thing that hits people’s minds. While it’s a good way to kickstart your military affair, there are plenty more options out there. Take your pick from an olive or traditional black military jacket for a more subtle statement. But if you’re in the mood for an attention-grabber, opt for a colourful printed style.
Military jackets were designed with comfort in mind – a fact that still sticks to this day – and strikes the ideal balance between lightweight and heavy duty. You can throw them on for literally any occasion and can fit all your essentials in their many handy zipped pockets. There’s even a ‘pencil pocket’ on the left arm of the more classic designs; perfect for those Luddites without a phone.
Pair it with a denim shirt from Portuguese Flannel and some high-quality Hawksmill jeans and before you know it, you’re the most on trend guy around.
Sure, a men’s military jacket in khaki will give you that modern soldier vibe. However, to truly channel that look from the trenches, there’s nothing better than a bomber jacket. Bomber jackets are one of the original military jackets and get their names from, you guessed it, the aeroplane bomber in WWII.
Being an extremely popular and coveted piece of clothing, you’ll be able to find many different kinds of jackets in this style. For the colder temperatures, a quilted camo jacket or a bulky parka by Alpha Industries is what you need. Priced at £149, this bomber jacket is certainly one that you can count on having for a long time. They never go out of fashion either and have been worn by fighter pilots, punks and now nearly every man on the street. Make sure you invest in a decent quality one like the one below.
A Brit favourite, the Shearling jacket is a menswear dream come true. Ideal for a night out with its fur-lined collar and elasticated cuffs, you’ll be a step ahead of the pack when it comes to modern military wear. Tom Hardy, as you can see, is the biggest fan of the Shearling jacket. The ever classic Shearling jacket is a traditional men’s military coat that was used by pilots when they were at high altitudes.
The jacket’s easy shade of black means you can pair it with pretty much anything, like this simple white HUF T-shirt which is always good for giving off those effortless vibes and these dark wash jeans. You’ve got two simple options here: leave the leg or turn it up. If you opt for boots, it’s probably best to leave that leg where it is. Otherwise, feel free to roll on up especially if you top the look off with a classic pair of Dr Martens.
The great thing about waxed jackets is that they create a heritage look all by themselves. The waxed jacket is a favourite piece amongst almost all age groups and not many brands do it better than Barbour. Their commitment to creating great jackets, and their iconic waxed jacket, has meant that they are the brand synonymous with the style.
Nothing says ‘I just threw this together’ better than this outfit. And a casual feel is what we’re all after in the daytime. Start with this Barbour waxed military jacket and add a good flannel shirt underneath along with some dark jeans.
We have the US army to thank for the current onslaught of military style. The popular MA-1 flight jacket (otherwise known as the bomber jacket) was first issued to the US Air Force and Navy pilots in the early 1950s. By 1973, production had been outsourced to the godfather of bombers, Alpha Industries, who has continued to churn them out ever since.
Originally designed in an oversized style, today’s military jackets have grown slimmer with a much more flattering fit. God bless America.
How to Wear a Military Jacket
- Military jacket – the classic military jacket is an essential for your wardrobe. Pair it with heavy jeans and a denim shirt to bring back the vintage feels
- Bomber jacket – a staple that never goes out of fashion. This is versatile as well as stylish and can be worn with anything
- Shearling jacket – well worth the investment for those colder winter months, creates texture to your outfit as well as keeping you warm
- Waxed jacket – although not technically a military jacket, it creates a heritage feel that is as close to military as can be
On That Note
With military jackets, anything goes. Denim, T-shirts, trainers – I could probably list the entire contents of your wardrobe and it would all work. After all, it’s the little details that make a military jacket stand out. Whether it’s the colour, texture or lining, pick the one that catches your eye and wear it loud and proud.