Military Inspiration

20130402-155052.jpg

The military influence has been well documented over the years. From avant-garde catwalk pieces to those that we like to label ‘timeless wardrobe essentials’, the forces have had a major part in shaping the cut, colour and cloth of many items in menswear. After the look went through a relatively reclusive period, military has succeeded in establishing itself as big an influence as ever for AW12.

20130402-155302.jpg

Definitively masculine, the military aesthetic creates a diverse look that can lean on the side of rugged or maintain a strict sharpness about it. Among the key pieces: military-inspired outerwear such as the trench, duffle, aviator and peacoat, as well as tough footwear options and striking detailing – from epaulettes to buttons.

20130402-155407.jpg

Whatever your preference, you can guarantee that a coat inspired by the military forces will be a timeless and versatile classic worthy of investment. The trench coat, for example, offers a great option for the morning commute when rain is a perennial problem. It also doubles as a suitable casual coat to bring sharp lines and a strong silhouette to a dressed down denim and knitwear combination.

20130402-155449.jpg

Winter looks built around military boots appeared to have met an untimely end a year or two ago. As a footwear option, however, there is nothing wrong in resurrecting them for a second wind. A strong military-inspired boot is a surefire way to revitalise and refresh your current footwear selection, and doubles up as a sturdy way to combat the treacherous conditions the winter season brings. Avoid pairing them with formal wear or suiting at all cost; the clash of styles is just too extreme.

20130402-155557.jpg

Incorporate olive into your wardrobe as a modern neutral, much like you would khaki, grey and navy. Olive mixes well with other autumn tones such as burgundy and camel while also contrasting beautifully against colours like orange, red or yellow for an altogether more striking look.

20130402-161016.jpg

Finally, hard wearing materials such as canvas (watch straps or bags) or metal (button detailing and jewellery) will only help emphasise the rugged and durable qualities that military wear is renowned for.

20130402-160121.jpg

Original article by Alex Woodhall here.

Advertisements

Desert Boot Guide

20130217-173541.jpg

Regardless of whether you know what you’re talking about or not, it should be drilled into you that your shoes are arguably THE most important part of your wardrobe. You wear them everyday, they protect your feet from all sorts of nasties and they make a big statement about your image and your personality. They should be one of the first things on your list.

For both the initiated and uninitiated the desert boot is the prefect choice. To use a much overused cliché, they’re so easy to dress up and down, looking just as good with a plain tee as a button down and tie. The soft lines and material means they blend seamlessly within a variety of outfits and the choice of colours offers a huge amount of choice.

I would suggest desert boots to anyone in a heartbeat. They have history and they are a timeless classic that will never, and I mean never, go out of fashion; they are above trends and ‘the next big thing’ and they should definitely be a consideration for your wardrobe.

20130217-173617.jpg
The Origin of Dessert Boots
During the Second World War, Officers of the British Eighth Army stationed in Egypt took to wearing, in their off-duty hours, simple, comfortable, roughly-fashioned crepe-soled suede boots handmade in Cairo’s Old Bazaar. The straightforward, lightweight design of these boots, partly inspired by Indian chupple sandals and Dutch Voortrekker boots, captured the imagination of Nathan Clark, of the famous Somerset family of shoe manufacturers, when he encountered them while on military service in Burma in the late 1940s.
As soon as he could, Clark set about producing his own version for public consumption. Another possible influence may have been the Chukka boot, popular at the time, whose appearance was not dissimilar.
Early samples failed to generate much interest. But then the Chicago Shoe fair of 1950 saw the US launch of the Clarks Desert Boot in that classically clean, two-eyelet form which has lasted unchanged to this day. The new boot went down well. During these immediate postwar years, when casual footwear was still a relatively novel concept, the informality of the desert boot, akin to that of Levis jeans or the Converse sneaker, held a distinct appeal for several of the decade’s emerging youth subcultures. The French, Italians and Japanese all came to love their Clarks lace-ups.

20130217-174056.jpg
Light coloured suede desert boots look fantastic with dark denim, the two tones playing off each other perfectly. Keep the jeans slimmer and you create a refined silhouette which avoids swamping the shoes. Above all, keep things simple. You won’t ever go wrong with a simple but well considered outfit. Basic colours, a good mix of textures and the proper fit will make more difference than plastering yourself in all the bells and whistles.

20130217-175307.jpg
One downside to the traditional desert boot is the material; suede isn’t particularly fond of water, snow, ice, dirt or pretty much anything that isn’t sun and dry weather (which it still isn’t particularly fond of, as sun makes suede colour fade), so they aren’t necessarily the perfect choice for winter. The answer is to invest in a leather version.
Should your style be of a more formal disposition, your desert boots will work great with a pair of tailored trousers.

20130217-174316.jpg
Coloured chinos are a great addition to any wardrobe, stick to autumnal colours like greens, reds and duskier yellows and you’ll find them to be surprisingly versatile. Just the thing to add a shot of colour to any outfit.
Our weather can still be a bit inconsistent so wearing a jacket rather than a coat could well keep you from sweating your innards away. Throw on a denim jacket over a simple tee and you’ve got yourself a good base to work from; layer up with an over shirt or some fine knitwear.
One thing to remember when you’re choosing your desert boots is that different colours can be just as versatile as brown, so try a navy or a green for something a little different.

20130217-174648.jpg
Original article by Will Colman here.