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Attention! Most guys aren’t just marching around in leather bomber jackets anymore! Military-inspired style -- which has deployed utilitarian function, hardy fabrics, and a weirdly macho Michael Jackson vibe -- has taken command of men’s fashion.
Cargo pants are prominently deployed on the men’s fashion front. “They’re a good basic pant for the suburban off-duty business man, as well as a young active guy,” says Timothy Danser, vice president of marketing at Bagir International menswear. “It’s a good functional pant because it’s got those extra pockets you can throw all your gadgets in. I’d recommend Cabela’s, Carhartt, and Columbia as a few of the best brands in the cargo category.”
Don’t Worry … Get Khaki
“Khakis are perfect for when you can’t wear denim or when you want to dress down at the office,” says Danser. “There is a definite difference in the kind of khakis that a guy 18 to 25 is going to wear, and what an older guy is going to wear in the workplace,” says Danser. “The younger dude is looking for something a bit more relaxed and worn-in. That’s where the five-pocket pant comes into the picture. They are incredibly popular with younger guys and are a real fashion statement.” Danser orders you to take a look at Army-issue Bills Khakis linen pants for frontline samples of the five-pocket look.
Giving Cover: Outerwear
Military fabrics and style have also established a beachhead in outerwear -- most prominently in raincoats. A modern military style with lots of pockets, or a raincoat made of lightweight parachute fabric should command your attention. The belted Lauren Belted Edmond is a good option.
Hunt These Down: Safari Jackets
Safari jackets have long provided men with the “Big Game Hunter” look. “It’s an interesting jacket,” says Danser. “It takes the right guy to be able to wear it. It’s a bit more out-there and flamboyant, but great for a suburban guy.”
These jackets offer a range of choices, from the National Geographic modern safari jacket with shoulder epaulets, back pleats and underarm gussets (extra fabric) to increase freedom of movement; along with underarm grommets (open-air rings) for greater ventilation.
Others, like the Kenneth Cole Reaction black wool safari jacket , offer a more stylish assault to the senses.
Jackets Still Required
It’s time to send your old bomber jacket to the reserve closet. Danser says the leather jacket look has evolved into a more trim and high-end statement. “In the past, the leather jacket has had problems getting respect,” he says. “But now, they’re made more like suit jackets … more of a sportswear piece than an outer piece,” he says, referencing Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Gucci and Calvin Klein.
Marching Orders: Boots
No accessory says “Charge!” quite like the boot -- especially the chic combat boots like Steve Madden’s Booster, the Banana Blues Cruiser, or the ALDO Swarn. “When you look at the boot craze, it’s been very functional … and army-inspired, with lots of buckles and straps,” says Danser. “Ralph Lauren has a lot of good ones to choose from -- the mid-calf look with lots of snaps is doing real well. It’s really saying that the metrosexual is a thing of the past.”
So step up in style, boys -- your country needs you.
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