Pick any piece of menswear and there’s a solid chance it’s done a tour in the armed forces. The T-shirt? Issued to sailors as underwear in the late 19th century. Bomber jackets? As the name suggests, they were designed to keep pilots warm in high altitude cockpits. The trench coat? Now you’re not even trying.
So it’s understandable that military notes pop up every season, be it a slightly missing the point acid camo, à la every Valentino collection, or the field jacket, which emerged as this season’s multi-pocketed, hyper-practical outerwear essential.
So no surprise that the military’s preferred color palette is equally perennial. It helps that khaki is basically neutral, which means you can pair it with anything. Khaki looks especially good with black, so dress it down with black denim. White and brown make equally happy bunkmates, if you feel like toeing the parade ground line.
Green’s in-the-ranks heritage also means it’s well-suited to utility wear, hence the proliferation of pockets, zips and campsite fabrics on this season’s greenest pieces. But the color offers as many applications as shades.
Yes, there were the expected M65 jackets, albeit jazzed up with patches and cuts more suited to guys protesting the war than fighting it. But green was seen on the runway at designers as diverse as Lemaire, Valentino and Yohji Yamamoto. It appeared on everything from suiting to souvenir jackets, patch-pocketed karate coats to sweatshirts. And such variety means there’s a plethora of ways to make green less uniform.
Slim Is In
Menswear may be moving in roomier directions, but leave baggy greens in the barracks. While there is still a strong army fatigue trend, it was also seen as part of slimmer silhouette. Burberry Prorsum took the shade in a typically suave direction, with figure-hugging suits just green enough to stand apart from your colleagues. Channel the aesthetic with a perfectly tailored two-piece in a warm-weather material like linen or cotton, grounding the look with a sky blue shirt and brown suede shoes.
Turn Over a New Leaf
If your tailoring rotation is looking kind of blue, green is the subtlest way to jazz things up. Olive green is a great alternative to the ubiquitous navys and greys.
Because the tone is lesser-spotted, and a touch less formal, you can afford to break some other rules too. Try with a Cuban collar or granddad collar shirt for something that oozes relaxed seasonal style.
Muted greens are an easy wear, but there’s a reason they are picked for camouflage. If you’re looking to stand out, dabble in something more dazzling.
“Try an emerald green crew neck jumper. Paired with jeans, a white button-down, and a dark jacket the jewel tone catches eyes without people asking where your pot of gold is.
If a sweatshirt’s too much, try the shade in subtler accessories, like a tie, pocket square, or something as simple as your watch strap.