Military inspired fashion comes in many forms. In the past few years it’s marched down the street with historical pomp and circumstance, boldly channeled Sgt. Pepper and ’80s glam rock, and covered men’s accessories in camouflage prints. Truth is, war has been so key to the evolution of many menswear staples – from the trenchcoat to aviator sunglasses – that their military heritage is never too far from mind.

And it’s the functionality of combat – not the decoration of it – that continues to influence mens fashion in fall 2012. You’ll still find examples on the high street of jackets with embroidered epaulettes and embellishments, but they’re more a throwback to several seasons ago. On the runway there was a move towards austerity, practicality, function and form.

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Army inspired outerwear

It’s not hard to guess what the strongest of army-inspired pieces will be for the cold season: outerwear. Making a statement for men in winter often comes down to having the right jacket or coat.

Overcoats

Whether light-weight and waterproof or heavier wool blends, overcoats are one way of issuing some army garb into your winter wardrobe. The autumn / winter runways did it best: throw an army green overcoat over your sharply-suited shoulders when you step outside, contrasting the tailored with the functional in a cool and on-trend way.

army mens overcoats

Army green overcoats styled with suits: DSquared2 and Dior Homme, F/W ’12

Field jackets and parkas

A cropped or mid-thigh-length men’s parka / anorak was already a key piece for spring. Obviously the difference for fall is the weight: go for something that borrows its functionality from the field and make it thicker, quilted or lined, retaining the stylishness and your warmth. A piece that draws in the waist keeps the silhouette streamlined and flattering.

Umit Benan’s army-inspired fall collection featured highly functional field jackets with deep, 3-dimensional pockets and a draw-string waist. Burberry Prorsum’s parks were thick but not bulky, and FQ1924 gave theirs a fur-lined hood that was subtle enough to make you look like you’re going to an Arctic Monkeys concert and not an Arctic expedition.

mens army parkas

Army green men’s parkas at Burberry Prorsum and FQ1924, F/W ’12

Leather jackets

We’ve already mentioned the force with which men’s bomber jackets have returned in a whole host of traditional and non-traditional colours. Aside from the leather bomber are other styles of leather jacket taking their cues – mostly through colour – from the military. Army green leather coats, safari jackets and blazers married the toughness of the material with the military cues of the colour, some even adding shearling into the mix.

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Army green leather at Dior Homme and Galliano F/W ’12

Army colours

While other army-style pieces graced the runway in a rainbow of navy blues, greys or various other tones, what we’re focusing on here is the palette of army greens that so traditionally call to mind all things modern military. They don’t call it army green for nothing, after all. Closely related tones of olive, khaki, and mustard-green are welcomed with open arms by fall 2012’s love of military functionality.

More pictures

For more inspiration of styling men’s army-inspired fashion from the fall 2012 runways, click on the thumbnails and peruse the gallery.

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