Fashion is constantly changing as new trends come into vogue and old ones drop out. We may think that these fashions are dictated by the creative minds of designers and fashionistas from around the world, and in some cases they are. But in other instances they come from more mundane or practical places. One such place that has helped spawn all types of fashion over the years is the army. Many of the items that we wear to this day were originally worn by soldiers or military personnel before slowly crossing over to become standard civilian wear. Here are some examples of clothing and fashion that has successfully crossed over to civilian life.

I can’t see you

Lets start with the obvious – although you might struggle to see what we are saying if you aren’t thinking about it. Camo pants are a great place to start. These days they are almost as ubiquitous as jeans in the modern wardrobe. Almost everybody owns a pair and while traditionally they are worn by battle-ready soldiers they are now just your average solution for what to wear to a Friday night barbeque.  They have become so popular that at one point the Blue Bulls rugby team donned camo kit when they played Super Rugby.

Keeping warm

The trench coat, a staple of the gothic get-up in the 1980’s and still an item that is loved by many to this day originates from the army, and like its name implies, it was worn by soldiers in the trenches during the first World War. Warm, with lots of pockets and in dark colours, it was the perfect item to wear in the trenches and it was these characteristics that saw it becoming popular when it crossed over into civilian life.

Who are you?

Soldiers in combat traditionally wear dog-tags so that should the worst happen to them on the battle field they can be easily identified. The idea being that their living comrades can take the dog tag with them and not the whole corpse. But dog tags are now a thing as an edgy civilian accessory. Generally worn as necklaces they have ben seen in recent times by the likes of Justin Bieber, Hugh Jackman, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart and Selena Gomez. It’s unclear quite why the dog-tags have become such popular items to wear, but they are increasingly common and have become quite trendy things for couples to wear – with the tags sporting the names of the significant other.

Bomber Jackets

Not to be mistaken with flak jackets, which have never crossed over into contemporary fashion, the bomber jacket was first worn by pilots and crew many years ago when aeroplanes were anything but warm and cosy. Indeed the first bomber jackets would have been worn by pilots of open cockpit planes as far back as the First World War. In much the same way that the design of the aeroplane has improved since the 1914-18 war, so too has the design of the bomber jacket. But to this day what remains unchanged is that by its very definition bomber jackets are warm, rugged and timeless in style.