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Banana Republic blouse, $46, pant, $124 through Smythe jacket, $595 through

There's probably no direct link between recent Oscar winner The Hurt Locker and glammed-up military jackets. Heck, there wasn't even a female member of the film's elite bomb squad. But somehow, the stars have aligned in such a way that 2010 is already shaping up to be an army-inspired year.

Spring's It jacket from Christophe Decarnin at Balmain looks like what Beyoncé would wear should she be required to enlist; strips of gold and fringe cascade down the shoulders and antiqued medallions adorn the front. Jean Paul Gaultier's army green threads are reminiscent of that memorable moment in Troop Beverly Hills when the haughty main character (Shelley Long) does a haute hatchet job on her team-leader uniform. And from French designer Isabel Marant comes a camo fringed boot that is decidedly more fashionable than functional. A-tten- tion!

While it's one thing to channel the military look at work, it's another matter altogether to assume that fatigues will take the place of a suit jacket. In fact, don't even try. Ditto for cargo pants, which should be saved for carting the kids to and from soccer practice (and storing all their gewgaws). Combat boots may as well come with instructions saying "Do not wear in offices"; they're simply too imposing outside the realms of rocky terrain or underground rave.

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As for the summery surplus jacket from Canadian label Smythe (pictured), it's - wouldn't you know - the perfect hybrid, combining epaulets and utility pockets with a svelte silhouette. Paired with a classic blouse and a dressy pant (satin offers a playful juxtaposition; just beware of fit issues), it commands respect. So much so that your comrades - er, colleagues - will feel subpar in their black and navy. If nothing more, expect to be saluted for your style.

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