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Field jacket trilemma

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by radicaldog, Aug 2, 2012.

Other things being equal, what is best?

  1. (1) Issued, well-worn army surplus jacket.

    4 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. (2) Unissued, authentic army jacket / repro of past uniform.

    10 vote(s)
    31.3%
  3. (3) Civilian jacket inspired by army design, with artificial 'worn in' effect.

    18 vote(s)
    56.3%
  1. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    For instance

    (1) M-51 original:
    [​IMG]

    (2) M-42 replica:
    [​IMG]

    (3) J. Crew 'Fatigue Jacket':
    [​IMG]

    Also, what are your favourite jackets of this sort? Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I wear a Barbour International Jacket--with the patch carefully removed.
     
  3. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Had an international and also removed the patch. It died of mold in the boot of my old Saab. I now do have a Barbour field jacket (four pockets, epaulettes, etc.), but I was looking for something more lightweight.
     
  4. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    Always think of this when I think of the original...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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  6. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How easy was patch removal? I had avoided that jacket specifically because of the patch.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Easy, but you must do it right away. Otherwise, the cloth underneath will be discolored, as the rest of the jacket fades at a different rate.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    This is the one I got from Apolis - very nice quality and trim fitting

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Lord Mulberry

    Lord Mulberry Senior member

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    I have an original M65 field jacket with liner and a set of original 3rd pattern jungle fatigues in OG 107 + 3rd pattern jungle fatigue top in ERDL (lime green variant). The only reason I say this is because there are so many cheap reproductions around, but most of the stuff on the street is the fashion stuff that's supposed to be military but isn't and quite frankly is nowhere near military.
     
  10. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    That's the beauty of Alpha Industries. They actually have made, and continue to make, the real thing for the military in addition to creating them for the layman.

    http://www.alphaindustries.com/history.asp
     
  11. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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    I have a Barbour Tokito field jacket which is nice because the cotton Ventile fabric is water resistant,windproof and breathable.

    Also have a surplus Austrian military field jacket which is there version of the M65. Hard wearing and warm with a liner plus it has their version of a Goretex dropliner for waterproof protection.
     
  12. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I'm curious. Is there a specific reason why you want a field jacket as opposed to something like a safari jacket?
     
  13. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    I do like safari jackets, but they risk veering towards the pith helmet look. I don't rule it out, but I've just never seen a really safe one, in that respect (Orvis has cotton/hemp one that's not bad though). I want something quite casual and rugged, and not too retro. Show me a bush/safari jacket with those attributes and I may well get it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have to disagree, particularly when these field jackets border on soldier costume. If you don't want a safari jacket to look like you are literally out on safari, have your shirtmaker make one up in with some more refined detailing and in a more suitably urban cloth.
     
  15. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    I had a Tom Ford safari jacket that had fine finishing and a wonderful hand to the fabric, but to me it felt like a costume no matter what I did with it. Luckily, it sold on consignment very quickly and I recouped about 75% of my investment.
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My point is, if a safari jacket is going to feel like costume, a field jacket will be no different; you're just dressed up as a different character. Either can be made to work with the right detailing. For example, I would not order a safari jacket in beige or tan. Navy blue is an obvious choice, but you could be more adventurous too.
     
  17. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Yeah, but the fact is that a soldier is a more ordinary occurrence than a late Victorian explorer/safari hunter. In other words, army jackets are not incongruous because one could plausibly have been in the army or (as is my case) have grown up on an army base etc.

    I do like shirt jackets of a domesticated--as it were--variety, but they're a different beast altogether.
     
  18. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I think field jackets have their place. I have one myself. But I really use it more functionally than stylistically, if that makes any sense Stylistically, field jackets are really more semi-ironic SW&D than they are MC.

    I take your point about a safari jacket being potentially costumey but I think that depends on how and where you intend to use it. It is true that a field jacket would probably look less out of place in Manhattan than a safari jacket but you'd need to wear it with engineer boots or unlaced sneaker to complete the look and you might not want to go there.

    Anyway, there are a lot of different things in the safari-field jacket range that you might like. How, when and wear would you plan to use it?
     
  19. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    I see a field jacket as one of the classic miltary styles that have been pressed into menswear. Wearing an original or replica seems a little costumey to me (though I can see an ironic application as well). As mentioned with regards to the Safari Jacket earlier in this thread, changing the colour (and the fit as most originals and replicas tend to be baggy fitting) can provide an iconic style which looks good in a variet of casual settings.
     
  20. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    I'm not sure. Is this ironic? I just think it looks good:
    [​IMG]


    I think it would work as an alternative to any casual jacket (e.g. harrington, denim jacket, light leather jacket, etc.). So I'd wear it with jeans, cords, chinos, desert boots, sneakers, boat shoes etc.


    Fair points. I think I'm moving away from the replica idea: especially if the design is old (as in the M-42), if the jacket is crisp one looks like an extra from a WW2 film. Must think hard about the colour issue.
     

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