Salute! Get Into Military Gear

Good news, dear gentlemen readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion for men. This week: bringing the military into your wardrobe. Enjoy!

Thrifted outfits incorporating military pieces.

With a brother in the Army and a very good friend in the Navy, I am definitely accustomed to, and have grown to love, military wear. I love the clean lines and crisp uniforms, the masculinity and durability of fatigues, and the rich colors of deep navy, clay brown and dark green (especially the green, which is probably my favorite color to wear).

One of my favorite teenage crafting moments was when I restyled one of my brother’s old Army BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) jackets. I tore it apart and gave it a slimmer fit, and distressed the sleeves and collar. Since I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time, I altered it by hand, a very long process but one that definitely payed off. I loved that jacket, though sadly it was lost in a future move to a new house. Nevertheless, the affection for military wear stayed, and I have fun incorporating it into my daily looks.

Military clothing is strong and rugged by nature, making them perfect items for men to search for in a Goodwill, and luckily, there is a lot of military clothing to be found!

Be sure to browse your t-shirt aisle for those great, basic army tees. They usually come in Green and Brown. They are just great to have around, and you might be surprised at how often you grab for them in the morning! They look cool with nearly anything.

An example of a great, thrifted army tee.

A lot of Goodwills have a uniform section, a great place to find a neat pair of formal military pants. These pants are great to keep in handy for unexpected job interviews or a last-minute fancy dinner. They usually last a very long time and maintain a clean crease. Be sure to pay attention to the care instructions though, as some are dry clean only.

Don’t overdo it. Wearing military pieces should not appear as if you are wearing a costume. Be sure to tone down your military finds with items from your own closet. Unless you are in the military, I wouldn’t recommend dressing up in head-to-toe combat gear.

I also love flightsuits (shown in the first image), and have been lucky to find a few on my thrifting excursions. When worn, I’m so surprised at how bohemian they look, especially with a simple pair of sandals. While this is a strong look, pairing it with a bunch of fun accessories tones it down considerably. I also took a brown flightsuit and cut and hemmed the top portion then added a simple drawstring for a cool pair of scarecrow-esque pants. I love them!

I added a piece of thrifted fabric as a tie for my altered military pants. I love how the colors compliment each other!

The next time you are in the Goodwill, get your “Top Gun” on and try a few military looks. Experiment with cool combinations, like your favorite jeans with an army tee or a pair of combat boots, or a cool BDU Jacket with a pair of grey, blue or purple khaki shorts. Army-chic (or Navy or Air-force) never goes out of style.

Now tell me: What is your favorite military clothing or accessory? How do you incorporate them into your daily look?

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