The Utility Jacket has become a timeless street style staple seen across the globe. GS LOVE explores the history behind the ubiquitous fall weather silhouette.
We’ve seen it styled from the runways of Prada and Gucci – paired with baby dolls and patented high heels – to the downtown streets of LA styled with distressed denim and chunky heel booties.
After seeing it practically every season in a myriad of colorful prints and updated details, it got us to wondering . . . where did the utility jacket trend start?
History of the M-65 Jacket
The M-1965 field jacket, or “M-65” for short, originally served a professional purpose for enlisted men during the Vietnam War. Debuting in the mid-60’s the standard issue jacket protected soldier deep in the jungles. It’s windproof cotton construction and zipper closure protected wearers from the elements, while pockets with snap closures ensured that anything picked up would stay secure while on duty.
It wasn’t long before the M-65 reappeared on American soil as a father (or uncle’s) hand me down. Pretty soon women adopted the jacket as a fashionable symbol to demonstrate their forward perspective on war and American pop culture.
The staying power throughout the decade is in the construction of the jacket itself.
The wind and water-resistant shell make it a leading contender for the ever-changing weather of fall.
How many times have you been caught in weather that started out as a fabulous fall day only to turn into the downpour of the year? You can thank the lightweight material that protects from the elements without adding weight.
So clever, right?
And the drawstring waist and zipper closure allow for versatility when wearing it, too. Cinching the drawstring defines the hemline and adds a totally new look when left unzipped. Need something a little warmer? Zipping up the jacket and pulling on the hood is the surest way to keep out the cold. Rounding it all out are the snap closure pockets to keep all your day’s treasures safe and sound.
Today utility jackets can be found during spring and autumn months paired with cut off denim shorts, crop tops, and high waist leggings or skirts and dresses with colored tights. No matter how you choose to style it the utility coat will keep you protected from the ever-changing autumn weather.
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