One portion of history has affected menswear above all others. From the woolen beanie to the tailored suit, most wardrobe staples are rooted in nineteenth and twentieth century military attire. Essentially, if Napoleon and his ilk had been less ambitious, we would all be dressing very differently. Other than the cargo pant, nowhere is that connection seen clearer than in iconic jackets and overcoats.
We just released three JACK & JONES VINTAGE CLOTHING military-inspired jackets that prove the point perfectly: our fishtail parka, pullover anorak and field jacket.
The Field Jacket (M-65)
The M-65 celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. The jacket was created for troops in the Vietnam War. Vietnam’s climate was changeable – ranging from stifling heat, to monsoon-like downpours to harsh winds. The U.S. Army needed a jacket that was adaptable. Those requirements gave rise to the M-65’s detachable, quilted inner-lining, its clever hood that could be stored in the collar and its then new cotton/nylon fabric mix.
– One of our favourite M-65 features has to be the collar-packable hood. We included one in our design.
– Our jacket has under-arm gussets with ventilation holes. Adds strength and keeps you cool.
– The olive green version is about as close to the original M-65’s colour as we could get. We kept those military references going with contrast details in army khaki shades.
– The mesh detail on left-hand-side chest pocket is a contemporary update that still feels completely authentic. It also adds some individuality to the classic silhouette.
The Fishtail Parka (M-51)
Like the M-65, the Fishtail was born out of a specific set of battlefield requirements. Soldiers fighting in the Korean War needed a jacket that could handle the Peninsula’s harsh weather: cold temperatures, heavy snow and icy rain. In response, the designers went for a three-quarter length hooded shape in a waterproof nylon-cotton blend. But that iconic fishtail wasn’t actually made to hang. Soldiers split it, and then wrapped and tied each half around a corresponding leg. The result? More trapped heat and less water and ice.
– Like the original, our Parka comes with functional details to keep the warmth in and the elements out. A system of drawstrings includes an adjustable hood and waist drawstring, and a fixed one at the hem.
– Its full length zipper, with cloth pull-tab, features a sturdy inner and outer placket, for added wind protection.
– We selected the colour of the jacket’s taped seams and contrast details to match the trims and drawstrings. And those taped seams mean better water-protection.
– Our Parka went through a special dyeing process, giving it an authentic and unique aged look.
The Pullover Anorak
This pullover anorak or windbreaker is actually also a parka of sorts. Its basic design came from a place unlikely to host a war anytime soon: the arctic. The traditional closed-front Eskimo parka was worn by mothers. It had a big pouch at its rear where children from 0-2 years would nestle and avoid frostbite through their mothers’ heat. It’s possible that this back pouch inspired the military version’s big front pocket. The jacket has been worn in countless battles as a light outer layer, effectively shielding against rain and wind.
– If you’ve ever worn an old army surplus example, you’ll know that they’re challenging to get on. We added a concealed side zip making it easier to wear.
– Drawstrings at its hood and hem; and adjustable cuff tabs give you option of ramping up the insulation when needed.
– We updated the collar design, swapping the traditional button fastening for an inner-lined zip.
– And our discreet military-inspired sleeve print pushes the references further.