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Does war influence style?

Soldiers returning home after a war carried more than battle scars. They brought home new styles invented by necessity during combat.

Military trends silently became a part of everyday style. The reason for their success was more than aesthetic. It was due to the function. Any clothing item worn by troops has to be comfortable, sharp, and functional.

The first ready-to-wear garments came in bulk to dress soldiers in standard sizes. The trends popularized in combat effortlessly find their way into fashions on urban streets.

Anytime you open a man’s wardrobe, you will find some relic of military history. It makes one wonder if more style inspiration comes from the barracks than magazine stands.

Here are our top 11 pieces that jumped straight out of your history textbooks into every man’s wardrobe.

# 1 Desert/Chukka Boots

In 1941, an employee of the Clark Shoe Company, Nathan Clark, was deployed to Burma with the British Eighth Army.

While in Burma, he noticed that the soldiers preferred wearing crepe-soled suede boots while off-duty. He found out that Cairo cobblers made this hard-wearing, lightweight and durable boot for South African soldiers whose military-issued boots could not withstand the harsh desert terrain.

Inspired by the simplicity and durability of the design, he went to work to create a boot that quickly gained popularity in Europe and then all across the U.S. The desert boot design evolved from the Dutch Voortrekker, a style of boot that was worn in desert warfare by the South African division of the Eighth Army.

#2 Wristwatch

Before the 20th Century, only women wore wristwatches. Society saw them as a feminine accessory, worn on the wrist as ornamentation.

That changed in the late 19th and 20th Century wars when the gentleman’s pocket watch evolved into the ubiquitous wristwatch. The wristwatch became a strategic tool in World War I as troops synchronized their attack formations based on pre-determined times.

Historians say that the idea of strapping little clocks to soldier’s wrists began during the Boer War. But most commentators agree that World War I secured the wristwatch as a classic piece of men’s jewelry.

#3 The Blucher Shoe

During the Napoleonic War, Prussian officer Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher Furst von Wahlstatt noticed his men struggling with their boots.

He commissioned a redesign of the standard-issue combat boot. Developing a more straightforward shoe so his troops could get ready for action quicker. The resulting half boot had two leather flaps below the ankles that could lace together.

The flaps didn’t meet at the bottom, and each had opposing shoelace eyelets. The design resulted in a wider opening for the soldier’s foot and made them more comfortable. The laces between the flaps could be tightened or loosened as needed.

The two leather flaps allowed for speedy battle prep and could be easily adjusted on the go, making life easier on all of his troops.

Mr. Blucher and his men played a significant role in the defeat of Napolean’s Army at the Battle of Waterloo.

#4 Aviator Sunglasses

Infographic - Anatomy-of-Sunglasses

In 1936, Bausch & Lomb developed sunglasses for pilots to protect their eyes while flying, thus the name aviator.

These specially designed sunglasses gave pilots a full range of vision when battling the glaring sun and enemy fighters. The classic tear-drop shape of these sunglasses completely covered the eyes and offered protection to the entire eye socket.

Aviators have been a part of civilian life for almost as long as they’ve been around. While the aviator has become one of the most popular sunglass styles for civilians, it remains a staple of military gear for the U.S. military.

Randolph Engineering has been producing aviator sunglasses since 1978 for the U.S. military.

#5 Chinos

Chinos are versatile pants that have evolved from colonial military uniforms to classic preppy pants.

British soldiers stationed in India wore khaki (Persian for ‘dust’) colored uniforms. The modern chino is a direct descendant of this uniform.

The U.S. Army first used khaki uniforms in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war of the 1890s. The soldiers dressed in uniforms made of fabric produced in China.

The Army used the Spanish word for ‘Chinese’ (chino) to describe the khaki uniforms.

After the war, ex-troops resumed their studies and sported this new style of trouser on campus. Chinos became an integral part of the Ivy League, preppy look.

#6 T-shirt

The t-shirt was a form of underwear in the 1800s.

The union suit was cut in half to form a long top tucked into a pair of jeans. It had buttons and was inappropriate when worn uncovered in public.

Things changed with the Cooper Underwear company marketed them as ‘buttonless bachelor undershirts.’ The resulting clothing item was more durable, stretchable, and required less maintenance than its predecessor.

The U.S. Navy adopted the pullover cotton tee as part of its regulation uniform, much to the relief of many enlisted young bachelors with limited sewing abilities.

The U.S. Army adopted the undershirt trend during World War I as tens of thousands of army soldiers wore the cotton tee under their uniforms. The troops took the fashion home with them at the end of the war and ensured that the trend evolved into a civilian-style staple.

The word “t-shirt” first appeared in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, This Side Of Paradise.

#7 The Cummerbund

Infographic - The-Cummerbund

The cummerbund was worn initially as dining wear for British military personnel stationed in India. The locals often wore sashes around their waist called kamarbands (from ‘kamar,’ meaning waist).

Due to the heat in India, the British were keen to find a breathable dining uniform and quickly adopted the sash for their dining wear waist covering instead of a vest.

As the tuxedo gained popularity in Tuxedo Park, New York, accessories specific to the formal outfit began to surface. The black bow tie and black waistcoat became the norm. The aristocracy soon borrowed the idea of black cummerbunds as an alternative to the waistcoat.

#8 Almost All Of Your Coats

It is incredible how many different styles of coats have survived military-issue and become staples over time. Almost every jacket you have in your closet can reach back to a military beginning. Here are some examples:

  • Eisenhower Jacket – A waist-length jacket or blouson, issued in WWII, featuring an adjustable waistband, two breast pockets, a pleated back, fly-front buttons, slash side pockets, and epaulets.
  • Field Jacket – In the Vietnam War, the military called for an update of the M-51 jacket. It featured a windproof cotton construction, a drab olive green color palette with multiple chest pockets to store spare ammunition.
  • Bomber or Flight Jacket – The A2 Bomber or Flight Jacket was a waist-length leather jacket that featured two front patch pockets and was issued in 1931 to keep pilots warm in the open cockpits.
Infographic - Bomber-Flight-Jacket
  • Duffle Coat – The preferred choice of the British Royal Navy during World War I and II, this jacket is recognizable for its toggle closure; designed for sailors to fasten and unfasten the jacket while wearing gloves at sea.
  • Pea Coat – Used by the Dutch at the height of their naval power in the 16th Century, a pea coat features a double-breasted closure with large metal or plastic buttons, a wide notched collar and lapel, and vertical or slash pockets.
Infographic - The-Pea-Coat
  • Trench Coat – Created for the soldiers of World War I by Thomas Burberry, this coat features a double-breasted closure with ten front buttons, a storm flap, wide lapels, and pockets that button-close. It is belted at the waist as well as having straps with buckles around the wrists.
  • Fatigue Jacket – The basic uniform for British troops during World War II was a dust-colored khaki jacket with four pockets – two on the hips, two on the breasts, and are all buttoned.
  • Parka – A parka generally features a fur-lined hood and a zipper closure. The length of the jacket ranges from waist-length to knee-length. The lightweight waterproof nylon and cotton construction kept the U.S. troops warm during the Korean war without obstructing movement.

#9 The Scarf & Necktie

For over 2000 years, scarves identified rank in the military.

From the Terracotta Warriors of China to modern-day desert military units, we see scarves used because they provide value in inclement weather.

Scarves were considered staple winter garments for men during World War I. Both America and Great Britain encouraged the knitting of scarves as a patriotic chore.

Early aviators found that these scarves provided excellent warmth at high altitudes and cushioning for when the pilots had to crane their necks while scanning for other aircraft.

Croatian mercenaries who arrived in Paris during the Thirty Year’s War (1618 – 1648) wore bright scarves around their neck for battle. These scarves were tied tightly and often resulted in the men fainting during maneuvers.

The French adopted the look in a much looser fashion, who called it “La Croate” or “La Cravate.” It took several hundred years for La Cravate to evolve into the thin strip of cloth we wear today, but it was undoubtedly the forerunner for the necktie.

#10 The Men’s Suit

Infographic - The-Suit

The modern suit can trace its lineage back to uniforms of the French and Russian armies in the Napoleonic era.

Those uniforms consisted of an open, single-breasted blue and white coat, a white waistcoat, white breeches or trousers, and either boots or shoes for the French Army.

For the Russians, it was a dark green, double-breasted coat with a standing collar, white breeches or trousers, and boots in the winter, and shoes in the summer.

These two uniforms formed the model for what would evolve into the 20th Century three-piece and double-breasted suit.

#11 The Cardigan

James Thomas Brudenell, the seventh Earl of Cardigan, invented the cardigan.

He was a lieutenant general in the British Army. Historian Robert Powyszynski, Sr. states that he was so wealthy and stylish that he would spend £10,000 a year outfitting his regiment in swanky new uniforms.

During the Battle of Balaclava amidst the Crimean War, Cardigan led his brigade to doom in Russia, but he survived. He was honored upon his return to London, and the knitted waistcoat he was wearing (the cardigan) became a hot commodity.

The military is the ultimate testing ground for any timeless style item for men. If it can last a tour of duty, it can handle the rigors of everyday life.

Either way, the legacy of war heroes lives on in your daily wardrobe choices.

The post 11 Style Items With A Military Heritage | How Did The Military Influence Fashion appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: 11 Style Items With A Military Heritage | How Did The Military Influence Fashion
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Published Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 10:38:33 +0000

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How to wear your watch correctly



As much as you won’t like hearing this, you’re probably wearing your watch wrong.

It’s not your fault; you may have never been taught how to wear a watch properly. After all, there is more than one way to wear a watch.

But how do you know which way is the right way?

Don’t worry, gents; as always, I’ve got you covered. I’m here with the best way to wear your favorite timepiece properly and look as stylish as ever.

In today’s article, I’ll be covering:

  1. Origins Of The Wrist Watch
  2. What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?
  3. Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?
  4. The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

#1 Origins Of The Wrist Watch

old watches

When it comes to wearing a watch correctly, it’s important to note why the wristwatch came about in the first place.

Dating back to the 1800s, the first watches modified to be worn on the wrist were primarily worn by women as accessories. One of the earliest was created by Patek Philippe as a fashion accessory.

At the start of the 20th century, watchmakers became intrigued about using a wrist-worn timepiece for men in the military. They believed it would help them tell time quickly while on the battlefield.

Watchmakers started modifying pocket watches to fit on a bracelet worn on the wrist. Men would not wear the first iteration of the modern wristwatch until well into the 20th century.

Then developed as a ‘trench watch’ for military use, the earliest wrist watches offered something the pocket watch didn’t have – convenience.

After the wristwatch became less of a fashion accessory and more of a functional tool, watchmakers would spend the next century modifying them into the modern wristwatches we enjoy today.

#2 What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?

man wears watch

The age-old question: what wrist to wear a watch on? The answer – it depends.

The reason it depends is that since the creation of the wristwatch, men have mostly worn their watch on their non-dominant wrist. And since most people are right-handed, you would wear your watch on your left wrist.

But this isn’t always the correct answer. You may want to wear your watch on the right wrist if you are left-handed. But you may also want to wear it on your dominant hand.

So how do you know for sure?

The most significant benefit of wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is that you can quickly put the watch on and navigate the dial more efficiently than with your non-dominant hand.

Wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is less likely to damage the watch as you tend to do more with your dominant hand. If you were to wear it on your dominant hand, you’re more likely to scratch or ding the watch than on your non-dominant hand.

So the rule of thumb here is to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand for the best way to navigate and protect your watch.

#3 Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?

watch facing inside

The next question is, why would a man wear his watch facing inward on his wrist instead of outward?

This trend is seen primarily in individuals who need to check their watch frequently and in the most efficient way possible. Among the many reasons you should wear a watch, one of the most common is to support you in your profession.

You will see men in the military do this, as it’s easier and prevents sun glare better than when it’s on the outside of the wrist. It also offers faster convenience to other tools on the watch in addition to the time.

Another reason you may want to wear your watch facing inward is that it can help protect your watch from scratches and dings. Again, this is just a preference.

But you’re a stylish guy looking for the best way to wear his watch. What should you do?

The answer here is to wear it facing outward, as that is the most common way to wear a wristwatch. It shows off your timepiece that you love while also still being functional.

Unless you’re in a profession where you need to check your watch quickly while managing other tasks, the best way is to have your watch facing outward. After all, you probably didn’t spend money on that beautiful timepiece to hide its character.

#4 The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch

stylish watch

Now it’s time to find out exactly how to wear a watch in the most stylish way a guy can.

Assuming you’ve selected the right size watch for your wrist, the first thing you want to do is figure out if you’ll be wearing your watch on your right or left wrist.

As mentioned above, traditionally, the watch is worn on your non-dominant wrist. So if you’re right-handed, this means wearing your watch on your left wrist. For left-handed guys, this means your right wrist.

After you figure that out, it’s quite easy. The first thing you want to do is locate your wrist bone.

You want to wear your watch face up just above your wrist bone. If done correctly, your watch should slightly peek out from under the cuffs of your shirt when wearing long sleeves.

Next, you want to tighten the strap so it’s loose enough to be comfortable. You don’t want it so loose it can spin freely around your wrist. You also don’t want it too tight, or it will feel uncomfortable, especially when you bend your wrist.

After doing this correctly, you’ll be wearing a watch in the most stylish way possible.

There you have it, gents.

Now you no longer have to worry about wearing your watch incorrectly.

There is more than one way to wear a watch, so find what’s most comfortable for you personally, and rock your favorite timepiece accordingly.

If you want to take your watch knowledge to the next level, check out this article I wrote about the difference between quartz and mechanical watches.

The post How To Wear A Watch The Right Way appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: How To Wear A Watch The Right Way
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Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 10:19:42 +0000

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Fall Capsule Wardrobe Preparation (Buy Now and Get $$$)



We’ve all been there – fall comes around, and you open your closet only to find you have nothing but polos and shorts.

So what’s a stylish guy to do? Pay a premium to build an entire fall wardrobe last minute? Sure, if you’re loaded. But not every guy is that lucky!

Don’t worry; as ever, I’ve got you covered. In today’s article, I’ll show you how to get the best bang for your buck when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

We’ll be covering:

  1. What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?
  2. How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?
  3. Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?
  4. What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

#1 What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?

man in closet

One of the most common headaches guys run into in their closet is having too many clothing options to choose from but not enough of the right options.

While more options aren’t bad, they can be overwhelming, especially when you rarely wear most items. This is where building a capsule wardrobe comes into play.

A capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of clothing items that complement each other. This means you can buy a smaller selection of items and create a larger number of outfits.

This is crucial to understand because most guys don’t have an unlimited budget for buying clothes. A capsule wardrobe allows you to purchase and use items frequently with little redundancy.

But where do you start in building your fall capsule wardrobe?

#2 How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?

fall clothing items

After you have put together the perfect capsule wardrobe, you can start to add a few fall-specific items. This is done by adding a few staple pieces that complement what you already have.

For most, fall offers mild temperatures mixed with slightly warmer temperatures.

This means that layering will be of the utmost importance because you may leave the house needing a jacket, but it might be warm enough by midday to sport only the t-shirt underneath.

Start with the basics when building your fall capsule wardrobe and add pieces accordingly.

Keep It Simple

man wearing coat

Fall is primetime for layering, so you only need a few outer layers and should focus more on the innermost layers.

You want to make sure that interchangeability is at the top of your list when it comes to your wardrobe. Everything should complement each other for ease of use.

With that said, having a few staples and adding additional items as you change seasons is essential.

For this reason, ensure you have the following items in your fall capsule wardrobe:

  • A dark three-piece suit 
  • A light-colored tweed blazer
  • A leather bomber or biker jacket
  • An overcoat (dark or light)
  • A formal button-up shirt (white)
  • 2 casual button-up shirts (flannel or chambray, you choose)
  • 2 sweaters (1 shawl, 1 crew neck)
  • 2 t-shirts (1 white, 1 black,)
  • 2 pairs of Jeans (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 pairs of slacks/chinos (1 dark, 1 light)
  • 2 belts (1 black, 1 brown)
  • 1 pair of black dress shoes
  • 1 pair of brown oxfords (leather or suede, you decide)
  • 1 pair of sneakers (plain white or brown)
  • 1 pair of military boots (black or brown)

When it comes to accessories like watches, scarves, or gloves, you can use what you have as most men won’t need all of them, so I won’t count them in.

#3 Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?

clothing on sale

As it is the middle of summer, fall will be approaching quickly.

Now is a great time to snag up some of last year’s sale items at department stores as they usually have sales on previous season items. By now, most men aren’t thinking about what to wear in the fall.

While you still might be able to find good deals on last year’s fall items, it’s usually the most optimal time to purchase these items after the season has ended. This is when retailers try hard to clear space and make room for the next season’s clothing.

When they do this, it is a great time to get excellent deals on items that have just gone out of season.

Another great option to buy men’s clothing is online at your favorite retailers, as they will often have sales and discounts on items they have in their online inventory but are not yet in prime season.

The most expensive items in your fall capsule wardrobe are the ones you want to focus on, as you can often save a significant amount of money out of season for them.

These big ticket items include:

  • Your dark three-piece suit and blazer
  • Overcoats and jackets
  • Dress shoes and sneakers
  • Boots

These items will be some of the most expensive items and can be found discounted out of season. Put these at the forefront of your fall capsule wardrobe search.

#4 What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?

man shopping for clothes

You want to adhere to a few staples when building your fall capsule wardrobe.

Since fall weather can vary, layering will be essential. These few items are crucial as mainstays that can be layered with other items within your wardrobe.

For example, if you experience a rather chilly day in fall and need to wear a suit, an overcoat is essential as that outermost layer because you can simply remove it when you no longer need it.

When it comes to the concept of layering within your fall capsule wardrobe, you want to make sure you nail these following items.


man wearing overcoat

Having a good overcoat to complement your fall capsule wardrobe is crucial.

The overcoat acts as the outermost layer and will be removed whenever you go indoors. This makes for a great option as you can wear it with anything as it offers excellent versatility.

When searching for the perfect overcoat, it’s essential to know your size as they usually come in sizes of suit jackets, not regular sizing. After you’ve nailed the size, focus on color.

Dark-colored overcoats tend to be the most versatile. However, a light camel color can work as well. Stay away from patterns with overcoats as the goal is to be as versatile as possible.

Leather Jackets

leather jackets

A good leather jacket goes a long way. You can choose a leather biker jacket or a leather bomber; it’s your call.

Biker jackets can be slightly harder to pull off as most of the time, they will have a larger and more aggressive collar, but they still look great.

A leather bomber jacket is an excellent option because it looks great on all body types and often has more options than biker jackets.

For color, opt for black or dark brown, as that gives you the most versatility with other items in your fall capsule wardrobe.


man wearing sweater

Sweaters are to fall, what t-shirts are for summer. This means they are a critical piece as they are season specific and offer great versatility when it comes to layering.

So how do you find the perfect sweater?

You want options, so have a couple of different collar choices to give yourself the most bang for your buck.

Having a shawl neck sweater and a crew neck sweater ensures you have all your bases covered.

Make sure you choose neutral tones such as greys, creams, and tans for color. This ensures maximum versatility with other items within your wardrobe and gives you the most options.

That’s it, gents.

To learn more about how versatile this concept of capsule wardrobes can be, check out how I turned 16 pieces of clothing into 256 outfits.

The post Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$)
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Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 23:59:00 +0000

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The Best Zara Fragrances



We all know of Zara and I’m pretty sure the majority of us own at least one piece from them, but I’m not here to talk about their reasonably priced clothing, I’m here for their fragrance.

Not quite a hidden gem but I don’t feel that they vast range and high quality fragrance that they create is given enough air time, I’m about to change that. The fragrance game is massive at the moment, everyone from the big fashion houses all the way to footballers have a scent on the market and they all carry a hefty price tag, with some of the bigger hitters asking in excess of

£100 for 50ml.

Zara clearly understand the need for a great fragrance but also appreciate not everything has to be overly expensive. I’ve been lucky enough to sample my fair share over the years and wanted to share with you what I feel are some of their strongest.

Tobacco Collective 100ml – £16.99

This is one of my absolute favourites, it works perfectly as an everyday scent. The initial smell is strong and masculine but with undertones of vanilla bourbon help to soften it slightly.

4Qbk tFcSNbWj04S58 QXQsAx1NOGJ2EW5BgfYj4Ey67ulm5nUzJMLNq8HMNdkps3FThHVxZUbG2kK7VkQQIumuQtVN2 ww56QbpYBb3oo8vyL0js Gz4QeX1WHYq6r 2 t sNHgJEDHbdwuZg

For Him 100ml – £22.99

My current daily spray, its warm, modern and intense. It just so happens to be the perfect blend of three of my favourite scents, bergamot, cardamom and sandalwood. It’s strong yet light, never over powering and leaves a wonderful trail.

Florence 100ml – £16.24

Summer calls for a fresh fragrance and I cannot recommend this highly enough, its light, fresh and citrus scent is perfectly for those warmer days. Notes of black pepper, strawberry and guaiac wood allow this scent to sit gently on the skin with offending the noses of those around you.

Written by Tom Loughran

The post The Best Of Zara Fragrances first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.

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Title: The Best Of Zara Fragrances
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Published Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:57:00 +0000

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