The military trend is back with a bang this season, find out how to make it look fresh for a/w with our insider tips.

Q: I’m thrilled to discover that the military look is back in fashion this season, as I’ve a green army coat hanging in the back of my closet. My question is – how do I make it look fresh this season?

Epaulettes, gun flaps, D-rings, and brass buttons: what is it about the design detailing and ironmongery of military clothing that makes it such a recurring trend in high fashion?

This autumn, like so many before and others yet to come, trend- aware women will feel impelled to invest in a piece of this action. Luckily for devotees who love the functionality of military style, but still want their look to have a new-season edge, it has now finally been given a new spin: for AW12, it’s all about the khaki army surplus vibe and adding a hard, masculine edge with leather details and caps.

Check out a gallery of some of our favourite high street pieces here.

The New Army Chic also ties in with the embellishment trend: army-style accessories with jewelled embellishments are perfect for softening the look. For wearability, looking for ways to tone down the full-on army vibe is key: heavy lace-up boots, a khaki army surplus-style jacket and a cap are all great pieces on their own, but never all at once. The aim is to look slightly tough, very chic and oh-so AW12, not to channel a Soviet-era sergeant major (or a certain ex-WAG popstar…)

The easiest way to get the look on the high street is with a khaki army jacket, which will act as an instant wardrobe updater; Pennys and Internaçionale’s versions are both worth checking out. If it’s tough lace-up boots you’re after, head to Bertie or River Island. River Island also has a great selection of embellished military-style caps, as do Marks & Spencer and Accessorize.
The beauty of this trend is that it can be worked in so many different ways, and dressed up or down for day, office or evening wear. You can’t go wrong if you look to the AW12 catwalks for inspiration on how to style the trend. Victoria Beckham’s runway was a master-class in rocking the army vibe with tough accessories (wrap-around leather belts, long boots and caps), but keeping the silhouette ultra-feminine with fitted midi dresses.
Burberry Prorsum also toned down the full-on military look by combining subtle army-inspired details like desert boots, brass buttons and a khaki-toned colour scheme with cute bow belts and owl emblems. It’s all about being as eclectic as you like and incorporating the look into your own personal style for an individual edge.

Georgina Heffernan