Monday, 15 November 2010

Cheryl Cole's military whites

It seems that the lovely Cheryl's military-style stage costumes attract a lot of interest. This outfit in white looks like it was inspired by the white mess dress of the US Navy. If you're looking for something similar, try searching for sailors costumes on fancy dress site or, alternatively look for tropical uniforms of the Royal Navy or US Navy in military uniform/government surplus outlets.

Peaked caps always look cute and the shorter jackets similar to Cheryl's are usually worn as part of a mess dress - what naval personnel would wear to formal dinner.

Monday, 25 October 2010

1940s fashion

Of course for many people military fashion is synonymous with the 1940s, so I thought it appropriate to add a few pointers on make up and hair styles of the period. This photo of my Mum shows a typical hairstyle of the 1940s. It was essential that women's hair had to be neat not just for the sake of appearance in the services but also for safety reasons when undertaking essential work in factories, farms and so forth.

For better ideas of hair and make up search Google images for 1940s hairstyles. Be wary of copying the images of film stars like Veronica Lake or Rita Hayworth as these glamorous stars weren't working in factories or the military!

My late Mum (who, at 16, was helping extinguish incendiary bombs during air raids) only used lipstick and face powder, which I believe was common for the time. She also said that the heavily starched (detachable) collars of their uniform blouses used to chafe very badly, particularly when they began to fray a little.

So, a great retro look, but maybe I'm glad not to have to live through air raids and all the other trials of the time.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Men's Military Fashion

It's easy enough to obtain supplies of modern military surplus clothing these days but the more interesting items are slightly harder to source, so I was delighted to find a website called that has just taken delivery of a stock of vintage US Army (and Air Force) clothing. Various one-off items are currently available, including this genuine WW2 flying jacket for a very reasonable £165

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Womens fashion military boots

The military look continues to dominate womens fashion at the moment but when it comes to womens fashion boots it seems many high street retailers are running light on ideas - or stocks.

If you're having trouble finding what you want then how about considering the fact that lace up boots have always been worn by foot soldiers and the sexiest uniforms were worn by soldiers on horseback - and they wore riding boots or even thigh boots (check out the lifeguards on duty in London even today) often with tight breeches.

A pair of riding boots can be as plain or decorative as you like and range from cheap rubber to as much as you want to spend on leather. They look great worn inside or over trousers or leggings and share a definitely military heritage. Check out your local equestrian store for ideas - if you don't know where to find one, have a look at the Equestrian Trade Association's website ( for local stockists.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Amazing repro military jackets

This striking reproduction jacket (called a Dolman) is based on the uniform of a British Hussar during the Crimean War (1854) and was made by a company called Farthingale. You can find their website at - but before you rush off you'd better have deep pockets because the prices start from £300 and this particular example has a tag of £1,050. Still, they will do made to measure and are happy to revise or amend designs to suit the customer so if you fancy yourself as Sean Bean in Sharpe or even as Adam Ant then enjoy!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Military boots supplier

If you're looking for genuine ex-army boots, including these desert boots, there's an online retailer based in Norfolk called Whipperleys that sells such items. The desert boots pictured here retail at £34.99 a pair.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Chery Cole military style

Cheryl Cole has used a military style in several of her stage costumes, like this red tunic used on stage and in her video. The red tunic was a standard item of uniform for the British soldier pretty much right up to the end of the Victorian era - and is still used by the Guards regiments on ceremonial duties today.
Finding a genuine one in an ex-military shop is likely to be difficult and expensive but Boohoo have several military style jackets at the moment including their Dina Short Military Coat in a choice of red, black or grey for £40.