The Perfect Military Jacket

Ryan Smith in the East Village

Last week here in New York, we had our first chilly morning accompanied by rain—one of my least favorite combinations. On early mornings like this, I throw on my military jacket and know I’ll be shielded from the elements.

I bought this jacket at an army/navy store in the Village a couple of years back, but it’s a bit different than the standard M-65 style military jacket, as it’s actually a French F2 combat jacket.

Military Jacket Detail

I don’t know if it has anything to do with the French being any more fashion-forward than Americans, but the fit of the jacket is much slimmer than its M-65 counterpart. It also features two zip pockets as opposed to the M-65’s velcro breast pockets. An interior drawstring helps achieve the perfect fit.

The details make this jacket stand out from replicas you might find in stores. When the rain starts to fall, the zipper at the neck conceals a hood that attaches to the jacket collar and neatly zips right back in when it stops. There are zippers on both arms for small items. If I were a smoker, this is where a pack of Lucky’s would go.

Hooded Military Jacket

A Watch and the Newspaper

During the transitional months, there really is nothing better for walking around in terrible weather than a worn-in military jacket.

A jacket like this blends with both casual and dressy clothes without issue. There’s a fun James Bond moment you have coming out of the elements, removing a beat-up jacket to reveal a perfectly dry, pressed suit jacket underneath. It goes just as well with a sweatshirt at Sunday brunch.

Girls are especially at an advantage—a versatile jacket like this looks great over everything from floral dresses to menswear-inspired chambray.

If you don’t have the time to scour your local army surplus for that perfect jacket (which we do recommend), we rounded up a few others that we love for both men and women, within every budget:

– Ryan

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