Military-inspired fashion marches through town

Kiersten Marian and Gerald Rich

Whether it’s cruising with your aviators on and listening to The Doors like you’re in “Apocalypse Now” or throwing on some combat boots with a pair of jeans, aspects of military fashion are becoming ingrained in the regular Austin chic of plaid and cutoffs.

So, when it comes to the heat- and cicada-filled summer days, here are some quick ideas to help your wardrobe kick ass and take names.

Keep in mind, military attire isn’t restricted to costumes for sorority or fraternity parties. Top designers such as Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Burberry Prorsum all showcased military-chic looks for the spring and fall. Heavier black boots, structured jackets or just epaulets on a button-down contribute to a more refined outfit.

However, you don’t have to pay top dollar to look like a top brass military official.

Instead of purchasing pricey army-inspired pieces, you can cut out the middleman and buy actual military garments and accessories at military surplus stores close to campus, such as The Quonset Hut, Banana Bay Trading Company and the N.S. Army-Navy Store.

A great basic to have in any wardrobe for guys or girls is an army-green button-up. Girls can wear this as a loose cover-up after coming back from Barton Springs or guys can throw it on and wear it as a nice shirt to go out to Sixth Street. It’s not as kitschy as the camo, but gives off a subtle army vibe when paired with something as simple as jeans.

Although some might say combat boots and hot Texas summers may not pair well together, women can stay cool by wearing them with cutoff shorts and a light cotton T-shirt. This look also gives the masculine shoes a sexy, feminine twist. Guys can wear them instead of sandals or boat shoes for an innovative look while still keeping a relaxed summer appearance. Boots can also be functional, lending themselves well to impulsive summer excursions in the Hill Country.

For those looking for a less bold military-inspired addition to their wardrobe, adding army patches and pins to shirtsleeves, on the back pocket of jeans or to your purse or backpack can achieve the same military feel. It’s a new and modern equivalent to accessorizing with the “I Am Loved” or band pins. You can even throw a couple on an army-green button-up or get a blank one and stitch your name in it for a more personal touch.

Even though these looks are all good ways to mix up classic summer attire, these pieces are great for the fall, too. Structured navy or black pea coats or a worn-in bomber jacket from any of these stores are a cheap way to stay warm when the temperature eventually drops.