March 14, 2016


 After visiting the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, I was completely inspired to blog about the clothing worn during the world wars. After some reading, I thought it would be intriguing to demonstrate how these garments trickled down through history to now become what we call in today's society a fashion trend.

As we know, during war times, uniforms were a weapon for survival. Soldiers needed to protect themselves in order to maximize their performance out on the battlefield. Therefore, uniforms had to be resilient to weather, battle and also had to be perfect for camouflaging purposes. 

Let's start with the combat boot, which has gone through a lot of editing during the world wars. Every style of combat boot varies by country because of different weather conditions. Before the combat boot, soldiers were wearing service shoes with canvas leggings which provided no ankle support, this was a huge problem that led to many injuries.

A major issue was water getting into the soldiers' shoes which caused Trench Foot. This is a painful condition of the feet caused by long immersion in cold water or mud and marked by blackening and death of surface tissue. Walking became difficult and could lead to gangrene which would result in amputation in most cases.

The combat boot was modified many times during the wars, they varied in length to prevent water from going inside. Other modifications were made to provide better ankle support.

Along with the evolution of the world, the combat boot became a trend, especially with the goth, punk and grunge movement. The Doc Martens brand would be the primary example of this look utilized as a fashion expression, you can find a wide variety of "Docs" available in so many colors and prints. It's amazing! 

There are so many stylish combat boots out there, adorned with buckles or studs, also available at your desired height of heel and in your choice of color. See below as an example:

This is the evolved flight suit which is now a fashion trend known as a jumpsuit.

This military inspired jumpsuit look dates back to world war flight suits worn in the cockpit. These uniforms were padded, made of leather and fur since planes were not heated and temperatures in altitude were known to be deadly. 

Some of these suits were even electrically heated to keep bomber crews and pilots warm. With the advance of technology, less padding and bulkiness was needed, therefore the jumpsuit became very thin in fabrication.

Here is an example of a flight suit worn at the beginning of the world war era, it is bulky and heavy to keep pilots warm in high altitude.

The quilted cotton winter field dress worn by the Korean military was warm and lighter than the bulky US winter uniforms. Their advantage was an increased life expectancy out on the war zone which was very crucial.

For military purpose, the winter field dress is padded and easier to move around in, it is also least likely to snag on things. Today, this is worn as a spring or winter jacket. Fashion is still functional, however the garment is now seen from a marketable fashion perspective.

We must commemorate the makers behind war time garments, those were the true "hero designers", women designed to protect the soldiers that served and protected our country. This post is a reminder to the truthful backstory and sacrifice behind fashion in today's society. Luckily, we can now wear these "looks" because we want to and not because we have to.


Photos: Source Unknown


Paola Lauretano said...

Such an interesting post!
I love army-chic style!
Kisses, Paola.


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Inês Silva said...

Thanks for the comment <3
so interesting!

Floortje van Cooten said...

Great post!



The Bandwagon Chic said...

Those rugged boots and military looking outfit are my faves.
Seems pretty interesting to know the past.

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Madeline Asala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madeline Asala said...

This is a very fascinating post. Who would have thought that the items we put on without so much as a thought are so much entrenched in wartime history?

Bravo for this!

Nerline Germain said...

This is my first time hearing about Trench Foot. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

Missy May said...

History keeps repeating itself isn't it? This is very educational and interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Diana Ashuayem said...

Wow! Interesting read. I love how fashion has evolved,and to think jumpsuits were flight suits...ha!

Diana Horsfall said...

awesome post

Of the comely said...

Nice post! Another good example is the flight/bomber jacket that is always fashionable.

Idu Emeziem said...

Great post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend.

Toyas Tales said...

This is very informative and historically accurate post. I like how you showed how the wartime staples evolved over time in fashion.

Kelly Madera said...

Thank you for posting such a moving and educational as well as thoughtful post. I think it's really important to understand the story behind the clothes we wear today :)


Tania Franco said...

The history behind the clothes is remarkable, I loved it!


Miss Val's Creations said...

Great post! It is neat how combat boots have worked their way into fashion. My grandfather did not get called to duty in WWII because he was a baker providing for the troops so his career was a necessity. A unique piece of history!

Lorena said...

Very thought provoking.
Sometimes we think things are made to adorn and we forget that the original idea as to serve a purpose.

Stella Scarlett Rose said...

This is really interesting! The World War was very important for fashion. Especially the first one. Here they've created the trench coat!

♘ ♘

Elle said...

This is a fascinating post, to see the origins of what we wear and take for granted, with a lovely bit of sentiment at the end. Fabulous!
xx, Elle