Know Better. Read!
Home  »  Within Reach  »  Military Fashion: From Kpop to Top Gun Girl

Military Fashion: From Kpop to Top Gun Girl

September 29, 2014 | By: Blessing       Within Reach
Military Fashion
Never Going Out of Style

Like the little black dress, a Military Jacket, Camouflage
Tights, Aviator Shades and even Leather Harnesses are
now part of every smart young woman's wardrobe

Korean national girl group 4minute showing off their
gorgeous Military Uniform number their music video I My Me Mine.

from the YouTube account of UnknownCarrot 120  
All rights reserved to KBS TV

Just Cannot Resist Girls in Uniform: KPOP Style

Military-inspired outfits have been surprisingly popular for the last 6 years or so.  And they are now beginning to look like one of those enduring, timeless fashion classics.  Kpop culture is one of those magnetizing influences that has sold the look as legit cool forever. 

By reviving the music video for this generation as a storytelling medium and showing beautiful idol groups
enthralling the hearts of every fanboy AND fangirl in the most flattering themed outfits—among them military wear that range from serious and handsome, to outrageous and funny, Kpop has provided style icons no other cultural influence can match.  Military uniforms, as fashion, are particularly interesting because the look pervades across ALL styles, from street wear to high-end fashion. Amazingly, the style also crosses generations as more young hipsters and more mature people alike are donning all sorts of olive drab jackets.   

One of the top brands for Kpop fans, Ceci, featuring a
sweet military denim jacket on a Kpop Star

There was a time as recent as the 80s when only a grunge bum or a drifter on skid row in most any country would be identified by this outfit, a military M51 jacket to keep the cold out while sleeping on park benches or street alleys. 

Dancing Queen HyoYeon of Girls Generation showing off a
Michael Jackson inspired Military getup

Now, you see young celebrities, Asian and Western alike, in trench coats, and combat boots, wearing aviator shades coming off limousines or private planes, flashing their we-don't-care-what-you-think-we-look-like attitude that further cements military fashion as a timeless style staple of the young woman's modern wardrobe. 

Crystal Sung of Kpop Sweethearts, FX in a sexy, Military Jacket,
styled coat from HIGH CUT a top Korean brand

And the look is still going strong and even evolving each year as designers get creative with what they can do, says Hong In-su, a professor at Esmod Seoul fashion school.  “Military fashion is getting sophisticated compared to previous seasons.” says Hong.  “The military look appeals to many female celebrities because it is versatile,” says stylist Kim Seong-il.  Military jackets and clothes were first manufactured by streetwear brands and now even designer brands have paraded them for their 2010 and 2012 fashion collections.

Korean national girl group, 4minute put their own stamp on a typical military look, experimenting with patterns, shapes, colours and materials, not forgetting spiky hair and punky jewelery without even using camouflage prints, opting for green and khaki army uniforms with arrow pin badges that resemble the insignia for private or ensign on military uniforms. All the girls looking boyish yet attractive as girls in uniform–always a sexy concept.

SM Town's Girls Generation's I Got a Boy in winning form:
Military Jackets
,   All Rights Reserved to SBS    Fair Use

SBS TV featuring a live performance of I Got a Boy from
Girls Generration in Military Uniforms
All Rights Reserved SBS TV

Kpop supergroup Girls Generation probably made Military Fashion THE official look of sexy for this year by winning the You Tube Music Video of the Year for 2014 beating out Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato.  GIrl's Generation's stylized military shirt jackets emblazoned with colorful patches might look hiphop, but never as over the top as Michael Jackson's, the KPOP group still looks very soldier girl-conscription, but they bare midriffs and wear matching torn jeans or camouflage tights.  Sweet.  Wishing all female soldiers dressed like that.

It is the Gundam Century counterpart of the little black dress: a military jacket is the one stylish coat a girl can wear with anything: from t-shirt and jeans or various leggings, to a girly silk dress, to short shorts and tank top and still look like a doll.  A girl in uniform is still one hot mama. 

Toppugan Joshi
TOP GUN GIRL is hot for 2014!

Nikkei Trendy, a fashion rag dedicated to the evergrowing cult of Japanese young women looking for their fashion fix every year, had published a list before the start of 2014 showing the hottest looks for all young women oshare.  Among their featured looks is a fashion choice already popular in Japan among women, called TOP GUN GIRL.
Or Toppugan Joshi

Sunny from Girls Generation showing off a very stylish
military jacket in the GG calendar

Apparently, the Japanese think of Kelly McGillis like Marilyn Monroe, and her look in the movie is as just as sexy AND kawaii as that entire 1980s Navy MTV recruitment movie for ace pilots. The danger zone ain't as tough if you aren't decked out in a Military Jacket.  Especially if you are a Girl.  Top Gun Girl looks aren't really new, but with even Korean Pop Stars grabbing military fashion as one of the highly stylized identities to expect in all of their sexy dance music videos, the Japanese pride themselves with their own sense of looking oshare better than everyone else.

Classic TV show, COMBAT showing Vic Morrow and Rick Jason in
Army Field Jackets.  U.S. military uniforms are always popular,
like bomber jackets, and all old uniforms do fetch a handsome
price online just like used distressed jeans in the U.S., at one
time attracting Japanese tourists buying them from the dump.

MA-1 Bomber jackets from the 1950s are as precious a fashion item as old torn denims worn by rockstars.  They seem to symbolize a roguish sensuality for female fans.  Remember that Tracy Lords 80s poster in torn jeans and denim jacket?  This generation's rockstar icon is 80s Kelly McGillis as their real life gaijin Misa Hayase.  Even in the country's popular anime series--Macross, Galaxy Angel, Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed and Gundam, you see their bishojo and bishonen moe heroes strutting around in military jackets of all makes.  Strangely, G-1 leather jackets were worn in the Top Gun movie and not the trending MA-1s.

Nana of one of the hottest KPOP girl groups,
Afterschool in a Military jacket styled coat.

The comfort and utility of these jackets during cold climes have made them indispensable in anyone's wardrobe and they never look dated.  Bomber jackets were even espoused by William Gibson in his novel Pattern Recognition as some kind of anti-fashion statement for anyone allergic to brands, so his heroine wore a Buzz Rickson version, an old 50s style.  Never thought young women dressing up like 80s Kelly McGillis would be such a wildfire phenomenon, 20 plus years after that movie, but when you see Kpop or even J-idols donning the look in their music videos, you feel the rock and roll never having left.  More and more women’s clothing retailers are offering tailored military jackets with more feminine, svelte and even sequined numbers in military colors in Japanese shops.  Of course, THE standard MA-1 bomber jackets, without the tootsie frills, are the must haves for any self-respecting joshi.

Afterschool's Nana in a camouflage Military Jacket and girly dress
ensemble, looks better together and better than a black dress.

Popular Kpop rapper, HyunAh wearing a stylish
 camouflage military jacket

In our own country, no self-respecting young girl would get caught wearing this 'jolog' camouflage fashion except maybe for entertainment celebrities and dancers for themed production numbers.  But in the better part of the world, camouflage patterns were never low brow.  Seemingly an 80s relic, silhouette masking patterns might hit big as predicted for 2014 Japan.  Some lolita-cosplay aficionados mix up the look with Goth, as in goth leather jacket and camouflage tights (leggings) and boots.

The Fashion Harness

Pilots wear them to hold the backpack containing their parachutes and these straps also hold them in their seats.  Other military harnesses are like belting that hold extra ammunition and weapon holsters for field soldiers,  but the strappy belting has been used as inspiration for better purpose--to look kawaii.

The harness as a fashion statement replaces the more traditional belt and suspenders. And it isn't even a replica of those worn by fighter pilots, some look too dainty to look Top Gun, looking like strange bondage belt straps sometimes studded with spikes or metal ring connectors.  But THAT is exactly the look the fashion accessory is aiming for.

The movie TOP GUN already is reported to have a sequel in the works, and not only Japanese fans are standing in line for that dream to play out.  The original movie still  stands as one of those cheesy, hyper-idealized 80s MTV movies that inspire cults of worhsip, whether for the protagonists as the sexiest fighter pilot bad boy and his disciplined, gorgeous superior officer, or the fashion of the time--MTV rockstar military jackets. 

In Kpop culture, Girls Generation just showed us why young women will look no prettier, kawaii, oshare or  sexier other than by wearing military uniform.  Like the little black dress and gladiator sandals, military fashion is now one of the smartest ways of looking comfy, stylish and even formal.  A girl in uniform is still one hot mama.

A timeless inspiration for all generations of kids and hopeless romantics,
until they make the live action Macross movie that is...

The Japan Release Movie Poster from 1986. 
All rights reserved to Paramount Pictures


comments powered by Disqus
Copyright © 2013-2024 DynamicMind Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
DynamicMind Publishing Inc.

Follow Us