This Week I Love …

… military jackets. Or anoraks. Or army coats. Field jackets. Utility jackets. Ya know, olive green, masculine details, incredibly versatile? My own is my thrifted MVP:


Already Pretty outfit featuring military jacket, polka dot dress, neon ballet flats

Already Pretty outfit featuring military jacket, white maxi dress, tan Diesel Go-go boots, spike necklace

Already Pretty outfit featuring military jacket, pearl and rhinestone necklace, tulle skirt, Tsubo Dufay, Foley + Corinna Jet Set


And many more.

And I find that just about every style consult client I work with – both in-person and online – ends up with a military jacket in her post-consult wardrobe picks. It’s a piece that can work in casual and arty offices, but works best for fun, weekend wear. It’s a fantastic piece to throw into a floofy, princess-y outfit to create contrast. It’s a piece that can be bought for $1,000 at the designer level or thrifted for $1. It’s a piece that can sub for a blazer or jean jacket if neither suits you. And it’s an entire family of garments, so there’s a style that works for just about every body, budget, and personal style.

Here are a few styles you can nab right now:


Horny Toad Ghostwriter Jacket$93.65 – $134.95

This style features a longer length, but also includes an internal drawstring for waist definition. Fleece-lined welt handwarmer pockets mean this is a great bet for colder weather, though it probably can’t stand in for a winter coat!


Eddie Bauer Stine® Four-Pocket Field Jacket$69.99

This classic jacket is sold out in regular sizes, but available in this dark olive, red, winter white, and gray in sizes 1X- 3X! It’s made from ripstop cotton and garment-washed for a soft, vintage look. Also features reinforced diamond-quilt elbow patches (a detail that I totally love) and adjustable back buckle for custom fit.


Ecote Oversized Surplus Jacket$89

Ya know me, so I’ll always go for fitted styles myself. But oversized is trendy and fun, and suits many figures. This style will look fab with skinny jeans and boots. And maybe a big ol’ scarf.


Free People Military Jacket$128

Distressed details and a cropped fit set this jacket apart. I love the collarless design, too. This will look fabulous in casual mixes, but will also create great contrast with ladylike dresses and skirts.


Banana Republic Cotton Utility Jacket$175

Spendy, yes, but this jacket includes a detachable inner quilted vest, making it two for one. Wear the vest alone, zipped into the jacket, or wear the lightweight shell on its own. Also included this option because it’s available in petite and tall sizes.


Hive & Honey Military Anorak$79

Another simple, longer option but at a slightly lower price point than the Horny Toad version. This style also features an internal drawcord, and I adore the studded detail at the chest pockets.

I’ve also found lots and lots of military jackets in my local thrift stores, so for TRULY low prices check there. Look among both blazers and coats. And, of course, you can try actual military surplus outlets! But depending on your figure and flattery preferences, styles that are more fashion-y and less authentic may fit better.

Do you own a military jacket? Like the style? How do you style and wear yours?

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19 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. Allison

    This is perfect, sweet Sal! I seriously was just looking for these coats yesterday!! Thanks for refining my search!

  2. Anna

    I just want to know one thing: Will the Horny Toad Ghostwriter Jacket improve my writing? 😉

  3. Vicky

    I ADORE this post!! I have this wierd Texan/Military/Chic style going on (code for I don’t really have a clue what I’m doing.. but boots and a jacket are awesome)… and I just LOVE military styled jackets.

    My favorite one is purple with bronze buttons – but I love the one you have!! 😀 I’m glad I’m not alone in the jacket-love!

  4. AB

    I have a military-style jacket from Old Navy from 10 years ago. I still love it and wear it often. It always makes it through closet purges.

  5. Shay

    I love that red purse in the last photo of yours. Could you share the source?

    Are there actually two different jackets in the photos? It seems like some have lapels and others have standing collars?

  6. Grassroot Cooking

    I have to say, I love everyone of those outfits you’re wearing. I can completely see the versatility and the usefulness of the jacket.

    And yet I have this mental block where I don’t want one for me. I don’t know whether it’s because I have this ingrained idea that my colouring (olive skin, brown hair, brown eyes) means that this tone won’t work on me, or whether I just associate the colour with 1990’s parkas. Either way, thanks to your post, I’m going to go try some on this weekend. Thanks Sal!

  7. Anne

    You certainly have good thrifting karma because your jacket is adorable. I tried to buy the Eddie Bauer jacket the last time you posted it but they were out. I think I have the Hive & Honey jacket in my cart right now. I guess I’d better pull the trigger before its gone too. These army jackets are one of the first emerging trends that I didn’t have to think too much about, I knew it was something I’d wear a ton and get plenty of mileage from.

  8. Mollie

    Sal, I also have a thrifted military jacket similar to yours. I love it with so many outfits, but I find I only wear it in the small weather window when it’s not raining and just too cold for short sleeves. Do you have any tips on how to layer this type of coat? And blazers in general seem to baffle me. None of mine seem to fit properly under a raincoat or even a winter coat, limiting their wear. I feel like I can’t move my arms/shoulders. Is there a trick I’m missing? Maybe just take it along separately and put it on at the office?

    • Sally

      Hi Mollie! Hmm, so the sleeves on your outerwear coats must be fairly snug then, right? Most of my coat sleeves are roomy enough to accomodate blazers and thick layers. Coats lined with slippery fabrics tend to take bulky layers more easily, but even they can be too tight. I think your solution of taking blazers and your thrifted military jacket separately and changing at the office is probably the best, since other solutions would be buying roomier outerwear or getting coat sleeves lined by a tailor, both of which would be costly!

      In terms of restricted movement, that definitely happens with blazers that fit snugly in the shoulders. Ponte and knit blazers are more flexible, for what it’s worth, but structured ones will feel a bit confining. Especially if you’re reaching for something on a high shelf. Annoying.

      Anyone else have suggestions for Mollie?

  9. cecelia

    I have a green one similar in style to the Banana Republic one, but in cotton with no lining. I wear it alot as outerwear, but I’ve never worn it as part of an indoor- outfit.

  10. CC

    I do! I thrifted a gap one for about $5. And love it. In fact I loved it so much that I splurged (for me at least) and bought an old navy vest in the same style. I just love the vibe they give my girly pieces. 🙂

  11. Susan

    I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why Sally’s jacket is so perfect. Of course, it fits like a dream. Perhaps it’s my monitor, but it seems like a soft, muted color. Less yellow-green than most olives. Perhaps that makes it more versatile. I just love it, and I NEVER thought I’d love a military jacket. My style is very girly-girl.

  12. Gracey at Fashion for Giants

    I love this style of jacket but I don’t think I love it enough to pay retail. I’ve been looking in my local thrift stores, but still haven’t found one that I like. I’m going to keep looking though and maybe I’ll change my mind about retail; that Hive & Honey one is pretty cute!

  13. Sonja

    It’s interesting, I like the outfits you’re showing us here, but I’m not drawn to the item itself at all. I think it’s the muddy colours (I like bright, saturated shades) and the implications of clothing with a military style. Although I have no problem with a nice trenchcoat. Hm.
    If I were looking for an edgy jacket to be mixed with femine outfits, I think I would prefer a short moto-style jacket or a cropped jeans jacket.

  14. sarah

    I *love* the jacket on you and I *love* olive green, but I never seem to find a military style that I like on myself – or at least, not this kind of military style. I think it’s because I’m so tall, and because my shoulders are so broad: military-inspired pieces look a little too … legitimately military on my big frame.

    That said, I picked up a red wool double-breasted overcoat with split tails in the back (like a colonial British military coat) this winter – THAT is a military look that I like on me!

  15. Betsy

    Love how you made that jacket work throughout each season! Not an easy task for some. I just got a new deep green anorak and I couldn’t be happier!