The French have always been a fixture on the fashion scene, this is especially true considering how it has become a part of their national identity. It should come as no surprise then, that their military might have something to contribute to “La Mode Française”. The first example I would like to showcase that demonstrates such excellent French Military design, is the F1 Field Jacket. Between the zippers and the buttons and all the pockets you could want, the French Army really got it right when they designed the F1 Model 1950 Jacket.
The jacket was originally designed in the 1950s, thus giving it the model number 1950. My readers should note that this is very common in military designs, as you can see in my last post the M-1941 jacket was adopted in 1941, thus designating it the M-1941 Jacket. The F1 jacket did go through two more design improvements in its lifetime. There was an F1 Model 1980 and then a F2 Model. These newer versions of the F1 had minor improvements and changes. The pockets became patch pockets and there were a few modifications in regards to how the insignia would be worn. All in all though, the design stayed the same.
The jacket did not see very much action in the original olive-green color. During the 1990s the F1 was manufactured for the French Military in camouflage. Around this time, Army Surplus stores worldwide received thousands of these jackets from the French government to be sold to the general public, as they were deemed obsolete due to the new camouflage version.
This wave of F1 jackets flooding the Army Surplus market led to its entrance onto the streets and then eventually its adoption by the fashion world.
These two photos below show the F1 Jacket being worn correctly by French soldiers.
Opération Turquoise, the F1 jacket did see limited combat with France’s contribution to the United Nations during the Genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
The great thing about this jacket, is that it can be worn exactly how it was originally designed. It can be easily purchased from your local Army Surplus store and immediately worn without any alterations.
These are a few examples of it being worn in ensembles…
Urban Outfitters version of the F2 Jacket $63
This jacket is a must have for anyone that would like to add just a touch of MilFashion clothing to their wardrobe. It can easily work for guys or girls and as you can see below through my links to Army Navy Surplus Stores, it is a very affordable piece, which is great for such a popular item!
Uncle Sam’s Army Outfitters $38.00
ArmyShop.ie € 9.99
You may even be able to find it for an even better price, you will just have to pop into your local Army Surplus store and ask them if they have “that cool French Army jacket, you keep seeing everyone wearing”.