The Italian Army may not strike fear in your average person, it has had a rocky history after all, especially in WWI and WWII with their flip flopping between the Axis and the Allies. In regards to style and uniforms though, it’s a different story. Italy is one of the few countries to have had their police and military uniforms designed by top designers such as Giorgio Armani. One specific uniform piece that has made the cross over from the military to the fashion world, is a canvas Italian Army jacket from the Cold War.
Although the Italian Army may have had its troubles in the first half of the 20th Century, during the Cold War and up till now it is the third major contributor, after the U.S. and the U.K., to peacekeeping operations around the world. Which may have something to do with the fact that this specific jacket made it into the fashion world, perhaps because of its global visibility. It has since been replaced by the Italian Army for a modern digital camouflage uniform, better suited for their recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The jacket itself it very simple, it has two lower cargo pockets and then two narrower slanted pockets on the chest. The design complimented by two silver patch stars on the collars, this is a junior officer rank. Many designers and labels have incoporated these vintage jackets into their ensembles, but there is one label who has done almost an exact replica of it. Rag & Bone’s Ohara Cargo Jacket draws direct inspiration from this Cold War combat coat.
Rag & Bone Ohara Cargo Jacket $520.00
It has been featured as an original piece in various fashion spreads.
Originals can still be easily purchased and are quite affordable. This is another great item to go exploring for in your local Army/Navy Surplus store. Just remember “Italian Army Jacket with the stars” and you should be all set when asking for help. For those of you who do not have a local store of this nature, here are some stores listed below.
Urban Outfitters $29.99
SportsMan’s Guide $19.97
I would highly encourage anyone seriously interested in this jacket to actually get the original. As you can clearly see, there is a huge leap in the price difference between the original and the Rag & Bone version. Who knows, you may be purchasing something that has travelled the world.