Revealing the Military Origins of Everyday Objects and Fashion

Short history of military clothes. 

Author admin
01/07/2023 - 17:17

The influence of the military reaches far beyond the confines of the battlefield. Throughout history, military innovation has often served as a catalyst for advancements in our everyday lives. From indispensable accessories to iconic fashion items and groundbreaking inventions, numerous objects have surprising military origins. In this article, we delve into the captivating military history behind some commonplace day-to-day items that have seamlessly transitioned into civilian use.

Cargo Trousers:

Renowned for their practicality and abundant storage capacity, cargo trousers, trace their roots back to military attire. Originally crafted for soldiers in the early 20th century, these trousers boasted multiple spacious pockets designed to carry essential items during combat missions. Over time, their durability, comfort, and functionality prompted their integration into civilian fashion, gaining popularity among adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts, and casual wearers alike.


Wristwatches, now a ubiquitous accessory, owe their existence to military ingenuity. In the early 20th century, pocket watches were commonplace but proved cumbersome for soldiers in the heat of battle. To address this issue, military personnel began wearing timepieces on their wrists, enabling swift and easy access to accurate timekeeping. The convenience and efficiency of wristwatches soon led to their widespread adoption and eventual popularity among the civilian population.

Trench Coats:

One cannot discuss the military influence on fashion without mentioning the iconic trench coat. Originating from its namesake, the trenches of World War I, this outerwear staple has transcended its military origins to become a timeless fashion statement. Initially designed by Thomas Burberry to provide soldiers with protection from the elements, trench coats featured durable, water-repellent fabrics and distinctive details like shoulder straps and double-breasted fronts. The practicality and versatility of these coats soon caught the attention of civilians, and they swiftly became synonymous with sophistication and elegance. Today, trench coats are a must-have item in many wardrobes, effortlessly blending style and functionality, while paying homage to their military heritage and Burberry, is the brand most commonly associated with the piece of clothing.

Duct Tape:

Duct tape, renowned for its versatility and remarkable adhesive strength, finds its origins in military applications. During the crucible of World War II, the military necessitated a robust and waterproof tape for a myriad of purposes, such as sealing ammunition cases and repairing equipment. The resulting adhesive tape, colloquially known as "scotch tape" due to its water-resistant properties, underwent an evolution and transformed into the ubiquitous duct tape we recognise today. It has become an indispensable tool for DIY projects, household repairs, and even fashion innovations.

Aviator Sunglasses:

The iconic sunglasses, characterised by their instantly recognizable design featuring large, teardrop-shaped lenses and slender metal frames, trace their lineage back to military origins. Initially developed for pilots in the early 20th century, these sunglasses provided eye protection against intense sunlight and glare at high altitudes. Their distinctive style eventually captured the imagination of the general populace, being introduced in 1980s movies such as “Top Gun” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, soon rendering them a timeless fashion accessory for both men and women. For over 100 years, the brand "Ray-Ban" has been producing aviator sunglasses and even offers a 15% discount to all veterans upon document verification in their online store within the United States.

GPS Technology:

One cannot imagine modern life without GPS (Global Positioning System). Since its invention, GPS has become an indispensable navigational tool extensively employed in day-to-day. Not many are aware that the technology owes its existence to military research and development. Originally invented by the United States Department of Defense for military applications, GPS technology has enabled precise positioning and navigation by harnessing the power of satellites. The civilian applications of this technology rapidly expanded, revolutionising various industries encompassing transportation, mapping, outdoor recreation, and everyday navigation.

The indelible impact of the military on everyday objects, accessories, inventions, and clothing is unmistakable. From the pragmatic functionality of cargo trousers and the efficiency of wristwatches to the versatile nature of duct tape, the timeless style of aviator sunglasses, and the precision offered by GPS technology, these military origins have seamlessly integrated into our day-to-day lives. Recognising the military history behind these items adds an additional layer of appreciation for their practicality, durability, and enduring appeal. So, the next time you don your cargo trousers, adjust your wristwatch, or rely on GPS for directions, reflect upon the military origins that have made them indispensable elements of our modern world.

Author: Abylay Aubakirov



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