Uniformly Speaking: Fashion From The Front Lines

Valentino cotton twill jacket and matching pants available at netaporter.com

The front line, not the front row, is where it’s at! First responders, paramedics, doctors, nurses, police officers, and military personnel are out there, jeopardizing their health and safety on a daily basis. These uniformed public servants are today’s heroes.

Members of the navy aboard the USNS Comfort

While this is not the right time to focus on the superficial, I can’t help but think about the symbolism of uniforms, especially military uniforms, and their continual impact on fashion. Uniforms are seasonless and timeless, and with their honest, straightforward functionality, they have even more applications right now.

Designs that emphasize versatility and practicality are always covetable. As we are confined to the home – or go out to run quick errands – clothing that is relaxed, familiar, and made of humble, sturdy fabrics like cotton canvas and drill, is especially appealing.

Ralph Lauren Lydie belted canvas jacket

Ralph Lauren has built his brand on the forever appeal of military-inspired details and a practical sensibility. The Lydie jacket, available in white or khaki, is a modern juxtaposition of the two, with its snapped shoulder epaulets and cotton canvas fabrication. It balances a durable construction with exceptional softness and a luxurious drape. The price is $1990, and it is available at ralphlauren.com.

Mes Demoiselles Karagol metallic trim cotton canvas shirt $250 at netaporter.com

Mes Demoiselles’ ‘Karagol’ shirt has a relaxed utilitarian vibe. It is made from beige cotton-canvas, and cut in a relaxed silhouette with button-fastening flap pockets and shoulder epaulets. The gold-tipped collar and coordinating piping at the back give it a hint of polish. It is $250 and available at netaporter.com. The matching pants are $228.

Marni cotton and linen blend twill jacket

Francesco Risso uses Che Guevara’s military uniform as inspiration for the utilitarian styles in Marni’s Spring ’20 collection. Cut in a classic field silhouette that fits loosely through the body, this jacket is made from cotton and linen-blend twill, and left unlined to maintain the boxy shape. The slim half-belt is such a cool finishing touch. It is priced at $1790 and available at netaporter.com.

Frankie Shop “Eve” belted jumpsuit

After relocating to London, New Yorker Gaelle Drevet soon discovered the markets at Portobello and Shoreditch, which lead her on a journey to find out more about fashion design, culminating in the launch of Frankie Shop. This ‘Eve’ jumpsuit is made from soft cotton-blend in army-green and has a buckled belt to cinch the slightly loose fit. Priced at $210 it is available at netaporter.com

Nili Lotan Aria cotton twill jumpsuit

Nili Lotan’s collections are filled with practical pieces that will look good for seasons to come. This ‘Aria’ jumpsuit is made from cotton and linen-blend twill in a relaxed silhouette and has oversized cargo pockets and a notched collar. Use the self-tie belt to cinch the waist. It is priced at $725 and available at nililotan.com.

LVIR wool blend shirt

LVIR takes pride in creating refined, timeless pieces in nature-inspired tones. This shirt is tailored from a light wool-blend in a slightly loose silhouette that drapes neatly and won’t cling. It has a curved hem and is perfect for half-tucking into pants and skirts. Priced at $275, it is available at netaporter.com.

Zara trench coat in sand

Zara’s classic cotton-blend trench coat in sand is priced at $129 and available at zara.com

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins

Nothing makes a more perfect cover-up, particularly for a news correspondent than a trench coat. This is not lost on Kaitlan Collins, the poised 26-year-old CNN White House Correspondent who has broken several stories since joining the network in 2017.

In 2018, Collins made the Mediate’s list of the 50 Most Influential People in New Media. She was also named to Crain’s NewsPro’s 12 to Watch in TV News in January of 2019 as well as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30:Media” that same year.

Marilyn Kirschner
Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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