Ever since the M-65 Field Jacket was introduced to US troops in—you guessed it—1965, it’s been a key part of military-rooted fashion trends, right up there with the bomber jacket.
The M-65 was introduced to the US military just as the Vietnam War began to escalate, serving as a replacement to the popular standard-issue M-51 and M-43 Field Jackets worn during WWII and the Korean War. The updated field jacket had a ton of new features (a built-in hood, Velcro cuffs, and extra, easy-access pockets) and was made specifically for soldiers spending time in the jungle—where the days were hot but the nights were cold.
And because stylish people have been aping soldier style for years (an M-65 was worn by Robert Deniro in Taxi Driver, for one), it’s been proven that you don’t have to be enlisted to pull off the military look. An M-65 Field Jacket is sturdy, durable, versatile, and all-around good bet for a casual jacket to add to your closet. Check out 12 of our favorites, and maybe practice your salute.
Cheap Monday Field Jacket
If you don’t think it’s sacrilegious to wear a US military jacket made by a Swedish designer, check out this Field Jacket by Stockholm-based Cheap Monday. In traditional olive green with the jacket’s signature four front pockets, it’ll look great with a pair of jeans and t-shirt.
Alpha Industries McMillian Field Coat
Alpha Industries has been producing military jackets for the actual US military since the 1960s, so buying a jacket from them is about as legit you’re going to get without enlisting. The McMillan is a slimmed-down version of Alpha Industries’ traditional M-65 Field Coat, with a removable lined hood, lower-profile front pockets, and camouflage patches on the elbows. It’s available in tan, black, and red, but if you’re a purist, snatch up the coat in olive green.
Bonobos Lightweight Military Jacket
Don’t chafe at the thought of buying a military jacket from a brand that makes all of your colorful summer shorts—this sleek, updated Field Jacket sports a slimmed-down silhouette, and because it’s in navy, you can wear it in other places than just out in the field.
Alpha Industries M-65 Field Coat
With a long history in creating gear for the US military, this is an updated version of the actual M-65 Field Coat that Alpha created for US troops beginning in the 1960s and stretching all the way to 1990. Made of a combination of cotton and nylon, the coat is durable as hell—tear-resistant and waterproof, with the traditional M-65 features like a concealed hood, draw-cords at the waist, and four pockets on the front. Wear it and go ask your Uncle Jim about his Vietnam war stories.
J. Crew Field Mechanic Jacket
Another more modern, slim-profile offering—J. Crew’s Field Mechanic Jacket has all of the M-65’s signature features. Get it in navy and wear it to the office on Fridays, get it in olive green and wear it every weekend.
Apolis Washed Linen Field Jacket
Apolis specializes in offering unique, handcrafted goods from across the globe (the name “apolis” literally means “global citizen”) and this Washed Linen Field Jacket demonstrates that. While traditional M-65 jackets were a cotton/nylon blend, this linen jacket allows you to get the military look without having to sweat your ass off.
Orvis Woodside Meadow Jacket
Vermont-based Orvis has been creating outdoor gear since the mid-1800s, so if you’re looking for the most durable field jacket, you’ve found it. The Woodside Meadow Jacket is 100% cotton and has ample pocket space to store your phone or your pocket knife.
Legendary USA Cockpit Military M-65 Field Jacket
Pennsylvania-based Legendary USA has been making classic American heritage apparel for nearly 15 years, and its Cockpit Military M-65 is one of the company’s best offerings. Checking all of the boxes for all of the traditional M-65 features, this is a jacket you’ll have forever, and maybe pass down to your kid one day.
ISAORA M-65 Tech Shell Jacket
Building an old-school military jacket might not be the most obvious choice for ISAORA (a brand who’s main mission is to create tech-y men’s clothes for the future), but with the M-65 Tech Shell Jacket, they pull it off. Utilizing a three-layer, breathable stretch nylon from Japan, the jacket features a slim silhouette and barely-there pockets. If you’re looking for an army green coat, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere—this jacket is available in shades of black and gray only.
APC Cotton Field Jacket
Simple and slim, this Cotton Field Jacket from APC in olive green will look great in any casual setting. It has all of the traditional M-65 features aside from an interior hood, but has unique touches like brushed silver buttoned pockets and epaulettes for extra military flair.
Golden Bear for Unionmade M-65 Parka
San Francisco-based Unionmade paired up with Golden Bear—a brand best known for outfitting WWII fighter pilots like the Hellcats—to create this updated M-65 Parka, and when you try it on, you’ll be glad they did. Made with indigo canvas and featuring mother of pearl buttons (which were decidedly not on military-issued M-65 jackets), it has a plethora of pockets, and because it’s in black, you can wear it anywhere.
Aspesi M-65 Field Jacket
Your grandfather would scoff at an Italian brand taking a stab at making a US military jacket, but you can’t argue with quality, which this jacket is. It stands as a great replica of traditional M-65 jackets, and is available in a variety of muted colors, including classic olive, tan, black, brown, and even white.
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