Military jackets come in casual and dressy incarnations, and furthermore, each incarnation can be dressed up or down. This leaves you with lots of possibilities for an item that I think has a high degree of style longevity. 

This particular ensemble takes three flavours of the military jacket and mixes them up with both casual and dressy pieces. Note that each of the jackets can be combined with both pairs of bottoms and all three pairs of shoes.

Here are the components of the formula: 

  • Military Jacket: From distressed cottons, drawstrings, slouchy fits and camouflage patterns, to crisp wool, immaculate tailoring, epaulettes and shiny buttons — military jackets can take on a myriad of personas. Choose one that fits your style and reinvent its attitude by changing up the support act. 
  • Layering Top: I’ve chosen a simple, fine gauge wool pullover in a light neutral, but a long sleeved tee, turtleneck, or knit top are great alternatives. 
  • Bottoms: Wool trousers and a pencil skirt dress up the look, while jeans dress things down. I’ve chosen pleated trousers with tapered hems, but regular bootcut slacks will work just fine. Boyfriend jeans are another possibility, as are harem pants, cropped pants or a flared skirt. 
  • Footwear: Match trousers and jeans with a crisp brown bootie for a sleek finish. Or choose a distressed version if that’s more your speed. Throw in a studded sneaker for a very relaxed look, or step things up with girly pointy toed pumps. 
  • Finishing Touches: I would wear this outfit with a patterned belt, structured bag, watch and eyewear. But you could leave off the belt and add a scarf and jewelry. 

As with all of the outfit formulas, I sow the seed of an idea. The next step is to substitute the items for ones that work for your style. I kept the palette neutral, but by all means throw in some colour. Add a clutch. Wear tall boots instead of booties. Pile on the arm candy. Wear a silky blouse instead of knitwear. Perhaps you’ve got a military jacket that you can dress up or down right away.