Remember the old saying, “you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day” or “before Easter”………who made that up? The little black dress is a must have and don’t forget about the white button down shirt and the pencil skirt. Most people get their fashion sense from Hollywood celebs, actors/actresses, magazines, their favorite television show, etc. My fashion sense totally comes from my mother. She had great taste! Her fashion sense was old Hollywood glamour and it was pretty classy!

I lived in her closet as a child growing up in Memphis, Tennessee and as I get older, I definitely have her sense of style.  My mom loved shoes and hats, and so do I. When she use to get dressed to go to church or any other social function, she was really something special!

As a proud Navy veteran, I am always amazed at how far I’ve come. Actually I come from a military family, three brothers and a sister all served in the Army as well as my father who served in the Korean War.  I’ve always loved fashion, even when I served in the military I wanted to look nice and have a sense of style when I took my uniform off.  My sense of style included straight leg jeans, vintage tie shirts and heels.

When I was in the military, men and women had designated uniforms, now I believe that some of their uniforms are actually unisex. One part of the male uniform that I’ve always loved is the pea coat! It was stylish, unisex and it wasn’t considered a faddish piece of clothing, meaning that it has been around for a long time and it’s always in style!

I remember when “dog tags” was just a way to identify soldiers in the battlefield in case of war and camouflage was just a way to blend into the jungle……now they are both fashionable and dog tags are “blinged out”. Camouflage became a mainstay in the trenches and battlefields of World War I. The U.S. Army developed its own camouflage with an eye toward evolution — basing its designs on naturalist Abbott Thayer’s 1909 book “Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom.”

The camouflage that is most familiar to Americans — a mix of green, brown, tan and black — is called U.S. Woodland. Vietnam soldiers’ jungle camo was referred to as “Tiger stripe,” and Desert Storm-era uniforms were called “Chocolate Chip” — the small chunks are meant to resemble gravel.

I’ve become fascinated by all the camouflage I’m seeing in fashion……it’s literally everywhere. You have camouflage in handbags, backpacks, sneakers, tights, pants, phone covers and even Doc Martin wingtip shoes. Camouflage like leopard prints or tie dye is a fashion trend that comes and goes but has been very consistent of late and I strongly suspect that it’s because of the ongoing war.

Apparently the trend of camouflage was up 73% for the fall/winter 2013 season. Camouflage even showed up on some of the runways via some of top retail designers such as Michael Kors, who recently created an entire line based on the trend. I guess the basic camouflage Army jacket is here to stay and will never go out of style.
Last week I couldn’t help but notice how all the various sports teams have fully embraced the fashion or cause of camouflage. The camouflage design is now featured on basketballs, footballs, jerseys, phone covers and a bevy of additional accessories that salute us; all of us who proudly served our country. Even more impressive is the fact that they are giving some of the proceeds to various military non-profit organizations, such as the USO, Pat Tillman Foundation, and Wounded Warriors.

Until next time my Veteran Fashionistas, as always, stay fashionable!

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About the Author

Jackie Tacke

Jacquelyn Tacke is a proud Navy veteran. She has represented designers from “Project Runway,” “Project Runway All Stars,” “All On The Line,” etc. Some of those designers’ lines were sold in Dillard’s, Lane Bryant, the Smithsonian museum, as well as a variety of boutiques across the U.S. She has produced celebrity fashion shows all across the country and abroad. She was also a guest speaker for FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in San Diego and is a member of Fashion Group International.


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