Olive drab is the new pink! No longer is it reserved for Vietnam Veterans or rebellious teens, as clothing companies make the military color their own.
Dating all the way back to the end of the 19th century, olive drab is a well known, yet dull color. The word “drab” literally means, “Lacking in brightness or interest; drearily dull.”
In the beginning of the 20th century most military powers began moving away from the bright colored uniforms of years passed, and into an age of camouflage.
However it wasn’t until World War II, when practicality prevailed, that the modern Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) began to take shape. Though not designed by Hugo Boss, like the German SS uniforms, the US field uniforms were simple and sensible.
The most popular, and well known, field jacket was born in 1965. The Vietnam era M-65 was not only worn by those fighting the war, but by those protesting it as well. Photographs of people like Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Country Joe McDonald wearing the M-65 while protesting the war in Vietnam circulated the globe in the 1960’s. This media recognition of the protestors and Vietnam veterans in their olive drab field jackets really set a trend for years to come.
The olive drab field jacket was seen as a statement of opposition, and was eagerly picked up by the punk rock movement. Adorned with spikes, safety pins and patches, the field jacket became a platform on which to express one’s rebellion. After the punk scene died down, however, the iconic olive drab field jacket seemed to be lost in oblivion.
Since I began taking pictures for this blog, I have noticed, more and more, the reemergence of olive drab. In my past two outings, alone, I have seen, pants, shirts, overcoats, and the old standby field jacket all cast in Olive Drab. Olive Drab is the new color this year as designers dip back into the closets of their youth and rework an icon.