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Sharp, Military-Inspired Winter Basics Hit the Street

By Patrick Michael Hughes | January 23, 2013 8:41am

MANHATTAN — The day-to-day fluctuation of winter’s temperatures demands that stylish urban dwellers' cold weather wardrobes be functional, versatile and sharp.

Street Chic was captivated by a number of good-looking fashion essentials and obvious seasonal favorites hitting the street this season, rolling together consistent trends and age-old classics.

A dominant presence out in force were military inspired looks — long woolen air force coats, classic pea coats, expedition parkas and light layers of camouflage.

Traditional, structured cuts, with interesting details like double breasted coats, large collars, band necklines, fur-trimmed hoods and utility details, underscore the move towards more basic fashion. Military styles combine well with street-style textile sensibilities, like nylon, boiled wool, denim and 10-gauge canvas. Street Chic not only noted these subtleties, but also the understated neutral palate of brown, khaki, green, navy and black.    

Fashion designer and Project Runway All-Star Austin Scarlett — noted for his wonderful panache with clothing — was spotted in the West Village wearing a sweeping heavy gauge, double-breasted wool military coat with a dramatic collar.  

A total camouflage look, featuring brown brushed-cotton contrast sleeves and a band collar, hit a striking note on wearer Johnny Umratulaev in SoHo. A classic military inspired pea coat by All Saints was eye catching on David Wasicki in Soho, who accessorized with a claret-toned scarf.

The puff jacket shape to pay attention to this season is all about volume. We spotted a look recalling the black A-line and dramatic volume associated with the fashions of Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo in the early 1980s. The incorporation of mixed-length layered knits, a large pressed leather tote and bright blue seapunk-inspired spiked hair add the 21st-century touch that keeps it from being simply retro.

Street Chic liked the double-breasted coat worn by Erica Fenn, an assistant designer for Men’s INC at Macy's.

And Ivy League looks with a chic spin were exemplified in the wonderful coordination of color worn by Nicklaus and Kizzie Jones, whose getup featured letter sweaters, a tweed bowtie, a golden yellow princess-line coat, and a green fedora between them.