3 Ways To Get Spring's Military Style Just Right

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Every few years a trend returns, and somehow, we don't know why, it feels fresher than ever. Such was the case last fall when we first saw the models stomping down Balmain's spring runway, and we knew military style was going to be big—but not in the same way it once was. Paired with embellished epaulets, skinny leather leggings, and the highest heels, Balmain proved classic military stylings could go beyond the typical blend-in hippie vibe and reveal a bold new brand of rebellion. Sexy, sophisticated, tough, coquettish, and back again, this spring's military style goes the distance, and so, we've rounded up our three top takes on the returning trend: Feminine, Classic, and Tough. Because many of you probably have an old favorite military jacket lurking somewhere in your closet, we're also sneaking in some shopping tips on how to give it your own renewed spin this spring.

1. Classic—With an emphasis on sharp tailoring and masculine lines, classic military style has a bold effect when you pair it with some skin or a really high heel. In the mix: Oversized button-down, tailored jacket, stiletto booties.

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Above, from left: Rag & Bone runway looks courtesy of Rag & Bone; street style photo by Tamu McPherson/All The Pretty Birds; Golden Goose Tuxedo Button Down Shirt, $412, available at La Garçonne; Rag & Bone Zig Zag Pants, $290, available at La Garçonne; Giuseppe Zanotti Canvas Boots, $875, available at Net-A-Porter.

2. Feminine—From fitted cargo pants to a sweeping USO-style "army" dress, military's feminine take puts an emphasis on playful details and curvier silhouettes. In the mix: Vintage brooch, chunky necklace, skinny belts.

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Above, from left: J. Crew spring lookbook image; Oscar de la Renta spring runway image courtesy of Oscar de la Renta; Nanette Lepore Ruffled Army Blouse, $278, available at Bergdorf Goodman; Lizzie Fortunato Jewels Faded Grandeur Necklace, $500, available at Charm & Chain; J. Crew Ripstop Cargo Pants, $39.99, available at J. Crew; Martin + Osa Skinny Belt, $59.50, available at Martin + Osa.


3. Tough—The heart-and-soul of Balmain's masterful collection, military's tough side taps into a woman's confident, sexy side by mixing up some edgier basics. In the mix: Skinny leather jeans, heavy-duty boots, cropped cadet-style jacket.

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Above, from left: Style photo via Lookbook.nu; Balmain spring 2010 runway shot courtesy of Balmain; Redopin Faux-Leather Leggings, $45, available at YesStyle;ASOS Military Safety Pin Brooch, $10.26, available at ASOS; T by Alexander Wang Stretch-Jersey Dress, $110, available at Net-A-Porter; Levi's Army Camo Jacket, $222.22, available at ASOS; Bess Studded Boots, $460, available at Net-A-Porter.  


More Great Military Buys:

Mutnam Slim-Fit Cargo Pants, $62, available at YesStyle.
Alice + Olivia Distressed Skinny Leg Cargo Pants, $230, available at Nordstrom.
Diesel Army Green Dress, $79, available at Yoox.