In their book about American soldiers in the war-torn Britain of W.W. II, Overpaid, Over-Sexed and Over Here (1991), authors James Goodson and Norman Franks recall how thoroughly impressed Americans were with the standard issue British Army uniform. The Supreme Allied Commander, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower, was no exception - he promptly ordered his tailor to craft him a similar get-up. Other American generals followed in his path as did the cocky young pilots of the Army Air Corps - shortly there after the look soon spread throughout the entire Army. Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens (1994) is a book that chronicles the many assorted ways the "Ike Jacket" came to be be imitated and duplicated by both officer and enlisted men throughout the war years and we highly recommend it. The attached 1944 article to the right discusses the broad appeal of this jacket and announced that civilian fashion designers had begun manufacturing the garment for the Home Front.
"When our officers abroad saw what the new jackets could do for the build - the way they broadened shoulders, nipped in waists and played up military trimness, they set up a howl and eventually got them."
The only garment to emerge from the rubble of W.W. II with any of the popularity resembling that of the trench coat, which was the one sartorial legacy of W.W. I, was the t-shirt - and you can read about that here. The Ike jacket did have staying power, however, it appeared in various forms of sportswear for the following twenty years and exists today as a standard uniform option in American service attire (USPS, UPS, Fed Ex etc.).
To read about the significance of the W.W. I trench coat, click here...
- from Amazon: