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MEET THE M-65 MOD LIGHTWEIGHT, SPRING’S BEST FIELD JACKET

MARCH 3, 2022

A year-round favorite, the M-65 jacket is the best wardrobe staple for any utility-minded wearer. For Spring/Summer 2022, Alpha Industries is refreshing the beloved style, offering a more lightweight, versatile outerwear piece. With a garment washed cotton shell and adjustable fit, the M-65 Mod Lightweight is the perfect, grab-and-go spring jacket.

070 SHAKE WITH M-65 MOD LIGHTWEIGHT FIELD JACKET

The M-65 Mod Lightweight is the newest iteration of the classic M-65 field jacket, one of the most enduring outerwear pieces in fashion history. Not much has changed in the original design, which was first created by Alpha Industries in 1965, but throughout the decades this jacket has come to represent many facets of American culture in surprising ways. Civilians who don the M-65 — among them movie stars, hippies, and activists — have fashioned it into a bold statement, while the jacket’s emphasis on functionality ensures that it never goes out of style.

Let’s dive into this jacket’s history and how it was perfected over the years.

The first field jacket, created in World War II, was the M-41 — named, as all later models were, after the year it was first produced — which functioned as part of the combat uniform in the early years of the war. The jacket was also unofficially referred to as the O.D. Cotton Field Jacket, after the material and olive drab no. 2 shade it was produced in. As the first military field jacket, the M-41 was based on the design of a typical civilian windbreaker, a type of outerwear that was meant to protect the wearer against wind chill and light rain; however, the M-41 included more insulating features such as a cotton poplin outer shell and wool flannel lining, button closures at the neck and cuffs, and a button-down storm flap over the front zipper closure.

The M-41 eventually gave way to the M-43, which was extended to hip-length and included a detachable hood, drawstring waist for a tighter fit, and produced in the much darker olive drab no. 7 shade. It was made in cotton sateen and was used as part of the standard combat uniform for the rest of World War II. The subsequent M-51 model updated the design to include snap button closures as well as button cuffs and a button-on hood. Made of a cotton sateen fabric similar to the M-43 and distributed in the shade OG 107, the M-51 became part of the field uniform for soldiers in the Korean War and the Vietnam War’s early years.

070 BEHEARD & 070 CINE WITH M-65 MOD LIGHTWEIGHT FIELD JACKET

Alpha Industries was the first to produce the iconic M-65 field jacket. The company had officially begun contracting for the Department of Defense back in 1959; by the mid ‘60s, Alpha Industries had produced N-3B and N-2B parkas for the Air Force as well as the famous classic, the MA-1 bomber.

In 1965, Alpha gave the military field jacket an upgrade for the times, starting with a more advanced blend of nylon and cotton sateen called NYCO that significantly improved the jacket’s wind and water resistance. This new model was known as the M-65. The M-65 also switched out the button-on detachable hood for one that could be hidden away into the collar with a zipper enclosure. The button cuffs were replaced with velcro and snap closures were added for the storm flap.

The jacket’s sleek combination of functionality and versatility made it a staple of the U.S. military field uniform for decades. The M-65 field jacket was so enduring, in fact, that very little changes to the design have been made throughout the course of its lifetime as a military uniform, until it was retired in 2009.

ROBERT DE NIRO IN M-65 FIELD JACKET (HERITAGE)

In the 1960s, military clothing took hold as a mainstream style trend, which was a result of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and, subsequently, the availability of military surplus garments for civilians. Field jackets, as well as bombers and fishtail parkas, could be seen on the streets as the latest fashion of the new generation.

The M-65 field jacket also came to be seen as a symbol of the 1970s anti-war movement. It was famously seen on Navy Lt. John Kerry and activists and celebrities like John Lennon and Jane Fonda. It was also in the ‘70s that the M-65 also made pop culture history through Hollywood movies like Taxi Driver, where it was the defining piece of actor Robert DeNiro’s iconic look. It also appeared on Al Pacino in Serpico, Woody Allen in Annie Hall, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator movie.

070 SHAKE, 070 BEHEARD, AND 070 CINE WITH M-65 MOD LIGHTWEIGHT FIELD JACKET

Each new version of the field jacket brings it up to date with contemporary trends. For Spring/Summer 2022, Alpha Industries is refreshing the M-65 as a lightweight jacket, perfect for transitional weather and breezy summer nights.

Like the classic version, the M-65 Lightweight Mod Field Jacket is made with 100% cotton, soft and built to last. The combination of a zipper, snap closures, and a fold down collar make this piece progressively functional across a wide range of temperatures, while four roomy front pockets provide space for everyday essentials.

The jacket is available in forest green, replica blue, and black.

070 CREW WITH M-65 MOD LIGHTWEIGHT FIELD JACKET

The M-65 Lightweight Mod Field Jacket W is a great spring/summer staple for women, with all the same specs plus a waist drawstring for an adjustable, flattering fit. It’s a casual, timeless jacket that can easily be paired with more trendy pieces and worn for seasons to come. The women’s version is available in forest green and black.

 

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