US Reserve Naval Uniform featured in “Powers of Costume” & an intern’s take on the modern military look trend in fashion

While interning at the Gregg, I quickly became fascinated by one of the museum’s latest exhibitions:  Barkcloth, Bras, and Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume. Being a Fashion and Textile Management major at NC State, I have always had a strong interest in fashion.  Out of all of the beautiful and captivating garments, the women’s US Reserve Naval uniform grabbed my attention. Lately, the military “look” has been trending in mainstream fashion. Combat boots, military jackets, and cargo pants can be found in almost any mainstream clothing store. The design of the women’s US Reserve Naval uniform almost mirrors the design of the military jacket that I wear every winter.  An interesting aspect of the uniform is that the famous designer, Main Rousseau Bocher, created the look hoping to encourage women to join the military without having to completely sacrifice their sense of style.  His theory was that as long as the women serving felt like they looked good, they would fight even harder to achieve victory.  It’s quite fascinating that a uniform created with style in mind would later start a women’s trend that would circulate around military wear!

-Lerato Tsotetsi, Gregg Museum Spring Intern 2012

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