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Military knock-offs should improve on the originals.

It's kind of accepted that when mainstream clothiers get hold of a military design, the first two things that will happen are (1) a general slimming down of form and (2) a general increase in price. We normally accept the latter, to a degree, as long as the former is noticeable improvement over the original.

Clarks Desert Boots are largely unchanged since their wartime introduction, and have spawned scores of imitators, but few manage this tradeoff more effectively than the Peal & Co. Field Boots made for Brooks Brothers. The stitching and style of these two boots is virtually identical, but while Clarks moved its manufacturing to Asia years ago, BB's version is still made in England. The primary changes are better materials, a slightly sleeker shape, and a darker sole. Enough to justify costing twice as much? Perhaps, if you can wear them in twice as many situations.

On the other hand, Italia Independent proposes to modernize the recently mentioned M-65 Field Jacket with a highly faithful "Technical Cotton Jacket". You've got to look pretty carefully to spot the differences, which include a zipper at the cuffs and an allegedly slimmer fit (although you'd never know it from looking at the photo here). Materials are about the same. If you buy into Gilt's often fanciful pricing, the updated version lists for roughly $650 more than the original. Welcome to the world of the fashion brand mark-up. It might indeed be slimmer, but you could buy a heck of a lot of tailoring for $650.
31.may.2012 style
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Charles Tyrwhitt
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