Eisenhower Jacket

AKA: Battle Jacket, Ike Jacket

How to say it: EYE-zen-how-er

Traditional Features: 

body template

  • waist length
  • fly front closure
  • roomy through the body
  • convertible collar
  • bloused back with action pleats
  • adjustable cuffs
  • pockets on front

Origins…

…of the style: Prior to the 1940s, troops in the US Air Corps wore a mid-hip length service jacket while in the field however, in 1943 the Air Transport Command began looking into a more functional design to be worn in combat. The result of the study was that a shorter jacket would be more effective, and so a short combat jacket prototype was sent to the European Theatre of Operations for approval by the commanding general, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower had already had some short jackets manufactured whilst in Europe similar to the British Battle Jacket and suggested that the American prototype should also adopt some of its features, e.g. covered buttons to reduce snagging and roomy arms and shoulders for ease of movement.

Once the design issues were sorted out, the jacket became standard issue for the Air Corps in November of 1944 and informally named the ‘Ike’ or ‘Eisenhower’ jacket.

It made its way into popular fashion during WWII when the European fashion houses were shut down and American designers had to look to the military for inspiration.

…of the name: The Eisenhower jacket was named after General Dwight D. Eisenhower due to his involvement in its design.

For a more in depth history of Eisenhower Jacket, try Wikipedia, Olive Drab or get your hands on the Fairchilds Dictionary of Fashion.

21st Century Eisenhowers

The Eisenhower isn’t really a fashion staple, but returns to the catwalk every couple of seasons, depending on the trends.

dior rochas superdry jcrew

Top row – Dior, Rochas

Bottom row – Superdry, J.Crew

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