Complete Guide to Mil-Spec Clothing

Dressing in a military manner with clothing that are created for comfort and functionality is what mil spec is all about. Built to bring freedom of movement, and protection in any environment, military clothing is a highly popular style not only among law enforcement but also with streetwear, casual and outdoor style clothing brands. In this article, we are going to go over the features of a mil-spec uniform and why the style is a top pick for many.

What is Mil-Spec

Military uniform, Mil-spec or Tactical clothing is a utilitarian fashion style that has inspired and created for standardized military attire. Worn by members of the army force, military units and more, the clothing is typically created to maximize one’s comfort, movement, and exposure to different environments. Splitting into many different categories, mil-spec clothing can entail many aspects depending on the water, environment, and location.

History of Mil-Spec

Since its rise in the Napoleonic period, the military clothing style has developed into optimal gear that is built to withstand extreme conditions and last a lifetime. Before the 17th century, soldiers originally wore civilian dress attire in battle. However, since then military uniforms were incorporated from civilian clothing. Years later, during the 19th century, military clothing began making its way into the world of high fashion. Nowadays, the style can be seen in many different brands and streetwear attires. From bomber jackets and cargo pants too geared outdoor backpacks, the mil-spec influence is a common style that many following fashion trends wear.

image of cotton Techwear clothes and fashion

What is Mil-Spec clothing made out of ? 

Proper tactical gear is commonly designed out the highest quality textiles and materials.  Originally sewn for military-grade attire, mil-spec clothing is meant to last a lifetime. Made out of fabric that is perfected for military uses, here are some materials used in tactical wear.

Nylon

The North Face Resolve Waterproof Jacket

This extremely thin and versatile fabric is a top pick when it comes to creating comfortable clothing. Ever since its invention in the 1930’s this miracle material is known for its durable, moisture absorption, water-resistant and lightweight qualities. Even though by itself, Nylon is typically never used due to its unbreathable features such as trapping in sweat. It is typically mixed with fabrics such as cotton to create the perfect blend.

Cotton

M-Tac Tactical Pants

Military Grade Cotton Cargo Pants

Military Tactical Wild Pants

Military Grade Cotton Camo Cargo Pants

Taking the form of a durable fabric that works well with isolating heat, historically almost all military uniforms were made of quality cotton. Even though the fabric is a breathable material that works well with sweat, it is very slow to dry. I nowadays cotton is typically used in T-shirts or clothing for cold and winter temperatures. Furthermore, the material is blended with others to add that touch of warmth that might be missing from synthetic materials.

Gore-Tex

Tenner Industry Army GEN 2 Coat

Military Grade Gore Tex Jacket

Making a name for itself in the raincoat industry, Gore-Tex is an innovative fabric that is “hydrophobic.”Being afraid of water, the fabric is considered to be one of the best water repellent materials you can find. Often seen in jackets, pants, vests and other outerwear that are prone to getting wet.

Camouflage

Over the years the camouflage fabric has changed in many ways. From different cotton blends to nylon camo pants, industry specialists have found the perfect fabric for camouflage materials. Currently, knitted polyester scrims are the highest quality camo clothing you can find. Giving wearers that extreme tear prevention while providing flexibility and water / UV resistance, this material is seen plastered over almost every gear such as pants, shirts, jackets and even bags. 

Features of a Quality Tactical Attire

Functional

Similar to the Techwear style, clothing that is practical is a highlighted element of a military garment. Featuring many pockets that are correctly placed and deep enough are just some examples of a utilitarian outfit. A piece of lightweight fabric is another useful feature that gives more movement and allows for layering, making the clothing easier to carry around. 

Durability

Even though the durability of an article of clothing can depend on how often one wears it, well-made garments, such as most mil-spec clothes, should last close to a lifetime. When a fabric is durable it means that the fabric and look stays as close to new for as long as possible. As an example of durable fabric is a camo print that does not wear out after multiple wears. 

Fit

A well-fitted article of clothing is a vital step when it comes to mil-spec attire. Even though there are some streetwear approaches that take on a baggy style, a garment with a good fit provides comfort and flexibility in movement. Tailored to sit well on one’s body, such clothing is also easier to style into everyday attire.

The Future of Mil-Spec Fashion

Taking its spot in the modern world’s fashion industry, the mil-spec style is now commonly seen integrated into trends such as streetwear, outerwear, and even high fashion. With more and more brands taking on the tactical utilitarian approach towards their clothing mil-spec is forecasted to grow into a trending style for casual wear and more.