The field jacket has a long-standing pedigree in military history. With many iterations over the years, none remains more iconic than the M-65, a style first introduced by Alpha Industries to outfit soldiers during the Vietnam War. With four front pockets — two on the hips, two on the chest — to carry excess cargo, the M-65 integrated a roll-up hoodie that fit into a zipped pouch around the collar, along with a hardy brass zipper in place of buttons for efficiency. Pocket placement serves as the easiest identifier of the style, but they aren't easy to miss — and most modern iterations happily cite its original reference.
Though Alpha Industries hasn’t produced an M-65 for combat since the ’90s, the field jacket endures as a study in simplicity, utility and comfort. (Alpha makes plenty for pedestrian use.) Today it’s worn casually by all, and treasured for its utilitarian design and nondescript aesthetic. Here are a number of versatile field jackets in different fabrics, from waxed cotton to canvas, that build upon the original.
First debuted in 1965, the M-65 (hence the number) was then original to Alpha Industries, who had a contract with the US Military to make jackets for soldiers headed to Vietnam. The style stuck post-war, because of its water repellent exterior, pockets for cargo, and convertible hooded that tucked into a zip pouch. Plenty are more popular now, but this is the original.
Japanese repro brand The Real McCoy's focuses on forms innate to American culture. The M-65 Field Jacket, while military issue at first has moved on to the broader consumer base. This version emphasizes traits and parts true to the original, from the pocket alignment to the zip hood to the angled cuffs.
This garment-dyed option from J. Crew covers all of the bases: it has four pockets, two aligned on each chest plate and two at the hips, a signature green hue, and a hood. Plus, there's a drawstring hem and an interior stash pocket.
Banana Republic's M-65 may not boast the same olive hue others on this list have, but it's meant to look liked waxed canvas (even when it isn't). There's no upkeep, just a utilitarian jacket that goes with any outfit.
This one ditches the Murphy collar (get it, like a Murphy bed?) in favor of a fuller, more traditional one. The decision render this more workwear than it is militaria, but it works.
Pretty much all American Trench took from the original M-65 are the pockets and the waterproofing. But that doesn't make it a bad jacket. In fact, it's an interesting riff on the original, and one we'd probably be most likely to wear.
Oooh, a blue one. This one's by Woolrich, and it's really rain-ready. There are storm flaps, secure internal pockets, a water- and windproof shell, and a hood hidden in the neck.
NN07's ode to the Alpha Industries original emphasizes authenticity. From the fit to the fabric to the four pocket configuration, to the hidden hood, it's all here — and for a hell of a price considering it'll last forever.
Orslow blends new and old in their homage to the M-65. There's a simpler, more straightf0rward collar, slanted pockets, and polished, buttoned cuffs.
More casual than it is combat-ready, Madewell's Field Jacket looks like workwear mixed with military issue. It's a faded brown color and features a drawstring waist, a hood hidden in the collar, and the classic four pocket configuration.
The style so popular even Nike took a stab at it. This is the swoosh's Woven M65 Jacket in a color they call Galactic Jade. There's no hood and the pockets are off but it's a modern remake for someone seeking something technical.
Menswear expert Sid Mashburn makes his M65 Jacket out of water repellent fatigue twill for an authentic yet updated look. The chest pockets are higher, the hip ones bigger, and the fit overall a tad bit more tailored.
Imagine you applied the technical capabilities of a Field Jacket to your chore coat. The Campbell by Line of Trade is just that.
Aspesi's looks like an original pulled from a bin in a big warehouse, but it's brand-new. Made from Army-green cotton drill, there are all of the markers of an M-65.