Officer On Deck


If there's one thing I enjoy more than dressing like a boy, it's incorporating military-inspired attire into my looks. Fun fact about me: I am kind of obsessed with the military—history of wars, weapons, vehicles, and especially the uniforms! Back in High School, I was even in NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, for those not familiar with the abbreviation), and it was one of my most favorite activities. I'm not sure why I signed up for the class in the first place, probably because all of my friends did it, but, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my adolescence. NJROTC taught me many skills, like leadership, teamwork, responsibility, and pride in my personal appearance. Everyone pretty much hated their uniforms (we had to wear them to school once a week, for a grade), but I loved it. It wasn't the most fun thing in the world, wearing a polyester shirt and pants and uncomfortable shoes all day, but, it was what it was—either wear the uniform correctly, or fail. Since I was kind of a nerd, failing wasn't an option. Attention to details is what passed or failed you on Uniform Day; everyone had the same white shirt, and black pants, the difference was, some people had grimy ring-around-the-collar, non-pressed pants, white socks, non-polished shoes, crooked ribbons and name tags, or no cover (hat); I never understood why it was so hard for people to prepare themselves for this one assignment, that reoccured weekly—but, then again, it was high school, and getting teenagers to care about anything other than themselves, is a feat in and of itself. My brain is basically wired for extreme attention to detail, and I think that's why I did so well in that class—I eventually made my way to being an Officer, and in Senior year, I was this close to actually enlisting in the Navy—but, my friend Ashley got me interested in going to art school, which seemed like a lot more fun.

I think that was a really drawn out way of saying, that I'm super interested in all things military—and, all though I didn't make the leap into enlisting, I still very much appreciate, and respect the culture, and traditions that make our military so fascinating, and amazing. You know what they say: those who can, enlist, and those who cannot, start fashion blogs and play dress up in their most military-esque attire—or something like that.

So, whenever I can, I like to mix in things that have a bit of military flare—like this coat from Zara, with it's classic military silhouette, gorgeous silver buttons, and charming herringbone pattern. It's probably one of my favorite coats that I own—it's just neutral enough that it goes with anything, but it has just enough personality to stand out on its own, as well. I paired it with my cherry red combat boots from H&M, and a pair of over-the-knee socks (also from H&M), to add in some layers underneath my dress. I'm lucky enough that my legs never really get too cold in the Fall/Winter, but, I always feel weird not covering them, because I feel like whenever a person goes totally bare-legged in public during cold months, they are automatically labeled crazy; so, I play along. This dress is from ASOS, and I bought it last year around this time, for an event—I love the asymmetric, ruffled hem, which is borderline flamenco dancer, but, the top is very conservative, and structured. I love that contrast; it's almost like two dresses in one.

I definitely enjoy mixing in various styles whenever I can, I think as long as you're not making yourself into a mockery or caricature of a culture or profession, there's no reason to not try out different things. What are some different styles that you like to incorporate, tell me below in the comments!



Socks & Boots: H&M // Dress: ASOS // Coat: Zara // Hat: Target // Bag: On a Bags

Photographed by Chris Cain, edited by Tasha James