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Surplus clothing that's similar to civilian clothing?

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Paul_B, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Just been on a couple of surplus sites and interesting is the word. As someone who dislikes the cammo look for civilian use there's a few items I've seen that whilst being green don't look completely army kit.

    That got me thinking. Does anyone have suggestions for surplus clothing that doesn't actually look military surplus? Can you buy surplus and still look like a civilian not a civilian wearing military kit? Is there anything close to civilian kit or passes for civilian kit?
     
  2. Old Bones

    Old Bones Settler

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    There are surplus clothing thats actually made by civilian manufacturers, or at least designed by them, but I have to say that they end up looking fairly military.

    One of the few bits of clothing that I can think of is the French version of the Norgie - basically a cotton rugby shirt with a zip. Its green, but actually looks OK.

    Frankly, the bulk of surplus kit that I have seen looks exactly like what it is, and since a lot of it is camo, tends to look pretty odd wearing it out. True, camo is very 'street', but unless you are wearing something a bit exotic, like French or possible old US woodland, you just end up looking like you have just popped down to your local surplus shop.

    I dont buy surplus for hiking - too heavy, too old, too camo, and seldom actually all that useful for what I want - the forces have often different requirements and parameters from civilians. And its often surprisingly expensive for what it is. I do like my Dutch plain green jacket, but thats M65 style, and you can see knockoffs of those all over the high street.
     
  3. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    Royal Navy MVP gortex foul weather jackets (dark blue)
    French Military / Airforce Seyntex Reversible jacket (green/blue)
     
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  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    There is plenty of Swedish Armed forces pieces of kit that were worn when on base/regiment that look civilian.

    They can be worn both in town and country.

    Usually they are in a very good condition too!
     
  5. Herman30

    Herman30 Nomad

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    I have a swedish surplus wool sweater with zipper. Part from the green color it does not look very militaristic.
     
  6. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    Yes, the old Swedish stuff looks civil.
    And the younger Austrian stuff too.

    "Army Warehouse" in Austria sells it cheap.
    I recommend KAZ 02 jacket and trousers. They are lightweight and 65%cotton 35% polyester. The summer field shirt is 50:50 polycotton and very well for 3 Seasons.

    The new Carinthia jacket LIG looks civil like every new Austrian uniforms.

    The old Goretex Feldjacke leicht (M65) is portable too and relatively light and cheap.

    If you wear that with a civil woolen sweater and a civil hat you don't look like a soldier.

    May be you try the Decathlon Solognac hunting trousers Steppe 300 in brown with it. They have 65% cotton, 35% polyester, are made in a good quality and cost only 17€.

    In combination with Austrian green stuff and brown Solognac trousers,a civil woolen jumper and traditional british cap. That's civil, light, tough and cheap.

    By the way:
    The Solognac hunting stuff is an interesting alternative choice.
    For example:
    Rain suit 100
    Trousers Steppe 300
    several fleece jackets and jumpers
    caps, gloves, what ever....

    Cheap and very tough stuff, olive or brown in civil cuts!
     
    #6 Erbswurst, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  7. Mowmow

    Mowmow Forager

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    Russian gorka suits look pretty civilian, you can get various colour schemes. Id only wear one piece tops or bottoms though

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    German marine uniforms look civil if you change the buttons.
    Of course they are blue.
     
  9. Limaed

    Limaed Full Member

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    The military issued quite a bit of really good quality civilian outdoor kit for Adventurous Training. Although it gets a hard life I think there are a few companies that have the surplus contract (try Aberventure and Wilderness Lesuire Ltd). Not all of it will be great for the woods but it might be worth a look. Over the years I’ve picked up stuff like fibre pile jackets, goretex waterproofs, walking boots at a fraction of the RRP. There’s no Bushcraft uniform so just because a fleece jacket isn’t OG it doesn’t mean it won’t perform well.
     
  10. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    It is a question of sensibility, I suppose, as with all matters of couture. Some stuff has kind of crossed over with the passage of time and looks more skate punk than millie ... BDU jacket, M65 jacket, cargo shorts for instance. The thing is that for the past two years fashionistas have looked to workwear and military clothes for inspirations ... hospital jackets, bakers jackets, French work jackets, and any number of army jackets. This has rather muddied the distinction between civilian and military.

    My point is that khaki and soldier styled clothing has been popular in the affordable street retailers since the 1980s, even M&S. It just depends on whether or not you think you can carry-off surplus clobber. You just have to look like you know what you're doing. :lol: Pink tshirt, jeans, converse and a DPM jacket. Do it right and you you'll look a little Joe Strummer. Get it wrong and and you'll look like a out patient.

    French military stuff often has a certain panache already stitched in to it. There was a light tropical jacket they did which became very popular, and is very hard to track down now.

    Also, take a look outside ... every third 18-25 yr old you see is wearing bespoke camo now. :lol: Admittedly, that age group isn't us
     
    #10 Billy-o, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    In Canada you can get used the red Mounted Police stuff?
    But then you might look like you are joining the local Pride group...
     
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  12. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    How did you know I'm not in that age group. Nevermind, don't answer it's probably obvious.

    BTW not much cammo worn by that age group here. Might be a fashion thing that's more London and the big cities.

    More likely to see rather scruffy men from our age group wearing it. But then that is proper old surplus kit that probably dates from the 80s.

    I believe there's a surplus shop in morecambe. It hit local news because mannequins wearing cammo and balaclavas started appearing on the concrete ledge that's over the front of the shop in various poses with fake guns. I think it was after some terrorist incident possibly in France involving guns. Now they're sitting on camping chairs with gas masks it balaclavas on. Less threatening apparently.
     
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  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    One of my friends is from Lebanon. Christian, but his first name is Jihad.
    We greet each other by placing a fisted hand on our chest area and pulling sideways.

    He is an awesome Skeet and Trap shot.

    I am waiting for surplus middle eastern uniforms. I have always wanted one of those caps the Afgani mountain /tunnel guys wear. (I collect)
    The pride of my collection is a Viet Cong cork helmet. Dad got it in Vietnam back in the middle 60's
     
  14. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    Yes, it might just as easily be a north american thing too ... there is an awful lot of designer camo around ... not just the clothes so much as the patterns themselves. Some of them are pretty good too, the edgier ones :lol: Have you seen Burberry have a range at the moment?

    I have sometimes wondered why Fjallraven don't do camo ... but not for long
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    They do some, for hunting. Autumn colours camo.

    Never understood the need for camo myself.
     
    #15 Janne, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  16. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    You see people on here posting pictures of cammo tarps. For I guess a stealthy pitch.

    I once pitched a 2.4m square tarp on open fell next to a tarn in the lake district. A flying v or diamond pitch with one high corner and the other three pitched to the ground. Inside was my kit and my mates kit which consisted of a blue and a black bivvy, orange mat, red mat, grey and blue sack, blue and yellow sack plus brightly coloured dry bags. Highly visible? Not a hope!

    We went for a walk up a hillock overlooking the pitch. Turned back and we were less than 100m away and it took some time to see it. I took a photo of it and used to ask people where our tarp was. Kind of a spot the ball contest. BTW it wasn't cammo but a plain green, about a hilleberg green.

    I only say this because the tarp was colour matched to the fell so it was hard to see. The rest was flat on the ground so whilst bright colours wasn't actually obvious. A cammo tarp would be visible I reckon since it was a high tarp pitch and cammo doesn't match the terrain.

    I wonder whether a how well cammo works in varied terrain. I know it breaks up shape but the variety of colours could surely result in a chance of contrast and an easy spot. Catch something that looks out of place and you'll see the rest perhaps. Although armies wouldn't use it if it doesn't work well overall for them.
     
  17. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    I was up near Nelson last year and met a couple of gigantic Russian guys who'd butchered a big deer and had it in a trailer. Trouty and severe at first, they soon warmed up, once we got nattering. Top to toe in assorted camo ... didn't feel the need to ask why :lol:

    What I like best is the combination in one garment of realtree camo and blaze orange ... deer can't see orange, I suppose.
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think camo is overrated. Animals react for movement and smell.
    I have never worn camo, be it in the Army or while hunting.
     
  19. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    Yeah, but you got to look the part whether it's camo or a red plaid jacket, Elmer-style, right :)
     
  20. Herman30

    Herman30 Nomad

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