In a quick straw poll of the FADER office, we found that at least 75% of staffers will be using an authentic item of military clothing to get through what promises to be one of the most frigid winters in NY history. A large chunk of those pieces were probably produced by military clothing company Alpha Industries, with the the M-61, M-65 field jacket and USN peacoat ranking in our top three winter warmers. They recently put together a 50th anniversary book, The Alpha Story, which charts the history of pretty much every jacket, pant and bizarre protective hood they've ever made. The book is intensely nerdy and includes copies of 30-year-old government contracts and hand-written cost sheets—but it is also filled with weirdly compelling facts, for example did you know that your M-65 has a hidden triangular glove attachment to protect you against radioactive fallout? Either way, this book will definitely help when it comes to picking through the indestructible pile of flight jackets at our local army surplus.
Fifty Years of an American Military Company and Our Winter Wardrobe
October 21, 2009