Whatever you call it — military, khaki, or olive green — clothes and this color go way back. And like many icons of style, whether it's Burberry’s gabardine trench coat, the MA-1 bomber jacket, or even the cardigan, it can be traced back to the frontline.

This particular green was first used by the armed forces as a simple, one-tone camouflage, allowing its user to blend seamlessly into the landscape. In fashion, it's been used to stand out.

For more than a century, military gear has been repurposed to fit the needs of everyday people. Now, with the fallout from gorpcore’s explosion continuing to create wild demand for tech-heavy goods, the aforementioned military items still show no signs of disappearing from the fashion ranks.

This influence goes beyond function alone, though. Dip into the archives of fashion’s most iconic brands and you’ll see that olive is everywhere. It's safe to call it one of fashion’s most enduring, and genre-crossing, colors.

Thanks to the continued rise of resale shopping and '90s and '00s IG stan accounts like @prada.archive and @endyma, olive green is monopolizing the moodboards of a new generation of grail-hunters. Prada, Helmut Lang, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe are at the forefront of this wave — with escalating prices to match

For these 'anti-fashion' designers, both the form and function of military wear made perfect sense. As well as sturdy fabrics and serious pocketing, these designers paid attention to military palettes, too, making olive green a mainstay of their collections. One of the Austrian creator's most iconic pieces, Helmut Lang unveiled his 'bulletproof' vest on the runway of his 1997 collection, resplendent in — you guessed it — olive.

Helmut's ballistic vest was replicated by Prada at the end of the decade and a long list of brands since. Miuccia was clearly hooked by military influence, with the label's Fall/Winter 1998, 2000, and Miu Miu 1999, shows leaning heavily on these references and colors.

Throughout the '00s, these references went nowhere. Master of appropriation and utilitarianism, Junya Watanabe made several game-changing collections while working as lead designer at Comme des Garçons Homme, having honed his skills as a pattern cutter under Rei Kawakubo.

Junya's 2006 collection, one of his most celebrated, cast olive green as the star of the show. Taking style inspiration from Scorcese's Taxi Driver, and its use of military fabrics, looks arrived on the runway pretty much head-to-toe in olive. Below is a pair of reconstructed cargos from the collection.

At street level, it's impossible to discuss such influence without mentioning Japanese labels like WTAPS, Kapital, Neighborhood, Engineered Garments, and Porter. Japan was one of the first to introduce western military apparel to streetwear, and these brands continue to fly the olive flag.

The fact that brands continue to drop new pieces in the shade is a testament to olive's timelessness. Not only is it steeped in style history, but it simply looks good when worn. It's fun to style and layer with and it provides great contrast with tones like brown, off-white, and even purple. It looks so good that even the notoriously conservative watch world has been getting involved.

With olive green on our minds and timelines, we picked out some of our favorite pieces in the color. From high fashion grails to functional outdoor wear, invest in this enduring shade below.

Scroll for our favorite olive green clothing.

Carhartt WIP Cargo Jogger

Cargo Jogger

$115

Carhartt WIP

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Military green cargo pants are a classic design that has stood the test of time in terms of practicality and style. Carhartt WIP has come along with a contemporary twist on the style, adding an extra layer of comfort by making a pair of cargo joggers.

Highsnobiety Alpaca Scarf

Mono Alpaca Scarf

Mono Alpaca Scarf

$60

Highsnobiety

Buy at Highsnobiety

Crafted from a fluffy fabric blend, this scarf will add a fuzzy hit of olive green to your winter 'fits.

Maison Margiela Crossbody Pouch

Faux-Leather Cross-Body Pouch

Faux-Leather Cross-Body Pouch

$236

Maison Margiela

Buy at Matchesfashion

Maison Margiela has never been afraid of taking direct inspiration from the military, its signature sneakers are a direct "replica" of a German army shoe. With its khaki green color and string strap, this crossbody shares elements with the map bags worn by soldiers in the 20th century.

Grenson Leather Boots

Milo Rubberised Leather Boots

Milo Rubberised Leather Boots

$490

Grenson

Buy at Matchesfashion

Having made shoes since the 19th century, Grenson is an iconic maker of practical footwear. A rugged take on the Chelsea boot, this pair of shoes has a water-resistant finish and chunky tread soles for any outdoor adventures you may find yourself in.

and Wander Graphic Long Sleeve

Up Down Graphic Long Sleeve

$145

and wander

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Inspired by the great outdoors, Swiss-based design studio Bienvenue Studios combined two of the colors that you will find most often in nature on this collaborative graphic t-shirt: green and brown.

Highsnobiety x Tobias Spichtig Sunglasses

Sunglasses

$1125

Highsnobiety x Tobias Spichtig

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You might recognize these sunglasses after they stared at you from a painting. That is because they are a replica of the sunglasses that contemporary artist Tobias Spichtig has used in many of his pieces. Handmade in England, this exclusive piece of wearable art comes with a numbered certificate.

Woolrich Terra Light Melton Full Zip

Terra Light Melton Full Zip

Terra Light Melton Full Zip

$335

Woolrich

Buy at Highsnobiety

As America's oldest outdoor brand, Woolrich knows a thing or two about how to make a fleece jacket to keep you warm in the winter. This one is made from a wool-like fabric that is lightweight, warm, moderately moisture-wicking, and water-repellent.

Lexon X Carhartt WIP Mini Speaker

Mino T Speaker

$70

Lexon x Carhartt WIP

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If you're satisfied with your collection of khaki green clothing and accessories, why not get a matching piece of tech in the form of a mini speaker? This portable speaker from Lexon can be found in Carhartt's signature Cypress color.

Marni Argyle Mohair-Blend Sweater

Argyle Mohair-Blend Sweater

Argyle Mohair-Blend Sweater

$1250

Marni

Buy at Matchesfashion

Marni's fuzzy sweaters have become a highly popular signature of the label in recent seasons. This one uses a textured knit to add a twist to an Argyl pattern from the 20s.

Want to keep browsing? Head to the Highsnobiety Shop for more products that we love. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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