[DEEP DIVE] OVER PANT
Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE" where we take a look into the inspiration behind some of our favorite Engineered Garments pieces. In this installation, our streak of military gear continues as we examine the "Over Pant", based on the shell pants worn by 20th century American troops in freezing conditions, tuned up for the Engineered Garments Spring Summer 2022 collection.
The line between military garb and everyday clothing is a gray one. Look no further than the ubiquity of cargo pants and trench coats. The osmosis of combat design into daily life is indisputable, if gradual. The unknown men and women who devote their lives to functional design are not known to the public, yet their work shapes the lives of millions throughout the world.
Among the armed forces’ chief contributions to fashion is a utilitarian approach to layering garments, exemplified by the T-shirt - originally a piece of Naval attire. In the early 1940’s, the United States studied layering scientifically, with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine commissioned a series of Copper Men, life-size mannequins constructed from copper and outfitted with an array of internal heating elements to mimic the human body to obtain precise readings.
The data collected from these lab experiments and field testing led directly to the development of the M-1951 and M-1965 uniforms, a formalized modular layering system, adjustable for hot or cold weather. These systems were issued to U.S. soldiers stationed in dramatic climates - from the sweltering heat of tropical Pacific islands (like the Jungle Fatigue Jacket) to the Korean Peninsula’s blistering cold.
When Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki is on the hunt for a piece of military gear to reimagine, he goes back to these specialized items - unusual, but full of marvelous innovations.
It is the M-65 Cold-Dry Arctic White Snow Camouflage Trousers, engineered to replace the M-1951 Arctic Trousers, that serve as the primary inspiration for the Over Pant. Meant to layer over drawers and trouser liners, the original version’s role as the top layer of the set means that it is both lightweight and voluminous enough to cover the lower layers, two attributes that are well-suited for Spring Summer pieces which need to stay cool. From an aesthetic standpoint, the lack of side pockets - a sort of unbranded cargo pant - and unique profile from its baggy knee pleats and bloused hem make for a singular look.
Daiki took the existing design and tinkered with it further, making it his own. The pass-through pockets are replaced with real ones, the suspender loops are removed, and signature reinforcement stitching is added above the seat (a classic detail borrowed from British Army field Pants).
The Over Pant adds a new dimension to the legacy of military impact on civilian fashion. In an ironic turn, inspiration from the M-65 Cold-Dry Clothing Systems is used to create pants for the Spring Summer collection. In keeping with Engineered Garments’ ethos of light yet dark, big yet small, the functionality of these extreme cold weather pants is flipped on its head and original creation is conceived.
The Over Pant is available in the following fabrics:
- Black Cotton Ripstop
- Khaki Cotton Ripstop
- Olive Cotton Ripstop
- Black Memory Polyester
- Dark Navy Memory Polyester
- Khaki Memory Polyester
- Brown Poly Fiber Leopard Print
Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.com