I’ve been getting a lot of questions asking where my tiger stripe jacket is from. I got it about a month ago from S.M. Wholesale. They specialize in military garment reproduction for movie costumes and the like (remember The Pacific?).
This one isn’t your run of the mill tiger stripe jacket, the pattern and printed cotton fabric are exact copies from mint original samples (with melamine resin buttons and an added waterproof coating). Tiger stripe uniforms were never official U.S. military issue so there’s no set specs on them, but these are much closer to the originals than the majority of present day reproductions. Mine’s a much less common golden tiger stripe which they’re not selling online anymore but they now offer the silver “John Wayne” version for $135. If you’re considering it, make sure you size down a size as these are cut very generously and I had to get my jacket slimmed down throughout.
There’s a few reasons I decided to grab a tiger stripe jacket this season (blog name included), but foremost is the fact that it’s part of the one military uniform in recent history with humble and some what mysterious origins. For the U.S. it’s known that it started with special forces contracting local tailors in South Vietnam to custom make ARVN uniforms with U.S. insignia and I’m all about makeshift beginnings. Not only is the tiger stripe the most attractive and artful camouflage, but it’s supposedly a highly effective pattern in wooded areas. So if you’re a hunter, deer stalker, or just like to creep around the woods unnoticed this could be for you. If you’re creeping that urban jungle like me, then it will probably have the opposite effect, but for a lot of people that is also a desirable trait so this is a pretty legitimate win-win situation guys.