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M-65 Field Jacket

Messages
12,668
Location
Germany
Maybe one day, I will get one of the authentic Helikon M65, althought classic M65 are still to heavy for me. But when I do, I will really get the olive or the "US Woodland" camo, NOT the black one! :)
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,736
But, was there are an M65 Boom after Serpico in 1973?
Trenchy, i’d say hell no. No movie around early-mid 70s popularized the M-65 or any other military clothing. At least not in the Midwest of the USA.
The US wasn’t even totally out of Viet Nam. The country was unified in opposition to that war and veterans weren’t exactly held in high esteem.
The M-65 symbolized the military, not a very popular view at the time. I don’t think Pacino changed that.
If anything, i would say the M-65 lost favor for a good long while.
I know i packed mine away for many years after discharge from the USMC 73-76. Maybe diehard vets wore them but popular, i don’t think so.
B
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
I had a Sargent in the Marine Corps that had his M-65 tailored to a proud Fedora Lounge fit level. Actually all his uniforms even day to day utilities were.
Was really weird for @1973-74. That guy was poster boy perfect and knew how to work the system. And most oddly he was a pretty cool guy and very slick.
B
I stand corrected! I'll have to rethink whether to take mine in for tailoring. Perhaps I'll have one altered and see if it's worth having the others taken in. There are several tailors in the area who can take in the shoulders, but they're not cheap. I have had the work done on suit and odd jackets, and I will say it makes a huge difference in fit. My concern is that narrowing the shoulder width on the M-65 might reduce the ability to layer underneath should I want/need to (e.g., might feel tight in the shoulders). The shoulders on the M-65 extra small short are about 1 inch too long on each side. Sleeves are on the longer side as well, but the velcro helps.
 

Observe

One Too Many
Messages
1,162
Not really pertinent to the immediate conversation at hand, but I snagged a Fjallraven M65 style jacket off Ebay for less than many of the actual M65s cost. I'm looking forward to receiving it and comparing to an actual M65.
 
Messages
12,668
Location
Germany
I stand corrected! I'll have to rethink whether to take mine in for tailoring. Perhaps I'll have one altered and see if it's worth having the others taken in. There are several tailors in the area who can take in the shoulders, but they're not cheap. I have had the work done on suit and odd jackets, and I will say it makes a huge difference in fit. My concern is that narrowing the shoulder width on the M-65 might reduce the ability to layer underneath should I want/need to (e.g., might feel tight in the shoulders). The shoulders on the M-65 extra small short are about 1 inch too long on each side. Sleeves are on the longer side as well, but the velcro helps.

Normally, I'm an "M"-size boy.
On the authentic M65 U.S. Army measurements, like the Helikon, I would be def. "S" or "XS".
And without the cold weather-liner, M65s weight would be okay for me, I guess.
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
Normally, I'm an "M"-size boy.
On the authentic M65 U.S. Army measurements, like the Helikon, I would be def. "S" or "XS".
And without the cold weather-liner, M65s weight would be okay for me, I guess.
I purchased a liner for the military issue M-65 field jacket, xs short. Not sure how much use I'll get out of the liner in Huntington Beach, CA. :D
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
Does anyone here have an opinion on the M-65 field jackets with the brass zippers versus the zippers coated in green (metal?) with a metal slider also coated in green? From what I can tell, the zippers switched from brass to the green color in 1986 and in earlier years they were silver metal. Am I being picky on thinking the brass looks nicer than the coated green and/or that hardly anyone would notice a difference like that?

Attached is a photo of the green zipper.

zipper.jpg
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
Does anyone here have an opinion on the M-65 field jackets with the brass zippers versus the zippers coated in green (metal?) with a metal slider also coated in green? From what I can tell, the zippers switched from brass to the green color in 1986 and in earlier years they were silver metal. Am I being picky on thinking the brass looks nicer than the coated green and/or that hardly anyone would notice a difference like that?

Attached is a photo of the green zipper.

View attachment 622420
From my growing knowledge of M-65 field jackets, I think this is referred to as a nylon zipper.
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,294
Location
Ontario
I stand corrected! I'll have to rethink whether to take mine in for tailoring. Perhaps I'll have one altered and see if it's worth having the others taken in. There are several tailors in the area who can take in the shoulders, but they're not cheap. I have had the work done on suit and odd jackets, and I will say it makes a huge difference in fit. My concern is that narrowing the shoulder width on the M-65 might reduce the ability to layer underneath should I want/need to (e.g., might feel tight in the shoulders). The shoulders on the M-65 extra small short are about 1 inch too long on each side. Sleeves are on the longer side as well, but the velcro helps.
No no no, stop... STOP. If you aren't happy with the fit of the coat which you own, buy a smaller one. But it might be too small like you say. These things were not designed to fit well, they were made to be layered underneath (many layers in winter). Just learn to live with bad fit if you like military clothing. If you want that snug fit like all the Instagram poseurs and street style fashionistas then forget military clothing (or be reincarnated as the perfect size). Never do alterations to military stuff unless it's a bit of a tuck in the waist or shortening a sleeve by 1/2". Some garments are just not "built" for alterations, especially cotton and cotton-blend outerwear. Wool is more forgiving, but even then it's better to just get the right size. Also, be careful with some classic items: alterations make them useless for anyone else. Also, any tailor who says they can take in shoulders, etc, is full of crap. Shoulders are one of those places in a jacket/coat that shouldn't be messed with. I know there are tailors out there who claim to be able to take a size 44Long suit jacket and re-cut it to fit a size 38Short, but that's bullsheet. All you have to do is watch a few videos on how quality clothing is made and you'll quickly realize that alterations should be minor in nature and scope.
 

vintagewool

Familiar Face
Messages
84
Normally, I'm an "M"-size boy.
On the authentic M65 U.S. Army measurements, like the Helikon, I would be def. "S" or "XS".
And without the cold weather-liner, M65s weight would be okay for me, I guess.
You might prefer the M-65's grandfather, the 1943 field jacket:
1. The business-suit-type collar looks stylish, particularly combined with the drawstring-cinched waist.
2. My impression is that the '43 weighs less than the '65, without the removable liner in either, but I have no hard numbers.
3. The '43 is 100% cotton with no zipper, so it might be more amenable to deliberately shrinking.

That concludes this emergency M-1943 broadcast. We now return you to your normal M-65 programming.
 
Last edited:

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
No no no, stop... STOP. If you aren't happy with the fit of the coat which you own, buy a smaller one. But it might be too small like you say. These things were not designed to fit well, they were made to be layered underneath (many layers in winter). Just learn to live with bad fit if you like military clothing. If you want that snug fit like all the Instagram poseurs and street style fashionistas then forget military clothing (or be reincarnated as the perfect size). Never do alterations to military stuff unless it's a bit of a tuck in the waist or shortening a sleeve by 1/2". Some garments are just not "built" for alterations, especially cotton and cotton-blend outerwear. Wool is more forgiving, but even then it's better to just get the right size. Also, be careful with some classic items: alterations make them useless for anyone else. Also, any tailor who says they can take in shoulders, etc, is full of crap. Shoulders are one of those places in a jacket/coat that shouldn't be messed with. I know there are tailors out there who claim to be able to take a size 44Long suit jacket and re-cut it to fit a size 38Short, but that's bullsheet. All you have to do is watch a few videos on how quality clothing is made and you'll quickly realize that alterations should be minor in nature and scope.
Thank you! I did come to my senses and nixed the tailoring idea. I I agree on living with the poor fit as I really like the military issue M-65 jackets. My jacket is an extra small short. I discovered an extra small extra short also was produced with the length shortened about one inch. And you are right about not messing with major alterations on military clothing.

I really appreciate your input!
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
74
You might prefer the M-65's grandfather, the 1943 field jacket:
1. The business-suit-type collar looks stylish, particularly combined with the drawstring-cinched waist.
2. My impression is that the '43 weighs less than the '65, without the removable liner in either, but I have no hard numbers.
3. The '43 is 100% cotton with no zipper, so it might be more amenable to deliberately shrinking.

That concludes this emergency M-1943 broadcast. We now return you to your normal M-65 programming.
Thank you for this! I just checked out pics of the 1943 field jacket. Very nice!
 

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