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Military motif making its way into fashion

Fashion feeds off of what's current, and with war looming, the military look is popping up on runways and fashionable figures everywhere. Numerous designers have weighed in with styles straight out of boot camp. But a military fatigue bra? Isn't there something incongruous about battlefield-inspired lingerie?

Not if you ask the people at Marshalls. The off-price store is unveiling its underwear ode to the military. For $14.99, any woman can wrap her breasts in camouflage.

"There are no limits to the extent that fashion can go these days," said David Wolfe, creative director of the New York-based Donegar Design Direction, a fashion trend forecasting group.

What's odd is that though many fashionable mouths denounce the prospect of war in Iraq, fashionable bodies nonetheless don the clothes of a soldier.

"I think back to the days of Vietnam. Often the protesters wore Army surplus. It doesn't make any sense, but fashion often doesn't," Wolfe said.

He guesses that the fatigue bra has its roots in a Christian Dior collection a couple of years back.

"I haven't seen any others. I'd like to think it's a Marshalls' exclusive," said Marshalls spokeswoman Jennifer Rosenberg.

Rosenberg sees the bra, and this season's other military-inspired garb, as the latest step in an ongoing trend.

"The military was huge last year, and the look from last year was probably inspired a little by some of the events going on, and it's carried over a little into this spring," she said. "But I think the styles this spring are a little more feminine, not so drastic."

The design house of Custo Barcelona created the bra.

To go glam, wear the fatigue bra peeking from beneath a shirt-styled jacket. Add a pair of ankle drawstring cargo pants and a visor cap. Strappy heels complete the look.

And don't worry. No one will mistake you for the real thing. Soldiers don't bare their midriffs.

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