You're sure to win a fashion battle in J. Crew's hand-painted military jacket. Photo:

When it comes to your spring wardrobe, get ready for a strict plan of attack including a fashion-forward march straight to the racks of military-inspired clothing that's lining up in stores now.

From the very high-end (Balmain, Balenciaga, Gaultier) to the more affordable (J. Crew, Ann Taylor Loft, Forever 21), retailers are leading the military charge with new twists on Army jackets, cargo pants and other designs that will make you a style soldier in no time.

"I consider military a classic detail that will never completely go away," Marissa Webb, J. Crew's vice president of women's design, tells StyleList. "I think most of us always have that classic cargo pant or jacket waiting in the closet. Military details have been always around, but not always as obvious as at this moment -- with all the feminine details that have been extremely popular recently, it's the perfect time to layer in that 'boy' element."

Military is sort of a fancy way of saying casual, says Jane Buckingham, trend expert and author of "The Modern Girl's Guide to Life" series.

"And I also think, quite frankly, it's on people's minds," she tells StyleList. "We continue to be at war and worry about terrorism, and so it's something that we continue to think about. I think it's a great look for when you want to feel casual, but you want to have a little bit of style. It shows that you're up on the trends, but you're not looking like you're trying to copy a fashion magazine...And it's not a trend where you have to spend a lot of money for it to look good."

Balmain's sexy take on the military trend for spring 2010. Photo: Francois Guillot, AFP/Getty Images

The army jacket, in particular, goes with anything and can be dressed up or down, Buckingham says: "It sort of says I'm protected, I'm tough, I'm not gonna let life get to me."

So, how do you add the military influence to your wardrobe without looking like an extra from "The Pacific?" We asked the experts to weigh in. Get ready to charge -- your credit cards, that is.

Basic training -- start with an Army jacket:
"You can pair it with a leather legging to give it a dressier look, or you could wear it with jeans, you could wear it with khakis," says celebrity stylist Nicole Chavez (Rachel Bilson, Kristen Bell, Scarlett Johansson). "I wear mine to pilates and then I wear it out at night. You could belt it to make it more stylized. It's sort of like the new boyfriend blazer. You just throw it on and go."

And this is one trend you need not spend a fortune on.

"I just got one of my clients one from Baby Gap, which is funny," Chavez tells StyleList. "Ann Taylor Loft just sent me the most amazing army jacket and I've been wearing it every day. The key thing about trends is they go in and out constantly, so it's important to look for things you're not spending a lot of money on that you may only be able to wear for six months to a year and then have to put away."

Why the style siege: Buckingham says military for 2010 isn't as hard-edged as it's been in seasons past.

"It's got a little bit of a softer look to it, so, where previously we saw very, very structured, very rigid styles, now you're seeing softer cargos, you're seeing less structured jackets. You're seeing more flowy looks with it, so I think it's a much easier look to wear this time around."

Pairing it with softer looks is key, Webb says.

Blumarine's cargo pants can be dressed up or down. Photo: Neiman Marcus

"It's important to have balance in your wardrobe -- a floral printed dress with a cargo jacket is a great balance of soft and hard together -- a cargo pant with hard zippers with a beautiful soft lace top," she says.

Saving tactic -- shop your closet: "I think you can mix and match a lot of the pieces that you already have," Buckingham says. "You can take your old cargo pants, roll them up and feel like you're wearing the military look."

Style strategies: Chavez says when you're influenced by a trend, be sure to take one piece from it -- don't go for a head to toe look. If your style is classic, for example, she says to keep it simple by adding military colors into your wardrobe: tans, khakis, olives.

"And maybe add a tailored jacket, or an oversized button down, where you're incorporating the military trend without having it be super obvious," she says. "You could get away with doing a really cute army jacket that has ruffle. And I am a huge fan of the amy green cargo pant with a high heel or a striped shirt or a ballet flat."

Real fashionistas, Chavez says, can make the look edgier by playing up the sexier angles of the trend.

"I've been seeing a lot of women with an over sized army jacket, belted, with skinny black leather leggings and a high shoe," she says. "And it doesn't have to be like you have to be one person. It can be what suits you during your life -- during the day you can be more classic, but at night, when you go out, you're a little edgier, so you switch it up."

Wondering what to wear with your slouchy new anorak? Check out spring's handbag trends.