Military uniform
Overview
 
Military uniforms comprises standardised dress
Dress
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...

 worn by members of the armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 and paramilitaries
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 of various nations. Military dress and military styles have gone through great changes over the centuries from colourful and elaborate to extremely utilitarian
Military camouflage
Military camouflage is one of many means of deceiving an enemy. In practice, it is the application of colour and materials to battledress and military equipment to conceal them from visual observation. The French slang word camouflage came into common English usage during World War I when the...

. Military uniforms in the form of standardised and distinctive dress, intended for identification and display, are typically a sign of organised military forces equipped by a central authority.
A distinction should be made between uniform
Uniform
A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates...

s and ethnic dress.
Encyclopedia
Military uniforms comprises standardised dress
Dress
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...

 worn by members of the armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 and paramilitaries
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 of various nations. Military dress and military styles have gone through great changes over the centuries from colourful and elaborate to extremely utilitarian
Military camouflage
Military camouflage is one of many means of deceiving an enemy. In practice, it is the application of colour and materials to battledress and military equipment to conceal them from visual observation. The French slang word camouflage came into common English usage during World War I when the...

. Military uniforms in the form of standardised and distinctive dress, intended for identification and display, are typically a sign of organised military forces equipped by a central authority.

History

A distinction should be made between uniform
Uniform
A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates...

s and ethnic dress. If a particular people or culture favoured a distinctive dress style this could easily create the impression of uniformly dressed warriors. The issue is further complicated by the fact that the distinctive features of particularly effective warrior classes were often copied - weapons, armour, fighting style and native dress. Thus the distinctive and colourful clothing of the Hungarian hussar
Hussar
Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry which originated in Hungary in the 14th century, tracing its roots from Serbian medieval cavalry tradition, brought to Hungary in the course of the Serb migrations, which began in the late 14th century....

s became a model for hussar units all over Europe. The kilts and sporrans of Scottish highland clans were distilled into regimental dress when the British Army started to recruit from these tribal groups.

Mercenary or irregular fighters could also develop their own fashions, which set them apart from civilians, but were not really uniforms. The clothing of the German Landsknecht
Landsknecht
Landsknechte were European, predominantly German mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of Early modern Europe.-Etymology:The term is from German, Land "land, country" + Knecht...

e of the 16th century is an example of distinctive military fashion. Special units such as Zouave
Zouave
Zouave was the title given to certain light infantry regiments in the French Army, normally serving in French North Africa between 1831 and 1962. The name was also adopted during the 19th century by units in other armies, especially volunteer regiments raised for service in the American Civil War...

s developed non-standard uniforms to distinguish them from troops of the line.

Towards the end of the 17th century Swedish king Karl XI started to reform his army. He brought in new equipment, new tactics and new formations. Transforming the northern country into a military state much like 18th century Prussia. Karl XI also introduced Sweden's, and possibly the world's, first standard issue army uniform in 1693.

Antiquity

There are a few recorded attempts at uniform dress in antiquity, going beyond the similarity to be expected of ethnic or tribal dress. One example is the Spanish infantry of Hannibal who wore white tunics with crimson edgings. Another is the Spartan hoplite
Hoplite
A hoplite was a citizen-soldier of the Ancient Greek city-states. Hoplites were primarily armed as spearmen and fought in a phalanx formation. The word "hoplite" derives from "hoplon" , the type of the shield used by the soldiers, although, as a word, "hopla" could also denote weapons held or even...

 in his red garment. The terracotta army discovered in the tomb of the first Emperor of Chin (c. 200 BC) have a superficial similarity but closer examination shows up to seven different styles of armour, which do not appear to have been standardised within separate units.

Rome

The legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

s of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 wore fairly standardised dress and armour, particularly from approximately 40 AD onward, when Lorica Segmentata (segmented armour) was introduced. Thus, a film showing Roman soldiers under Caesar landing in Egypt (this around 48 BC) wearing segmented armour is, historically, glaringly incorrect. The lack of unified production for the Roman army meant that, despite a certain degree of standardisation, there were still considerable differences in detail. Even the armour produced in state factories varied according to the province of origin. Fragments of surviving clothing and wall paintings indicate that the basic tunic of the Roman soldier was of red or un-dyed (off-white) wool. Senior commanders are known to have worn white cloaks and plumes. Centurions—the century commanders who made up the long serving backbone of the legions—were distinguished by transverse crests on their helmets, various chest ornaments (phaleræ) corresponding to modern medals, and torques (a symbol borrowed from the Gauls and also used as a military award), and the vine stick (Vitis) that they carried as a mark of their office.

Late Roman and Byzantine

The regular thematic (provincial) and Tagmata (central) troops of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 (East Roman) are the first known soldiers to have had what would now be considered regimental or unit identification. During the 10th century, each of the cavalry "banda" making up these forces is recorded as having plumes and other distinctions in a distinctive colour. While some auxiliary cohorts in the late Roman period had carried shields with distinctive colours or designs, there is no evidence that any one Roman legion was distinguished from another by features other than the numbers on the leather covers protecting their shields.

Medieval Feudal

The feudal system
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 provided instances of distinguishing features denoting allegiance to one or another lord. These however seldom went beyond colours and patterns painted on shields or embroidered on surcoats. Orders of military monks such as the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 or Hospitaler wore mantles respectively of white (with red crosses on the shoulder) or black (with white crosses) over the usual pattern of armour for their periods. In the later part of the Medieval period instances of standardised clothing being issued for particular campaigns began to occur. English examples included the white coats worn by Norfolk levies recruited in 1296 and the green and white clothing that identified Cheshire archers during the 14th century.

Ottoman Empire

The highly organised armies of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 employed distinctive features of dress to distinguish one corps or class of soldier from another. An example would be the conical black hats of felt worn by the Deli cavalry of the early 19th century. However the basic costume was usually that of the tribal group or social class from which a particular class of warrior was drawn. As such it was sufficiently varied not to rank as "uniform" in the later sense. An elaborate system of colourful standards largely provided unit identification. Even the appearance of the Janissaries was likely to reflect individual means and taste, although red was a favoured colour and the white felt zarcola headdresses were similar. It was not until the reorganisation of the Ottoman Army by Sultan Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 during the 1820s that completely standardised dress was issued.

Navies

In an early instance of camouflage awareness, the sailors of Imperial Rome are reported to have worn blue/green tunic
Tunic
A tunic is any of several types of clothing for the body, of various lengths reaching from the shoulders to somewhere between the hips and the ankles...

s. However uniform dress was not a feature of navies (officers and marines excepted) until comparatively recent times. This may reflect the considerable difference in roles and conditions of service between sailors and soldiers.

Until the middle of the 19th century only officers and warrant officers in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 wore regulated uniforms. Through the 18th century to the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 navy officers had a form of dress broadly resembling that of army officers, though in dark blue with white facings. In the early 19th century Royal Navy officers developed a more distinctive form of uniform comprising (in full dress) a cocked hat, dark blue coatee with white collar and cuffs, dark blue or white trousers, or breeches. Epaulettes and braiding were gold and varied according to rank. In a simplified form this dress (without the cocked hat) survives as the modern ceremonial dress for flag officers.

Throughout this period sailors supplied or made their own clothing. Sailors developed traditional clothing suitable for their work: loose-fitting trousers with belts made of rope; tunics that slipped over the head, with arms to above the wrist so that the cloth would not foul in ropes passing through a cleat
Cleat
Cleat may refer to:* Cleat , a type or part of a shoe* Cleat , a fitting on ships, boats, and docks to which ropes are tied* Cleats , a comic strip by Bill Hinds...

 or pulley
Pulley
A pulley, also called a sheave or a drum, is a mechanism composed of a wheel on an axle or shaft that may have a groove between two flanges around its circumference. A rope, cable, belt, or chain usually runs over the wheel and inside the groove, if present...

. For cold weather, a jumper
Sweater
A sweater, jumper, pullover, sweatshirt, jersey or guernsey is a garment intended to cover the torso and arms. It is often worn over a shirt, blouse, T-shirt, or other top, but may also be worn alone as a top...

 was knitted
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

 from string
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 or wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

. For wet weather, old sail cloth was made into a coat (with hat or attached hood) that was waterproofed with tallow
Tallow
Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.In industry,...

 or fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

. In these days, the officers would designate certain afternoons to "make and mend
Make and mend
Make and mend is the term used in the Navy for an "afternoon off".It is derived from the time of sailing ships when sailors would, occasionally but regularly, be allowed time to "make and mend" their uniforms, which were not then supplied by the Royal Navy.Some sailors were, nevertheless, "on...

" (clothing). A sailor with little clothing to make or mend used this time as "time off".

In January 1857 the decision was taken to issue complete uniforms to petty officers and seamen. This included features which can still be recognised in the Class I uniform of ratings in the modern Royal Navy - notably the wide blue collar with whites tapes, a black neck kerchief, white lanyard and blue or white jumper. The flared "bell bottom" trousers disappeared after World War II.

Because of the global dominance of the Royal Navy from Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 RN uniforms became the model for virtually all other navies. While certain distinctive features emerged - such as the red pompom worn on the crown of the French sailor's cap, the open fronted jacket of the German Navy or the white round cap of the U.S. Navy - the overall pattern remained standard until the development of specialist working or protective rigs during World War II.

Regimental dress

The styles and decoration of military uniforms varied immensely with the status, image and resources of the military throughout the ages. Uniform dress became the norm with the adoption of regimental systems, initially by the French army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 in the mid 17th century. Earlier, some Swedish infantry had been issued with standard coloured dress under Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustav II Adolf has been widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus Magnus and variously in historical writings also as Gustavus, or Gustavus the Great, or Gustav Adolph the Great,...

 (hence his "yellow" or "blue" regiments). However in the main the levies of the fifteenth and 16th centuries wore civilian dress with scarves, pieces of foliage or other makeshift identification. Even Royal guards would only be issued with distinctive coloured or embroidered surcoats to wear over ordinary clothing.

Scarves were easily removed, as in the example of the squire who at the Battle of Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

 put on the orange scarf of the Parliamentarians and with no more elaborate disguise succeeded in recapturing the lost royal standard from the hands of Earl of Essex's
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex was an English Parliamentarian and soldier during the first half of the seventeenth century. With the start of the English Civil War in 1642 he became the first Captain-General and Chief Commander of the Parliamentarian army, also known as the Roundheads...

 own secretary. By this time, in France at least, the general character of the clothes and accoutrements to be worn on various occasions was strictly regulated by orders. But uniformity of clothing was not to be expected so long as the "enlistment" system prevailed and soldiers were taken in and dismissed at the beginning and end of every campaign. The beginnings of uniform are therefore to be found in truly national armies, in the Indelta of Gustavus Adolphus, and the English armies of the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. In the earlier years of the latter, though the richer colonels uniformed their men (as, for instance, the Marquess of Newcastle's "Whitecoats" and King Charles's
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 own red-coated Lifeguard of foot), the rustics and the citizens turned out for war in their ordinary rough clothes, donning armour and sword-belt. But in 1645 the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

 raised an army "all its own" for permanent service, and the colonels became officials rather than proprietors. The New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

 was clothed in the civilian costume of the date—ample coat, waistcoat, breeches, stockings and shoes (in the case of cavalry, boots)—but with the distinctive colour throughout the army of red and with regimental facings of various colours and breeches of grey. Soon afterwards the helmet disappeared, and its place was taken by a grey broad-brimmed hat. From the coat was eventually evolved the tunic of the mid-19th century, and the hat became the cocked hat of a later generation, which generally disappeared during the decade of 1800-1810 to reappear in the late 19th and early 20th century, by which time it had its original form of a "slouch-hat." For service in Ireland the New Model Army's red coat was exchanged for one of russet colour, just as scarlet gave way to khaki for Indian service in the 19th century. The cavalry (Iron Sides), however, wore buff leather coats and armour long after the infantry had abandoned them.
Thus the principle ever since followed—uniform coat and variegated facings—was established. Little or nothing of sentiment led to this. By choice or convenience the majority of the corps out of which the New Model Army was formed had come to be dressed in red, with facings according to the colonel's taste, and it is a curious fact that in Austria sixty years afterwards events took the same course. The colonels there uniforming their men as they saw fit had, by tacit consent, probably to obtain "wholesale " prices, agreed upon a serviceable colour (pearl grey), and when in 1707 Prince Eugene
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy , was one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris to aristocratic Italian parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV...

 procured the issue of uniform regulations, few line regiments had to be re-clothed. In France, as in England and Austria, the cavalry, as yet rather led by the wealthy classes than officered by the professional, was not uniformed upon an army system until after the infantry. But in 1688 six-sevenths of the French cavalry was uniformed in light grey with red facings; and about half the dragoon regiments had red uniforms and blue facings. The Marquis of Louvois
François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois
François Michel Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois was the French Secretary of State for War for a significant part of the reign of Louis XIV. Louvois and his father, Michel le Tellier, would increase the French Army to 400,000 soldiers, an army that would fight four wars between 1667 and 1713...

, in creating a standing army, had introduced an infantry uniform as a necessary consequence. The native French regiments had light grey coats, the Swiss red, the German black and the Italian blue, with various facings. The French grey was probably decided upon, like the Austrian grey, as being a good "service" colour, which could be cheaply manufactured.

During the 18th century the normal military uniform in Europe comprised a standardised form of civilian dress (tricorn hat, long-skirted coat, waistcoat
Waistcoat
A waistcoat or vest is a sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear, and as the third piece of the three-piece male business suit.-Characteristics and use:...

 and breeches
Breeches
Breeches are an item of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles...

). One distinctively military feature were the long canvas gaiters
Gaiters
Gaiters are garments worn over the shoe and lower pant leg, and used primarily as personal protective equipment; similar garments used primarily for display are spats....

 which came up to mid-thigh and had multiple buttons. Dress was surprisingly standardised between European armies in cut and general outline. The distinction normally lay in colours (red coats for the British and Danes, light grey then white for the French, Spanish, and Austrian infantry, dark blue for the Prussians and Portuguese, green for the Russians etc.). Within each army different regiments were usually distinguished by "facings" - linings, turnbacks and braiding on coats in colours that were distinctive to one or several regiments. The Royal Comtois Infantry Regiment of the French Army, for example, had large dark blue cuff
Cuff
A cuff is an extra layer of fabric at the lower edge of the sleeve of a garment covering the arms. In US usage the word may also refer to the end of the leg of a pair of trousers...

s on its off-white coats. To a certain extent the functions required of a given group of soldiers were reflected in their dress. Thus artillery uniforms in most armies were usually of dark blue - for the practical reason that handling black powder would have soiled lighter coloured clothing. Infantry drummers and cavalry trumpeters often had "reverse" colours with coats the colour of the regimental facings and facings the colour of the regimental coats.

Officers (who paid for their own clothing) were relatively slow to accept uniforms. During the late 17th century they were often dressed in individual styles and colours according to their own taste and means. In part this was because the uniform dress issued to the rank and file was considered a form of livery - the mark of a servant and demeaning to members of the social class from which officers came. One early practice in the French and other armies was for officers to wear coats of the facing colour of their regiments. Rank insignia as such was unknown until well into the 18th century. The gorget
Gorget
A gorget originally was a steel or leather collar designed to protect the throat. It was a feature of older types of armour and intended to protect against swords and other non-projectile weapons...

 hanging from a chain around the neck (and a last survival of medieval armour) was the only universally recognised mark of an officer until epaulettes developed from clusters of ribbons formerly worn on the shoulder. In the British army officers were ordered to adopt epaulettes by a clothing warrant dated 1768. Even when officers' uniforms became the subject of detailed regulation they remained easily distinguishable from those of other ranks, by the better quality and richness of the materials and trimmings used.

New uniforms were issued with surprising frequency in some 18th century armies (once a year in the British service). It should however be remembered that a soldier had to march, parade, fight and sometimes sleep in the same garment and that such extras as greatcoats or working clothes were seldom issued until the end of the century.

Nineteenth century

The first fifteen years of this century influenced the appearance of military uniforms for much of the rest of the century. Some French uniforms
Uniforms of La Grande Armée
The uniforms of La Grande Armée, the army of Napoleon I, are described in this article.-Infantry of the Line and light infantry:From 1793, the uniforms of the demi-brigades of the line infantry wore the blue "National Uniform" that was to be worn by all soldiers...

 - notably those of the cavalry regiments of the Imperial Guard - were probably amongst the most elegant and beautiful of the time. The cost varied widely, going from 200-250 francs for a line infantryman's outfit to 2000 francs for a cuirassier's uniform. Cavalrymen of the Guard had not less than 10 different uniforms. One justification for the expensive parade dresses of the Guard was that they would "lead the people of the conquered nations to regard the French uniforms with unreserved astonishment". As a general trend France and other European states replaced their bicorne
Bicorne
The bicorne or bicorn is an archaic form of hat widely adopted in the 1790s as an item of uniform by European and American military and naval officers...

s by feathered shako
Shako
A shako is a tall, cylindrical military cap, usually with a peak or visor and sometimes tapered at the top...

s or crested helmet
Helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries.Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from...

s

The ornamental peak of the military uniform was reached in the early 19th century in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Sometimes the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 are identified as being the acme of colourful and ornate uniforms, but actually the several decades of relative peace that followed were a time of even more decorative styles and embellishments. The Napoleonic soldier on campaign was likely to present a shabby and nondescript appearance as unsuitable peacetime dress quickly deteriorated or was replaced with whatever local substitutes were available. Until later on in the century dyes were primitive and different batches of uniforms worn by the same unit might present differing shades, especially after exposure to rain and sun. The white uniforms popular amongst many armies through the eighteenth and early 19th centuries soiled easily and had to be pipe clayed to retain any semblance of cleanliness. Green as worn by Jäger
Jäger (military)
Jäger is a term that was adopted in the Enlightenment era in German-speaking states and others influenced by German military practice to describe a kind of light infantry, and it has continued in that use since then....

 and Rifle regiments proved particularly prone to fading until suitable chemical dyes were devised in the 1890s. British soldiers were known for their striking red clothing (hence the name "Redcoat
Red coat (British army)
Red coat or Redcoat is a historical term used to refer to soldiers of the British Army because of the red uniforms formerly worn by the majority of regiments. From the late 17th century to the early 20th century, the uniform of most British soldiers, , included a madder red coat or coatee...

s"). This was actually a fairly dull shade of madder red
Alizarin
Alizarin or 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone is an organic compound with formula that has been used throughout history as a prominent dye, originally derived from the roots of plants of the madder genus.Alizarin was used as a red dye for the English parliamentary "new model" army...

 until the general adoption of scarlet for tunics in the 1870s. The American industrial revolution began in the Blackstone Valley
Blackstone Valley
The Blackstone Valley or Blackstone River Valley is a region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution...

, of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

, with early textiles, from 1791. Among the earliest manufacturers of US military uniforms was the Capron Mills
John Capron
John Willard Capron was an American military officer in the infantry, state legislator, and textile manufacturer.-Early life, family:...

 at Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was first settled in 1662, incorporated in 1727 at Suffolk County, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. Uxbridge is south-southeast of Worcester, north-northwest of Providence, and southwest of Boston. It is part of...

 from 1820.

The American Civil War

It is generally supposed that Union soldiers wore blue uniforms and Confederate soldiers wore gray ones. However, this was only a generalisation. Both the Union and the Confederacy drew up uniform regulations, but as a matter of practical reality neither side was able to equip its men at the outbreak of the war. Indeed, neither side had an army to speak of other than a few thousand U. S. Army regulars. Instead, both sides relied on locally raised regiments.

North or South a prominent local citizen would go to the governor of his state and request permission to raise a regiment for either the Union or the Confederacy depending on which side the state was on. He would then go back home and enlist other prominent citizens with the understanding he would be the Colonel and they could be the other officers. The general idea (with many exceptions) was that all the men in the county would be in the regiment and all the men in a given town would be in the same company of that regiment. (Again there were many exceptions to this.)

The wives of these prominent men would get together with books and magazines that had pictures of uniforms and discuss the over-all uniform for the regiment. These would then go back home and gather the women of their community to discuss the specific uniform for the men of their town's company and make them during sewing bees.

Because Union uniforms were supposed to be blue, there was often a shortage of blue cloth up North but an abundance of gray. Northern women saw no reason why their men in the Union Army should not have gray uniforms. After all, didn't the cadets at West Point have gray uniforms? Down South it was the other way around, and Southern women saw no reason why their men in the Confederate Army should not have blue uniforms like George Washington—a Virginian and a Southerner—had worn. At the First Battle of Bull Run it was not unusual for half the companies in a regiment to be wearing blue uniforms and the other half in the same regiment to be wearing gray ones. When Confederate reinforcements began arriving it was not at first clear which side they were on. Even the flags appeared similar as they hung limply on that windless day, and this led to the development of what we know today as the Confederate flag. Some regiments—such as the North's Brandenberg Sharpshooters and the South's Alexandria Rifles—had green uniforms.

The Union eventually got most of its men into regulation Federal blue—but this faded just as blue jeans fade until they appeared gray. The Confederacy was never able to keep its men equipped, so Confederate soldiers took to wearing whatever they could get their hands on, and this included Federal uniforms. When possible, these would be stained dark brown with walnut husks. As Sherman's men marched across Georgia and up the Carolinas, they were cut off from supply by the Union and began wearing clothing of Confederate origin. The Union Naval blockade cut off the supply of gray dye from Europe, so by 1863 the South switched to a kind of khaki they got from tree bark and called "butternut". To add to the confusion, American roads were made of dirt, and the tiny puffs of dust kicked up by each footfall of the soldiers as they marched became a cloud of dust that settled on their uniforms, so that from a distance even Union soldiers appeared to be wearing butternut.

All of this helps us to understand the stories of soldiers becoming separated from their units and gradually realising that the men around them were the enemy, but if they remained calm they could often walk away unnoticed. Two Union soldiers were even able to escape from a Confederate prison and travel openly through Georgia and North Carolina, while when Union General Chamberlain was de-horsed near Petersburg and found himself surrounded by a handful of Rebel soldiers; he assumed a Southern accent and led them in a charge of Yankee lines. His men recognised him and held their fire as he brought them in the lines, where they were taken prisoner. So many Confederate soldiers came to be wearing so much Federal uniform that the North found it necessary to manufacture regulation Confederate uniform so that prisoners could be distinguished from their guards.

The end of bright colours

Until 1914 the majority of armies still provided colourful dress uniforms for all ranks, at least for parade and off duty wear. These often retained distinctive features from the past. Most Russian troops for example wore the very dark green introduced by Peter The Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 in 1700. German infantry generally wore the dark "Prussian blue
Prussian blue
Prussian blue is a dark blue pigment with the idealized formula Fe718. Another name for the color Prussian blue is Berlin blue or, in painting, Parisian blue. Turnbull's blue is the same substance but is made from different reagents....

" of the previous two centuries. This and other features of the historic Prussian Army
Prussian Army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...

 uniform were generally adopted by the other German States as they fell under Prussian influence before and after the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 of 1870. Bavarians however continued to wear light blue and Saxon regiments retained a number of distinctions after the establishment of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 (1871). Two regiments of the Prussian Guard and one of the Russian were still issued with the brass mitre caps of the 18th century grenadier
Grenadier (soldier)
A grenadier was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At this time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers...

. The British infantry retained their scarlet tunics for parade and "walking out" wear while the bulk of French regiments wore red trousers with dark or light blue tunics. The infantry of the Austro-Hungarian Empire discarded their historic white tunics in 1868 in favour of dark blue. Retained however were the extremely large number of colours appearing on collars, cuffs and shoulder straps to distinguish the various regiments. There were for example ten shades of red, ranging from cherry red to pink. The Swedish Army
Swedish Army
The Swedish Army is one of the oldest standing armies in the world and a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces; it is in charge of land operations. General Sverker Göranson is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Army.- Organization :...

 had favoured dark blue with yellow facings since the beginning of the 18th century. There was infinite variety, even within smaller armies, between regiments, branches or ranks and the subject is a very complex one.

However by 1914 drab colours were increasingly being adopted for active service and ordinary duty wear. The British had worn khaki drill
Khaki drill
Khaki drill or KD was the term for a type of fabric and the British military uniforms made from them. Khaki Drill was worn as a combat uniform from 1900 to 1949 but is a variant, still referred to a Khaki Drill or KD's is worn by the UK Armed Forces, in non combatatant warm weather countries where...

 in India and Africa since the Indian Mutiny of 1857. A darker version was adopted for home service field wear in 1902, the same year that the US Army also adopted khaki for non-dress occasions. The Italians introduced grey-green in 1909, followed by the German and Austrian armies who adopted different shades of grey. The Russians had changed to a grey shade of khaki in 1908, following their experience in the Russo Japanese War of 1905. There was however strong attachment to the colourful uniforms as previously worn on all occasions and the process was not an inexorable one. The Danish Army adopted grey-green uniforms for all occasions in 1903, reverted to a combination of dark and light blue in 1910, took up light grey in 1915 and finally settled for khaki in 1923. The Imperial Russian armies following their adoption of khaki-grey field uniforms in 1908, took the opportunity to upgrade their parade uniforms to much more elaborate and colourful styles, and were experimenting with a mix of khaki and bright colours when war broke out in 1914. The Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 probably went further than most in adopting khaki for all occasions after 1905, although even here officers of all branches and the cavalry of the Imperial Guard retained traditional coloured uniforms for formal and ceremonial occasions.

With the exception of Western influenced units such as the "Ever-Triumphant Army" of the Taiping Rebellion
Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who, having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty...

 (1851–66) Chinese armies of the 19th century wore dress that was broadly variegated. Embroidered chest panels and coloured buttons on headdresses were used to distinguish rank and sometimes unit. From 1910 the Imperial Chinese Army adopted dark blue uniforms of Japanese style with coloured facings of red, white or yellow to distinguish the different branches. The Imperial Guard Division had a light grey uniform with the same branch colours as the line. A khaki summer uniform was worn by the entire army.

The First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 finally put an end to the expensive practice of furnishing colourful uniforms to all ranks of the various armies. Amongst the frontline troops of the combatant powers in August 1914 only the Belgian and French armies saw active service in bright colours and old fashioned headgear (although the Austro-Hungarian cavalry retained their blue and red uniforms for field wear after the remainder of the army had gone into pike grey in 1909). The Imperial German field grey of 1910 retained a number of traditional features such as spiked helmets, shako
Shako
A shako is a tall, cylindrical military cap, usually with a peak or visor and sometimes tapered at the top...

s, busbies
Busby
Busby is the English name for the Hungarian prémes csákó or kucsma, a military head-dress made of fur, worn by Hungarian hussars. In its original Hungarian form the busby was a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top. The end of this bag was attached to the right...

 and coloured piping from the older uniforms. The demands of modern warfare as well as financial economy soon saw these survivals vanish and by 1916 all involved armies were in either khaki (Russia, Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Serbia, Montenegro, Japan, Greek, French colonial and Britain), various shades of grey (German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Bulgarian, Portuguese, and Austro-Hungarian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

) or sky blue (French and Romanian). The coloured uniforms of peacetime were often relegated to depot wear by recruits doing their basic training.

Steel helmets first appeared in the form of the "Adrian" helmet
Adrian helmet
The M15 Adrian helmet was a combat helmet issued to the French Army during World War I. It was the first standard helmet of the French Army and was designed when millions of French troops were engaged in trench warfare, and head wounds became a frequent cause of battlefield casualties...

 adopted by the French Army in 1915. The practical advantages of this innovation led the British and German armies to adopt their own helmets by 1916. Other armies followed suit - the Belgians and Italians for example copying the French model and the Austro-Hungarians that of Germany.

Between the wars

The drab uniforms of 1914-18 remained in general use until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. This was partly for political reasons since the Republican
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, Fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

, Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 regimes that replaced many of the old monarchies and empires had little interest in preserving the splendours of their predecessors. However even in those societies where there was social and political continuity the trend was away from the traditional uniforms worn prior to 1914. The British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 reintroduced full dress for Guards regiments (in 1919-20) and regimental bands (by 1928), while permitting officers to wear their mess (evening), blue or green "patrols" (semi-formal) and full dress on appropriate occasions. The French reintroduced "grande tenue" in 1927 for North African regiments which were mostly dependent on voluntary recruiting, and after 1930 required all regular officers to acquire dress uniforms in the pre-1914 colours of their branch or regiment. Elsewhere full or coloured dress of traditional cut was generally restricted to formal uniforms for officers and long service regulars, ceremonial guards and a few other limited categories. The Spanish Army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 (which had not been involved in World War I) exceptionally continued to issue coloured uniforms to all its conscript rank and file until 1926 and thereafter to the garrisons of Seville, Barcelona and Madrid for special ceremonials until 1931. These included red trousers for the line infantry, following the French practice in an example of cross-border influence.

The use of steel helmets was by now almost universal and a number of countries adopted their own designs moving away from the German, British and French models of World War I. The Italians, Soviets, Japanese, Swiss, Spanish and Portuguese were amongst these. Steel helmets, originally simply items of utilitarian protective clothing, were adopted as parade headdress by the French, German, Italian and Soviet armies, amongst others, between the Wars.

World War II

Uniforms of varying shades of khaki and grey were universal in World War II but the cut and outline appearance of the different armies still made identification in the field relatively straight forward. A Soviet soldier would, for example be distinguishable from his German opponent by his general outline, even in the fog of battle. British, American, Japanese and French uniforms still retained some distinctive features, even as they became more and more utilitarian in the course of the War. The US Army discarded its World War I style field uniforms in 1941 in favour of a very plain and practical combat dress in a thin light brown wool shirt (sometimes with an olive green cast) and slightly darker trousers. This was worn in conjunction with a smart olive drab "Class A" dress uniform—which in many cases varied to a rich "chocolate" brown tunic worn with khaki trousers. There was a khaki version of the Class A dress uniform for summer wear (See United States Army Uniform in World War II
United States Army Uniform in World War II
The United States Army in World War II used a variety of standard and non-standard dress and battle uniforms, which often changed depending upon the theater of war, climatic environment, and supply exigencies.-U.S...

). The war started with American combat troops wearing combat shoes with "spats" (a form of gaiters), replaced later in the war with 2-buckle combat boots. By contrast, British soldiers, other than officers, had their 1938 battledress for all occasions. In Germany the Nazi regime retained uniforms with many traditional features from Imperial Germany for its army uniforms, such as field grey cloth, marching boots (a taller version for officers), collar litzen (braiding) and breeches (for officers and NCOs); German Panzer (tank) troops had a special combat uniform made of black wool and German troops serving in tropical climates had uniforms in a shade of khaki. Later in the war, severe leather shortages led to the replacement of marching boots with ankle height shoes worn with gaiters (Gemäsch). Imperial Japan used a light brown or khaki colour for most Imperial army uniforms—though there was also a green service dress tunic for officers. Footwear was reddish brown jack boots (restricted for wear only by officers), while soldiers wore shoes with leg wrappings puttees). From 1935 to 1943, Soviet Army uniforms for all troops (except than tank troops) were an intermediate shade of brown; uniforms included a field uniform ("gymnastyrka" shirt with collar tabs and a 2-button breast opening, belt, breeches, garrison cap, and boots), a service dress "kittel" tunic worn with breeches or trousers, and a dress uniform tunic (worn with deep blue breeches). Soviet tank troops wore the gymnastyrka shirt, kittel and dress tunic in a bluish gray (rather than brown) colour. In 1943, the Soviet Army began to re-adopt many Tsarist Army features, notably braided epaulettes or shoulder boards, which had previously been forbidden (since the founding of the Soviet Army) as a sign of an undesirable "social class" mentality. The reintroduction in 1943 was, presumably, a relatively inexpensive means of boosting low Soviet troop morale (it worked). Stalin assigned the highest ranking (and most ornate) shoulder boards to himself. Once reintroduced to the Soviet Army, the use of shoulder boards was never rescinded and they remained part of the uniform until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The distinct bluish gray colour for tankers was eliminated in 1943, from which point on all units of the Soviet Army wore brown.

Modern uniforms

The utilitarian necessities of war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 and economic frugality are now the dominant factors in uniform design. Most military forces, however, have developed several different uniform types, including combat dress, working dress, service or ordinary duty uniforms and (to a very limited extent) ceremonial full dress. The practice of wearing a form of full dress off duty ("walking out dress") has largely died out as the modern soldier prefers the casual clothing of his civilian peers. Soldiers of the French Armed Forces do however still wear their kepis and a modified form of parade dress off duty, which can be seen every 14 July, during the Bastille Day Military Parade
Bastille Day Military Parade
The Bastille Day Military Parade is a French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880, almost without exception....

, in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

.

Camouflage

All of the above armies wear some form of camouflage uniforms for training and active service. These generally resemble each other and armies in the field are no longer differentiated by the distinctive cut or colour of their clothing. Camouflage clothing, being cheap, comfortable and practical, has increasingly become the usual dress for daily wear in most armies, superseding the various "service" uniforms which were often the field dress of previous wars. In poorer parts of the third world, especially Africa, the camouflage clothing worn comes from a variety of sources and is of many different patterns, so that an army's dress is definitely military, but to a large extent not uniform.

Parade

As noted above, traditional coloured uniforms have long since given way to clothing more suited for actual combat in modern conditions. While by no means extinct, bright colours are now usually reserved for wear by units having ceremonial functions, some bands and officers attending formal occasions. Elite units normally contrive to having some distinctive features. The United States Marine Corps are well known for their traditional midnight blue tunics and sky blue trousers trimmed in red, but these "dress blues" are now authorised for all personnel, and are worn for occasions such as the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November. The British Household Cavalry and Foot Guards wear uniforms largely unchanged from 1914 for "public duties" i.e. ceremonial.

The military of many countries have adopted the economical expedient of smartening up combat uniforms for parade by adding medals, neck scarves and coloured berets to the terrain coloured camouflage uniforms intended for combat. As an interesting example of the combining of old and new features of uniform the French Spahis and the Spanish Regulares
Regulares
The Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas , known simply as the Regulares , were the volunteer infantry and cavalry units of the Spanish Army recruited in Spanish Morocco. They consisted of Moroccans officered by Spaniards...

 still wear the flowing cloaks, fezzes, turbans and sashes of the North African colonial regiments from which they are descended with modern khaki or camouflage clothing, on appropriate occasions.

Britain

The British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 generally retains its traditional full dress uniforms only for bands and units performing ceremonial functions (notably the Household Brigade). See British Army Uniform
British Army Uniform
British Army uniform currently exists in several grades, which are worn depending on the requirements of a unit or individual, ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress.-History:...

for more detail.

An attempt dating from the early 1950s to provide other British soldiers with a plainer (and cheaper) dark blue or green No.1 dress did not meet with much enthusiasm; indeed, most soldiers are not issued with their own No.1 dress, and the most common occasion when it is now worn is for a wedding. Parade dress for most British regiments is khaki No. 2 dress with No 1 Dress coloured peaked caps, berets or Glengarry
Glengarry
The glengarry bonnet is a traditional boat-shaped hat without a peak made of thick-milled woollen material with a toorie on top, a rosette cockade on the left, and ribbons hanging down behind...

 bonnets. Following the introduction of the Combat Soldier 95 (CS95) clothing system of Disruptive Pattern Material
Disruptive Pattern Material
Disruptive Pattern Material is the commonly used name of a camouflage pattern used by British forces as well many other armies worldwide, particularly in former British colonies....

 (DPM) this is worn for most day-to-day business replacing the old 'working' uniform of green Lightweight Trousers and Shirt/Jersey, albeit that these are still used as 'Barrack Dress' by some office based personnel. However, the proposed Future Army Dress (FAD), which is currently being developed by the British Army, includes a return to Barrack Dress for all arms, including 'non-iron' shirts and trousers in a similar pattern to that of the current No.2 Dress uniform. Tradition is however still strong in British military culture and there are many regimental distinctions added to some uniforms. One example is the King's Royal Hussars
King's Royal Hussars
The King's Royal Hussars is a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and was formed on 4 December 1992 by the amalgamation of two other regiments:...

 who wear their historic crimson trousers with all orders other than fatigue or combat dress. The trews or tartan trousers of Lowland regiments have been retained for certain orders of dress in the amalgamated Royal Regiment of Scotland, although the kilt of the Highland regiments is the parade dress. Mess dress
Mess dress
Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit...

 in traditional scarlet, blue or green is worn by officers and senior NCOs of all regiments for formal evening dress.

France

The battle dress
Battle Dress
Battle Dress was the specific title of a military uniform adopted by the British Army in the late 1930s and worn until the 1960s. Several other nations also introduced variants of Battle Dress during the Second World War, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the...

 of the French Armed Forces is the FÉLIN
Félin
FÉLIN is the name for the French infantry combat system of the 2000s....

 system combined with SPECTRA helmet
SPECTRA helmet
The SPECTRA helmet or CGF Gallet Combat Helmet is the ballistic helmet currently in use in the French military, as well as in the armies of several other countries. Built by CGF Gallet , it weighs , is available in two sizes, and is made from Spectra fibers, produced under license from Honeywell...

s. France has adopted a light beige dress uniform which is worn with coloured kepi
Kepi
The kepi is a cap with a flat circular top and a visor or peak . Etymologically, the word is a borrowing of the French képi, itself a respelling of the Alemannic Käppi: a diminutive form of Kappe, meaning "cap"....

s, sash
Sash
A sash is a cloth belt used to hold a robe together, and is usually tied about the waist. The Japanese equivalent of a sash, obi, serves to hold a kimono or yukata together. Decorative sashes may pass from the shoulder to the hip rather than around the waist...

es, fringed epaulette
Epaulette
Epaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations.Epaulettes are fastened to the shoulder by a shoulder strap or "passant", a small strap parallel to the shoulder seam, and the button near the collar, or by laces on the...

s, fourragère
Fourragère
The fourragère is a military award, distinguishing military units as a whole, that is shaped as a braided cord. The award has been firstly adopted by France, followed by other nations such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.- History :...

s and other traditional items on appropriate occasions. As an alternative parade dress, camouflage uniforms can be worn with the dress items noted above. The legionnaires of the French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

 wear white kepis, blue sashes and green and red epaulettes as dress uniform, while the French Marines wear blue and red kepis and yellow epaulettes. The sappers of the French Foreign Legion wear the basic legionnaire uniform but with leather aprons and gloves. The Chasseurs alpins wear a large beret
Beret
A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned hat, designated a "cap", usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, or wool felt, or acrylic fiber....

, known as the "tarte" (the pie), and mountain outfits. Sailors of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 and Fusiliers Marins wear a dress uniform dating from the nineteenth century with a distinctive red pom-pom on the round cap.

The infantry and cavalry of the Republican Guard retain their late 19th century dress uniforms, as do the military cadets of Saint-Cyr
École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr
The École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr is the foremost French military academy. Its official name is . It is often referred to as Saint-Cyr . Its motto is "Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre": literally "They study to vanquish" or "Training for victory"...

 and the École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique
The École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, Essonne, France, near Paris. Polytechnique is renowned for its four year undergraduate/graduate Master's program...

. A medium blue evening dress for officers is now seldom seen but individual branches or regiments may parade bands or "fanfares" in historic dress dating as far back as the Napoleonic period.

Germany

The German Army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

 has retained a form of field grey for dress wear though of modern cut and worn with berets, although some senior officers still prefer peaked caps. The collar braid stripes (litzen), that distinguished regiments of the Prussian Guard prior to 1918, have become a general feature of modern German uniforms. The Mountain infantry troops retain a more traditional dress uniform. The Nationale Volksarmee of the former German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 also maintained a stone grey uniform, following the Imperial German tradition. Whereas the western backed Federal Republic of Germany clothed its armies in US pattern uniforms immediately after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, East German units retained high collared tunics, "stiefelhosen" (riding breeches), and "marchstiefel" (jackboots).

Italy

The traditional headdresses of the Bersaglieri
Bersaglieri
The Bersaglieri are a corps of the Italian Army originally created by General Alessandro La Marmora on 18 June 1836 to serve in the Piedmontese Army, later to become the Royal Italian Army...

, Horse Artillery and Alpini
Alpini
The Alpini, , are the elite mountain warfare soldiers of the Italian Army. They are currently organized in two operational brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpini Corps Command. The singular is Alpino ....

 are still worn by the Italian Army
Italian Army
The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

, the Bersaglieri even wearing their flowing feathers on steel helmets as part of their combat dress. Officers of all branches have a dark blue dress uniform and the Corazzieri (Cuirassiers of the Presidential Guard), Mounted Carabinieri and cadets of the Modena Military Academy wear dress uniforms which date back to the 19th century. Individual regiments with a long history, such as the Lancieri di Montebello and the Granatieri di Sardegna occasionally parade honour guards or other detachments in their pre-1915 dark blue uniforms.

Russia

The Russian Army
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

 has retained a number of features, such as officers' epaulettes, high boots and long greatcoats with collar patches for all ranks, which can be traced back to Tsarist days. The dress uniform for officers is of the same distinctive blue/green colour as the "Tsar's green" worn until 1914. The Kremlin Guard has in recent years been issued with a special ceremonial uniform which closely resembles that of the infantry regiments of the Imperial Guard immediately prior to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Spain

The Spanish Army
Spanish Army
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.-Introduction:...

 has reintroduced a number of dress uniforms dating back to the pre-1931 Monarchy. These include a variety of parade uniforms worn by various units of the recreated Royal Guard as well as the traditional dark blue and white uniforms of the Guardia Civil and the blue tunics and red trousers of the 1st Infantry Regiment. While only worn by limited numbers of personnel on special occasions, these uniforms include such distinctively Spanish features as the "Ros" shako of the infantry and the Royal Guard, and the Tricorn of the Civil Guard. Officers of all branches wear dark blue or white gala uniforms for social and ceremonial occasions.

USA

In recent decades, many militaries around the world have gradually simplified the range of uniforms issued. For example, most U.S. servicemen now wear camouflage utilities for daily duty and all but the most formal occasions-whereas in the past the service uniform would be worn unless a soldier was engaged in a dirty or physical task. As an example of modern practice, the US Marine Corps has a distinct blue dress uniform, but other uniforms include khaki button-up shirt
Shirt
A shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body. Originally an undergarment worn exclusively by men, it has become, in American English, a catch-all term for almost any garment other than outerwear such as sweaters, coats, jackets, or undergarments such as bras, vests or base layers...

s, forest-green coats, and combat camouflage. In other services where camouflage is normally a non-issue, such as navies
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

, coloured uniforms are still issued, e.g. the US Navy's white officer uniform for warm weather.
The United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 allows every branch to develop and use their own uniforms. In recent years, many Battle Dress Uniform
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress Uniform were the fatigues that the armed forces of the United States used as their standard uniform for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Since then, it has been replaced in every branch of the U.S. military. Only the U.S. Navy currently authorizes wear of the...

s with famous US Woodland pattern were replaced. USMC developed new digital MARPAT
MARPAT
MARPAT is a digital camouflage pattern in use with the United States Marine Corps, introduced with the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform , which replaced the Camouflage Utility Uniform. The pattern is formed by a number of small rectangular pixels of color...

 pattern, while the Army developed Universal Pattern (ACU)
Army Combat Uniform
The Army Combat Uniform is the current combat uniform worn by the United States Army. It is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform worn during the 1980s and 1990s. It features a number of design changes, as well as a different camouflage pattern from its...

 for its standard combat uniforms, though a special camouflage pattern more appropriate for use in Afghanistan was fielded in 2010. Popular disdain among US troops for the beret headgear as part of the "default" headgear for wear with the ACU uniform led to a regulation revision in 2011, with the standard "default" headgear for wear with ACUs now being the ACU patrol cap, which provides a much better degree of sun protection for the eyes).
Based on recommendations made during a comprehensive briefing by Task Force Uniform on Feb. 24 2006, CNO Michael G. Mullen agreed to production of both a BDU-style working uniform for all Sailors E-1 to O-10 and a more practical, year-round service uniform to withstand day-to-day classroom and office-like environments where the service uniform is typically worn. The new Navy Working Uniform (NWU) is now worn by naval sailors and officers. On 6 June 2006 the US Army announced that its green and white uniforms would be superseded by the Army Blue Uniform as a universal service uniform in the historic colours of dark blue (for tunics) and light blue (for trousers). The new service dress would be introduced in 2007 and become obligatory for all ranks by 2011.

Distinctive clothing

One purpose of military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 uniforms is to clearly distinguish combatant
Combatant
A combatant is someone who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict. If a combatant follows the law of war, then they are considered a privileged combatant, and upon capture they qualify as a prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Convention...

s who are protected by the laws of war
Laws of war
The law of war is a body of law concerning acceptable justifications to engage in war and the limits to acceptable wartime conduct...

 from other persons carrying weapons, who do not always enjoy such protection. Another purpose in historical times was to make it difficult for deserter
Desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

s to avoid detection; military uniforms were so distinctive with many metal buttons and unique colours that they could not be modified into unrecognisable clothing.

In societies where the military was important, the soldiers were dressed to impress the population and themselves. If the commander raised and equipped the troops out of his own pocket, the appearance of the soldiers was also designed to impress his superiors. Attractive or distinctive uniforms could make a military career desirable to young men (the "peacock" factor). As late as 1914 the British Army found that regiments with particularly striking off duty or parade uniforms found it easier to attract recruits. Thus the four Rifle
The Rifles
The Rifles is the largest regiment of the British Army. Formed in 2007, it consists of five regular and two territorial battalions, plus a number of companies in other TA battalions, Each battalion of the Rifles was formerly an individual battalion of one of the two large regiments of the Light...

 regiments in their sombre dark green had a higher public profile than the great mass of line infantry in scarlet.

Nationalism or Xenophobia

During the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

, the Muslim Gansu Braves under General Dong Fuxiang
Dong Fuxiang
Dong Fuxiang , a Chinese, was born Gansu, China. He commanded an army of Chinese Muslim soldiers, which included the later Ma clique generals Ma Anliang and Ma Fuxiang. According to the Western calendar, his birth date is in 1839.- Religion :Conflicting accounts are given about his religion and...

 used Traditional Chinese uniform instead of western uniform because Dong Fuxiang was highly xenophobic and despised foreigners.

Visibility or camouflage

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the typical colour scheme included bright and highly contrasting colour arrangements which made it easier to distinguish units in battle. Coloured uniforms were useful in enabling commanders to spot troop locations on battlefields that were often completely obscured by smoke from the black [gunpowder] used in both muskets and cannons. Large flags were another aid to co-ordination and location for commanders.

However, with the growing prevalence of accurate rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s and other ranged firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

s as standard weapons for infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

, it was found, from about the 1880s on, that these colours made soldiers easy targets for enemies to shoot at a distance. These weapons used a new smokeless powder
Smokeless powder
Smokeless powder is the name given to a number of propellants used in firearms and artillery which produce negligible smoke when fired, unlike the older gunpowder which they replaced...

 that generated far less smoke leaving the battlefield unobscured by smoke and making brightly coloured troops into highly visible targets. In reaction, the various militaries, beginning with the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, changed the colours, predominantly to such ones that blended in more with the terrain, such as khaki
Khaki
This article is about the fabric. For the color, see Khaki . Kaki, another name for the persimmon, is often misspelled "Khaki".Khaki is a type of fabric or the color of such fabric...

, grey or olive drab for the purposes of camouflage
Camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

. In addition, this idea was followed with uniforms suitable for particular climates and seasons such as white for snowy regions and tan for sandy ones. Now most armies have some form of camouflaged uniform, such as the British DPM.

Many modern military forces now use a system of combat uniforms that not only break up the outline of the soldier for use on the battlefield during the daytime, but also employ a distinctive appearance that makes them difficult to detect with light amplification devices, such as night-vision goggles (NVGs). These modern "digital" print uniforms present a somewhat splotched appearance, generally of somewhat muted colours, that provide visual concealment in a variety of surroundings. The US Army now issues, for all theatres of operations, the Army Combat Uniform
Army Combat Uniform
The Army Combat Uniform is the current combat uniform worn by the United States Army. It is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform worn during the 1980s and 1990s. It features a number of design changes, as well as a different camouflage pattern from its...

 (ACU), which replaces the Battle Dress Uniform
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress Uniform were the fatigues that the armed forces of the United States used as their standard uniform for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Since then, it has been replaced in every branch of the U.S. military. Only the U.S. Navy currently authorizes wear of the...

 (BDU) and the Desert Combat Uniform (DCU). The colour scheme on these ACUs is a faded green/grey/tan pattern of random-appearing rectangular shapes. Pocket outlines on the front of the jackets are offset from vertical, so as to present a less distinctive straight line for the eye to follow while using NVGs. The US Marine Corps also issues similar uniforms with their MARPAT
MARPAT
MARPAT is a digital camouflage pattern in use with the United States Marine Corps, introduced with the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform , which replaced the Camouflage Utility Uniform. The pattern is formed by a number of small rectangular pixels of color...

 pattern,
("The U.S. Marines considered adopting CADPAT
CADPAT
Canadian Disruptive Pattern is the computer-generated digital camouflage pattern currently used by the Canadian Forces . CADPAT is designed to reduce the likelihood of detection by night vision devices. The basic uniform consists of a wide brim combat hat, helmet cover, shirt, jacket, trousers,...

 for their new pattern, however the Canadian government owns the copyright for the pattern. The Canadian government supplied information and manufacturers to help the Marines with the computer-generated Digital Pattern pixelated uniform the Canadians had been developing since 1988."http://www.hyperstealth.com/CADPAT-MARPAT.htm though their uniforms are not designed to replace both woodland pattern uniforms and desert pattern, since both woodland digital and desert digital patterns are available. Similarly the US Air Force has begun fielding digital pattern uniforms to their service members, with those uniforms featuring a blue/grey/tan pattern).

Logistics

Mass-produced uniforms are a good way to equip thousands of soldiers quickly and efficiently. Uniforms in standard sizes and designs are also easier to replace on campaign. As an example, English levies raised for service in Ireland or the Continent during the 17th century came to be provided with clothing purchased in bulk and often of a standard colour or cut. This was however only a temporary wartime expedient and the development of uniforms as such had to wait on the formulation of a system of permanent regiments, notably by the French Monarchy (see above).

Psychological warfare

The appearance of the troops was often enhanced in some way to intimidate the enemy. The tall, mitre-shaped caps worn by grenadiers in the 18th century made their wearers appear bigger and more impressive. King Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of Prussia
Frederick William I of the House of Hohenzollern, was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death...

 had a guard unit of especially tall men with tall mitre hats, the Potsdam Giants
Potsdam Giants
The Potsdam Giants was the Prussian infantry regiment No 6, composed of taller-than-average soldiers. The regiment was founded in 1675 and dissolved in 1806 after the Prussian defeat against Napoleon...

. Prussian hussar
Hussar
Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry which originated in Hungary in the 14th century, tracing its roots from Serbian medieval cavalry tradition, brought to Hungary in the course of the Serb migrations, which began in the late 14th century....

s wore the "skull and crossbones" (Totenkopf
Totenkopf
The Totenkopf is the German word for the death's head and an old symbol for death or the dead. It consists usually of the skull and the mandible of the human skeleton...

) on their hats from 1740 to 1918. This tradition continues into the present day with nose art
Nose art
Nose art is a decorative painting or design on the fuselage of a military aircraft, usually located near the nose, and is a form of aircraft graffiti....

 and fin flash
Fin flash
A fin flash is part of the national markings of the military aircraft of a number of countries.In addition to the insignia displayed on the wings and fuselage, usually in the form of roundels, an additional marking known as a fin flash may also be displayed on the fin. A fin flash often takes the...

 on combat aircraft. The unique combat uniforms of the US Marines has also led to nicknames given by the enemy; "Black boots," "Yellow Legs" and "White sleeves" to name a few.

The warriors of ancient Sparta, normally known for their austere lifestyle, wore expensive red cloaks. Reportedly this was adopted as the only colour on which the spilled blood of their enemies would not leave stains. There is a popular myth that the historic red coat of the English soldier was adopted for the same reason (in fact, blood does show as a dark stain on red clothing and the British red coat originated as a historical accident, possibly as a result of the relative cheapness of madder red dyes at the time of the English Civil War in the mid 17th century).

Hair styles in military organisations usually follow civilian fashions, but sometimes certain features are associated with soldiers. In the late 19th century, the ornate beard
Beard
A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard...

s and moustaches worn by the officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

s of the day, which complemented their rank
Military rank
Military rank is a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces or civil institutions organized along military lines. Usually, uniforms denote the bearer's rank by particular insignia affixed to the uniforms...

 and age, were also worn by socially equivalent civilians. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the "high and tight
High and tight
The high and tight is a military variant of the buzz cut. It is a very short hairstyle most commonly worn by men in the armed forces of most countries. Due to the functionality of this hairstyle, it is also popular with law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel...

" haircut often distinguished low-ranking soldiers, particularly infantrymen, or, in the United States, Marines and Soldiers of all ranks. The principal purpose, however, of the "high and tight
High and tight
The high and tight is a military variant of the buzz cut. It is a very short hairstyle most commonly worn by men in the armed forces of most countries. Due to the functionality of this hairstyle, it is also popular with law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel...

" is to prevent lice, promote general hygiene, and with modern regulations against beards to ensure a good seal is made around the face when using a gas mask although a lot of soldiers in Afghanistan are reported to have beards.

See also

  • List of camouflage patterns
  • Types of Uniforms
    • Battledress
      Battledress
      Battledress, or fatigues in the general sense, is the type of uniform used as combat uniforms, as opposed to 'display' dress or formal uniform worn at parades and functions. It may be either monochrome or in a camouflage pattern...

    • Mess dress
      Mess dress
      Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit...

    • Full dress
      Full dress
      Full dress is a category dress codes that refers to most formal clothing available in Western society.-Civilian:For a civilian, during the Victorian and Edwardian period, this corresponded to a frock coat in the day, and white tie at night...

    • Dress uniform
      Dress uniform
      Dress uniform , is the most formal military uniform, typically worn at ceremonies, official receptions, and other special occasions; with order insignias and full size medals...

    • Physical training uniform
      Physical training uniform
      The physical training uniform is a military uniform used during calisthenics drills and, in some cases, very casual periods of time...

  • Components of military uniform:

  • Military antiquities and collectibles:
    • Militaria
      Militaria
      Militaria are artifacts or replicas of military, police, etc., collected for their historical significance. Such antiques include firearms, swords, knives, and other weapons such as; uniforms, helmets, other military headgear, and armour; military orders and decorations; challenge coins and...

    • Police patch collecting
  • Military styles:
    • Costume
      Costume
      The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

      s
    • Facial hair in the military
      Facial hair in the military
      Facial hair in the military has been at various times common, prohibited, or an integral part of the uniform.-India:In the armed forces of India, only Sikhs are allowed to wear beards as their religion expressly requires followers to do so. They are required to keep it neatly tied in a hairnet or...

  • Other military clothing:
    • Armour
      Armour
      Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

  • For Military uniforms depicted in art
    Art
    Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

     see Military art
    Military art
    Military art is a term describing works of art on military themes. The genre of military art is characterized by its subject matter rather than by any specific style or material used. The battle scene is one of the oldest types of art in developed civilizations, as rulers have always been keen to...

  • Related lists:
    • List of uniforms and clothing of WWII
    • British Army Uniform
      British Army Uniform
      British Army uniform currently exists in several grades, which are worn depending on the requirements of a unit or individual, ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress.-History:...

    • Uniforms of the Canadian Forces
      Uniforms of the Canadian Forces
      The Uniforms of the Canadian Forces are the official dress worn by members of Canada's military while on duty.Prior to unification in 1968, the uniforms of the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force were similar to their counterparts in the forces of the United Kingdom...

    • Uniforms of the United States Military
      Uniforms of the United States Military
      Each branch of the United States armed forces has its own Uniform regulations.*Uniforms of the United States Army*Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps*Uniforms of the United States Navy*Uniforms of the United States Air Force...

    • Modern equipment and uniform of the French Army
      Modern equipment and uniform of the French Army
      -Weapons:*MAC 50 - 9 mm - pistol*Manurhin MR73 - .38 Spc/.357 Mag - revolver *GIAT BM92-G1 - 9 mm - pistol *HK USP - 9 mm - pistol...

    • Imperial Japanese Army Uniforms
      Imperial Japanese Army Uniforms
      Imperial Japanese Army Uniforms tended to reflect the uniforms of those countries who were the principal advisors to the Imperial Japanese Army at the time.-1867 Blue uniform:...


External links

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