drpeter

Senior Member
Having never served, but having great respect for people who do and have (like @eagle2250), I would never wear something that made it appear I had served. There is a line as many military styles have made it into the mainstream: I have no issue wearing a military-like item as long as it's clear it's just a civilian variation. I avoid anything that gives the impression I served; so fake insignias, etc. are out for me.
I agree entirely. This has been one of my concerns. I have a collection of US military uniform jackets, as well as field jackets like the M-41, M-53 and M-65. I am extremely careful about wearing uniform items since I was never part of the US Forces.

The M-series field jackets, without any campaign ribbons, decorations, or other insignia, are OK for civilians to wear, as far as I know -- so I wear them with respect. If there is a regimental patch left on, I would personally hesitate to wear it in public, although I have seen such jackets worn by civilians many times (of course, they could have been former members of the regiment, although I rather doubt it). None of my M-series jackets have such patches, although one does have a dark area where there used to be a name patch that was removed.

As for the uniform jackets that are part of standard military dress uniforms (the kind worn with a jacket or tie, or the closed-collar blue Marine dress jackets), I admire them and keep them well-cared for on hangers, but do not wear them in public. Even devoid of any insignia, patches, ribbons or other such items, I feel hesitant about wearing them.

The two exceptions are the surplus US Navy issue pea coat I have long had, and the USAF staff sergeant's coat I acquired last week These have no decorations or insignia, although the brass buttons have the US Navy or USAF emblems on them. I do wear the pea coat in public, and I have had no negative comments about this, even from friends who actually served in the US Navy. I imagine it would be similar when I wear the USAF coat.

I did do National Service in India (a paramilitary outfit called the NCC, a feeder unit for the Officer Corps of the Indian Military, somewhat like our ROTC), so I would perhaps be a bit more entitled to wear one of the NCC uniform items -- but I never kept any of those, they were from a long time ago. Because my instructors were Gurkha regiment officers and NCOs, I do wear a Gurkha Regiment tie on occasion with civilian attire to show my respect and admiration for the Gurkhas, who are among the finest soldiers in the world. I don't think they would object, LOL.
 
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drpeter

Senior Member
Back in the '60's, surplus military uniform jackets were the height of fashion among my college crowd. And I still have my old OD field jacket that I wear as a shooting/hunting coat. It's an incredibly intelligent design for its purpose.
Sarge, by uniform jackets, do you mean the olive green field jackets (M-65 etc), which was very popular in the seventies too? Or do you mean the more formal coats with four buttons and four pockets, the kind worn with a shirt and tie. Were these latter coats as popular among civilians too?
 

TKI67

Super Member
The talk of uniforms got me to remembering an item my father had, a navy blue doeskin vest with seven small officer's buttons. It is gone in history, but I wish I had come across it and saved it. There was a period, long long ago, when the Navy allowed items in an officer's wardrobe that it jettisoned probably seventy years ago or more. I also remember my grandfather's frock coat. That was simply beyond cool in my memory. My uniforms were lovely but hardly worth saving.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Sarge, by uniform jackets, do you mean the olive green field jackets (M-65 etc), which was very popular in the seventies too? Or do you mean the more formal coats with four buttons and four pockets, the kind worn with a shirt and tie. Were these latter coats as popular among civilians too?
LOL by the 70's I was wearing my M-65 by order, not by choice. The other gem that a friend of mine had was a formal Air Force officers' wool greatcoat. He was about 6'4" and finding things that fit in thrift stores was a challenge but when he came across that item it kept him warm until graduation. I don't recall any civilians wearing the dress greens unless they were homeless and somewhat desperate.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
LOL by the 70's I was wearing my M-65 by order, not by choice. The other gem that a friend of mine had was a formal Air Force officers' wool greatcoat. He was about 6'4" and finding things that fit in thrift stores was a challenge but when he came across that item it kept him warm until graduation. I don't recall any civilians wearing the dress greens unless they were homeless and somewhat desperate.
Understood. Thank you.

Not sure if you saw my post last Saturday about the USAF staff sergeant's coat that I scored from an antique shop on Brags and Blues. I also found a picture that shows a coat pretty much identical to the one I found. It's a nice fit and definitely warm since it is made out of thick flannel. Best of all, I love the color.

Wearing the dress greens over a shirt or polo shirt and khakis looks terrific, IMHO. But I would worry about crossing a line, in terms of respect for the uniform.
 

Old Road Dog

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
That is the trouser Ralph used in the beginning, and it established pleats as the standard for menswear for two decades. Early models had D-ring side tabs, later replaced by button tabs, but invariably, forward pleats and on-seam pockets.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I remember wearing cotton drill shorts constructed along similar lines when I was a schoolboy in the fifties. Forward pleats and side-tabs which had D-ring buckles that were removable.

The buckles worked in an interesting way: One strap with a button on the inside and a buttonhole at the end would take the D-ring (with an inside sawtooth edge) and hold it in place. The other strap would be slid into the D-ring and locked in place on the sawtooth end of the buckle, and its tip would be slid back into a holding bar on the buckle. This meant that the buckles could be taken out before the shorts were laundered.
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Not sure if it's Polo or not.
View attachment 50523
Regardless of who is responsible for that photo, I'm not a fan of the pinned collar (as it is too formal for the rest of the rig) and I do so wish the photographer would have told the guy to get his fist out of that pocket so that his trouser legs would appear cuffed at the right length! However, I do like the sweater, the cords the overcoat and the shoes, Nuff said ;)
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Nice jackets, nice ties and a nice vest...great looks for college age gentlemen, but the most haunting aspect of the picture above is the disinterested, detached look on the faces of those young men. It is interesting to note that when Ralph takes a picture of himself, he always seems to be sporting a more involved, animated facial expression, but when others are pictured, as in the picture above, we get that disinterested, detached look. I wonder why? ;)
 

TKI67

Super Member
Nice jackets, nice ties and a nice vest...great looks for college age gentlemen, but the most haunting aspect of the picture above is the disinterested, detached look on the faces of those young men. It is interesting to note that when Ralph takes a picture of himself, he always seems to be sporting a more involved, animated facial expression, but when others are pictured, as in the picture above, we get that disinterested, detached look. I wonder why? ;)
Maybe they were prompted by photographers more used to capturing "heroin chic."
 
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