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A military uniform is the standardised dress worn by members of the armed forces and paramilitaries of various nations. Military dress and military styles have gone through great changes over the centuries from colourful and elaborate to extremely utilitarian.
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Special units such as Zouaves developed non-standard uniforms to distinguish them from troops of the line. 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 in his red garment.

The legions of the Roman Republic and Empire had a fairly standardised dress and armour, particularly from approximately the early to mid 1st century onward, when Lorica Segmentata segmented armour was introduced. 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 un-dyed off-white or red-dyed wool.

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.

The regular thematic provincial and Tagmata central troops of the Byzantine Empire 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. Officers wore a waist sash or pekotarion , which may have been of different colours according to rank.

The feudal system of Western Europe 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 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 and the green and white clothing that identified Cheshire archers during the 14th century. The highly organised armies of the Ottoman Empire 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 during the s that completely standardised dress was issued. 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 wore regulated uniforms. Through the 18th century to the Napoleonic Wars 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. 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: For cold weather, a jumper was knitted from yarn or wool.

For wet weather, old sail cloth was made into a coat with hat or attached hood that was waterproofed with tallow or fat. In these days, the officers would designate certain afternoons to " make and mend " clothing. A sailor with little clothing to make or mend used this time as "time off". In January the decision was taken to issue complete uniforms to petty officers and seamen.

The flared "bell bottom" trousers disappeared after the Second World War. 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. Navy - the overall pattern remained standard until the development of specialist working or protective rigs during the Second World War.

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 in the midth century. Before a few German and Dutch regiments had worn red or yellow coats. From about onwards some Swedish infantry had been issued with standard coloured dress under Gustavus Adolphus hence his "yellow" or "blue" regiments.

Even Royal guards would sometimes only be issued with distinctive coloured or embroidered surcoats to wear over ordinary clothing. To help armies distinguish friend from foe scarves, pieces of foliage or other makeshift identification known as "field signs" would be worn, [11] A practice still recognised under international humanitarian law and the laws of war as a "distinctive sign".

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. 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 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 the Long Parliament raised an army "all its own" for permanent service, and the colonels became officials rather than proprietors. The New Model Army 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 midth century, and the hat became the cocked hat of a later generation, which generally disappeared during the decade of to reappear in the late 19th and early 20th century, by which time it had its original form of a "slouch-hat.

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 uniformed 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 Prince Eugene 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 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 , 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 and breeches. 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 [15] infantry, dark blue for the Prussians and Portuguese, green for the Russians etc. The Royal Comtois Infantry Regiment of the French Army, for example, had large dark blue cuffs 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. 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 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. 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.

Gold or silver braiding on the hats and coats of officers usually matched the bronze or pewter of the numerous buttons on regimental clothing. 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. The first fifteen years of this century influenced the appearance of military uniforms until the s.

In particular, some French uniforms — notably those of the cavalry regiments of the Imperial Guard — are considered as being amongst the most striking and distinctive of the time. The ornamental peak of the military uniform was reached in the early 19th century in Western Europe.

Sometimes the Napoleonic Wars 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 18th and early 19th centuries soiled easily and had to be pipeclayed to retain any semblance of cleanliness.

Green as worn by Jäger and Rifle regiments proved particularly prone to fading until suitable chemical dyes were devised in the s. British soldiers were known for their striking red clothing hence the name " Redcoats ". This was actually a fairly dull shade of madder red until the general adoption of scarlet for tunics in the s. The American industrial revolution began in the Blackstone Valley , of Massachusetts and Rhode Island , with early textiles, from It is generally supposed that Union soldiers wore blue uniforms and Confederate soldiers wore grey 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 fully equip its men at the outbreak of the war.

Existing state units and quickly raised volunteer regiments on both sides wore a wide variety of styles and colours in the early stages of the war. Some regiments—such as the North's Berdan Sharpshooters and the South's Alexandria Rifles—had green uniforms, while the French zouave style was widely imitated.

The Union eventually got most of its men into regulation Federal blue but this often faded until it appeared grey. Originally the Confederate government relied on the "commutation" system which required the states to provide their own uniforms. While the commutation system was in place, many states were not able to provide an ample supply of uniforms and captured federal uniforms were common.

Later in the war the Confederate national government provided uniforms from a central depot system, including the famous Richmond and Columbus depots.

Many photographs of Confederate soldiers from later in the war usually casualties are wearing standardised uniforms. 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. Confederate soldiers used a variety of vegetable and imported dyes which would fade to a "butternut" colour.

Look for specific colors for suit accessories so you can match the right hues for weddings and other special events. Useful, comfortable clothing can make it a lot easier to get active. Whether you're playing basketball, going for a run, lifting weights at the gym, hiking or walking the dog, our men's activewear section has the shorts, pants, shirts, hoodies and jerseys you need to stay comfortable. You'll find sleeveless shirts and tank tops along with shorts for vigorous activity and warm weather in addition to long pants, long sleeves and fleece hoodies and jackets for chillier weather.

Select compression clothing for wear during your outdoor workouts, and look for separates made of moisture-wicking fabric to maintain comfort and coolness. Jackets, coats, vests and insulated bib pants can be essential components of a complete wardrobe when temperatures start to drop. Our men's outerwear section includes these items in a range of different styles and weights, allowing you to find the pieces you need to stay dry, warm and protected from the elements.

Cotton, fleece, nylon, polyester, wool blends and leather are among the most commonly used materials in this section. Styles ranging from utilitarian ponchos and coveralls to modern jackets and vests give you the ability to create the right outerwear wardrobe for every social situation and weather scenario.

Lounging around the house on weekends and going to sleep after a long day at work just wouldn't be the same without the right clothes. Walmart's men's clothing section provides a variety of different sleepwear items, including flannel pajama pants, soft jersey lounge pants, complete sweatsuits, matching pajama top-and-bottom sets, relaxed-fit pajama shorts, casual T-shirt sleep tops and onesie styles as well.

You can also find a selection of robes in materials such as absorbent cotton and plush fleece to help you dry off quickly after a shower or wrap up in cozy warmth after changing out of street clothes and into pajamas. The right clothes aren't complete without the proper base layer, and our men's clothing section includes a wide range of underwear, undershirts and sock styles so you can match your foundation garments to the kinds of tops and bottoms you're wearing.

Briefs, boxer briefs, boxers and long underwear pants are all available in different cuts, materials and colors for you to choose from based on what kind of shorts or trousers you're wearing and what the weather's like outside. Stiffened formal cut collar. Features a Left breast open mitred pocket. Cotton Long Sleeve T - Shirt.

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