Full Dress Uniform Definition - Definitions for the Clothing & Apparel Industry

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Full dress uniform is a special uniform reserved for parade or other ceremonial occasions. Prior to World War I (1914-18) most armies of the world retained uniforms of this type that were usually more colorful and elaborate than the ordinary duty ("undress") or the increasingly drab active service ("field") uniforms. The British and United States armies were dependent upon voluntary recruiting and found that a smart dress served to attract recruits and improve morale amongst those already serving. The British regimental system fostered numerous distinctions amongst different units. Even the mainly conscript armies of continental Europe retained many of the colorful features that had evolved during the Nineteenth Century for reasons of national and unit pride. Thus, in 1913 most French soldiers wore red trousers and kepis as part of their full dress, the majority of British regiments retained scarlet tunics for parade and off duty ("walking out"), the German army was characterised by Prussian blue, the Russian by dark green etc. There were usually exceptions to each of these rules, often distinguishing elite units. Thus German cuirassiers wore white full dress, British rifle regiments a very dark green, French mountain troops large berets and light blue trousers and so on. The US Army with its smart but relatively sober "dress blues" was a exception, with cavalry, artillery and infantry being distinguished only by the different branch colors.

After World War I most full dress uniforms disappeared. Many of the Imperial or Royal regimes that had taken taken a particular pride in the retention of colorful traditional uniforms had been overthrown and their republican, fascist, or communist successors had little incentive to retain old glories. Elsewhere cost and disillusion with the "peacock" aspects of old fashioned soldiering had a similar effect, except for ceremonial guard units and such limited exceptions as officers' evening or off duty uniforms.

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/full_dress  ).  1/26/06
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