Order of Dress

Each officer had several orders of dress that would be worn on different occasions. The Order of Dress of each uniform is reflected in the 5th section (8th variable) of the catalog number.

  1. Full Dress (Blue or Scarlet tunics; Mostly Blue lower wear except 10th Hussars' Scarlet Levee pantaloons & 11th Hussars Crimson pantaloons & overalls)
    - Heavy Cavalry: Scarlet, except 6th Dragoon Guards, which is Blue
    - Light Cavalry (Hussars & Lancers): Blue except 16th Lancers, which is Scarlet
    - Infantry: Scarlet except Rifles ("Dark Rifle Green" - looks black)
    - Artillery: Blue
    - Engineers & Signals: Scarlet
    - Corps & Departments: Blue
    Full Dress became non-obligatory except for Levees (when being presented to the Monarch).
  2. Undress
    - Frock Coat (After 1901/1902 all Infantry wore frock coat as undress
  3. dropped after WWI to reduce expense. Some officers such as Generals, Brigadiers & Colonels were allowed to keep them.)
    - Patrol Jacket (Blue). (Later replaced by Blue Serge Frock)
    - Serge Frocks
    • Scarlet (Simplified form of Full Dress. Usually made of light serge for use in India & other tropical countries. Later replaced by the Blue Serge Frock)
    • Blue
    - Stable Jackets - Scarlet or Blue depending on full dress (i.e. Artillery, Depts and Corps that used Blue Full Dress would also have Blue Stable Jackets.) Used both as Drill jackets (closed) or Mess jackets (open w/ vest underneath). Highland Regiments also had white Drill Jackets from 1902 - 1914
  4. Service Dress ("SD" - worn in battle until 1937)
    Drab (khaki) cloth originally with a stand-up/folded-down collar. After 1912 it became an open collar to be worn with shirt and a tie. Ranks originally (with exceptions) worn on the cuffs but were moved to a less conspicuous position on the shoulder straps after 1916 to avoid sniping casualties. SD became the Review ("parade") uniform after WWI, when Full Dress became non-obligatory.
  5. Mess Dress - short jacket evolved from Drill jacket worn open with a waistcoat. The Infantry adopted a Mess jacket with a roll collar in the late Victorian Period. Color conforms to Full Dress.

  6. Cloaks and Great Coats
    Outer layers worn over uniforms. Cloaks worn by Cavalry, Great Coats were like overcoats. Originally mostly Blue, except Life Guards have always worn Red.
  7. Battle dress (only after 1937) "BD"
    Drab ("khaki") serge jacket & trousers. Can be buttoned togther.

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