Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


I spent yesterday googling around. I'd just read David Lipsky's Absolutely American, which is about West Point, and I wanted to see the uniforms, and then I got sidetracked onto other military type uniforms and grooming regs.

Among the things I found out was that in 2001 or so, the Navy maternity uniform (yes, of course the armed services have maternity uniforms) were jumpers. Which means that pants (excuse me, slacks) were not permitted. Which is weird. And probably why the other branches used a longish tunic over choice of bottoms - and it's entirely possible that the Navy has changed them.

I'm a skirt person, and have been since way before I became observant, and I do think most women look better in them, but in terms of sheer practicality, I can understand why military women would prefer the slacks. Also military skirts? Are precisely the wrong length for most women - either just above or just below the knee. And then there's the fact that they have to wear pumps and stockings - and that length is too short for knee-highs. A couple of inches longer would make a big difference on both counts. Except they now have slits, which also makes knee-highs problematic.

Then there are the hair regs. Which are interesting for women - must be neat, and not touch the collar (except the Marines, which permit hair to reach the bottom of the collar) or be worn pinned up. And that doesn't mean pony tails - it means a secure bun. They even regulate hair thingies - nothing shiny, only two barrettes, bobby pins hidden and everything either clear or matching hair color if possible. No claws. No big scrunchies (and seeing the word "scrunchy" in military regs is amusing.) There's at least one hair thingy maker who will provide pins and sticks and forks and other items to military regs, including anodizing to match hair color. They were in the service themselves, so it's something they want to do. Also - no long bangs, no odd colors and the hats have to fit with the bun. But - wigs are permitted so long as they otherwise comply, as are *neat* hair extensions and small multiple braids kept neat.

Note the word neat.

Men's hair can't be longer than a certain amount (two or three inches, depending on branch) and while they like it "high and tight" - very short, getting longer as one progresses up the head - so long as it's within that length and *neat*, it's okay.

By that standard, John Sheppard is in trouble. Big trouble. (And so is Sam Carter, but she can be solved by a brush. I think John would need a scissors. And. NO.)

And they regulate everything, including what purse a woman may carry when she wears the equivalent of a black tie evening uniform. (Black fabric.) This makes perfect sense, given the purpose of a uniform.

And at least one set of regs cautions women to remember they *are* women, and therefore should not have masculine haircuts. But only one earring per ear, please, and those should be round and small and gold.

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