Category Archives: Uniform Tips

Tuck Your Gloves! But, In Your Epaulet?

OK, this is a hotel doorman, but you get the idea here. Courtesy of alamy.com

Some may find this innocuous, but (first responder) ceremonial guardsmen need to maintain a professional image when in uniform before, during and after a ceremony. Any other time that we are out of uniform, dress is most likely not an issue.

For us in the military, it’s a big no-no to tuck gloves into an epaulet. That’s not where they belong (on your hands, in your left hand or put away somewhere).
When I was on the Base Honor Guard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tuscon, AZ many years ago, my team and I had the distinct pleasure of escorting President Reagan for a visit. When we were finished, he took the time to shake each of our hands for an official picture, but what were we to do with out gloves? Our Lt made the quick command decision to have us all tuck the pair into the bottom of our ceremonial belts. When the pictures were finished, we pulled out the gloves from our belts and carried them in the left hand until we were back at our transportation where we could put them away.
What does this all mean for you? You’re organization is not the military, but you wear a uniform and are a paramilitary organization which means you also have certain standards to uphold. Sloppiness is in the eye of the beholder, but I do agree that gloves on the shoulder do not present a professional image and should not be practiced at all.
Am I able to point you in the direction of a rule that says “Do not tuck your gloves into an epaulet on your uniform after you are finished wearing them”? No, I’m not. What I suggest is for your organization to create uniform wear guidelines, an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), if you haven’t already, that specifically addresses your concerns for the members of your unit and then stricter guidelines for the honor guard members.
Shaking hands with while wearing gloves is inappropriate and wearing them after a ceremony is not a good idea, but where can gloves go? In the uniform cover (hat), in your left hand or out of site under the blouse tucked into the uniform belt. All until everyone can get back to their transportation and put them away.

How to Blouse Your Boots

Many years ago while I was still active duty in the Air Force I bought blousing weights to give a “squared-off” look to my Battle Dress Uniform trousers legs. I appreciated the look and the uniformity. If you would like to do this as well, please come with me:

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 1

First, pull on your trousers, put on your boots and tie and tuck the laces. Then, pull your trousers back down to your boots.

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 2

Next, pull the trouser legs up so that the hem is anywhere from 2 inches to 6 inches above your boots. This is something you are going to have to gauge for yourself: you need to have long trouser legs to begin with and you will need to see what feels and looks right for you based on that length. You will see what I mean in a minute.

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 3

Now place your blousing strap (pictured) or blousing band (little green things with metal hooks) around your leg just above the boot. A note here: some people prefer to use a blousing band and have it on the boot so that it doesn’t feel like their circulation is being cut off.

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 4

This is what I use for weight. While I was in the USAF,  I wrapped these with clear tape and had dozens of pennies on the inside because the weights were actually 4 inches wide and would stay up around my calf when I sat down. I cut them in half and used the 2 halves, but I lost some of the weight, hence the pennies.

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 5

After you pull your trousers on and get buckled and buttoned, reach down and now pull out to spread the material around to give the best presentation.

How to Blouse Your Boots
How to Blouse Your Boots 6

Here we have a more squared-off look. I don’t use the pennies as weights anymore so you can see that, even though the blouse is more horizontal, there is still some material that may bunch up.