How to Sew Marine Corps Stripes on Dress Blue Trousers

by Samantha Volz ; Updated September 29, 2017

The soldiers of the United States Marine Corps represent some of the most highly-trained and dedicated individuals of any military around the world. Their lives are based around the culture and ritual of the military, and everything from their speech to their clothes is regulated. This includes the decorations the Marines wear on their uniforms, and there are certain ways to wear and to attach service stripes to trousers.

Wear the stripe appropriate for your rank. Male officers wear a stripe of ornamented gold lace, general officers wear a 2-inch wide scarlet stripe, field and company grade officers wear a 1 ½-inch wide scarlet stripe and non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers wear a 1-1/8 inch scarlet stripe.

Sew the stripe onto the outer seam of each leg of your dress blue trousers. The stripe must finish at or in the waist seam and cannot extend over the top of the waistband.

Secure the stripes with red silk thread. Sew them into place with a straight machine stitch.


  • Soldiers are allowed to take their trousers to a civilian tailor to have the stripes sewn on. Provide very specific instructions regarding placement and stitch, in order to follow regulation guidelines.

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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.