How to Wear Army Dress Blues

Portrait of a young man wearing a military uniform

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The Army dress blue uniform is a formal uniform that corresponds with a civilian tuxedo or the female equivalent. The uniform comprises a dark-blue coat with trousers. Women have the option of wearing slacks or a skirt. Men wear a black bowtie or necktie and women wear a black necktie with a white shirt. Men wear black oxford shoes and women wear black pumps with a heel of at least a half-inch but no more than three inches.

For men, the blue coat is a single-breasted, four-button coat which extends below the crotch. The jacket should fit easily over the wearer's chest in shoulders and be slightly draped in the front and back.

For women, the blue coat is a single-breasted, four-button, hip-length coat. It has two slanted front pockets. The coat should conform to the wearer's body and present a comfortable fit that does not appear too tight.

Men's trousers can be low- or high-waisted and straight-legged. Low-waisted trousers have side and hip pockets whereas high-waisted trousers have no hip pockets. The men's high-waisted trousers are only authorized for evening mess. The trousers, for men and women, will have a front crease that reaches the top of the instep, touching the top of the shoelaces.

The woman's skirt will be knee-length. The skirt will be no more than one inch above or two inches below the middle of the knee.

Men wear a long-sleeve white shirt with a bowtie or necktie. The shirt will have a rolled or French-cut sleeve. Women wear a short-sleeve white shirt and black necktie.

Service hats will be worn so that the headband creates a straight line around the head, parallel to the ground. No hair will be visible below the brim of the hat. The hat will not be worn when soldiers wear their dress blue uniform after retreat, which is 5 p.m.

The Army dress blue uniform is worn with many items. To properly wear all the attached items refer to Army Regulation 670-1, "Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia," dated Feb. 3, 2005.