How to Wear the USMC Dress Blues

by Laura Dixon ; Updated September 28, 2017

The stately U.S. Marine Corps Dress Blues are highly symbolic uniforms that help set the Marines apart from the rest of the nation’s armed forces. Perhaps the most elaborate of American army uniforms, the USMC Dress Blues, also known simply as Blues, are to be worn according to strict guidelines. These regulations date back to the 19th century, when the uniform was designed.

Step 1

Don a plain white T-shirt, the uniform sky-blue pants and black socks.

Step 2

Put on your black shoes, white gloves and white barracks hat.

Step 3

Put on the midnight-blue coat (with red trim if you are a currently enlisted Marine Corps officer) and a white belt or suspenders. Make sure your coat is form fitting, completely buttoned up and that the collar stands straight up.

Step 4

Add your medals to your coat on the left side of the chest, and ribbon awards on the right side.


  • Female officers may replace the trousers in the uniform with a skirt, and the black shoes and socks with panty hose and pumps.


  • Do not wear the Dress Blues during leave, as this is not authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps.