Author Topic: Uniforms... For females.  (Read 9792 times)

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Offline RemembranceDay

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Uniforms... For females.
« on: September 26, 2011, 16:35:04 »

I am a female Royal Canadian Sea Cadet from somewhere in central Ontario, and there's something I've noticed a LOT with our uniforms.

They're designed for guys.

Yes, I get how it's not about fashion or looking good, I get that AND appreciate the fact that I'm not judged on how I look. What I care about is, though, the fact of how they fit.

I'm a curvy girl (NOT overweight or anything like that, just real curvy. I don't mind admitting that for sake of this post), and I've also noticed that with a lot of the other female cadets, our uniforms never truly fit proper. That's due to the difference in shape of our bodies from guys, as I am sure you are all well aware. Fact is, since the uniforms are designed for guys, they never fit us girls proper. We need to get the trousers over our thighs and hips, so we end up going many sizes larger than we need to, hem it up to our knees and move on. Then we have to cinch it around out waist, making it bulkier than it already is, hotter and uncomfortable. Now, for some that might be extreme, but the fact remains that it is true for many female cadets. The same goes for Gunshirts. Designed for guys, they have no extra fabric and mo give around the bust, so again, we go up, up and up in sizes, until it's down to our knees, and then again, all that extra material to cinch and tuck in. The tunics are probably the best designed, though. I've never seem anyone have a major problem of one peice being to out of proportion to the rest, and so therefore, almost always fits right, along with the boots, which comes in many sizes for both large, small, wide and thin feet.

So, my conclusion to this problem is that the Cadets program, in light of their recent changes to the uniforms and add a females type of the pieces mentioned above. I love the uniforms, with their traditional style and look, it makes me proud to be wearing something so traditional, but the Cadets program, in relation to the uniforms, states that their first priority is comfort. By adding the female line, they will achieve that goal even farther.

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 16:38:06 »
The French Army has tailored uniforms.... when they arrived in KAF I think a few vehicle accidents were caused by stares. Unfortunately, the uniforms don't fit men that well either, unless you have a super-specific body type. I find it hard to find a uniform with long sleeves and broader shoulders that doesn't include an extra 20 lbs built into the stomach area.

Offline ColdNorth

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 16:46:39 »
It's that ol' saying: the military has two sizes, too big and too small.  ;D
cn

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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 17:09:54 »
The tunics aren't, actually, well-suited to physically fit males or females; the only people they fit are those of both genders who have achieved a "tubular" profile. Any male with a shoulder/chest measurement broader than his waist will have the same problem as a female with any sort of chest: excess fabric to be gathered at the belt.

The "ideal" solution, from a tailoring point of view, would be a waist measurement on the tunics, as well as the current chest and height variables. This, however, would mean two extra seams, which (take a look at the back of your officer's jacket sometime) generally need to be curved to work; tricky, time consuming, and expensive.

Doing a separate run of female tunics would be equally uneconomical, and use up funds that might otherwise be spent on training.

As to gunshirts, the sizes should be available, working from memory, to fit almost all body shapes without having to issue a shirt sized for someone with a foot or two on your height to offer the required breadth. The other thing to note is that gunshirts are next to skin; there shouldn't be any issues with you cutting off the excess fabric. Just make sure that you leave enough to tuck the shirt in, and to allow for some "extra." If you measure with the shirt not tucked in, you should have seven or eight inches of fabric free past your waist.

The one female cadet uniform item that does need re-design is the pants; while some females fall sufficiently far outside of what the male trousers will fit, there's no need I can see for the extraordinary difference in appearance.

Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 17:36:22 »
The tunics aren't, actually, well-suited to physically fit males or females; the only people they fit are those of both genders who have achieved a "tubular" profile. Any male with a shoulder/chest measurement broader than his waist will have the same problem as a female with any sort of chest: excess fabric to be gathered at the belt.

The "ideal" solution, from a tailoring point of view, would be a waist measurement on the tunics, as well as the current chest and height variables. This, however, would mean two extra seams, which (take a look at the back of your officer's jacket sometime) generally need to be curved to work; tricky, time consuming, and expensive.

Doing a separate run of female tunics would be equally uneconomical, and use up funds that might otherwise be spent on training.

As to gunshirts, the sizes should be available, working from memory, to fit almost all body shapes without having to issue a shirt sized for someone with a foot or two on your height to offer the required breadth. The other thing to note is that gunshirts are next to skin; there shouldn't be any issues with you cutting off the excess fabric. Just make sure that you leave enough to tuck the shirt in, and to allow for some "extra." If you measure with the shirt not tucked in, you should have seven or eight inches of fabric free past your waist.

The one female cadet uniform item that does need re-design is the pants; while some females fall sufficiently far outside of what the male trousers will fit, there's no need I can see for the extraordinary difference in appearance.


I had said that the tunics were the best designed, taking into consideration how they fit *most* people I have seen. The gunshirts, at my corp at least, we are not allowed to cut, since we must return/exchange them if we want a new(er) one/leave the corp. I'm not sure about how your gunshirts were, from memory, but how they are now is you have to go up and up in sizes.  Again, I say that if anything is to be re-designed for females, it is the pants.

Offline Strike

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 17:45:24 »
RD -- The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Be careful what you wish for.  The CF went for a new uniform design some years ago and the results were female pants that look like they were made for MC Hammer -- unless you are a size 4 or 5 with tiny hips.

If you're going to be in cadets for the long haul and are that serious about having pants fit properly, go to a surplus store and see if they have the same size pants that you've been issued and get them tailored so they don't bunch up at the waist.  You'd have to pay a few bucks, but it might make you a little happier in the long run.

BTW -- when I was in, there were separate pant designs for girls and guys.
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Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 17:47:41 »
RD -- The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Be careful what you wish for.  The CF went for a new uniform design some years ago and the results were female pants that look like they were made for MC Hammer -- unless you are a size 4 or 5 with tiny hips.

If you're going to be in cadets for the long haul and are that serious about having pants fit properly, go to a surplus store and see if they have the same size pants that you've been issued and get them tailored so they don't bunch up at the waist.  You'd have to pay a few bucks, but it might make you a little happier in the long run.

BTW -- when I was in, there were separate pant designs for girls and guys.

True words, Strike. I think that's a good idea for now, just need to find a surplus store. When were you in? I've asked some older ex-cadets, and they said it's always been like this (to a degree).

Offline Nerf herder

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 23:59:59 »
True words, Strike. I think that's a good idea for now, just need to find a surplus store. When were you in? I've asked some older ex-cadets, and they said it's always been like this (to a degree).

There was a time when females got pants and shirts that fit. IIRC the change to the same dress for everyone was borne out of budget cuts and, possibly, a little bit of PC-ness getting out of hand.

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Offline Pusser

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 15:23:39 »
I'm old enough to have worn a blue wool serge uniform in Sea Cadets (it was truly beautiful) and I also remember with some chagrin the introduction of the green uniform for all cadets.  The ugly green thing was (I thought) the same cut as the current Sea Cadet uniform.  At that time males and females were issued different styles of pants.

The biggest complaints about the female pants were that they had no back pockets, only patch pockets on the front and no belt loops.  The tunics were essentially the same for males and females except they buttoned oppositely.  From the male point of view, we didn't like the positioning of the belt.  In fact, we used to joke that it was so high that its real purpose was to provide extra support for the females!  For those of us who wore web belts all the time, the solution was to actually remove it.  In that way, we could wear the web belt at a comfortable height.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 00:07:37 by Pusser »
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Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 23:51:06 »
I remember seeing those, on display at the War Museum... They seriously were, believe it or not. The pants now have all four pockets and belt loops for all. The belts aren't so high anymore, mid-waist just about where the pants end, depending on your uniform sizeing. It is meant for guys, just looking at them and they have no give, whatsoever.

Offline Pusser

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2011, 00:09:23 »
I remember seeing those, on display at the War Museum... They seriously were, believe it or not. The pants now have all four pockets and belt loops for all. The belts aren't so high anymore, mid-waist just about where the pants end, depending on your uniform sizeing. It is meant for guys, just looking at them and they have no give, whatsoever.

The trouble is that men generally wear belts around the top of their hips, not around their waists.
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Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2011, 00:23:54 »
Yes, totally agreeable, but the pants themselves go up to your waist already, so it'd be awkward... NOT that I'm defencing the uniforms, or anything.

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Re: Uniforms... For females.
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 20:43:27 »
RD -- The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Be careful what you wish for.  The CF went for a new uniform design some years ago and the results were female pants that look like they were made for MC Hammer -- unless you are a size 4 or 5 with tiny hips.

Looks like someone needs a new designer !

On a serious note, I do agree with OP's post. I've worn the army cadet pants for a few number of years now, and I must say with constant body change, there's been constant uniform changes as well - except for the tunic. I've kept the same tunic (thank God because that would of been a lot of sewing...), but the pants and shirt have ALWAYS been uncomfortable. Females have curves, men tend not to. We have smaller shoulders, bigger behinds, wider hips. Our body types ARE very different. From one sex to another, these differences obviously might not be as obvious. You wouldn't understand until you stepped in our boots and vice-versa. I'm sure if a group of senior females got together, drawed/designed/brainstormed something all-together for each element, a happy medium would be found. I would personally love to see my junior females step out of the bathroom and yell: IT FITS ! But it's a constant struggle trying to find things that fit. I'm sure these changes won't happen quickly and I'm not getting my hopes up high, but a much needed uniform review would be appreciated  :nod:

Just my :2c: