For decades, older sailors told incoming sailors that the 13 buttons on the front of the bell bottoms represented the original 13 colonies. The myth was so commonplace , it actually had to be excised from Navy history texts.
Sailors originally used a drawstring to hold up their pants, but threw away the drawstrings in 1864 when a new version of the bellbottoms was designed with seven buttons across the top holding the crotch flap. With a nod toward comfort in more tropical climates, the Navy elongated the flap(also called a broadfall) in 1897, and two buttons were added to each side, now totalling 11. But as Navy men grew broader-possibly thanks to improvement in nutrition-the flap needed to grow longer. So in 1905 more buttons were added, creating those 13 buttons. Why buttons instead of zippers? Beacause buttons are much easier to replace on the fly, and early zippers may have corroded in the salty weather.
"reprinted from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Salutes the Armed Forces"
BTW if your looking for a book on the more obscure history of all the armed forces this is a great read.
Just think. For years I thought the 13 buttons was put there for 13 chances for a girl to say NO.
Or maybe 13 reasons for a guy to say no?
I was always told it made a nice serving tray for Marines
Hope this comes out clear. My wife won these at a auction today.
After WW II the girls were taking the blue pants and cutting them to their length and opening the leg. Then sewing up the front and back. Some time they would put in an extra piece to make a big pleat. Looked great and fit great with the laces in the back.
it's a bib for a marine!!
looks a lot like the dress blues I was issued in 60
Yeah for OS... FTW
I still liked the 13 Colony One Better, Sounded Patraotic!! Lets VOTE !!
Actully ,There are 14 Buttons on the Front of the Trousers, One on the top Flap
That phrase is classic, but I like puns ...
Do they even wear the Dress Blues now, I go on bases in several Ca locations and I see so many different uniforms it is hard to tell which service branch they belong to, or it could jsut be me.
NSA Memphis has almost every type of uniform wearing Sailors imaginable.
I stopped a young Pilot the other day, he had on a set of "Greens" that I had not seen since 1965. Seems they are still considered working uniforms, for CPOs and Officers.
The 13 button blues are still worn. Uniform of the day here still shows some wearing the Sailor Blues of yesteryear.
The Whites are a different story. More styles than one can count. Also the BDUs ? AKA the old dungaree replacements.
Newer styles are the Fore and Aft hats, the insignia pins, vs the shoulder ranks, and what seems to be a mix of USMC and USAF style shirts.
Hard to tell the Chiefs from the NCOs. Officer styles are still another story.
Yeah, there is a lot of stuff out there.
Dress Blues - still in the seabag. Winter Blue - out the door.
Whites - everyone still has Service Dress White. Summer White now only for Chiefs and Officers.
Not used to the new Navy Working Uniform - something about the digital pattern and the need to have the "ACE" interspersed throughout the garments.
Navy Service Uniform - not hard to tell E-7 and above from E-6 and below. Now, it will be a different matter if they take away Service Khaki and put everyone in the Navy Service Uniform.
Then you get into PT gear and the organizational gear (the old woodland cammies and the new ones being fielded).
Wonder what the next change will be - make Service Dress Khaki a prescribable uniform? Bring back the old CPO Service Dress Whites?
FWIW, while checking up on older Coast Guard uniforms, I found a small item from 1970 concerning the old CPO whites. The U.S.N. had approved a redesign of tho CPO blouse to the same as the Khaki blouse. There had been a long dislike in the goat locker against the old style whites. The uniform change of 1972 shoved that change into the round file.
In the 1980s when the officer choker was shoved off as a hand me down to the chiefs, Thought it might have been a nice idea to revive a CPO specific white blouse.
The Coast Guard re-authorized choker whites for officers in 1987, after an 11 year absence.
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