Blue Shade 84 Service DressBlue Shade 84 Service Dress Close up

Winter Blue Shade 84 Service Dress Uniform

1949 - 1965

After 1 July 1952, Army OD uniform was no longer authorized for US Air Force personnel. The new service dress uniforms, USAF Blue Shade 84, would remain the same for a number of years. The Air Force Chief of Staff, General John P. McConnell, 1965 to 1969, lead the way that changed the style and design of the Air Force service dress uniforms. The change would remain the same to the mid-1990s. In the mid-1990s, the McPeak Service Dress was introduced which was followed by the USAF Retrofit Service Dress uniform.

The blue USAF Shade 84 service dress coat was also known as the winter coat. The material for the winter coat is all wool serge, 15 or 18 ounces. The coat is a semi-drape, single-breasted, four-button model with pleated breast pockets and lower blouse pockets. Optional recommended fabrics included: all wool gabardine, 13 to 15 ounces; all wool (Venetian) gabardine, 13 ounce; and all wool barathea, 15 ounce, for officer's only.

The buttons used on Air Force uniforms are oxidized silver-color medal of suitable composition and weight, circular, and slightly convex with raised rim, the Seal of the Department of the Air Force in clear relief against a horizontally lined background. The button measurements are: 45 ligne at 1 1/8 inches; 36 ligne at 9/10 of an inch; 30 ligne at 3/4 of an inch; 25 ligne at 5/8 of an inch; and 20 ligne at 1/2 of an inch.

Proper Fit Instructions: The service coat should always be fitted when the undergarment shirt and tie is worn. The coat is a semi-drape model slightly suppressed at the waist and never formfitting. A well-fitted service coat will have ease in the shoulders, chest and underarm. The sleeve should extend to 1/4 inch from the heel of the thumb when the arms are hanging naturally. The length of the coat is proportioned to the height of the figure. A standard guide is that the bottom of the coat should be fingertip length when arms hang naturally and hands are slightly cupped.

The trousers are to match the coat in color USAF Shade 84. The material for the winter trousers is all wool serge, 15 or 18 ounce. Trousers are full cut, straight hanging, and without cuff. When pleats are worn they will face in towards the fly. Rear pocket tabs are required on all blue service dress trousers. Optional recommended fabrics included: all wool gabardine, 13 to 15 ounces; all wool (Venetian) gabardine, 13 ounce; and all wool barathea, 15 ounce, for officer's only.

Proper Fit Instructions: Trousers should be trim fitting without bunching at waist or bagging at seat. Standard stock trousers come in extra short, short, regular, long, and extra long inseam length. Personnel should familiarize themselves with one of the mentioned sizes which best fits their physical dimensions. Prescribed length is without a break in the crease and with the bottom of the trousers barely resting on the shoe in the front.

The belt required for service dress will be for winter and summer. Will be of USAF Shade Blue 89, of woven cotton webbing material with silver color metal tips. Buckles are plain satin finish, nickel silver-color medal. The prescribed width of the belt is 1 1/4 inches. The prescribed buckle is approximately 1 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches long. The end of the belt will not extend beyond 1 1/2 inches of the buckle. Optional fabrics will include elastic and plastic materials in blue. Suspenders are an optional item but must be of plain solid blue material. Suspenders must be worn underneath the coat and not be exposed at any time.

The required undergarment shirt to be worn with the blue winter service dress is USAF Blue shade 120 cotton poplin or 126 cotton oxford cloth. The blue shirt worn under the winter coat is the one-pocket civilian type (no shoulder loops). It may be of poplin material, with medium pointed, non-flaring collar or of oxford cloth, with modified spread collar. The old style blue poplin shirt with two pockets may be worn until no longer services. Sleeves should extend to the heel of the thumb so as to permit approximately 1/4 inch to extend beyond the sleeve of the coat. The 10.5 ounce all wool flannel blue shade 84 outer garment shirt was authorized but not required to be worn in colder climates with winter service dress. This would have been the darker shade blue, two-pocket shirt with epaulettes authorized as an outer garment with appropriate insignia.

The necktie required to be worn with the under garment shirt is for winter and summer. The necktie for the service uniform will be USAF Blue 84, four in-hand civilian type, unlined and constructed of all wool tropical worsted fabric 8 to 10 ounces without design or sheen. Optional fabrics would include all wool, synthetics, and blends thereof in tropical worsted, twill, or woven weave without design or sheen.

The Service Cap and Flight Cap are both appropriate for use with the winter uniform. The service cap is the visor type with dark blue, 3/4 inch braid and a front chin strap of black leather. Material is wool serge, blue, for winter and summer. Caps are packed with a medal packing grommet which must be removed before wearing. The wearing of the service cap without the soft rolled grommet is prohibited.

A lightweight service cap is also approved. A lightweight service cap of gabardine material is authorized for optional wear. It will be of the same basic design as the required service cap except the head band will be of an open mesh construction to give clear firm openings through the braid. Also as optional wear on all service caps, a rear chin strap of black leather.

The required fabric for the service cap is Blue 84, 15 ounce wool serge. However, optional fabrics were allowed as the cap was regulation for both summer and winter. The optional fabrics are: all wool gabardine, 13 to 15 ounces; all wool (Venetian) gabardine, 13 ounce; all wool tropical worsted, 8 to 10 ounce; and all wool barathea, 15 ounce for officers only.

On the service cap, persons are distinguished by use of aluminum wire on the visor as follows: General Officer - black broadcloth covered visor embroidered in aluminum wire with the Air Force lightning, cloud and dart design identifying general officers; Colonels - black broadcloth covered visor embroidered in aluminum wire with Air Force lightning cloud, and dart design identifying colonels; and Officers, Warrant Officers and Airmen - black leather visor without design.

The flight cap is the overseas type with insert braid corresponding to the grade. Persons are distinguished by use of braid inserted on the flight cap as follows: General Officers - silver colored braid; Officers and Warrant Officers - silver color and blue brain in diamond pattern; and Airmen - blue braid. Material is wool serge, Blue 84, 15 ounce for winter and summer. As an option, Venetian gabardine is authorized for winter and summer, tropical worsted is authorized for summer and barathea material for both winter and summer.

The shoes for service dress are low quarter, black, laced, smooth or scotch grain leather, with plain or plain-capped toes, and without perforations, buckles or straps. The upper part of the shoe is not to exceed ankle bone height. Socks are of black wool, worsted, cotton, synthetic type or silk, without decoration.

How the winter service coat uniform is worn. Uniform items: Headgear - service cap or flight cap, blue shade 84; Tie - blue shade 84; Belt - blue shade 89; Shoes - black; and Socks - black. Materials in the coat and trousers are to match. Blue shade 84 service coat with blue shade 84 trousers and blue shade 120 or 126 undergarment poplin or oxford cloth shirt. Blue shade 84 gabardine coat with blue shade 84 gabardine trousers and blue shade 120 or 126 poplin or oxford cloth shirt. Officers may use blue shade 84 barathea coat with matching trousers.

Courtesy of http://usafflagranks.com/usaf_service_dress_coat_uniform.html