Most of the specialized professions have their own uniforms that help the employees stand out as a group and make them identifiable as a team. The judges, soldiers, firemen, and cops have an interesting history when it comes to the dress code. Sometimes, these uniforms are adopted as a standard worldwide but the origins of some uniforms are very interesting ones, to say the least.
If you’ve ever wondered why uniforms are the way they are, then keep on reading to find out the history behind the fashionable outfits donned by state uniforms. We’ll have a look at some bizarre and odd choices made by different states that want their employees to stand out.
1. Police Coats
The iconic high collared police coats are what you probably think of when you hear the two words: a cop & the Scotland Yard. The board game which goes by the same name is perhaps the biggest reason for the police organization’s popularity.
The renowned police organization also known as Metropolitan Police initially adopted these high collars for their personal safety. The cops were prone to be strangled by the criminal they were trying to apprehend and had to have extra protection for their necks. Now that’s a pretty dark origin for such a recognizable uniform.
2. Judges and their Blacks & Whites
The origin of the black robe and the white wig goes back to 17th CE British standards. The judiciary was surprisingly reluctant to wearing these wigs initially when it was the norm for high society individuals to wear one. Some sources say that Charles II in 1660-1685 made it fashionable to wear these wigs but others claim that it all started when all the judges wore black to Queen Mary’s funeral in 1694.
But in any case, soon the judges embraced this change and it became a standard for judges to be seen wearing these peculiar attires. The black robes weren’t always black and the judiciary experimented with colors ranging from brown to violet. The finest judge robes were and still are made out of silk, linens, and any other premium materials. Now, the black robes and wigs are seen mostly at formal events or during criminal cases.
3. Firefighting Butterflies
The firefighters are some of the most flashy heroes that we all grow up idolizing. The red blaring trucks, the fireman’s pole, and everything else about this job screams “Coolest People on Earth”. And similarly, firefighters throughout the world are seen wearing brightly colored uniforms.
This has a very good reason and something you can probably guess. The brighter colors from oranges to fluorescent have been adopted for high visibility in smoke. This helps ensure that the people can spot a fireman easily inside a burning building and is intentioned for the safety of the fireman as well as the victims.
4. French Cuffs
These large cuffs were incorporated into the uniforms of the French soldiers on the orders of Napoleon. And the utility for these items is very high, they were used for wiping away the sweat, blood, tears, and snot! Napoleon didn’t like seeing his soldiers in miserable conditions, so he decided to hide the problems rather than solving them.
These cuffs were introduced so that they can be folded over to hide the snot stains. The brass buttons were however included to make it more difficult for soldiers to wipe their faces. What double standards are these Napoleon?
5. British Khaki, Not so British
The Khaki which was a widely used die in the World War era was actually an Indian origin product. Even the word’s origins are based in the Persian-based Hindustani language. This dye was and still is used by many Indian uniformed services including the police.
The British adopted it in 1846 under Harry Lumsden who raised a Corps of Guides in India. What’s even more amusing is that the British khaki dyes came from Germany. Germany exported 20 times more volume of dyes than the British were able to and the Britishers secretly imported that dye during the First World War.
These are only a few of the many bizarre facts about uniforms that have been in trend since the dawn of civilization. There are as many interesting stories as there are uniforms in the world. As long as there are alliances and groupings, there will be uniforms to set one group of individuals apart from the others. And as long as there are uniforms, there will be amusing backstories to how those uniforms came to be.