I relation to the US Army uniform post (http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...pic.php?t=9102), I want to address the US Navy uniforms. Ok, ok, before anyone starts, I have a confession to make. When I was in the Army, I used to make fun of the Navy uniforms any chance I got. Now I'm in the Navy, I still make fun of the uniforms, although I am still proud to wear it. For those of you who don't know, the Navy has several uniforms. Here's a list for the enlisted:
Service Dress Blues (Cracker Jacks)
Service Dress Whites
Working (summer) Whites
Working (winter) blues
Desert Combat Utilities
And for those fortunate few of us:
USMC Desert Marpat
USMC Enlisted Service Uniform
The scuttlebut awhile back was that they were wanting to combine the utility and coverall uniforms with Navy Combat Utilities. The Coast Guard did it and they have had a good response to it. From what I understand, the color of the undershirts w/ the Navy Combat Utilities would designate rank and/or rate or something like that. Not real sure though.
Actually the 'bell bottom' was meant to enable easier removal of trousers while wearing boots. Basically if you went overboard, you could remove them, knot the ends and trap some air in the 'legs' and use them as an emergency flotation device. At least that's what I was told.
I have always liked the Navy uniforms, at least those of the officers. You can't beat the dress whites, and the khakis are cool too. I wish that we (the Air Force) could get the khakis back. We had 'em in the Vietnam era, I think that they were cancelled in the early 80's. I feel like a poser wearing camo bdu's, but the khakis would still look professional and more casual than class B's. Just my opinion.
My understanding was that bell bottoms were originated to make it easier to roll them up for swabbing the deck...sailors have traditionally had bell bottoms for centuries so I think it predates the inflation theory. (looked it up and some website says it started in the 1800's - for easy removal in the water and for rolling them above the knees for swabbing)
I've always hated the dungarees on female sailors - they always seem to get them 5 sizes too small and make their butts look 5 times as large! I guess they don't call them WOOBAs for nothing...