The Minute Book
Thursday, 10 April 2014

Walking Out Dress (1942)
Topic: Canadian Army

New Well-tailored Dress Uniforms To Be Issued to Privates in Army

Made of Khaki Serge, Latest Issue Is Designed
for Off-duty Wear and to Augment
Present Battle Dress 'Working Clothes'

The Montreal Gazette, 14 January 1942

The thousands of young soldiers in the Canadian Army will soon vie for placed as the best-dressed men in the Dominion as a result of the official announcement made last night by the Department of National Defence that they are to be outfitted with dress uniforms to augment the battledress they already possess.

Emphasis was placed on the fact that the new uniforms, which are smartly tailored and are designed for off-duty wear, are not replacements for battledress. Persistent rumours have circulated to the effect that such replacements are on the way but last night's announcement referred to the Canadian fighting dress as the most practical ever designed for battle conditions.

"It is decidedly not a replacement," Maj-Gen B.W. Browne, Adjutant-General, declared in Ottawa. "The walking-put dress is just what the name implies. It is a best suit to be worn when work is done for the day. The young men who form Canada's army today are typical young Canadians—the type of chaps who wouldn't think of going out for the evening in their working clothes and who like to wear the best suit on Sundays. Because they are in the army, there is no reason why their standards should be changed. Hence the issue of an extra uniform.

Because of the fact that two suits have more than twice the as long a life as a single one, economy also enters the picture, it was pointed out.

The actual ate of issue has not been definitely established, due to the necessity of designing the many sizes in which it will be made. It is expected, however, that deliveries of the new dress uniforms will start in toughly six weeks time.

Smartly cut, quite like the jackets and slacks worn by officers even to the brass buckled belt, the new outfits are tailored in regulation khaki serge. The tie to be worn with them is a beech brown in colour and collar pins form a part of the issue.

Low Shoes Allowed

Black socks, considerably finer than those which are now issued to soldiers to go with the battledress, and black, low shoes complete the walking out dress. The use of shoes rather than of boots issued with other uniforms is a major concession to smartness. The familiar khaki wedge cap or, if the soldier possesses one, the colourful wedge cap authorized already, completes the uniform.

The jacket has four pockets, with breast pockets being of the rectangular pleated pattern. The side pockets are large ones of the patch type. They differ only from those of the officers' tunics by being stitched all of the way around instead of bellowed. A deep bent in the centre back seam insures a good fit when sitting.

Old soldiers who remember the day when it was next thing to heresy for a private to be caught walking about with a swagger stick, are due for a shock. The swagger stick will be part of the issue to all soldiers.

Another feature of the new dress uniform will be the wearing of regimental collar-badges. It isn't so very long ago that these were a familiar sight.

Complete issue to soldiers will consist of a serge jacket, serge trousers, two collars, one collar pin, a brown necktie, black socks, black leather low shows and a waterproof coat.

Ottawa Citizen, 9 February, 1945

Army Will Withdraw Walking Out Dress

Issuance of the familiar walking out uniform of the Canadian Army, the open collar serge dress jacket and matching trousers has been cancelled, according to the latest district orders.

All such items of clothing on charge units and individuals will be withdrawn immediately by Ordnance to the returned stores section, according to instructions. Badges of rank or trade will be removed from the jackets and retained for re-issue to units.

Military authorities had no additional comment to add to the the situation at this time. Whether the calling in of the walking out uniforms mean that this dress will be removed entirely from the uniform list of the Canadian Army or whether there is possibly a re-issue in prospect for a later date could not be determined.

The Maple Leaf, 3 March 1945

Canadian Army drops 'zoot suits'

Ottawa---Khaki serge walking out uniforms introduced into the Canadian Army in 1942 and never popular with soldiers are being withdrawn from service, packeted and sent as mutual aid to the armies of liberated countries, it is learned here.

France, Greece, or Yugoslavia will probably receive these "zoot suits," which were issued only to men serving in Canada.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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