The standing white collar strip worn by male officers with the Evening Dress and Blue Dress uniforms and by female officers with their new Blues Dress coat traces its roots all the way back to the earliest days of the Marine Corps, when regulations called for a leather stock to be worn as a collar. Precisely why this sartorial selection was made is unclear; some say it was to protect against “cutlass slashes,” others claim it was to ensure proper posture, and still others argue that it was used for both purposes.

There is no definitive answer to that question, but there’s no denying it led to the creation of the phrase “leatherneck” by the Sailors with whom they served. While the Swabbies meant it as an insult, the Marines embraced the term and its usage continued even after the leather stocks were discontinued in 1872.

USMC uniform regulations call for the collar strip to have a straight edge that is high enough to extend just above the uniform collar (a maximum of 1/4” is allowed), and to belong enough so that the ends meet in front with just a slight overlap (maximum 1/4”).

In August 2018, recruits with Platoon 4040 of Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion were some of the first female marines to be issued the new female Blues dress coat with a mandarin collar like that worn by their male counterparts (but the female version does not have breast or lower pockets). The historic uniform change came over a two-and-a-half years after the new female coat was approved by Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller in January 2016.
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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.