In this update, I want to provide the results of the 2013 Women’s Uniform Survey and share a number of uniform changes that are in the works.
First, I’d like to thank you for your participation and for the wide range of views expressed. The executive summary of the 2013 women uniform survey can be found on the Uniform Matters website. Some of the survey highlights include:
1. The survey asked for the satisfaction rating of various uniforms.
- When asked, “Rate your satisfaction with how professional uniform garments appear on you,” over 50% of respondents answered “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” for 26 of 27 uniform items.
- When asked, “Rate your satisfaction with the comfort of uniform garments,” over 50% of respondents answered “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” for 44 of 53 uniform items.
- When asked, “Rate your satisfaction with the fit of uniform garments,” over 50% of respondents answered “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” for 45 of 53 uniform items.
2. When asked what changes to women’s uniforms were desired, the changes most requested by women would be to improve the comfort, fit, and/or function of:
- Slacks (making the waist lower, and adding or increasing the size of pockets)
- Coats (increasing shoulder area and arm hole of SDB and SDW, and adding pockets)
- Skirts (making the hemline narrower and the waist lower)
- Overblouse (add more length to the bottom of the shirt and to add room in the shoulder area)
- Tuck-in shirts for chiefs and officers (add a satin lining on the inside of the collar and add more room in the shoulder for both the SK and SW shirts)
3. Our way ahead:
- We are working with NEXCOM to determine the scope of work for each recommendation; we’ll pursue those things that have the best return on investment and address the rest in a long range campaign plan.
Three of the items that we will begin work on are:
- Improving the waist and hip design of the khaki slacks and providing belted and beltless options
- Adding an additional functional pocket for the Service Dress Blue (SDB) Coat
- Narrowing the hemline of the khaki and white skirts to have a design similar to the SDB skirt.
This fall, we plan to begin an anthropometric correlation study on body sizing to improve our uniforms’ patterns and consequently our uniforms’ fit. Once we have concluded that study, we will explore possible additional changes to female uniform designs that could incorporate some of the other survey findings.
- We’re also working on additional uniform issues and big picture changes.
- Feedback from the Fleet indicates a need for clearer grooming standards that encompass a broader range of women’s hairstyles. In response, we are rewriting Uniform Regulations Article 2201 to update guidance and to better define authorized and unauthorized female hairstyles. I expect a revision to female grooming standards to be promulgated this fall.
- Also this fall, we’ll expand the wear test of the jumper style E6 and below service dress blue uniform for women with the White Hat (Dixie Cup) by approximately 300 Sailors in the Norfolk area. This test will incorporate feedback received from the Preliminary Evaluation conducted earlier during the spring.
As we consider any change to uniforms to improve fit, function, or appearance, our goal remains to have uniforms that our Sailors will wear proudly at sea and ashore and that project our proud Navy heritage. Overall, the changes being pursued:
- Are conscious of minimizing cost; in fact, some initiatives will save money
- Are conscious of impact on the sea bag
- Strive to reflect fleet feedback
- Will ensure we “do it right” to improve fit and function; for example, we won’t issue a man’s uniform to a woman; we’ll design a woman’s uniform.
We take feedback from the Fleet seriously and look forward to hearing what’s on your mind. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback on uniform matters and email@example.com for feedback on other personnel matters.