The Dungaree Uniform

The Dungaree Uniform

When Sailors Looked Like Sailors

Why did Sailors wear blue denim aka dungaree uniform?

ANSWER: The blue denim uniform, dungarees, was the Sailor’s working uniform.

In 1901 regulations authorized the first use of denim jumpers and trousers, and the 1913 regulations permitted the dungaree uniform to be used by both officers and enlisted with the prescribed hat of the day.

Officer’s engaged in aviation introduced the khaki uniform and eventually it was the accepted working uniform for officers.

Chief Petty Officers were, in time, allowed to don the khaki work uniform.

As a junior enlisted….dungarees were my favorite uniform….it was a sad day for me when they replaced the dungaree uniforms.


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15 thoughts on “The Dungaree Uniform

    • Jeff KIng says:

      I went to boot camp and AZ A School at NARTU/NATTC Memphis Nov 1971 to Mar 1972. We had the “gas station attendant” uniform. I threw them out when I got to VA-305, and bought chambray shirts and seafarers. I had my name embroidered above the right rear pocket of the dungarees. Best uniform in the Navy.


  1. Ron Smith says:

    I was a fleet sailor for most of my 4 years and 13 days, and did love those dungarees. I started playing golf at NAS JAX a few years ago and was somewhat perplexed by the new enlisted work uniforms–a camouflage pattern with light blue, dark blue, gray and charcoal. I get that someone at DOD thought all the branches should have similar uniforms, but the question that kept popping into my mind was, “Who do we want to hide from?” First of all, with that uniform, you can’t hide from anybody on shore–you stick out like a sore thumb. Aboard ship, not so much either–maybe a solid, battleship grey would work, but not that camo. Regardless, it’s impossible to hide from the division chief anyway. The only place you might be able to hide in that uniform is in the ocean. Now if I did fall overboard, I’m pretty sure I would want somebody to see me. I suppose I might want to hide from the sharks, but I’m pretty sure they’re mostly blind anyway and would sniff out a drowning sailor if they were so inclined. I’m voting for dungarees.


    • Jeff KIng says:

      My daughter is active now. She wore the blue camo initially, then transitioned to the green camo. The only reason I can think of is that some ex-Admirals own a uniform company. In addition to dress blues and whites, they now have what is called “peanut butters” (Khaki shirts and black pants). They can’t even fit everything into a seabag like the old days.


  2. George Ryan “Tater” says:

    I loved my seafarer dungarees, matching belt, and a Chromed ships buckle, sharp. Oh and Polished steel toe Boondockers. MM3


  3. Another thought about Dungaree Trousers and Chambray Shirts as well as most if not all of the Enlisted Seabag items is that the Primary Source was Federal Prison Industries. Ergo: Common clothing, blankets, bedding, and mess items (trays, cups, bowls, etc.) for Federal Prisoners and Sailors. Don’t forget the Stencils across the back of the Chambray Shirts and across the back of the Dungarees.


  4. Pingback: The Dungaree Uniform — Tales of an Asia Sailor – On the Patio

  5. Tom Gilbert says:

    Best working clothing you could wear and pressed right they were damn sharp looking Remember the days 66-69


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