Costume Update; Royal Navy Uniforms

Spit 'n Polish

Well, pretty much everything has been Brasso’d, Silvo’d, and Twinkle’d. The 1827 sword took a bit to do, but was well worth it. She glimmers like gold when freshly polished. Buttons on the waistcoat were a pain to do, but Johanna has a trick with a plastic bag. Keeps the waistcoat clean of any harmful chemicals, yet the buttons polish up brilliantly. I thought there’d be a lot more polishing involved, but we managed to get everything done in about an hour or so of steady work.

Dave's Breeches, 01Having seen to the sword, we decided it’d be a good idea for me to try on the finished Royal Navy uniform. My uniform had been the first project started by Man the Capstan, and one of the last to finish. Having dealt with delayed laces and trims, uniform modifications, and just last minute adjustments, it’s finally 100% complete. A relief, for certain. One of the adjustments we made to the uniform were the pants. From earlier posts, readers will see that, like the Royal Marine, my pants were blue, and tucked into the boot. After some thought, and having seen a great pattern for fall-front breeches, we decided to swap out the blue pants in favour of a off-white knee-length breeches. We retained the boots, though, so it comes off very similar to Russel Crowe in Master & Commander.

Tim's Breeches, 02In lieu of the fall-fronts, Johanna also made some modifications to Tim’s Royal Navy uniform as well, in order to better match the two styles. They turned out quite well, and despite what you’d think, are very comfortable! I think people today have gotten too used to mass-produced clothing. When something is tailored to your form, just right, it can be the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear. One other new addition to Tim’s uniform is the replacement of his stockings. He was using a cotton blend of stockings, but they seemed totally inefficient and inadequate. What we need were silk stockings. We ordered some, and they now behave far more appropriately. The other stockings were sort of cheap, and fell down the leg too easily. Silk tends to grab better, and gives a more polished appearance. Just looks more genuine, I find.

More updates to follow, as they come available! Don’t forget to check out our Twitter feed on the right, and keep a close eye on the Tall Ships updates. This is going to be a fun weekend!


About Dave

I am a twenty-two year old university student living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I am an avid naval history enthusiast, particularly the Regency/Napoleonic eras. I have a particular interest in the British Royal Navy and other Britannic military orders.

2 thoughts on “Costume Update; Royal Navy Uniforms

  1. Robert Swanson says:

    Excellent uniform replica. Don’t know if you are still accepting comment or looking to further projects. If so, you have probably found one secret to the hang of 18th. Century coats lies in the pleating on the rear hips. Did you allow for the gold laced pockets and lacing up the rear tails? They avoided the epaullettes seeming to flop at the ends by having a small half-moon shaped cushion sewn under the outer edge crescent – they didn’t really have squarer shoulders in those days! The knee breeches look better if fitted snugly just under the knee when standing. Measure the front edge longer than the back edge so that they don’t ride above the knee when bent. While the flat buttons would have been more correct, don’t worry about the crown – the distinction between so-called “queen’s” and “king’s” crowns only became official with Edward VII in the early 20th. Century – before that there were many variations used.

  2. Man At Arms says:

    Hello! i like your blog ! Maybe you are interested by our XIII-XIV century blog 🙂 You will find many video and pictures about reenactment in Europe. See you soon there !

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