Military Re-enacting


Uniform Classes

Class A uniform, male officer
Updated 19th December 2016

Class C uniform, male officer
Updated 19th December 2016

Class A uniform, female officer
19th January 2014

Class C uniform, female officer
19th January 2014

USAAF Flight Uniform
15th November 2015
Four Eyes: Eyeglasses and the
by Michael Ellis
15th November 2015
OD51 'Chocolate'
12th December 2015
US Navy
Officer's Khaki Uniform
Buyer's Guide
by Alan Hutchins
Updated 26th December 2016


A Beginner's Guide to
RAF Uniform
by Graham Corner

RAF Steel Helmet

by Graham Corner

RAF Officer's Uniform
Buyer's Guide
by Alan Hutchins
16th November 2015

RAF Officer's Khaki Drill
Buyer's Guide
by Alan Hutchins
15th January 2015

WAAF Uniform
Buyer's Guide
by Alan Hutchins
16th November 2015
Air Transport Auxiliary

Uniform of the A.T.A. by Nick S
Auxiliary Territorial Service

A Beginners Guide to
ATS Uniform
by Georgie H-B

ATS Uniform
Buyer's Guide
by Alan Hutchins
Updated 17th December 2014

Axis Forces

Wehrmacht Uniforms
12th May 2016


Female Clothing
5th April 2014

CC41 Utility Clothing
16th December 2013

Male Clothing

21st April 2014

Site last updated 5th January 2017
(Highlighted text indicates newly-added or recently updated sections)


Forties Re-Enacting is a leisure activity that is rapidly growing in popularity around the globe, nowhere more so than in the UK. Both organised groups and individuals gather together at pre-arranged venues around the country to relive those heroic days of the 1940s in dress and in spirit. A quick glance at the excellent Rod's 1940s' Events Calendar website reveals hardly a weekend throughout the year without a significant Forties event of some description taking place somewhere around the country.

My wife and I attended our first Forties event at Thorpe Camp, Lincolnshire, and were so impressed by the sheer enthusiasm and knowledge of those taking part that we decided there and then that this was something we wanted to become involved with ourselves. This was dressing-up for adults! There is of course a far more serious side to this as re-enactors are intending to accurately portray exactly how their assumed character would have looked during the 1940s, for the interest and education of the general public who attend Forties events, and to answer any questions they might have. This is usually described as 'living history'.

There are individuals on the fringe of the re-enacting scene who are content to make a gesture towards dressing in 1940s style, with varying degrees of credibility, for the purpose of attending dances, etc, and this is their choice of course. But the purpose of this website is to guide those who genuinely want to dress authentically so that they may be assured that their uniform or costume will stand up to critical scrutiny. Not only does this honour the men and women whom re-enactors are trying to portray, but living veterans are often very impressed by the degree of accuracy and detail achieved. It also defeats the 'experts' who will always be quick to demonstrate their superior knowledge by pointing out some real or imagined minor discrepancy.

The choice of period clothing ranges from civilian on the one hand to military on the other. As a British Army veteran, I decided I would feel more at home back in uniform, albeit an American one this time around. There's no denying that our US allies enjoyed by far the smartest and most comfortable uniforms of the WW2 period, and none more so than those of the US Army Air Corps. So I decided to assume the guise of an officer in the US 8th Air Force which was based in England during WW2. My wife thought that she too would cut quite a figure in uniform and initially elected to be a US Women's Army Corps (WAC) officer in the Mighty Eighth. We both now also portray RAF, and WAAF and ATS officers respectively. Although the following observations mainly relate to US Army and Army Air Force clothing, there are other sections on this website that deal with US Navy, RAF, WAAF and ATS uniforms as well as period civilian clothing.

Once having made our decision about what clothing to wear, the next step was to obtain it. The problem with original USAAF uniform items from the Forties is that they tend to be either moth-eaten, stained and not particularly cheap, or in reasonably good condition and astronomically priced. Another often unforeseen problem is that of size. The Great Depression of the Thirties in America had produced a generation of somewhat under-nourished youngsters who reached prime draft age in 1942. This resulted in the typical WW2-era US serviceman being very slim and slightly-built with a typical chest measurement of 36" and waist of 30". As the average Forties re-enactor today tends to be of rather more mature age and far more generous build, trying to source original US kit of the correct size can prove difficult, if not almost impossible.

Fortunately a whole new industry has grown up around this hobby and there are an increasing number of specialist manufacturers and online retailers out there who cater to the re-enacting scene with brand-new reproductions that are realistically-sized and reasonably priced, and that are sometimes indistinguishable from the originals. However, the key word here is 'sometimes', because different manufacturers have very different ideas regarding the authenticity of their products. This is compounded by the fact that a lot of these manufacturers are located in Third-World countries, rather than in the US or UK, with attendant problems associated with quality control and consistency. To make matters worse, retailers can't be relied upon for the historical accuracy of their products. For example, several prominent UK retailers are in the habit of advertising reproduction uniforms that have little or no connection with WW2. Inexperienced newcomers to the 1940s event scene can easily fall into the trap of automatically assuming that anything being sold by these retailers is correctly authentic. A classic example of this are the US Navy female khaki summer uniforms commonly available on these websites. They are smart, good  looking, relatively inexpensive and therefore very appealing. Unfortunately they are also totally wrong for WW2 re-enacting as the women's division of the US Navy (WAVES) didn't wear khaki uniforms until after they were eventually integrated into the US Navy in 1948. As we have discovered first hand, the market can be a bit of a minefield and you really do need to do some research and have a good idea about what you are looking for before you take the plunge and part with your money. Hence the purpose of this website, which is to help potential re-enactors avoid the expensive pitfalls and subsequent frustrations that we encountered along the way.

For those who really do want to properly research the subject of USAAF uniform, I can thoroughly recommend a book entitled 'Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens' by Jon A. Maguire which is easily obtainable via the Internet. The rather curious title makes reference to the standard US Army officer Class A uniform of WW2 which was known as 'Pinks & Greens'. The name is derived from the combination of 'pink'  trousers (actually a beige colour) and 'green' (olive drab) jacket. Another good source of information are original WW2 photos of US serviceman, of which the internet abounds. These illustrate what was actually being worn, regardless of the official uniform regulations.

There are links from this page to others that cover the various types of Forties uniform and civilian dress. On these we have specifically commented about various retailers and the products they stock, recommending some and cautioning against others. Please keep revisiting this site as we will be updating it periodically as and when new sources come to light, or when changes to currently-known sources become apparent.












  18th February 2016




  5th January 2017



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