Iconic Australian Uniforms

December 30, 2015

What makes a uniform iconic? Is it the design of the garment, the fame of the wear, or the accomplishments of the cohesively fashioned group? At Australian Uniform, we understand that there is more to Australian style than bushwear and swimwear, and for something as utilitarian as a uniform, there are many ways these garments can become an iconic part of history.

A portrait of Tasmanian officers from 1915

Source: Herald Sun

One of the earliest, and most widely used uniforms in Australian were those commissioned for the Australian armed forces. The iconic Australian Digger uniform, featuring khaki-greens, leather boots and hat were often issued one per man, meaning they were designed to be tough during the World War I. Practical and comfortable, these woollen uniforms were both quick to produce, worn by many troops during their run, and hold a firm place in history.

Rising Sun Badge on the Slouch Hat

Source: Army.Gov.Au

Since its inception more than a century ago, the slouch hat has become one of the most distinctive and defining items of Australian clothing. A wide-brimmed felt or cloth hat commonly with a chin strap, these hats are sometimes also called an “Australian bush hat” or “digger hat.” with one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat with a Rising Sun Badge. Tradition states that the intention of turning up the side of the hat was to ensure it would not be caught during drill movements, as well as additional uniqueness via the addition of native bird feathers, such as Emu plumes.

Qantas uniforms over the years

Source: Yahoo Travel Australia

One of the most fashionable industries throughout the last century has been airlines, with carriers like Virgin Australia and Quantas leading Top 10 Uniforms lists throughout the years with their sleek and colorful offerings. As part of the glamour days of air travel, flight attendant and pilot uniform designers included the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci, and are seen as an encapsulation of their time period, from the bold prints of the 1970s to the military inspired offerings of the 1950s. And with Quantas’ current uniform the #1 Airline Uniform of 2015, it’s easy to see why these flying uniforms are so iconic.

Craig Victory at the Olympics

30 Sep 2000: Craig Victory of Australia gives a thumbs up after victory in the Mens Hockey Bronze Medal Match against Pakistan at the State Hockey Centre on day 15 of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Hamish Blair /Allsport

Sport uniforms are often some of the most recognized uniforms around the world, and no audience is greater than at the Olympics. Australia has produced many legendary Olympians, including Ian Thorpe (swimming), Cathy Freeman (400 metre sprint) and Dawn Fraser (swimming), and the Sydney 2000 Olympics were perceived as an opportunity for Australia to rebrand itself to an international audience as a dynamic, cosmopolitan and culturally diverse society. For every Gold, Silver and Bronze our Olympians take home, the competition outfits worn by these athletes become a part of world history, and reach iconic status with every newspaper printed.

Australian Olympians model

Australian Olympians model the new competition outfit to be worn at the London Olympics 2012. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: The Daily Telegraph

There are many factors, but when your business makes it big, you want to be looking your best. Will your uniform become an iconic part of history? A consistent, and stylish, image takes strategic planning and great partners, and at Australian Uniform, we’re here to help make your image iconic.