Saturday, November 28, 2020

Epaulette Shirt

Epaulette Shirt  

Epaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations. In the French and other armies, epaulettes are also worn by all ranks of elite or ceremonial units when on parade. It may bear rank or other insignia, and should not be confused with a shoulder mark – also called a shoulder board, rank slide, or slip-on – a flat cloth sleeve worn on the shoulder strap of a uniform (although the two terms are often used interchangeably).

Epaulettes are fastened to the shoulder by a shoulder strap or passenten  a small strap parallel to the shoulder seam, and the button near the collar, or by laces on the underside of the epaulette passing through holes in the shoulder of the coat. Colloquially, any shoulder straps with marks are also called epaulettes. The placement of the epaulette, its color and the length and diameter of its bullion fringe are used to signify the wearer's rank. At the join of the fringe and the shoulderpiece is often a metal piece in the form of a crescent. Although originally worn in the field.

History

Epaulettes bear some resemblance to the shoulder pteruges of ancient Greco-Roman military costumes. However, their direct origin lies in the bunches of ribbons worn on the shoulders of military coats at the end of the 17th century, which were partially decorative and partially intended to prevent shoulder belts from slipping. These ribbons were tied into a knot that left the fringed end free. This established the basic design of the epaulette as it evolved through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Modern derivations

Today, epaulettes have mostly been replaced by a five-sided flap of cloth called a shoulder board, which is sewn into the shoulder seam and the end buttoned like an epaulette.

From the shoulder board was developed the shoulder mark, a flat cloth tube that is worn over the shoulder strap and carries embroidered or pinned-on rank insignia. The advantages of this are the ability to easily change the insignia as occasions warrant.

Airline pilot uniform shirts generally include cloth flattened tubular epaulettes having cloth or bullion braid stripes, attached by shoulder straps integral to the shirts. The rank of the wearer is designated by the number of stripes: Traditionally four for captain, three for first officer (copilot), two for second officer (flight engineer). However, rank insignia are airline specific. For example, at some airlines, two stripes denote junior first officer and one stripe second officer (cruise or relief pilot). Airline captains' uniform caps usually will have a braid pattern on the bill.


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