Desert DPM Bush Hat

Commonly seen in photographs of soldiers relaxing after a patrol in Afghanistan or Iraq, the issue bush hat has been in British Army use for many years in a variety of camouflage patterns. The bush hat is a simple floppy cloth hat, with a large brim to help keep off the sun:imageIts origins go right back to the Second World War and the Indian jungle hat we looked at here. Whilst the design has been modified over the last seventy years, the basic similarities are still clear. The hat itself has a broad brim with concentric rings of stitching to help stiffen it:imageMetal vents in the crown aid ventilation:imageWhilst loops are sewn around the base of the crown to allow vegetation and camouflaging materials to be slotted in:imageUnlike earlier designs, this hat has an adjustable elastic chin strap fitted, secured through two eyeleted fabric tabs sewn inside the hat:imageThe chin strap is often removed and thrown away. Around the rear of the inside is a sewn in flap with Velcro on it that allows a detachable neck curtain to be fitted to help keep sun off the back of the neck:imageAgain these are seldom worn and this strip is often removed from the hat. Indeed modifications to these hats are fashionable amongst many; with common changes being to reduce the width of the brim and the height of the crown in the search for ‘allyness’. This hat is obviously unissued, and comes in a useful 59 size:imageThese hats are still produced, but today come in the current MTP camouflage; having been issued and worn one of these myself on exercise in Cyprus a few years back, I can attest to their utility and indeed my MTP example is regularly packed in the suitcase for summer holidays even now!

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