DPM Cadet Smock

Until the late 1970s British cadet forces were wearing a motley collection of modern DPM scrounged from the army, old battledress uniforms and some items of specialist clothing such as the olive green waterproof smock. In the late 1970s dedicated DPM clothing began to be issued for cadets, based on army patterns but simplified to reduce costs. The first item was a pair of trousers that were similar to the army’s 68 pattern uniform, but with one less map pocket and no dressing pocket. This was followed in the early years of the 1980s with a smock that was again a simplified version of the standard army design:

The cadet smock lacks breast pockets, possibly because when wearing 37 pattern webbing which was still standard issue for cadets at this date, the shoulder braces would cover these and render them useless. Also missing is the sleeve mounted dressing pocket and the cuffs have a far simplified method of tightening with Velcro sewn directly to the sleeve itself rather than on a tightening strap:

The smock is half lined, with an internal drawstring to help shape the garment:

A pair of large patch pockets are sewn onto the skirts of the smock:

The front fastening is with a zip behind a velcroed fly:

A hood can be attached to the smock, although this feature was probably never used, the hood attaching to a single button on the back of the neck:

And the two buttons used for the epaulettes:

A label is sewn into the back of the smock. I am very suspicious of the sizing on this label as holding the garment in person, it seems far smaller than a 170/92:

It is fair to say that these smocks were not popular with cadets, many of whom did their best to buy, beg or borrow small sized regular army examples rather than have to wear the cadet pattern. Today these smocks are rather overlooked and although the over the head olive green smock of the 1970s is highly sought after, few take much interest in its successor, however if you are a collector of British smocks it is an interesting and essential addition to the collection.

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