Physical training remains an integral part of British Army life. Organised sports keep men fit and help maintain morale in a competitive environment. Although most soldiers today use their own sports kit, bought from high street stores, the Army does issue sportswear to trainees and until recently rules were less relaxed so it was expected men would use the kit issued by the Army. Many training units continue to require men to wear Army issue PT kit, even if their home units do not and regardless of whether they have ever actually been issued with it! The colours of PT kit had been established by the Second World War, with navy blue shorts being the standard colour for the last eighty years. We have looked at a wartime pair of PT shorts on the blog before, but today we are considering a post-war pair. These shorts are very simple, being made of dark blue polyester
They do not have a fly or fastener, but are made with an elasticated waist:
This pair of shorts date from the 1970s or 1980s and so have a cotton label sewn inside, with pre-metric sizing listed:
Army issue PT equipment has always been a source of contention amongst troops, being seen as unfashionable and made to the lowest price point possible. The shorts themselves remain quite short in the leg, a fashion that was popular in the 1970s but less so from the 1990s onwards and so men do complain about them with some regularity.