SADF Coveralls

This week’s item of SADF equipment is a set of nutria brown one piece coveralls: 

These coveralls were used for a number of purposes. Most obviously they were used by crewman of vehicles as protective clothing- drivers and gunners or mechanics all made use of the overalls, especially for dirty or greasy jobs. There was another use for them, however, as clothing used in training in place of traditional trousers and jackets. The one piece coveralls were issued to all going through basic training, regardless of future role and were a sign of a trainee, making it an important right of passage to be given the right to wear proper combat clothing. This illustration was drawn by a soldier in basic training in 1984 and shows the overalls: 

The artist behind this sketch recalls: 

Then of course we wore brown overalls, often several sizes too large. Their one advantage was that they had an opening behind the pockets that allowed one to slip one’s hands into one’s underpants and relieve an itch without anyone noting.  

My example has had the buttons replaced with metal jeans type fastenings at some point in its history. The coveralls fasten up the front with a set of buttons: 

A pair of patch pockets are sewn to each breast with rounded bottom corners and a square cut top flap: 

The cuffs are secured with a single button: 

As are the shoulder straps: 

The back of the overalls have three belt loops: 

The label inside is very simple with sizing, a date of 1973 and the manufacturer’s details: 

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