Sword belts in the military are worn around the waist, their purpose being to hold a ceremonial sword. There are various styles of belts available, some which ore worn over the tunic, such as the Sam Browne, the RAF Officers and the Naval Officers. Sword belts can have several components; as well as the waist belt, there are also sword slings, or a sword frog for retaining the scabbard. Often there is a shoulder belt worn with the ensemble to prevent the weight of the sword pulling down the belt. This can also, be achieved by the belts being held in place by hooks on the tunic. Swords can be worn in two positions, raised or hooked up, where the scabbard or frog is attached to a hook to raise the sword to stop it trailing. Alternatively, they can be worn down hanging from the slings or the frog. Sword belt ensembles can be made from a number of materials, but are primarily made from leather, webbing, PVC, or a combination. Sword belt styles differ by the individual services and also often by rank or regiment.
Military Tunic The May 2016 edition of popular fashion magazine Vogue contains a feature exploring some of the Rolling Stones’ most unforgettable costumes, modelled by Kate Moss (Photographed by Craig McDean). One piece of clothing in particular caught our attention, which is the red drummers’ military tunic, traditionally worn by drummers in the bands of the Infantry regiment. “What the Stones did was to adopt the clothes of the establishment and make them irreverent and threatening. Suddenly these gentlemanly suits become a raucously sexual kind of veneer over their wildness.” (Bella Freud, Vogue 2016). Mick Jagger had many military jackets, but the one pictured here is the only remaining example in the Rolling Stones archive. He actually bought it for approximately £4 from Robert Orbach at John Stephen on Carnaby Street and wore it for a performance on Ready Steady Go! on October 1966 and recollects that: “The next morning there was a line of about a hundred people wanting to buy it… We sold everything in the shop by lunchtime” says Orbach. Mick is shown in one of his military tunics here, in March 1967. Wyedean has manufactured the fleur-de-lis lace used on the military jacket for over 100 years on a specialist jacquard loom. The jacket features both the 19mm and 13mm versions of the lace which are both available to purchase from our store here. We have been specialists in this field for many years, and are one of the manufacturers of these jackets. If you have requirements for these tailored tunics or complete band uniforms please contact us. Fleur De Lis Lace The literal translation of “fleur-de-lis” is “flower-of-the-lily”. Traditionally the design has been used to represent French royalty, and signify perfection, light and life. Legend has it that an angel presented Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, with a golden lily as a symbol of his purification upon his conversion to Christianity. Others claim that Clovis adopted the symbol when waterlilies showed him how to safely cross a river and thus succeed in battle. In the twelfth century, either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (sources disagree) became the first French monarch to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. Later, English kings used the symbol on their coats of arms to accentuate their claims to the throne of France. In the 14th century, the fleur-de-lis design was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, which was then worn over their coat of mail, hence the term “coat of arms” originated. What was once used as a purpose of identification, then transformed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armour insignia. Others say when Joan of Arc led the French troops to victory, she carried a banner which depicted God blessing the French emblem, fleur-de-lis. The Roman Catholic Church indorsed the lily as the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Due to its three [...]