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A Guide to 19th Century Citadel Uniforms

This guide seeks to serve as a source of information on Citadel uniforms from the founding of the institution in 1843 to 1900.

Uniform Term Definitions

Many of the terms concerning uniform styles and textiles, especially from the 19th Century, may not be familiar so please use these definitions while browsing the guide. Terms are in alphabetical order.

  • Berlin Gloves - knitted cotton gloves.
  • Bombazine - a twilled fabric made of silk or from silk and wool. Black bombazine was primarily used for mourning wear in the 19th Century.
  • Cassinett - a fabric made from cotton or from silk and wool.
  • Coatee - short coat.
  • Cravat - a type of necktie.
  • Drilling/Drill - a heavy linen cloth that was primarily used for military uniforms in the summer months.
  • Epaulettes - an ornamental shoulder piece, usually worn on the coat or jacket of a military uniform.
  • Frock Coat - a double breasted, long skirted coat that was usually worn on formal occasions.
  • Monroe Shoes - a type of low boot that rose just above the ankle joint. These shoes were worn by military academy cadets across the nation. 
  • Pantaloons - a type of slim-fitting long pant. They were usually made of a knitted fabric and were cut on the bias, sometimes with buttons all the way down the side of the leg. Pantaloons were especially recommended for men with slim and muscular legs, hence showing off a "good leg."
  • Pompon/Pompom/Plume - A pompon (or pompom) is a tuft of fabric that is used to adorn the dress hat; a plume refers to the use of feathers instead of fabric.
  • Sattinet/Satinet - a finely woven fabric with a finish that resembles satin, but is made from cotton or wool.
  • Shoulder Knots - a type of epaulette made of braided cord.
  • Stock - a type of collar.
  • Sword Knot - a cord attached to the hilt of a sword. It was originally used to prevent the loss of a sword but now is more decorative in nature.
  • Trousers - loose-fitting pants that ended at the ankle. They were usually made of wool, linen or cotton.