What Do Seafarers Wear?

Seafarers’ job puts them at a higher risk of loss. The severe conditions of their working lives such as weather can be testing. Therefore, while you may think Seafarer put on custom t shirts, hop on the vessel, and begin working, there is a lot you need to learn. Local laws are also important, for example in Calgary, custom work wear is compulsory.

Why Seafarer Wore Trousers

Initially, trousers were seen as laboring attire by Western Europe and other colonial territories. Pants, which were then referred to as long breeches, were worn by laboring men and even mariners.

Long trousers were also worn by commoners, implying that Seafarers and commoners dress the same. Pants were for the poor, and they were taken to signal collective craft identity.

The History of Seafarers Wearing Uniforms

The idea that seafarers should put on a specific outfit was conceived in the 17th Century. The year 1750 and the rest that followed recorded a significant increase in global trade. This meant more passengers boarding the ships.

While initially, seafarers did not need to put on uniforms, the shipping companies introduced the system of using badges and stripes. The outfits become an identity of vessel crews, including the seafarers.

These uniforms helped identify different ranks of Seafarer. Nonetheless, the shipping crew had not settled for a specific official uniform for the merchant navy.

Other naval forces had, by them, introduced uniforms. According to history, seafarers who worked in commercial vessels had similar clothes to those won by commoners.

In 1918, the British trade board introduced an official uniform for the navy crew. Unlike the previous outfits which only denoted rank, these uniforms also depicted the responsibility of each worker.

While the culture of putting on uniforms continued till the late 70s, in the later years, the 80s were characterized by people disassociating themselves with these formal characteristics. This was majorly adopted by those working in merchant’s vessels.

The Current Mode of Seafarers’ Dressing

Dissimilar to the past, Seafarers are improbable to be in uniforms. Other vessel crews such as cruise have maintained being in uniforms. The purpose of emblems, insignia, cap badges, and buttons are still being used to determine the rank and responsibility of the wearer.

Currently, Seafarers working in commercial vessels dress in boiler suits mainly when working on the deck or in the engine room. Since most sea vessels abolished strict communal areas, there is less need for uniforms.

Maybe the sea industry is slowly moving towards a more functional mode of dressing and away from the hierarchical pattern of dressing. The primary concern is whether the abolishment of uniform may have repercussions.

The Downside of Seafarers Not Putting on a Uniform

Studies show that dressing in uniforms helps boosts productivity, strengthens unity among employees, and gives them a sense of belonging. Therefore, doing away with the need for uniforms may harm their productivity at work. Also, it may diminish their sense of pride, which they would have otherwise enjoyed in uniform.

Final Verdict

For the past decades, we have depended on what comes through the ships. What is brought along has an impact on what we eat and how we dress. Seafarer is a commonly under looked profession, irrespective of the struggle they go through. You might honor them by wearing like them. Numerous online stores are offering Seafarers’ custom T-shirts, so get yours today!

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