Postal Uniform History (Part 11)

1990s New Look of Postal Uniforms for a New Century

Postal Uniform History 1989In 1991-1992, the letter carrier uniform underwent extensive redesign. Outerwear garments were redesigned and changed to a navy blue color. In February 1991, a navy blue zipper-front cardigan became available in both a flat and bulky shaker knit. In July 1991, a visor and baseball cap – the first postal uniform apparel items with the newly designed eagle and bar U.S. Mail emblem – were introduced.

In September 1991, men’s and women’s long and short-sleeved shirts, and men’s and women’s shirt-jacs, all in a polyester/cotton broadcloth in postal blue with alternating pinstripes of red and blue, with the eagle and bar U.S. Mail emblem centered above the left breast pocket, became available. At the same time, men’s and women’s postal uniform neckties, in a herringbone weave in navy blue with red and white dot pinstripes, were introduced. And in November, a new warm-weather, short-sleeve, sport-styled knit shirt with the eagle and bar U.S. Mail emblem above the left breast pocket was introduced to the postal uniform options.

In December 1991, the following items were made available as postal uniform options: winter parkas, with and without a hood, and a winter vest in postal navy blue with reflective red and gray stripe trim in a new nylon cordura/taslan-coated fabric. These postal uniform outerwear items bore a version of the eagle and bar U.S. Mail emblem unique to letter carrier outerwear apparel. Also in December, the winter trooper fur cap became available with an eagle and bar U.S. Mail emblem patch similar to the outerwear version, except centered on a square patch.

On February 3, 1992, for the first time, postal uniform maternity wear became available for female carriers – a long- and short-sleeve blouse, slacks, and a jumper. On the same day, the letter carrier bomber jacket was introduced in postal navy blue nylon cordura/taslan-coated fabric. It had a zip-out liner with reflective trim and logo. This jacket was to replace the Ike-style jacket. The letter carrier craft tab was to be worn only on the jacket.

In March 1992, new socks were added to the letter carrier clothing line. Along with the black knee-length socks and hose already available, a blue-gray sock with two navy rings at the top became available in crew and calf-lengths, and a white sock with two navy rings at the top in both crew and calf lengths. White socks were not to be worn with trousers/slacks. In addition to socks, female postal employees were authorized to wear neutral-colored nylon stockings with skirts and jumpers.

An announcement in the June 27, 1991, Postal Bulletin clarified that postal uniform garments such as shorts, culottes, skirts and jumpers should be no more than three inches above mid-knee, and that “bright, flourescent hose and socks are not permitted.”

The phase-out date for the old postal uniform apparel items was set at April 1, 1994.

In February 1995, a new sun helmet was introduced, made of white woven mesh with a navy blue elastic webbing chin strap that could be stored above the brim on the front of the helmet and eyelets in black or navy blue for ventilation. Also in February 1995, a hip-length, navy blue nylon windbreaker with reflective trim was made available as a postal uniform accessory. It was the first garment to incorporate the new corporate logo, the “sonic eagle” emblem, which was placed over the left breast area. A coordinating blue craft tab was to be located over the right breast.

In April, the new postal uniform emblem was available on the following: short-sleeve shirts and blouses, maternity blouses, shirt-jacs, jumpers, maternity jumpers, sun visors, baseball caps, WAVE-style hats, and knit caps with face masks. In June, the new postal uniform emblem was available on summer knit shirts and rainwear. Beginning in September 1995, the new corporate logo was available on bomber jackets, parkas, vests, fur caps, sweaters, and long-sleeve shirts. As of 2002, however, the previous-style emblem had not been declared obsolete.

facts provided by: HISTORIAN UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE MAY 2002

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