'...Marks my position & signifies my role within the team...'
What are uniform accoutrements?
George H Lilley Regalia manufactures uniform accoutrements & other apparel for the military, police, ambulance, fire brigade & emergency services.
We also supply the aviation industry & various cadet groups. Uniform accoutrements include epaulettes, gorgets, embroidered & metal emblems, badges of rank, identification badges, peaks & caps, buttons, buckles, pips & tie tacks, service medals & awards.
Our metal work is tested & compliant with AS 1192-2004 and AS 1901-2004.
Image: Ceremonial banner belt made by us at George H Lilley Regalia
Why wear uniforms & accoutrements?
Uniforms are a common type of clothing worn by representatives of an organisation while they participate in activities or services for that organisation.
The uniform represents commonality & solidarity of the group, while they also provide visual reference & identity.
Uniforms are typically mandatory within organisations & institutions like the military, police, ambulance, fire brigade, emergency services & the aviation industry.
Practical, Traditional & Ceremonial
Uniform accoutrements are worn as embellishments to uniforms.
While their origins are primarily practical in nature, they also maintain tradition & can have ceremonial purposes.
Accoutrements typically denote rank, office or title & can signify a member’s role & responsibilities. In other cases, they can be simply for decorative purposes.
Image: Portsea Officer Cadet School graduation ca 1952 Argus Collection of Photographs State Library of Victoria
The Origins of Uniform Accoutrements
The origin of uniform accoutrements comes mostly from the development of body armour.
The history of body armour spans thousands of years, beginning in ancient times.
In western histories, most uniform accoutrements have been informed by Greek & Roman military garments. Of further influence was the armour worn by knights during the Middle Ages & medieval period & later the decoration & symbols worn by European infantry in the 18th & 19th centuries. Developments in weaponry & new materials led to further innovation & the changing of armour & accoutrements.
Image: Godfrey of Bouillon, Alamy
Gorgets & Epaulettes
Gorgets were part of a suit of armour worn like a large metal collar that protected the throat.
However, a gorget was originally known as a fashion item worn as a collar of fabric that wrapped around a person’s neck. The term derives from the French gorge, meaning throat.
Epaulettes are believed to have evolved from the tie-ends of supportive shoulder belts. The bullion ornament later added to these tie-ends can be considered a fashionable extension to the practical requirement of the belt, and these were eventually used to symbolise office or rank. The term derives from the French epaule, meaning shoulder.