Women at War... and at home

Women portraying civilians and those representing Axis and Allied forces of Western Europe in 1944 are invited to attend the event. ETO, Home Front, British, French, German and Partisan impressions and displays are welcome and encouraged. All persons attending the event should be acquainted with the general authenticity regulations as they apply equally to all event participants. The following are supplemental guidelines for female reenactors attending the event. Note: the material contained on these pages is not inclusive. All female impressions are accepted and encouraged.

General Guidelines for Women Reenactors

1. Dress and grooming should be consistent with 1944 Europe and North American Standards.

a. Hair:
Hair is to be done in a 1940s style that is neat and kept off your collar (no victory rolls) per WAC regulations

ii. Modern hair color is not permitted (e.g. blue or pink) and modern hairstyles should be covered or altered to appear "vintage"

b. Women's makeup:
Per WAC Regs, women were allowed to wear makeup as long as it showed “good taste and kept inconspicuous” and light colored nail polish. Makeup for the 40s was very light in comparison to modern makeup trends. I will be posting a 1940s military approved makeup tutorial for everyone to have as a reference. Please NO eyeliner, overdone makeup, etc.

2. Tattoos must be completely covered at all times while in uniform or 1940s dress. The use of makeup on exposed tattoos is highly encouraged. Alternatively, opaque hose and/or long sleeves can be used to cover tattoos.

3. Military courtesy will be in effect in the camp. Non-military participants should use 1940's "manners" during public hours

5. All tools, drinking vessels, utensils and other common items should date to 1944 or before

Military Impressions in the Encampment

Women portraying military impressions must wear an authentic combination of Uniforms and Equipment as would have been seen in the UK/European Theater of Operations prior to June 6, 1944. Uniforms and equipment must be original or quality reproductions. The expected uniforms for certain impressions, by day, are outlined below.

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Uniforms, regardless of impression - unit, nationality, or gender - should be worn in a regulation or documented fashion. As these are military uniforms of the respective countries, although no longer in use, they should be worn in a manner befitting a soldier of the time period. Overall military appearance and proper wear of the uniform and equipment will be required in camp. Though some women's attire is difficult to obtain, women portraying military impressions should ensure that they wear the entire uniform as it was intended in WWII. Female uniforms should be complete and not mix grades of uniforms or insignia. Appropriate headwear should be worn for the circumstances


Due to the nature of the campaign being reenacted, the desire to maintain the most accuracy within event requirements, and to be more inclusive to all attending, we will allow all units to portray their home impression as long as the unit portrayed was actively in service before AND during D-Day. The approved accurate units for the period are: 1st Army, 5th Army, 8th Air Force, and SHAEF. If you are unsure of what patch to wear or don’t have an appropriate impression, we ask that you wear the Army Service Forces Patch (see picture below). Below are the guidelines and regs for each uniform, hair, and make up.

NOTE: We will have uniforms of the day. The bare minimum uniform required to attend the event will be the Class B uniform (see breakdown below)

  • Thursday Uniform of the Day: Class Bs OR HBT fatigues OR M-1943s
  • Friday Uniform of the Day: Class Bs OR Class As
  • Saturday Uniform of the Day: Class Bs or Class As
  • *Note- Those assisting with the beach landings will remove their service jackets and ties before moving to the beach (it gets really hot down there).

M-1943 Uniform:

  • Wool Shirt
  • Trouser Cover
  • Jacket
  • Leggings
  • Field Boots


  • Women’s HBT Shirt
  • Women’s HBT Pants
  • Daisy Mae Cap

Gear (All are recommended but not required):

  • M-1936 Pistol belt
  • M1910 or M1942 Canteen, Cup, and Cover
  • Mess Kit
  • Carlisle Bandage with M1924 or M1942 First Aid Pouch
  • Wool Blanket
  • OPTIONAL: CS-34 Pouch pliers and TL-29 Knife AKA Lineman’s kit.

Winter Service Uniform With Service Jacket (AKA Class As):

  • Wool Skirt
  • Winter Service Jacket
  • Wool or Cotton Shirt
  • Wool Tie
  • Hobby hat (with gold side buttons and army eagle cap insignia) OR Women’s Garrison Cap OR Male un-piped Garrison Cap.
  • Service Shoes or Field boots

arm patchClass B:

  • Wool or Khaki Cotton Shirt
  • Wool Skirt Service Shoes OR Field Boots
  • Hobby hat (with gold side buttons and army eagle cap insignia) OR Women’s Garrison Cap ‘“OR Male un-piped Garrison Cap.

Regulations to note: Patches: If you do not portray a unit that was in service on and during D-Day, the patch that must be worn is the Army Service Forces Patch (you can find them on ebay fairly inexpensively) : The patch must be placed on your left shoulder.rank

Rank Structure::

For this impression, the only ranks allowed will be Private (no chevrons) or PFC (one chevron on each arm, see below). There will be NO OTHER ranks allowed unless authorized directly from me (Hannah Schultze). If you have questions about existing rank patches PLEASE reach out to me:For this impression, the only ranks allowed will be Private (no chevrons) or PFC (one chevron on each arm, see below). There will be NO OTHER ranks allowed unless authorized directly from me (Hannah Schultze). If you have questions about existing rank patches PLEASE reach out to me:


There will be no insignia required unless you are wearing a service jacket. In which case you will need the WWII “U.S” disc insignia and the WAC Athena disc insignia (see photo below):

insignia locationThis insignia is to be worn on the left collar of the service jacket (see example):


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All US Female Military Participants Must Wear The Appropriate Shirtwaists/Ties/Accessories For Their Uniforms. ##Click Her To View The 1942-1945 Official Army Regulations##


We are aware that the Army Nurse Corps had a variety of uniforms. The only uniforms authorized are June 1944. The following uniforms are NOT authorized to wear by participants as they were not the norm in the ETO, however they may be displayed as part of a uniform grouping display, and/or may be worn after hours when there is no public presence.

   Service Uniform, Women's, Blue
•   Cape, Nurses, blue
•   Uniform, Cotton Seersucker, Nurses
•   Nurses Jacket, Cotton Seersucker
•   Nurses Pants, Cotton Seersucker 
•   Uniform, Cotton White, Nurses
•   Service Uniform, Eisenhower
•   Uniform, Cotton Blue, Nurses
•   Uniform, Pinks and Greens

Field Uniforms

Prescribed D-Day ANC Uniforms:

•   Shirt: Herringbone Twill, Women's, special
•   Pants: Herringbone Twill, Women's
•   Shirt: Herringbone Twill, Men's
•   Pants: Herringbone Twill, Mens's
•   Coveralls: Herringbone Twill
•   Women's Garrison cap: Wool
•   Men's Garrison cap: Wool
•   Men's Boots: Jump,  (worn with men's canvas leggings)
•   Shoes: Field, Women's, Low quarter (worn with or without leggings)
•   Shoes: Service, Women's, Low (russet brown oxford)

Optional Equipment for Field Uniforms

•   Helmet, Steel, M-1, Complete
•   Bag, Canvas, M-1936
•   Belt, Pistol, M-1936
•   Canteen, M-1910
•   Cup, Canteen
•   Fork, M-1926
•   Knife, M-1926
•   Spoon, M-1926
•   Necklace, Identification Tag, w/Extension

Service Uniforms

To be worn on parade, formal functions, or if in an Admin position

•   Jacket: Wool, od, Women's, Nurses
•   Skirt: Wool, od, Women's, Officers
•   Cap: Service, Wool, od, Nurses
•   Cap: Garrison, OD, Women's, Officer's (Male patterned is authorized)
•   Waist: Wool or Cotton, Women's
•   Necktie: Women's or Men's
•   Shoes: Service, Women's, Oxford, russet (private purchase pumps authorized in Service Uniform, russet brown with bow) Pinks & Greens authorized for wear. NOTE: If reproduction footwear is not available, shoes should be a russet oxford with minimal decoration and a heel of 1 and 1/2 inches
•   Dress: Off-duty, Women's, OD (Optional *see note below)
•   Dress: Off-duty, Women's, Beige (Optional *see note below)
•   Service Uniform, Women's, Beige, to be worn with Officers Nurses cap or oversea's beige, Shirtwaist white, Tie Maroon (Optional *see note below)

*Note: The off duty dress is a private purchase item and not listed as an issue item. The off duty dress is worn when not on duty. In camp we try to strive to represent the training forces in England and invasion forces of France, therefore the off duty dress is not a work uniform. This uniform is more frequently seen in England and only seen in France after the liberation of Paris. While this uniform is authorized please understand that it is not representative of a uniform that would be worn in garrison or in field work, so that when dealing with the public for educational purposes please make sure to distinguish the difference in the uniform. This is also true for the 1942 Beige Dress Uniform.


All US female military participants must wear the appropriate shirtwaists/ties/accessories for their uniforms.

waves posterU.S. WAVES AND SPARS

Those participating as WAVES or SPARS should be following the U.S. Navy uniform guidelines that were in place as of June 1944. The preferred uniform of the day is the service blues, followed by seersuckers. Dungarees and chambray shirts are a good option for those helping with the public boat rides.

** NOTE!! If you plan to wear a uniform or parts of a uniform that are reproductions, please send photos as soon as possible before the event for approval.**

*Enlisted impressions are preferred over officers to ensure that the over impression of those attending does not appear top heavy.*

WAVES Uniforms


Service Blues – Standard uniform consisting of the blue skirt and jacket with dark blue buttons, short sleeve white blouse, one or two-piece black tie, blue/white cover, black shoes. Overseas caps were not issued until later in 1944. (Blue covers and the blue garrison/overseas hat with WAVES pin acceptable if that's all you have.) WAVES issued purse optional.

Officer’s uniform same as above but with gold buttons, sleeve stipes appropriate to rank and ‘bucket’ hat with the correct Naval officer hat badge and appropriate colored cover to match the uniform.

Seersucker Work Uniform – Gray and white cotton striped seersucker dress with or without matching jacket, black tie, black shoes and matching hat cover. Dresses that button down the front are post war. *Please note that most modern seersucker fabrics being sold are not a good match for to original uniforms in color or size of stipes.* WAVES issued purse optional.

Hats – Enlisted hats with blue brims and interchangeable covers to match the appropriate uniform. Hats should fit close to the head with the hat band resting just about the ears and top of forehead. Garrison or overseas style were not issued until late in 1944. Officer’s ‘bucket’ hat should have the correct Naval officer hat badge and appropriate colored cover to match the uniform.

waves   waves
Lieutenant Commander Joy Bright Hancock, USNR (left) and Lieutenant Eunice Whyte, USNR. Source - Naval History and Heritage Command.  Graduating WAVES yeomen, Naval Training Center (Hunter College), Women's Reserve, the Bronx, New York City, United States, Summer 1943. Source - United States Naval naval History and Heritage Command 

waves posterTies – Black ties are worn with both the service blues and seersucker uniforms. The two-piece early war version buttons on under the collar of either the blouse or seersucker dress. Tie length of both styles hit about mid chest. (See pages 22-23 of Guide Right for instructions on tying ties.)

Hair – Hair should be styled in a period manner that allows for wearing the uniform hat. Regulations state that hair must not touch the collar. Very light weight hairnets that match your hair color (NOT snoods) will help with this as well as keep you looking neat and tidy all day. For those with longer hair, a U-shaped roll at the base of the neck works well. Please no victory rolls, they are the oddity not the norm for WAVES.

Shoes - Black, low-heeled Oxfords. Must lace up, be closed toed and have a heel no taller than 1 ½”. No decoration across the toe area. (The American Duchess ‘Clair’ oxfords technically do not meet U.S. Navy regulations.) All Heels on Duty black oxfords are highly recommended.

Makeup - Makeup colors should be limited to those available in the period and not overdone. No cat eyes please. Red lip color was very common. Red, light pink or clear nail polish is fine.

Jewelry – No modern jewelry is to be worn, with the exception of simple gold wedding bands. Period correct watches, ID bracelets, WAVES rings and Navy dog tags are also acceptable.

Stockings – Lisle stockings, nylon and silk seamed stockings in nude/natural colors only. No contrast seams. The squared/Cuban heel are preferred over the pointed heel.

Chambray/Dungarees – Women’s style pants close at the side with small dark blue/black buttons. Women’s chambray shirts button down the front with white buttons, single breast pocket. Men’s fly front dungarees are acceptable as are the men’s long sleeved chambray shirts for those that may need to cover tattoos.

Dress Whites – White jacket and skirt worn with white short sleeved blouse, black tie, blue/white hat and white shoes. White cover for purse.

*SPARS uniforms will follow those of the WAVES but with the correct Coast Guard insignia. i.e. collar tabs and sleeve flash, U.S. Coast Guard tally on hat. Please follow the same guidelines for hair, makeup and shoes.

* USMCWR and NNC uniforms should meet regulations consistent with those of early 1944.

Recommending Reading

  • Electronic Version of the Guide Right for WAVES & SPARS - https://archive.org/stream/GuideRight#page/n0/mode/2up
  • Blue Jackets Manual, 1938 to 1945 editions
  • U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, Women’s Reserve 1943
  • U.S. Navy Uniforms and Insignia 1943 – 1946 (U.S. Navy Uniforms in World War II Series) 2007, by Jeff Warner
  • Betty H Carter Women's Historical Project
  • WAVES on Campus in Iowa - Great resource
  • US Naval War College Oral Histories - Over 80 first-hand accounts from WAVES, SPARS, and members of the NNC

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