How to wear smock "properly"

So my smock comes down to almost my knees and i’ve heard multiple ways of wearing it, but no clue which is correct.

  • Just hanging there…
  • Elastic pulled tight on top of belt
  • Elastic pulled tight just below the belt

Just hanging there is fine for people who’s smock fit, but mine is way too big if you ask me.
Just on top of the belt makes me look quite fat…
Just below the belt looks the best, but it’s still massive…

So what’s the right way?

Get one that fits?..


I’d say significantly below the belt, over the pelvis/hips.

Bear in mind it is an untailored utility item, intended to keep the torso, arms and lower body warm/sheltered, and the wearer fighting fit.

Looking ally is very low in the priority list. But it should look as smart as possible.

Make certain the internal ‘waist’ drawcords (on MTP, and most later DPM smocks) are used to achieve the best result. The lower drawcord is more of a place-keeper than a size-setter.

I have seen smaller people successfully fold the low hem of too-large smocks up inside, almost back as high as the waistline, to form a false hemline (this can ‘blouse’ the smock out, though, and it makes the lower pockets annoyingly small).

As Gunner says, swap & search for your best fit (somebody, somewhere, has a smock that’s too small for them, and would fit you like a glove).

Avoid actually tailoring it unless you’re one of these lucky-but-rarer small/skinny types who are reckoning (really/truly, or at late teens) to already be fully-grown…and (obviously) only if it’s your own personal smock.

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Ally saves lives…

As Gunner says, get one that fits - however, what is ‘fits’?. To me, ‘fits’ means that I can just about pick a pen out of the lower pockets without going all slope-shouldered, and that doesn’t make me look like Batman when I put my arms out.

To some in 16 Air Assault Bde however, ‘fits’ means that the hem of the smock goes around the middle of the knee - this is silly, but it became very fashionable within that august body…

When considering what ‘fits’ you need to consider what you want it to do - I want a smock that’s big enough to comfortably go over a softie or down jacket and that will cover my backside when I sit down on a cold, wet rock. If you want the same then you need a smock that’s a bit long, and a bit wide - if not then you might want something that fits a bit better.

Go into your stores or a local army surplus shop - or swap with your friends - and find what size fits you. Remember that they have two size differentials - the height and the chest, and there are several different chest measurements for each height increment.

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If it is a PCS smock you could make friends with an Army Cadet who could get it swapped for free.

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It is PCS. Don’t wear it much to be honest, so i’ll probably deal with that when the time comes, I heard there’s a bunch of spare smocks around where I am, so might be able to get a smaller one.

I would be cautious about surplus shops, we’ve had two parents complain to us that the two local(ish) ones we suggest, advertise all manner of G1 items and have them in stock when you phone, when they’ve gone there they find they have things fit for rags and only have new at much inflated prices.
We have caveat when we suggest these now.
As for fit we are stuck with what serviceable PWS we as sqns get out of stores. As the parents of a son who from 13 to 16 seemed to visibly grow almost daily, which was bloomin’ nightmare, we’d sooner have things bigger than a just fit, as it allows for growth. Buy or acquire a ‘just fit’, given the amount of time you’d wear it, you’d be needing a new one every time.