12.10.2020

SUBMARINER SWEATERS

Aboard a submarine, water, oxygen and space get scarce. While on duty, submariners don’t see the light of day for months.

During the First World War, the Admiralty adapted its rules for the British Royal Navy submariners. The crew’s hygiene is less strict, the style is more casual, and the British « War Office » supplied thick wool sweaters in ecru, grey and navy blue – very comfortable and above all useful to endure the cold in the North Sea.

These sweaters, still in use today, became one of the distinctive elements of submariners to a point that in 2019, they asked for the permission to wear them onshore as well as offshore.

The submariners were seen as the « pirates » of the British army, and after the Second World War, the sweater won over other rebels: bikers, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, 70s’ anti-mainstream groups, and even intellectuals… while its technical qualities seduced the Royal Air Force pilots.

HUSBANDS

SUBMARINER SWEATERS
Jacques Dutronc by Jean-Claude Deutsch for Paris Match, Carré Marigny in Paris, december 23rd, 1966

Jacques Dutronc by Jean-Claude Deutsch for Paris Match, Carré Marigny in Paris, december 23rd, 1966

Mick Jagger by Val Wilmer, on the 'Ready Steady Go!' tv show set, 1967

Mick Jagger by Val Wilmer, on the 'Ready Steady Go!' tv show set, 1967

Paul McCartney, 1968

Paul McCartney, 1968

His Majesty's Ship Affray crew, 50s

His Majesty's Ship Affray crew, 50s