SHIRT & TIE - U.S.A.A.F. Officers 'CHOC'

With custom-made fabric and artisan quality construction, this is the definitive WWII officers shirt design of all time.

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Worn by all officers of the US Army, the Officers' Wool Shirt was produced by numerous manufacturers, all of which had their own house style.

Whilst they all had to conform to a basic design i.e. two chest pockets with button flaps and button down epaulettes, subtle details such the shape of the collar, the pocket flaps etc could vary noticeably between them.

Being under the auspices of the US Army, officers of the US Army Air Force (U.S.A.A.F), also wore these shirts. Upon entering the war, the famous 8th Air Force was deployed to England in the Summer of 1942 and many of the officers would source their shirts from English shirt makers. These manufacturers produced the shirts according to the basic required design, however when they had the fabric made there were some that had a distinct brownish hue to the fabric, which really was supposed to be more predominantly green in shade. In addition to this, they were sewn with a subtly contrasting khaki shade thread which gave them a unique and distinct appearance. This distinction lead them to be be unofficially referred to as ‘chocs’.

Due to this attractive aesthetic, shirts by manufacturers that used this choc fabric became particularly sought after by officers stationed in England at that time. Indeed it could even be said that there was almost a fashion trend for them.

The shade of the fabric was so pleasing to the eye, the young officers were naturally drawn to them as understandably they felt it gave them a more dashing appearance, which no doubt was largely motivated by those much yearned for nights out in London when they were lucky enough to get a pass. The ‘choc’ look uniform thus became synonymous with the 8th Air Force.

To recreate this design classic, we took an original vintage example and had the fabric analysed for both fabric spec and colour. Interestingly, similar to the A-4 flight suit fabric, this cloth has a slightly different shade of yarn in the warp compared to the weft, which is what gives it its distinctive appearance.

Manufactured and produced entirely in Japan by the masters and artisans of this kind of work we have had the famous ‘choc’ officers' shirt made again to exacting standards.

The fabric is absolutely stunning - there is no mistaking the texture, weight and drape of this cloth as it looks like no other. Along with the subtle contrast stitching and the choc buttons, the cut and styling has been superbly captured, bringing you the most definitive shirt design of WWII.