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Pattern to be used in putting braid on a rifle officer's coat, circa 1825

Caption: Pattern to be used in putting braid on a rifle officer's coat, circa 1825

Tailors' pattern books give a valuable record of British officers’ uniforms. During the 18th and 19th centuries, officers had to buy their own uniforms, made to regulation patterns. Firms of military tailors would keep books of drawings that showed exactly what pattern of cut and decoration was appropriate for each unit. In this drawing, note the elaborate braiding and lacing in the Hungarian hussars style. Hussar regiments were extremely fashionable in the early 19th century, and other parts of the army imitated elements of their uniform. For a rifle regiment, the coat would was very dark ('rifle') green with black braid and lace. (Parks Canada)