10 Reasons Why Navy Uniforms are White

by OldSailor on October 26, 2007


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A quick thinking on “Why Navy Uniforms are White ?”, gave me some logical and funny reasoning.


When equal amounts of Red, Green and Blue light are combined, they produce white light.

In fact, White is a combination of rainbow colours VIBGYOR.

Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red.

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Now let us see the reasons.

1.The colour of the first ever clothes worn, was white only:

Cotton was the widely used material for making clothes in olden days which is white in colour. Navy is also the oldest global profession. So, the colour of the clothes worn by the seafarers were white. The process of dyeing or colouring the clothes were evolved later. Historically, China is the largest grower of cotton. The Chinese produced approximately 20 million bales of cotton in 2000. The U.S. is second, with 17.2 million bales of production in 2000.


2.Symbol of peace:

In olden days, seafarers traveled to different countries to explore the world. They achieved this as messengers of peace. White colour symbolises peace.


3.Reflects heat and keeps you cool:

Generally, dark colored clothes absorb heat more than light colors clothes. White colour totally reflects the heat and keeps you cool.


4. Helps to keep the doctor away from you:

In ships,high priority is given to good health and hygiene. Dirt on white uniforms can be noticed easily and makes the seafarer to wear clean uniforms always to remain in good health.


5.Sign of integration of the seven seas:

Seven colours integrate to give white colour. In fact white is not in colour spectrum. White uniform indicates the integration of seven seas.


6.More visible even on low light or in darkness:

Ships are not free from electrical power failures, blackouts and to give distress calls. White uniforms help easy identification to provide Search and Rescue.

7.Looks Great:

Brings respect and gives a great look.


8.Not costly:

Money saver in olden days.Comparing to coloured and designed clothes, plain white clothes were cheaper.

9.Customs and Traditions:

As customs and traditions, the practice of wearing white uniforms is still going on.

10.Attracts females:

White is associated with the feelings of innocence, peace, and it reminds to the viewers, that of bride, snow, dove, and cotton. Also white elicits the feelings of loneliness and boredom.This definitely attracts the opposite sex.


OldSailor could list only these many reasons. Readers may give some more reasons.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Cimon June 16, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Very useful article. I always asked myself the question about thé white colored uniforme of thé navy without taking the time to find out. Yesterday I was at a navy pageant en even officers didn’t know so I asked the question on the web and got the answer.

john harris March 13, 2015 at 11:16 PM

Its mostly because white has high visibility. It was like fluorescent high vis jackets in the old days.

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