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'85 pattern

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A classic example of kit produced by the lowest bidder. Quite how this shit was ever deemed fit for service has never been explained, though it is understood it was directly responsible for a number of exposure cases. It was probably the lowest quality uniform issued to UK forces since we turned in our red coats. Broadly speaking, the poly-cotton cloth was so substandard that it began to fall apart when abraded at all - e.g. by being in contact with webbing, the zips and buttons were made of cheap and fragile plastic and broke at the slightest provocation, and the sewing had apparently been done by blind people.

Half-lined, with single-stitched bellows pockets that fell off under any kind of hard usage and with buttons of equal durability, the jacket was meant to be worn with a redesigned liner of the then familiar CFJ pattern, though this one had sleeves. If it had been properly made from reasonable quality components, it might have been quite good; but it wasn't. I went to Sandhurst in 1985 and was thus one of the first lucky winners to be issued this crap. At the start of our first exercise I was gently reminded by my platoon Colour Sergeant not to wear binoculars round my neck but to put them in my pocket; I did so, and the pocket promptly fell off. The Colour Sergeant was almost as surprised as I was.

The trousers were generally of better fit than the '68 pattern predeccesors, though these too were only half-lined and the ridiculous 'sticky out' pockets usually fell off. On the upshot, it was directly responsible for the development of CS95, so at least something good came of it.