Review Blog

May 15 2017

Badge, boot, button: the story of Australian uniforms by Craig Wilcox

cover image

National Library of Australia, 2017. ISBN: 9780642278937
Recommended as a Library reference book. Themes: Uniforms; Military Uniforms; Australian History; Clothing. Uniforms are probably not everyone's favourite item of clothing, as they are usually worn in response to the authority of others or as a symbol of authority. In this book, Craig Wilcox has looked at the changing nature of uniforms in military and civilian contexts within Australia. With pictorial evidence and magazine-style excerpts of detail from specific examples, the book meanders from the early convict experience, to the military and sporting arena, as well as giving a nod to the influence of military history to civilian work uniforms and government emergency services. Read from cover to cover, there are difficulties in following the historical or chronological thread (particularly when there are multiple pages of pictorial content or sidebar examples interrupting the flow), but this will be an interesting resource for those interested in the way clothing reflects changing social priorities. References to everything from 'The Baggy Green Cap', to Sir John Kerr's Top Hat and topcoat appearance, to volunteer outfits at the Sydney Olympics and the changes of the attire of Flight attendants in an Australian context are all given attention. Surprisingly there is no mention of Cathy Freeman's unusual sporting 'uniform' and running outfit at the Sydney Olympics, nor does Wilcox address the nature of fabric technology changes and the subsequent impact in sporting fields. Understandably in a book of this size (166 pages), it is not possible to discuss every uniform permutation, and the social pressures that lead to change are addressed only briefly. What this book does do well though is to demonstrate that uniform can be reflective of social and political change.
Carolyn Hull

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Book Week 2017 ideas - Escape to Everywhere
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards
Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2017
10th UK Waterstones Children's Laureate
UK Children's Book Award 2017
Laugh Out Loud Awards 2017 shortlist
2017 Locus Awards Winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature shortlist
Miles Franklin longlist 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates