Air Force rolls out dress and appearance updates

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The Air Force recently updated numerous dress and appearance changes within Air Force Instruction 36-2903.

As of March 15, updates include:

  • 7.3.2 Eyeglasses/sunglasses — Frames may be a conservative color: black, brown, white, dark blue, gray or transparent material, gold or silver wire. Brand-name glasses may be worn with small logo on frames or lenses. Logo may contrast with frame color or lenses (conservative colors/small logos; black, brown, matte silver/gold. Previously, frames were to be black, brown, gold or silver wire.


  • Wear/use of an earpiece, any Bluetooth wireless technology or headphones, while in uniform, indoors or outdoors, is authorized for official duties or as determined by installation commanders, to be delegated no lower than squadron commanders. Exception: Headphones and earphones (iPodsTM, MP3-type players, etc.) are authorized during travel on public transportation and/or while wearing physical-training gear during individual or personal PT in the fitness center or on designated running areas, unless prohibited by the installation commander. Use of a hands-free device is authorized while in uniform operating a motor vehicle if local policy permits.


  • Attache cases/messenger/computer/lunch bags. Items will be solid black, brown, gray or dark blue in color and carried in the left hand or shoulder if using a shoulder strap. Bags will be without design. Small logos are authorized. Previously, attache cases were to be only black in color.


  • Gym bags. Gym bags will be solid dark blue, black, olive drab, brown, gray, Air Force sage green, ABU or OCP patterned with matching stitching, and carried in the left hand. Bags will be without design unless ABU or OCP patterned. Use of a shoulder strap is authorized on either shoulder and the strap may cross the body as long as it does not interfere with rendering the proper salute. Small logos are authorized. Previously, gym bags were black or dark blue, Air Force sage green or OCP patterned.


  • Backpacks. Black, brown, gray or dark blue backpacks may be worn with any uniform combination. Backpacks will be without design unless OCP or ABU patterned. ABU-patterned backpacks, olive drab and Air Force sage green may be worn with the ABU. OCP-patterned backpacks, tan and coyote brown may be worn with the OCP. Small logos are authorized.

Airmen may wear either a sling-style backpack or two-strap backpack. Sling-back packs will be worn across the chest or left shoulder. Two-strap backpacks will be worn on the left or both shoulders (not to interfere with rendering the proper salute).

Backpacks will not have ornamentation, high gloss, designs or hanging/dangling objects. Small gold or silver clasp authorized, but chains are not authorized. Previously, backpacks were solid-color black when wearing any combination of the blues uniform. OCP-patterned backpacks and coyote brown may be worn with the OCP uniform.

  • Handbags. Handbags for all uniform combinations will be solid black, brown, gray, or dark-blue leather or vinyl. Bag will be without design and ornamentation. It may be with or without plain foldover flap and with or without single-placed silver or gold-colored clasp. Stitching will be black or white or the same color as handbag. Handbags may have up to two adjustable shoulder straps with or without strap buckles. (Handbag-dimension limits removed). Previously, handbags were to be solid black leather or vinyl.


  • Clutch-style purses/wallets. Hand-carried, clutch-style purses/wallets for all uniform combinations will be solid black, brown, gray, or dark-blue smooth or scotch-grain, leather, patent leather, high-gloss, or manmade material without design or ornamentation. Stitching may be black or white. Previously, clutch-style purses/wallets were to be black in color with black stitching.


  • 7.3.8. Cold-weather accessories. Cold-weather accessories may be worn without authorized outer garments. With the exception of functional items, cold-weather accessories are only worn outdoors. Previously, cold-weather accessories were to be worn when wearing authorized outer garments.


  • Socks. PT socks are mandatory. Socks will be of conservative solid color (black, white, dark blue, gray, desert sand, tan, Defense Logistics Agency‐issued green or coyote brown) and may have small trademark logos. Local commanders may implement standardization policies within each unit. Previously, PT socks were to be white or black in color.


  • While performing duties, certain Air Force specialty codes, as determined by career field managers and authorized by the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, may wear a spice-brown subdued cloth patch centered at the top of the Velcro area. Identifier patches will be a max of five letters (for example, CBRN, WPNS, EOD, PJ) and maintain standard spice-brown subdued color scheme.

In addition, height will not exceed the size of the U.S. tactical flag patch. To differentiate first responders or career fields that require quick identification, a black border will be worn on the patch.

For more information about Air Force dress and appearance, or a list of AFSCs authorized to continue wearing duty identifiers, visit