This is my most comfortable outfit. Granted, those are definitely not uniform 'appropriate' shoes, but I have to walk a lot...
I realize that this uniform tends to make some people uncomfortable, mainly because of a misunderstanding of what it means. Although, there are parts of the world where there is an instant recognition of purpose and position upon sight. And then there are parts of the world, such as the one I live in now, where this uniform is still virtually unheard of. (But that is changing!)
We are in the habit of wearing our uniforms most every day. It's hot now, so I'm thankful we've switched to 'summer uniform' (sans nylons). It does make for a conspicuous walk around our little town. There are the passing comments "Maybe they're sailors?" or "Perhaps they're pilots?", but more often than not there are just outright glaring stares. We attract a lot of attention for so little 'effort'.
I have noticed that as of late we've been getting a lot more questions. I LOVE when people ask me what my uniform is for, because they have opened the door for me to tell them exactly what it is for. I get the chance to prove that we're not 'weirdos' or harsh military types. I get a chance to tell them where The Salvation Army is located in town, what we do, etc. I get to build relationships. I have noticed that while I may not know their names, many people greet me on the street...and the only way they know and recognize me from every other foreigner in town...you guessed it.
There are some that say we as an Army should put this 'vintage' and 'military' look away for a more updated and modern look. I am not one of them. If the people around us don't recognize our uniforms or know what they stand for....it's our fault, not the uniforms'. The only way to create and understanding of what those epaulettes mean is by wearing them, not storing them away.