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Uniform uniformity, function and the military

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The size guides are different because they come from different manufacturers and they are different types of clothing classifications.


Just because the BSA is the retailer does not mean they control the size charts. Do you think J.C. Penny tells the manufacturer what the sizes will be?


The BSA give's you size charts on nearly every piece of clothing they sell. Do realy have that much trouble reading it?


On top of that you want some store clerk to tell you why the manufacturer labels things the way they do? They have no more control over the labeling than you have. They are there to process sales. If they kept repeating "the size chart, the size chart"....it was probably because they couldn't believe that you couldn't understand that ..."There's a size chart"


If the XL is too big for you then by the Large size instead. Is it really that hard to figure out?


Be aware that there is a +- of .75", this is not the BSA's fault either! This is an industry standard.


If you find me on the floor it's from laughing.



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Here's an idea. Try it on for size before you buy it. Or, if you buy mailorder, buy the size you think is closest to what you want and if it doesn't fit return it for a size bigger or smaller. This isn't rocket science. What pray tell is the point in trashing BSA other than to get a warm fuzzy feeling? Hey, there's always the local army surplus store or the walmart. Surely they will give you a scientific and definitive satisfying answer to sizing complaints.

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" Do you think J.C. Penny tells the manufacturer what the sizes will be?"


They probably don't need to but they could. Just like Sears tells Electrolux what features they want in their lawn mowers and Dell tells AMI what features they want in their BIOS.


Nah. . . I'll stop now.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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+/1 .75 inches? A 1.5 inch ranges? That's a pretty crappy standard. If I went and bought two Hathaway shirts and one's sleeves were 1.5 inches longer than the others, I'd never buy Hathaway again. Heck, I wouldn't accept that at Wal-Mart.



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FS Scouter, our local outlet for the BSA Supply Division elects not to carry the Jac-Shirt. I have no problem with that decision. They know best what "sells." I tried on the Lined Nylon Jacket in XL (46-48), and it fit with some to spare for a light fleece. The Jac-Shirt "XL" is said to be 12-14" larger at 58".


The very helpful staff of the Scout Shop (The mamager used to be a Staffer and will be SA at our next course) puzzled over their catalogs and the charts at the Scoutstuff site, came and found me where I was working, and explained that they had no insight as to what size Jac Shirt I -- or anyone else -- should order. (And Bob, I think they can read just fine.)


Scoutstuff.org says if I buy a Jac Shirt and it does not fit, I can return it for a refund of the "purchase price." That would leave me "out" about $15.00.


I get no "warm fuzzy feeling" out of any criticism of Scouting. But how does one justify an implicit position that one may not be critical of the merely human work of Scouting in any aspect. Does anyone imagine that Scouting, in every single aspect, has achieved earthly perfection? May we not consider alternatives and advocate for them?


If you assume that I simply hauled off and fired away at the first excuse, consider that:


1. I would email the BSA and point out my issues, but they have no published email address. The "Customer Service" button at Scoutstuff.org yielded "The chart says . . . ."


2. I could telephone them, but they have no telephone number for such communications. The numbers I found via Google got me to people who had been carefully trained to refer me to "your Council" (and several asked how I had gotten their number). My Council, of course, has no one with a clue about my question, and I had already tied the local Scout Shop.


3. I wrote to the Supply Division via "snail mail" before Christmas (I was going to buy a JAc-Shirt as a "gift" to myslef.). I noted the size chart data and asked if I should really order a Jac-Shirt Medium, which is shown on the charts as the same size as all other BSA jackets in XL. I enclosed a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. There was no answer. January. February. March. The dog probably ate my letter.


Speaking of the Army, my M-65 Field Coat is 25" from armpit to armpit. That would make it, at most, a fit for a 50" chest -- if the liner is left out. So that would mean that the Jac Shirt XL at 58" is . . . . different from mil spec. "XL." Guess the U.S. Mil. is outta' step with Bob's universal standards.


No. It's not rocket science. Good customer service -- or simple courtesy (There's a good word.) are fairly simple.


In the cosmic scale of things, the departures from the reasonable as regards uniforms or service by the Supply Division are insignicant to the importance of the work. But if every time a Scouter raises any issue he gets slammed, that behavior does not encourage participation -- here or in Scouting.

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I just looked at that size chart and that doesn't look at all like I remember it from a few years back. I did visit Woolrich's web site since they make the Shirt-Jac. They don't list a Shirt-Jac but they do list several Jac-Shirts. I clicked on the sizing chart and it shows an XL as fitting a 46-48 chest.


At first I thought, jackets always are little bigger than your actualy chest so maybe the BSA chart is the actual measurement of the jacket. That doesn't make sense either. 10 inches is a bunch. You might have four or five extra inches to allow a jacket to move but .. . I just went and measured my own Jac-Shirt. The size tag is worn out but I believe that it is a size 50. It measures 54" under the armpits.


Industry standards? I don't think so. Most likely BSA screwed up their size chart and no one that answers the phone is smart enough to realize it.


As you discovered, BSA does their best to isolate themselves from their paying membership.

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Want someone who will give you a jac-shirt that works?


Bemidji Woolen Mills makes the red jac-shirt for Northern Tier. The Batchelders, owners of the Mills, are fantastic people!


I've dealt with them; they were able to help my son (a 40 X-long) get the right sized jacket!!


Here's the url



Price is around 140. Quality is far better than Supply Corporation.

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However, is it an official Boy Scout jacket? I wouldn't want to get caught by the Uniform Police wearing an unauthorized jacket :-)


For the record, my Woolrich jac-shirt (the official one)(1970s Vinatage) works just fine but I do like the idea of the slash pockets to hold gloves, keys, camera, and stuff.


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It took ten years but the BSA finally produced the Switchbacks and prototype breathable nylon "Class A" shirt for which some of have been fighting ten years.


Much to Gold Winger's dismay :)


The fit on the Switchbacks is odd, I measured the inseam and it was correct but they are almost two inches longer than any other brand of pants I own. The material still needs some work: My Troops have been wearing olive-drab nylon zip-offs since the mid 1990s and we have never had a pair "pill" like the Switchbacks. Otherwise they work well in conditions as diverse as summer water sports to symbolic winter shell. Not so good for bushwhacking through thorns but I walk around those things.


The Action Shirt, after which the prototypes of new Official Uniform Shirt are said to be modeled, is also very functional. The current Action Shirt collar requires that the neckerchief he worn over the collar which is a big plus to traditionalists, I hope that feature makes it to the final version.


The only one of my suggestions that did not coincide with the prototype is (that if the redundant shoulder loops absolutely must remain), the Scout section be the same color as the shirt. Irving did get the message to "get the red out," but the new shoulder loops for Scouts will be green rather than beige. Not bad, and it is hard to believe that the embarrassing clown colors will finally be gone!


Oh yeah, and except for the Elvis collar, the 100% cotton version of the "Class A" shirt is a joy to wear around town.


So with a 99% success rate in the Uniform department, I can move on to my two new goals of kicking the Cub Scouts out of Wood Badge and adding to the Guide to Safe Scouting a requirement in bold-face type that Patrols be separated by a minimum of 300 feet. :)


Gold Winger: the unpublished inside phone number to talk directly to one of the DSL tech guys is 800-305-1094.




The Uniform is an Outdoor Method!


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A question about the Action Shirt or new Official Shirt...


I would not sew any patches on a breathable shirt as it would block the "breathing". Will the Uniform guidelines reflect this?


Good to hear, that neckerchiefs will be worn correctly over the collar.

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Elvis collar? It's a pretty standard open collar, much like the Marine Corps wears with the short sleeved khaki shirt. So now you're saying that Marines look like Elvis? Sheesh!



Clown colors? Other than the fact that they messed up the colors of the loops (should have matched the service stars), what's the big deal about red? We're not Rangers or SEALS. Deer are color blind so they can't see them. Stalking and hiding have been taken out of the program so hiding isn't important.


Thanks for the secret DSL number.


BTW, as long as I buy a shirt that fits, I never have a problem breathing no matter what I'm wearing.

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Why I don't like nylon.


It isn't "green." Cotton, wool, or rayon come from renewable resources. Nylon doesn't.


It melts.


If it is light enough to be "breathable" it isn't durable.


It is useless as a bandage.


For the record, I don't think that the little surface area covered by patches on a Scout shirt will affect the "breathability" too much.


I have a feeling that the new uniform, despite the hype, will be as a big of a failure as the current one and some will like it and others will hate it.

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