female marine uniform

The Guide for Female Marine Uniforms

What To Know For Female Marine Uniforms

There are a lot of specifics when it comes to the way a member of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) dresses. There are differences between male and female Marine uniforms that are important to know if you want to meet the USMC’s exacting standards. 

To help you do that, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to all you need to know about female Marine uniforms.

Female Marine Dress Blues

Dress blues are the uniforms Marines wear to formal events, such as ceremonies and parades. Their main feature is a dress blue coat, similar to the male Marine dress blue coat, only more tailored. The specific regulations that apply to wearing Marine dress blues are listed below.


The female Marine dress blue coat includes four gold closure buttons on the front with three gold buttons on each sleeve. 

Aside from its more tailored fit, the biggest distinction between this coat and the male version is that it does not have pockets and comes with a closer tab made with Velcro. These coats are made to order and can take five to eight weeks to create.   

When wearing female Marine dress blues, ribbons or medals may be displayed on the left breast of the coat. 

The holding bar should be placed at the midpoint between the top and second coat buttons. The senior ribbon bar should be centered on the holding bar’s upper edge. The junior ribbon bar should be placed just below so that only the medals are visible.


Although the shirt worn under the dress blue coat will not necessarily be visible, it’s still important to wear something befitting of the USMC. Regulations call for a plain white shirt. You can find white button-downs designed specifically for Marine dress blues online.


The female Marine dress blues include either a skirt or slacks. In certain instances, you may be required to wear slacks for a uniform appearance with male Marines. You will also be required to wear dress blue slacks if you have tattoos on your legs or feet that will be visible while wearing a skirt. 

Hose is also required to be worn with a dress blue skirt. During daylight hours or at more informal events, they should be flesh-toned. They can be dark gray or off-black during evening hours or at formal events.


The dress cover is an important component of not only the female Marine officer uniform but of all dress uniforms throughout the U.S. military. The Marine cover is is either unisex or a smaller female version, and displays a golden United States Marine Corps insignia on it.


There is no one pair of dress shoes required for the female Marine officer uniform, but there are certain parameters in which footwear must fall. Official USMC regulations state that footwear must be “black shoes and socks,” which is rather broad, but your best bet is to acquire some simple high-gloss dress shoes, commonly called Corfam shoes, and black dress socks. 

Many places online sell black dress shoes specifically for military uniforms.


Earrings are allowed to be worn with female Marine dress blues, but certain standards must be met. They must be small (no more than a quarter inch in diameter) round studs or ball earrings that are silver or yellow gold. Earrings must be polished. Screw, clip, or post earrings are all acceptable.

Lady Marine Service Uniform

While the Marine dress blues are for formal events, the service uniform is more akin to appropriate work attire, like men wearing a suit to the office. 

These female Marine uniforms are to be worn, among other occasions, when reporting for duty onshore, serving on a court-martial, or visiting with officials, military officers, or foreign dignitaries. All service uniforms come in either a khaki or green color.


The lady Marine service uniform has a single-breasted green coat with notched lapels. The coat itself is plain, but enlisted service members will adorn it with chevrons on either sleeve to display their rank, as well as their service stripes on the sleeve end. 

These coats distinguish themselves from the male version by their lack of a belt or pockets, as well as their unique seams. 

Keep in mind that a service uniform coat must be made to order, and it will require several weeks to be created. Order yours well ahead to ensure you have it when you need it.


Unlike the female Marine dress blues, your shirt will be somewhat visible while wearing a lady Marine service uniform. For this reason, it’s even more important to ensure that you have the proper one. 

The official U.S. Marine Corps regulations state that service uniform shirts must be “khaki long-sleeve,” and you’ll be able to find a suitable one at any of the many online stores that offer Marine clothing.

While men will wear a tie with their service uniform, women are expected to wear a neck tab in certain situations. There are multiple colors of neck tabs, but the one worn with the service uniform is green.


Female Marines can wear either a dress skirt or slacks with their service uniform, depending on the occasion. According to the U.S. Marine Corps regulations, service uniform slacks must be khaki colored. 

Like the service uniform coat, both the service uniform skirt and slacks are made to order, and they require multiple weeks, so keep that in mind when ordering your uniform.


Two different types of covers can be worn with the female Marine service uniform — a garrison cap or a frame cap. 

The female garrison cap, also known as the side cap, is very similar to the male cap, but they are not the same. The most distinctive difference is that they are designed with a bit more curvature to accommodate a female service member’s hair.  


Like with the female Marine dress blues, footwear with the female Marine service uniform should be black Corfam shoes and black socks. There are no distinctions in the required footwear between these uniforms, so the shoes and socks you have for your dress blues should be just fine with your service uniform.

Utility Uniform for Female Marines

The female Marine utility uniform, or Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, is the working uniform worn by deployed Marines, as well as many garrison Marines. These uniforms come in multiple varieties but always consist of a camouflage shirt and pants with a green undershirt and boots.


The female Marine utility uniform comes with a blouse that has either woodland or desert Marine pattern (MARPAT) multi-scale digital camouflage. The type of MARPAT on a given uniform will be based on the environment in which the Marine is stationed. Rank insignia are worn on either collar point of the blouse.


While the official United States Marine Corps regulations list it as optional, Marines typically wear a green undershirt beneath the blouse of a female Marine utility uniform.  


Like the utility uniform blouse, utility uniform trousers have the MARPAT digital camouflage. They come in both woodland and desert camouflage and are worn with either a khaki web or a Marine Corps Martial Arts belt.


The headgear for a female Marine utility uniform is a utility cover. The utility cover is a simple eight-pointed cover with a flat top and a visor. These covers, which have been worn by the United States Marine Corps since World War II, are also referred to as eight-pointed covers or simply utility covers.


Suede boots are the approved footwear for the female Marine utility uniform. As is the case with other Marine uniforms, there is a wider range of options available when it comes to utility uniform footwear. 

While they don’t differ very much from one another, a variety of boots are considered acceptable for a utility uniform.

Marine Corps Female Hair Regulations

While female Marines are allowed a wider range of options than males regarding hairstyles, there are still strict standards to adhere to. Marine Corps female hair regulations are based on both length and style, the details of which are included below.


Female Marines may have short hair from ¼-inch to 1-inch in length, medium hair that doesn’t extend more than two inches below their collar, or long hair that extends beyond two inches below the collar and must be worn in specific styles.

Approved Styles

Short hair can be worn in hair twists. Medium-length hair can be worn in half ponytails or up to two half braids. Long hair must be worn up.

More from Medals of America

We hope this guide helped you get a better understanding of all the different female Marine uniforms. If you need medals, ribbons, insignia, or anything else for your uniform, browse our large collection of gifts. And if you’d like more informational guides like these, sign up for emails from Medals of America now.