Uniform and Standards for DRK Women

Basic Women's Criteria in General:


LESS IS BETTER! - Makeup is optional, but no heavy applications, including lipstick, are allowed. According to wartime German doctrine, "Makeup interferes with a woman;s natural beauty." Something else to take into consideration is that makeup was not readily available to the average woman. If you must wear makeup, keep this in mind. Also consider the (European) time period when wearing makeup.


Hair: Styles/Length 
Natural colors only. No obvious highlighting, frosting or streaking. Ideal length should be at or just below shoulders. Longer hair must be worn up off the shoulder in a WWII 40's European style. No elastic/rubberized bands, plastic spring clips or non-period looking barrettes. Hair pins and bobby pins are acceptable. The use of a snood is acceptable as long as they are of a color and yarn weight that would have been available during WWII - no bright colors or 'glitter-type' yarn allowed.


Original or reproduction period eye wear. Round lenses with wire frames are preferred. Non-colored contact lenses are acceptable. Sunglasses are to be of the same style/shape as regular period eyeglasses. Modern eyeglasses are not acceptable.


LESS IS BETTER! - Not wearing earrings is preferred. However, earrings, may be worn if they are small and resemble the style of the 30's and 40's. No gaudy colors. For ladies with multiple piercings, only one earring per ear is allowed. Clip-on or pierced style earrings are acceptable. No jewelry is allowed to be worn in additional piercings if visible (i.e.: nose, eyebrows, etc.). Wrist watches should have a small round face with brown or black leather band. Other ladies period style watches should be plain and not flashy. Also acceptable is a man's square or round faced watch from the era with a brown or black leather band. Wedding rings area allowed, however simple gold or silver bands are preferable with no engagement rings worn. Note: Germans/Europeans wore wedding rings on their right hand. No other rings are allowed. Necklaces are not acceptable.


Must be low cut anklets, leather, black in color. Not patent leather. Lace ups. Reproductions that closely match the period style are acceptable. However, ridged rubber soles are not acceptable. Highly recommended is the Capezio Spectator Oxford Style # CG07 (See #4) or "Coquette" style by Clinic Shoes (See #1) Another excellent shoe is a Ladies US Navy Oxford (See #6) (Other examples pictured below)


Shoes above are: 1) "Coquette" style by Clinic Shoes 2) Ladies Oxford Jazz Shoe [Mfr. Unknown], 3) Aris Allen women's oxford, 4) Capezio Spectator Oxford #CG07, 5) Ladies Oxford Tap Shoe [Mfr. Unknown], 6) Ladies US Navy Oxfords, 7) Capezio Oxford Dance Shoes #370

A full, or half, white slip should be worn with all uniform skirts/dresses.


If worn, must be of black or gray leather. Or a knit style period style glove. No stretch-type glove material allowed.


Tattoos are not acceptable - German Women of the 1940's with tattoos was absolutely unheard of! Existing tattoos may not be visible and must be covered with either clothing or cover-up makeup. (The only women of the time period that would have had tattoos would have been Gypsies or Circus performers.)


Piercings/Body Jewelry: 

Piercings and Body Jewelry are not acceptable -German Women of the 1940's with piercings and/or body jewelry was absolutely unheard of! Eyebrow rings/studs, lip rings/studs, nose rings/studs, and tongue studs are unacceptable. Existing body jewelry may not be visible and must be covered with either clothing or removed. The above standards also apply to body modifications of any form. (The only women of the time period that would have had Body piercings/jewelry and/or body modifications would have been Gypsies or Circus performers.)


Optional Equipment and other Items:

Butter Dish: Original or post-war bakelite or plastic butter dish of any color.

Canteen: Original, post war, or reproduction canteen w/wool cover, with or without correct cup. Aluminum preferred. Ladies canteen were of a smaller size.

Comb/Hairbrush: Original or post-war aluminum or rubber comb. Original or post-war vintage hairbrush. Wood or celluloid handle preferred. Other types acceptable if they appear period.

Eating utensils: Original or reproduction folding "Spork" eating utensil strongly preferred. West or East German officer style utensils are acceptable.

Esbit Stove: Original or post-war Esbit stove made of aluminum or steelFlashlight: Original or original style Wehrmacht flashlight strongly preferred. Czech and East German are acceptable.

Gas Mask Canister: Original or reproduction war era canister preferred. Pre/early war acceptable but not recommended. (Gas mask optional)

Gas Sheet Bag: Original or reproduction "Heer" type.

Heer Paybook (Heer Soldbuch): Reproduction Heer soldbuch with photograph and personal information inside.

Helmet (Stahlhelm): Original or reproduction M36 Stahlhelm with DRK decal prefered. M35, M40 or M42 Stahlhelm with or without decal also acceptable

Mess Tin: Original, reproduction, post-war West German, East German or combination there of. (To achieve the proper impression.)

Pocket Knife: Original or post-war reproduction pocketknife of European origin

Toothbrush: Original or reproduction 40's style toothbrush.

Wool Blanket: Reproduction field hospital blanket strongly recommended. Mouse gray, Italian, or striped gray wool blankets are acceptable.


DRK Specific Criteria:



Uniform - Work Dress: 
Original or reproduction one-piece cotton long-sleeved work dress with white detachable collar. 1/8 Inch or 3mm Blue & white pinstriped (for Helferin) or solid medium mottled gray (for Nurses/Krankenschwestern). The dress buttons up the front from waist to neck. Skirt length extends below knees. Sleeves are split cuffed with a single button closure. Work dress has the District Triangle Patch (Gau Patch) worn on the right sleeve midway between the elbow and shoulder. A white cotton bib-type apron extends from just below the dress collar for the length of the work dress. Apron has long ties that cross at back and are brought around to the front to be tied. Cap shall be proper standard German issued white cotton nurse's hat - a square of cloth gathered at back with ties, folded over at front with red embroidered cross.


Uniform - Wool Tunic: 
Uniform - Wool Skirt & Trousers: Original or reproduction double-breasted charcoal grey wool uniform tunic. Tunic has scalloped back with center seam and 2-button rear belt. Tunic cuffs are belted with single button. Tunic has the District Triangle Patch (Gau Patch) worn on the right sleeve midway between the elbow and shoulder.


Uniform - Wool Skirt & Trousers: 
Original or reproduction kick-pleated skirt made from same charcoal gray wool material as wool tunic. Skirt has 2 kick-pleats in front and a single pleat at the rear. Skirt length extends below knees. Trousers are made of the same charcoal gray wool material as the tunic and skirt. They are similar to the Men's M34/M36 style trousers with added belt loops and modified for the female figure. Trousers are for use during cold weather only.


Uniform - Wool Hat: 
Original or reproduction charcoal gray fedora style hat preferred. DRK cap insignia appropriate to style of cap worn.



Uniform - Blouse: 
Original or reproduction grey cotton buttoned blouse with collar and long sleeves worn under charcoal gray wool tunic jacket. Blouse has no pockets or shoulder boards. White cotton blouse allowed for special occasions only. An original or reproduction narrow black mens tie is also to be worn with these blouses. No clip-on ties are allowed.


Seamed stockings worn with a vintage style garter belt preferred. (Because of their construction, a vintage style garter belt is not visible under your uniform/work dress.) Stocking colors of black, natural or gray opaque are preferred. Seamed pantyhose or Seamed thigh highs are also acceptable. White ankle socks or bobby socks folded down are also acceptable. Seamless hosiery is acceptable but not recommended. If you must wear seamless hosiery, an alternative to achieve that "seamed look" is to use an eyebrow pencil to draw a line down the back of the legs (Just like ladies did during WWII). Shiny, glittery, fishnet, patterned or odd color hosiery is not acceptable.


Insignia - Arm Band: 
Original or reproduction Red Cross white cotton arm band. "DEUTSCHES ROTES KREUZ" written around a Red Cross preferred. A plain white arm band with Red Cross is also acceptable. The arm band is worn on the left arm midway between the shoulder and elbow. Examples pictured below.


Insignia - Brooch: 
Original or reproduction round red, white and black DRK enameled brooch is preferred. Late war painted, cast zinc brooch is acceptable. Reproduction brooches, can not be the type coated with a thick layer of clear resin. They must appear to be period. Examples pictured below.


Insignia - Patch/Sleeve Triangle (Ärmeldreieck): 
Original or reproduction DRK standard issue district triangular patch (Gau Patch), gray in color, worn on the right sleeve midway between the elbow and shoulder. Gau Düren recommended. Other districts acceptable (München, Geldern, Gotha-Land, Gmunden, Höxter, Lemgo, etc.) Examples pictured below.















Overcoat (Mantle or Great Coat): 
Original or reproduction charcoal gray wool M40 style with correct four-hole rimmed buttons preferred. Danish or fully converted and dyed Swedish or Swiss wool overcoat with correct four-hole rimmed buttons are also acceptable. The Mantle may also have a matching removable wool hood, but is not required. The District Triangle Patch (Gau Patch) may also be worn on the right sleeve midway between the elbow and shoulder, but is not required.


Original or reproduction WWII period black leather bag. No patent leather allowed. Bag is approximately the size of a 9x12 envelope. An original or reproduction DRK style (Gray) Breadbag with strap is also acceptable to use as a purse. Purses may be worn over the shoulder or clasped under the arm. Inquire with an authenticity member for a more detailed description of purse styles.






Note: Any and all uniforms, weapons, basic field gear and optional equipment are subject to review by the Unit Commander and/or Authenticity Board and subject to approval.

Various images courtesy of the movie Downfall andMyspace DRK Helferin

© 2020 by 353rd Inf. Div.