A fuchsia pinstripe running down the side of a grey-blue pant with a dark blue jacket to boot — the Italian Polizia's uniform redesigned by Giorgio Armani in the 1980s.
For the Royal Thai Police, a camel colour shirt below a stylish black beret cap and black pants in 2007. Closer home, more or less the same combination — save for the black beret cap — was designed by Wendell Rodericks for the Goa Tourist Police in 2001.
The most recent to join the new uniform list (in 2009) were the Punjab Police. New pea caps, formation signs for the biceps and new ties and scarves with the Presidential colours will be made available shortly.
The Delhi Police for some reason seems to have missed the bus. Known and often feared as the ‘men in khaki’ since 1861, the last time the policeman’s uniform arrested the sweet taste of change was 41 years ago. The first and the only change in wardrobe the force has seen was in 1969.
Speaking off the record for want of an official memorandum in this regard, senior officers speaking to Hindustan Times said that though the thought of re-styling their wardrobe was appealing, it had remained elusive due to the nature of their profession and tight schedule.
“Khaki has been synonymous with the Delhi Police since the colonial period,” said a senior Delhi Police officer.
“Shortly after it ceased to be a part of the Punjab Police, the half pant gave way to the full pant and the pea cap called the ‘kulla’ was replaced by the khaki beret cap,” the officer said.
Most officers who spoke to HT said the first and most crucial change would be changing the colour of the uniform.
“Why not go for a livelier colour like blue? The Indian Air Force uniform looks so appealing — a brighter colour could infuse some positive energy in everyone.”
“For me, the khaki exudes a lack of confidence,” said Suneet Verma, one of the most popular fashion designers in the capital. “If the common man is supposed to have zero inhibitions while approaching a police officer make them look more accessible in a purer colour like olive green instead of a ‘mousy brown’ amalgam of the two.”
Leena Singh of Ashima Leena said, “I believe olive green instead of khaki, baggy trousers and a Chinese collar in addition to thinner cuffs would do the trick.”
Some officers consider light gray pants and sky blue shirts behind the official red and blue Delhi Police tie of the licensing branch seemed ideal.
“The beret caps should have been changed a long time ago,” said one officer. “They're tight and really difficult to carry during summer,” said another.
For others, the heavy iron buckle holding the broad leather belt together is a source of discomfort. “The heavy chunk of metal is forever hanging above your groin,” exclaimed another officer.
An officers said such changes could help dispel inhibitions the public usually has in approaching the police. “It would be a welcome change and help us come closer to the people.”