Dress Code

This list breaks down the required uniform standard of the Air Training Corps. We require that the uniform code be adhered to at all times, with the only exceptions to this code being those detailed at the end of this page.


  • No non-black areas permitted.
  • Laced in a straight across fashion.
  • Clean and shined to a high standard at all times. Use soft, lint free cloth and ‘Parade Gloss’ nugget.
  • Work into shoe in circular motion, working up a good base.


  • Regulation dark blue or black only.


  • Hemmed to correct length (halfway down back of shoe, covering laces).
  • Clean and pressed with sharp creases front and rear.
  • No other creases or loose threads.
  • Worn around the waist.

Warning: Do not use too hot an iron. A tea towel over the top is preferable. Pants can be dry cleaned, but be sure to explain where the creases need to be.


  • Buckle polished.
  • Worn with metal end to left, just after 1st belt loop, surplus tucked under.
  • Clean with no loose threads.


  • Clean and neatly pressed all over.
  • Creases from centre of epaulettes all the way down sleeves. All but the top button are to be done up.

Warning: Avoid ‘train-tracks’ (where there are two sets of creases side-by-side); use steam to get them out.


  • Clean and neatly pressed all over.
  • Creases from centre of epaulettes all the way down sleeves.
  • Fold down over the waist stretch band.
  • Cuffs to be rolled over.

Warning: Use a damp tea towel over top at all times when ironing!  Do not hang off coat hangers!


  • Worn correct side up, ‘Cadet Forces’ facing away from head.
  • Buttons done up, rank slides over the top.
  • Clean and pressed.

Warning: Use a tea towel over the top when ironing.


  • Worn on right arm.
  • Clean and pressed.
  • Sharp crease down centre.

Warning: Do not use too hot an iron. A tea towel over the top is preferable.


  • Worn on right hand side.
  • Centered just above pocket position, with lowest point touching the top of pocket.

NZCF 23:

  • Carried in right hand pocket.
  • Crest towards body.


  • No jewellery other than a signet ring and one pair of plain stud / sleeper earrings (females only) are to be worn. A wrist watch is also acceptable.


  • Males are to keep their hair neatly trimmed and tapered.  It is not to be ragged, excessively bulky or long, or to extend within 13 mm of the collar.
  • When combed, hair is not to overlap the eyes or ears, or otherwise interfere with the normal wearing of a Service cap.
  • Unless safety or local orders dictate otherwise, wigs or hairpieces may be worn if they appear natural and conform to these general instructions.
  • Sideburns are to be neatly trimmed; they are not to increase in width down the side of the face, and are to be clean cut in a horizontal line, not lower than the bottom of the ear lobe.
  • Moustaches are to be kept neatly trimmed and of moderate length; the ends are not to fall below the level of the bottom of the lower lip when the mouth is closed.
  • Beards and whiskers are not to be worn. The face and underside of the jaw are to be clean-shaven above the collar


  • Females are to have their hair neatly styled and worn in such a manner that the hair is clear of the shoulders in normal posture.
  • Wearing of ponytails is not permitted.
  • If slides or combs are worn they are to be of plain design and of a similar color to the hair.
  • If hair is tinted or dyed it is to be in single tone and a natural hair colour


  • Males are to wear the FS cap with the front edge 25 mm or two finger-widths above the highest part of the right eyebrow.
  • The cap is placed on the head with the lower button aligned with the centre of the forehead and then pulled down to the right by the required amount.


  • Females are to wear the FS cap straight across the forehead with no hair showing on the brow.
  • The badge is to be positioned above the left eye with the front edge of the cap 15 mm above the highest point of the left eyebrow.


  • While females are wearing uniform, they may wear a moderate amount of facial make-up in accordance with current styles.
  • Clear or pale nail polish may be worn.
  • False eyelashes may be worn so long as they are trimmed and appear natural.


  • While in uniform, members of the NZCF are to pay particular attention to their personal deportment.
  • In public, they are not to slouch, lean against objects, or walk with their hands in their pockets.
  • They are not to eat, drink or smoke other than in places reserved for these purposes, while in uniform.

Exemptions from Dress Rules:


Should any cadet have sustained an injury that causes them to be unable to wear the full ATC uniform (for example, any injury requiring bracing and/or coverings (including, but not limited to: casts, bandaging and braces)) then they may wear tidy civilian clothing (preferably their school uniform) instead of their ATC uniform.

The Human Rights Act 1993 s21 (1) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on a number of grounds including religious and ethical beliefs, and ethnic or national origins.

This legislation requires the NZCF to recognize that because of religious beliefs, race and ethnic or national origins, some personnel may be unable to comply with the dress standards set out by the NZCF.

Potential recruits whose religious beliefs, race and ethnic or national origins require them to wear dress, jewellery, designs, and/or adornments and/or groom in a manner which conflicts with the standards set out by NZCF are not to be discriminated against.  They are to be informed that the NZCF recognizes and supports their right to follow the dictates of their religious and/or cultural heritage.

When necessary, variations to normal dress standards and grooming will be permitted to cater for their requirements, provided they do not conflict with safety requirements.  Similarly, any serving member of the NZCF may change his or her religious affiliation with complete freedom and, should the change in religion involve the wearing of jewellery, and/or designs, and/or adornments, and/or affect grooming, an application to do so will normally be approved providing safety requirements will not be compromised, and the particular practice does not unreasonably disrupt NZCF activities