How to Blouse BDU Pants

by Susan Lundman

Although all branches of the military are phasing out the BDU, or Battle Dress Uniform, the necessity to look sharp and demonstrate competence by maintaining the uniform in a neat manner will never be phased out. Whether it’s the Desert Combat Uniform (DCU), the Navy Working Uniform (NWU), the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) or the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU), the uniform needs to conform to military tradition and culture. Blousing the trousers is an easy way to achieve that decorum.

The Classical Blousing Method

Tuck the pant leg into an unlaced boot. Do this loosely, leaving two inches of “give” in the leg of the pants to allow for the blousing. Tuck the pants in uniformly so that there is an equal amount of extra pant fabric all the way around the boot.

Lace your boots.

Pull down on the extra fabric of the pants all the way around the boot to create a blousing effect.

Press your fingers over the bloused hem crease as a way to keep the bloused edge crisp.

Blousing by Using a Rubber or Elastic Band

Place a rubber or elastic band over the pants one inch from the bottom of the pants' leg hem. Hitch up the pants leg so that the rubber band is right above the top of the boot with the one inch of fabric hanging over the boot.

Pull the excess pants fabric down over the rubber band and the pant’s hem, making sure that the rubber band and the one inch of fabric below the rubber band are covered.

Press your fingers over the crease to keep the bloused edge crisp.

Items you will need

  • Rubber band or blousing elastic


  • Maj. D. Lund, Retired; US Army

About the Author

Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.

Photo Credits

  • young soldier in field cap image by Alexey Klementiev from