Higher, further – and warmer
The end of World War 1 heralded a new era of military aviation. New technologies, aircraft range and reliability had devoloped significantly throughout the past years. But whatever the performance of an airplane, it seldom satisfied the airmen. They wanted to fly higher, faster, farther, and longer, this being as true of U.S. Army flyers as of others. This enhanced research and developement not only on aviation itself: Every innovation had to meet the requirements on garments and gear of pilots abd aircrews.
In the early 1930ies, the development of the uniforms of the USAAF service men resulted in a mixture of various concepts. Arial warfare brought up different approaches on flight gear. With the first closed cockpits of the new fighter jets, the government started to reduce the amount of heavy leather clothing. The uncomfortable lambskin-jackets, as well as the thick wool-pants slowly lost ground for more distinguished clothing concepts. The demands were simple: The new uniforms should keep their owners warm and dry without being too bulky. Flexibility, style and comfort slowly became more and more important. A new experimental concept came up. Different layers of clothing should keep the men of the armed forces warm but at the same time flexible and comfortable. The idea of the multilayer-concept was born. In 1934 the USAAF invented the so called C-2 sweater as a prime example of the new era of clothing. It was designated as a new standart in the same year. A couple of years later, the answer oft he C-2 sweater was the C-2 vest, a slightly warmer improvement of the sweater, though with a slightly wider cut, poplin fabric in OG7 and zipper. It was obsoleted and finally removed in 1946.