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Assembling a CHP Uniform

Page updated June 21, 2015

DISCLAIMER: All the information contained in this document is provided solely for the benefit of collectors and fans of the show "CHiPs" to assist them in constructing a "CHiPs" replica costume. In no way is it intended for use in any attempt to impersonate any law enforcement officer.

I do not pretend to be the world's expert on uniforms, but I've been asked this question several times, so I thought I would share what I know about assembling a CHP uniform. If you came to this page directly, click here to see me in my CHP uniform. If you are curious about uniforms and leather gear, visit my Complete Guide to Leather Gear, here.

Note: you may have seen CHP uniforms in full leather on a website somewhere, or at a leather fetish event. Do not get one. Seriously. In my opinion, a leather CHP uniform (beige color) stands out like a sore thumb, and makes a guy wearing it in a dark bar look like a neon sign. Also, light colors of leather gear tend to make people look heavy -- particularly guys with a few more pounds on them. The only guys who look good in a leather CHP uniform are the guys who have had a uniform tailored to fit them specifically, and usually are the ones who pose for pics on websites. Do not get a light-colored leather uniform. In all of my years of experience, I have never seen one that looks good on a regular guy (not a model.) Dark uniforms are much better in full leather -- see mine.

Keep in mind that wearing a uniform of a law enforcement agency or military branch has risks if you're not a cop or in the military. In these days of strict regulations and law enforcement in this post-September 11 world, there are more restrictions than ever on who may obtain and wear a uniform. I do not advocate nor recommend impersonating a law enforcement officer or member of the military, but it is enjoyable to have uniforms for fetish wear to certain private events.

It is illegal to wear an official uniform of the California Highway Patrol within the State of California unless you are a bonafide CHP officer. click here to read the law in California. Same is true about other uniforms -- you can not wear a uniform of a law enforcement officer within the jurisdiction of that law enforcement agency unless you are a bonafide officer of that agency. Doing so can result in severe penalties, including fines and a possible jail sentence. But it is legal to wear a uniform, even with insignia on it, outside the jurisdiction (such as in another city or state). It is not the wearing of a uniform for which one may be arrested for impersonation: it is how the wearer behaves. Just keep your behavior subdued and do not try to act like a cop, and you'll be okay.

The Shirt

The official spec for the uniform shirt is either a 55%/45% polyester/Wool blend gabardine weave shirt, or a 65%/35% polyester/rayon blend, in either long or short sleeve. If you can afford it, go with the Poly/Wool blend which is more comfortable. The name of the color is "silvertan".

The color is common and easy to find at any local shop or on-line retailer that sells uniform apparel. And remember the standard white undershirt!

Insignia (patches)

CHP uniforms have a CHP patch on both the right and left sleeves. You can find them at leather events like Mid-Altantic Leather or International Mr. Leather, and at many uniform and fetish retail shops such as 665 Leather or eBay. You will have to have patches sewn on the shirt yourself (some tailors will do that, but some will not. Ask around.)

The "shield" or badge is much harder to find. Unless you are a law enforcement officer, having a police badge may be illegal where you live, so check with local authorities. What I wear is a CHP "senior volunteer" pin, which I found at a DC-based fetish supplier.

The breeches or pants

The official spec for CHP breeches or pants is 55%/45% polyester/wool blend or 100% wool. Fabrics that are Dacron/wool blends or all polyester do not meet spec. My breeches feature full top pockets, rear back welt pockets, and rear billy pockets. They also have a ban roll waistband, heavy weight pocketing and double rounded seat. I do not have any regular pants -- I'm into the biker cop style, not a regular uniform with shoes. The blue/yellow stripe down the outside of each leg is called braiding or "CHP Stripes". These breeches are available from some uniform suppliers that you can find using an internet search. (See links).

If you want breeches to wear inside tall black boots, measure the outseam length from your waist to 4 inches (20cm) above the ankle. You do not want fabric of the breeches to come below the ankle because it will rub against the ankle bone inside the boot and may cause sores.

The Helmet

According to one source, the SD600 is the helmet worn in the "CHiPs" TV show. The MC500V is the current CHP issue. Both are made by Bell Pro Police Products. Another source said that he found a helmet at an auction that had been used on the show, but was not sure which season. That helmet was made by Seer. Either way, you can order a helmet on-line or find one like it at almost any local motorcycle shop. You may need to special order a helmet in the CHP color pattern, or if you're really good, paint it yourself. Closer images of my authentic CHP helmet are here.

The "winged wheel" helmet decal is not available on-line, as far as I can tell. I got one from a fetishist-friendly Arlington, Virginia, based company that sells police equipment.

The Boots

While you may find motorcycle cops wearing boots like Chippewa Hi-Shine Engineer Boots or Chippewa Trooper Boots, the "real deal" for CHP uniform Boots are Dehner Patrol Boots. However, be warned that the shafts of stock boots are made of plastic called Dehcord, which can chip and crack. Traditional Dehner patrol boots have laces at the instep and are called "Bal-Laced Boots" (shown left). You will find many cops these days wearing Dehner patrol boots without laces. These boots are called "Dress Instep Boots" (shown above). Some officers have told me that they prefer boots without laces because they are easier to maintain, do not have laces that can come untied or get dirt in the instep. The boots are easy to maintain by using spray furniture polish (instead of waxy shoe polish). All-leather Dehner boots are available, but they are very pricey. CHP officers whose boots I have seen or inspected in person have Dehners with a buckle at the top and no side lacing. For more information on motor officer patrol boots, click here.

Duty Belt

Note: all of the items described in this paragraph were available from Quartermaster (no longer in business). Other retailers carry similar items.

The "secret" to cops' duty belt is that there are two belts in the system. See my duty belt page on my website and a video describing it, here. Begin with an "underbelt" (stock #S69 452 2). That's what goes through the pant's belt loops to keep the pants up. Since a duty belt is worn over the underbelt, just get a plain one (not basketweave) since nobody can see it anyway. This belt is adjusted using a Velcro closure. It has no buckle so it will lay flat.

The second belt is the "duty belt" (stock #S69 2650). This is a belt that is placed on top of the underbelt, and is held on with "keepers." A duty belt's formal name is a "Sam Browne Belt." That is not to be confused with a belt that goes over a shoulder found on some uniforms (not on CHP). A CHP duty belt is a single belt that goes around the waist on top of the underbelt. Because it goes on the outside of the underbelt over the pants at the waist, it should be about 3-4" wider than the waist size of the pants.







Keepers (stock #S69305B) are small leather straps (like very small belts) that wrap around the underbelt and the duty belt to hold the duty belt on to the underbelt. The duty belt is not pulled through the pant's belt loops. Most cops use six single-width keepers. Since the CHP uniform colors are tan, choose keepers with brass snaps.

Unfortunately, the duty belt described above comes with a nickel-colored buckle. In order to keep with CHP colors and specs, order a brass-colored buckle (stock #Q539002U).

Then, finally, to finish the duty belt, choose the extras such as a key ring, flashlight/baton holder, handcuff case, gun holster, glove holder, etc. I have used a mag case to hold a pack of cigarettes. I have a buddy who uses a holster to store "toys." Get what you want and use or adapt it to fit your needs.

A note to uniform fetishists who like to play with other men in their uniform: this belt system is not easy to open or remove quickly. Just so you know. [evil grin].

Weapon, baton, gloves, pins, dress tie and other stuff

I guess this is where I veer a bit off track. I have a pair of leather cop search gloves, but going with the rest of the uniform specs to be purely "authentic" is not something I do. Not that it is not the right thing to do, it is just that I choose not to go that far.

And even though it may be legal to carry a weapon in some places, DO NOT wear one with a CHP uniform. Even if you are out of jurisdiction, many local cops could infer that you are truly attempting to impersonate a real cop by carrying a weapon, so don't! (The same is true about a police baton, which is also classified as a weapon in many states.) A police baton may be illegal to display in public (even in bars, hotel lobbies, or other places open to the public), so it is wise not to wear a police baton with a uniform in public.

If you want information about all this stuff, check out the the CHiPs TV fan website.

If you have any other questions that I have not covered here, send me a message and I will try to answer you. Thanks for your interest!

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