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  • New easy-to-wear uniforms were supposed to be rolled out from January
  • But first batch of 1,700 arrived ‘ruined’ after not being dried properly 
  • First new uniforms in 20 years were described as a ‘fashion statement’
  • Includes baseball caps, velcro instead of buttons and zip-up boots 
  • Navy spokesman confirms roll-out will be complete by the end of July 

The Royal Navy‘s sailors will be waiting a little longer to don their bold new ‘fashion statement’ uniforms – complete with American-style baseball caps – after the first batch arrived mouldy.

The new uniforms, first tested back in 2012, were supposed to begin being rolled out this month, but the first order for 1,700 ‘Combat Number 4 Dress’ were unwearable.

It is thought the uniforms had been steam cleaned, but not dried properly.

A Navy source told The Sun: ‘There were plans to roll it out from the start of January. The first batch was completely ruined and unusable. It’s all rather embarrassing really and an unwanted delay.’

The uniform replaces the Navy’s traditional lighter blue outfit and is the first new uniform to be worn by our sailors on operations for more than 20 years.

The new kit, which is being manufactured by a British company as part of a £250,000 deal, is designed to be more versatile and adaptable to the different weather that the Navy encounters as it carries out its worldwide operations.

But when the uniforms were unveiled two years ago, traditionalists were horrified to see Royal Navy sailors would soon be wearing American-style baseball caps on operations.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said at the time the caps were ‘cool and more modern’.

The new uniforms also replaced buttons with Velcro, and zip-up boots with fake laces.

The MoD went as far as to say the uniforms were a ‘Daring fashion statement’ – a play on words based around HMS Daring, the £1billion Type 45 destroyer where Combat Number 4 Dress was trialed.

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