The Perfect Deployment Outfit



The perfect deployment outfit is a must.

But let’s be clear, I’m not talking about that thoughtfully put together ensemble you’ll wear to greet your spouse as he or she returns home. Oh no.

I’m talking about the outfit you’ll wear during the five to 15 months that your spouse is gone — the outfit people see you in and nervously ask, “Soooo, how’s it going?”

I’m talking about an outfit that is 110 percent dedicated to comfort and probably not fit for public consumption. I’m talking about the outfit we never knew we needed until Murphy’s Law of Deployment struck; when parenting has been feeling like more of a battle than a blessing; when everything in the house has broken down, and when every conceivable thing that could have gone wrong has, ya just wanna put on that deployment outfit and Netflix without the kids around.

In case you do not yet have a deployment outfit or are wondering how to construct the perfect one, please see the shame that is mine, below.

All for you ladies!

Components of a Perfect Deployment Outfit

1. Mom Bun 

Everybody knows that no outfit is complete without the perfect hairdo. When it comes to deployment outfits, the mom bun is a must. It’s out of your face, it requires almost no effort, and it pairs well with copious amounts of dry shampoo and baseball hats. If you find yourself needing to run out for errands in your deployment outfit and want something to make you look like less of a slob, throw on an Aviate hat and head out the door! 

2. The Unit Top

It wouldn’t be a deployment outfit without representing the reason your spouse is away. Also acceptable: Old PT tops, Battalion 5k shirt and, really, just any shirt that represents your spouse and is roomy and completely not form flattering in any way. We’re not trying to win any style awards here. Comfort is key.

 3. Sweats 

You may swap out yoga pants if you must, but your bottom half should be swathed in soft, stretchy, super worn-in fabric. Bonus points if there are paint stains, holes, or other unidentifiable imperfections because flaws are real life. I have had mine longer than two of my children have been alive. No kidding.

4. Footgear

Your footgear will depend on your climate. Here at Ft. Drum, we are currently in the throes of our third winter, so fuzzy warm socks or slippers are a must. Flip flops that have your footprint worn into them also are acceptable.

5. Accessories 

Much as your ‘do can make or break your outfit, accessories can also enhance your look. I recommend a minimum of four accessories to complete the perfect deployment outfit.

Wine or coffee (liquids can be accessories — don’t judge me!), your cell phone (like it hasn’t been glued to your hand since your spouse left, anyway), a good book or remote control (depending on your entertainment preferences), and your military ID. That last one is critical — don’t leave home without it (No seriously, you won’t be able to get back into to your house.). Heaven forbid you lose it while your spouse is gone. POA nightmares and lines that rival those at the DMV await you should you misplace that all-important laminated disaster of a photograph (P.S. If you have a decent looking ID card photo, I kind of dislike you.).


When your spouse is gone and life gets rough, it’s nice to have a soft, comfortable place to land, and a great deployment outfit can be just that. But don’t forget to get out and enjoy life. Throw on that LBD and go out with your girls, get a mani-pedi, or get that fabulous new haircut you’ve been wanting to try. You can always come back home and throw on that holey t-shirt and those grody sweats. I promise.