La Garde is especially proud of its reconstructed uniforms and our aim is to represent the solider or civilian
of the period in the most authentic way possible. Working with Kochan & Phillips Historic Textiles we are seeking to develop
a range of authentic French 1st Empire cloth made to period specifications from samples held in the collection of La Garde
Imperiale. All our uniform is hand sewn, and is based on years of research by handling original items, from which we have
developed our patterns and style guide to create a period finish and look to all clothing. We are the only French Napoleonic
group in UK to have hand sewn uniforms made from materials as close to period correct as possible, down to the wool blend
used, dye and weave of the cloth.
Ideally we would like
all recruits once they have shown a firm resolve to become fully involved in the units activities to purchase full uniform.
Because of the costs involved it would be unrealistic to expect most in this position to equip themselves immediately. This
could take several years. However the unit does hold some uniforms and equipment which it is willing to loan out at events
to those who have begun the task of equipping themselves and who are actively supporting the units activities. Upon joining
La Garde, we will provide "depot" kit as far as possible. Depot often consists of a habit and waistcoat, or fatigue coat, breaches and gaiters or overall trousers, cross belts and equipment and a bonnet de police head dress.Other items of kit members need to provide are every day items like a blanket, cup, bowl, spoon (basically somthing
to eat and wash with from the period). The cross belts made from buff leather, ammunition box, shako or bearskin, sabre, musket
are all loaned from the unit as part of the membership fee. Members are free to either camp in modern tents or sleep in the
authentic tents held by the unit. The cloth items of equipment can be ordered from external sutlers or made to measure by
the groups tailor.
For both the Grenadiers a Cheval and Artillerie a Pied the first step
is to purchase your own arms and stable/fatigue kit. This will then allow you to feel part of the group and allows you
to come to events and train without committing your finances before you’re sure that La Garde Imperiale is
the right Regiment for you.