The Definitive Guide to Letter Carrier Uniforms - Postal & USPS
For the purposes of this article about postal uniforms, we're going to group together letter carriers, city carrier assistants (CCA), motor vehicle operators, mail carriers, and other type 1 postal employees like letterbox mechanics and ramp clerks.
All of the postal positions listed above and some more are authorized for type 1 postal uniforms, which encompass the greatest variety of tops, bottoms, outwear, shoes, & accessories like hats and gloves in the USPS uniform program. Type 1 postal uniforms always include the vertical USPS "corporate" logo.
Letter carriers in the USPS have a number of different tops to choose from (shirts, sweaters, & outerwear), but let's start with the most basic layer first. There are (4) different kinds of shirts for letter carriers, for both men and women.
- Short Sleeve Shirts
- Long Sleeve Shirts
- Shirt Jackets
- Shirt Sleeve Polo Shirts
short sleeve shirt & long sleeve shirt
Short sleeve shirts and long sleeve shirts are the exact same, except, one is short sleeved and one is long sleeved. Letter carrier shirts feature two pockets near the chest, are made with a woven material in a traditional "dress shirt" style. The long sleeve version is typically paired with an outer layer for cold weather routes. We sell these shirts made from manufacturers like A+ Career Apparel and Fechheimer.
The shirt jacket is considered warm weather gear, and instead of the two pockets up top like the dress shirt, it features two pockets by the waist, with an additional chest pocket. Like all type 1 postal uniforms, it also has the vertical corporate emblem. It's a popular uniform for many letter carriers & CCAs, and our customers like the additional pocket for storage versatility.
The polo shirt, like the shirt jacket, only comes in short sleeve and is also considered warm weather gear. It only features a single pocket by the USPS logo. The variation we sell is 50% polyester and 50% cotton, it's a good mix of the comfort of cotton, with the quick-dry natures of polyester. On warm sunny routes, a popular combination can simply be a mesh helmet or baseball hat for your head, a short sleeve polo for the top, and letter carrier shorts for the bottom.
There are (2) options when it comes to letter carrier sweaters. You can choose from a lighter "jersey" style knit sweater, or a heavier "bulky" style knit sweater. Unlike the shirts however, these come in just unisex options.
- Jersey Knit Sweater
- Bulky Knit Sweater
jersey knit sweater
The lighter "jersey" knit sweater we carry is made by A+ and comes in the official "postal navy" colorway. It's to a 7-gauge specification, which in knitting terms, means the number of stitches (or rows) per inch. The rib cuff and rib bottom provide shape retention in the sweater and two heavyweight pockets on the waist are conveniently placed for easy access.
The heavier knit sweater option for mail carries is the "bulky" weight. It's great for cool fall days and chilly spring nights, but for anything colder, we'd pair it with a proper jacket. The version we sell is knitted 5-gauge, and like the lighter jersey option, also comes with ribbed cuffs and bottom for shape retention, and features two pockets on the waist.
Like the knit sweaters, the fleece jackets for mail carriers come in a lighter "medium" fleece style and a warmer "heavy" style. The cool thing about the fleece jackets we sell, are that they actually work as jacket liners and zip into the all-weather winterproof parka for maximum warmth.
- Medium Weight Fleece Jacket Liner
- Heavy Weight Fleece Jacket Liner
medium fleece jacket liner
The lighter option for type 1 postal employees (but still providing plenty of warmth), this medium weight fleece by Spiewak features the standard vertical USPS emblem on the chest, two hand-warmer pockets, two additional inside storage pockets, and the exterior has non-pill microfiber fleece and reflective safety trim.
heavy fleece jacket liner
The heavier version of the fleece jacket liner contains the same hand warmer pockets on the bottom, two inside storage pockets, reflective safety trim, official USPS type 1 logo, - but it's just made with heavier weight fabric for added warmth.
Both fleece jackets we sell are manufactured by Spiewak and zip into the winterproof Spiewak parka as an inner shell.
Letter carrier (& other type 1 employees) actually have the most options (along with hats) when it comes to outerwear & jackets. Because the weather & climate in the entirety of the United States and its territories encompasses such a wide range, the outerwear for type 1 employees needs to reflect the diversity. Some of the options include:
- Regulation Vest
- Bomber Jacket
- Regulation Parka
- Winterproof Parka Jacket
- Long Coat
- Heavy Lined Parka
There are light spring weather jackets, waterproof rain jackets, and below freezing winter jackets.
The regulation vest is technically the lightest outwear option available. You'll see this often worn on top of the long sleeve letter carrier shirt, or even under a larger jacket, like the bomber or parka jackets. It's great for when you want a little extra warmth in your core, but don't necessarily want to wear or carry a full jacket around. It comes complete with reflective safety trim, and, of course, the official USPS vertical logo.
The windbreaker jacket we offer is the perfect spring/fall jacket (or even for those cool summer evenings). It features both the official USPS vertical logo, and a horizontal "letter carrier" emblem as well. Many postal employees will pair a lighter jacket like this with a hat if they need a little extra warmth, but don't want to have a heavier jacket on.
A personal favorite of ours is the bomber jacket. We're getting into heavier jacket territory now, and the bomber jacket is styled after the traditional flight jacket or aviator jacket originally created for pilots. It features the same reflective safety trim as the vests & windbreaker, two handwarmer pockets, and the liner is made with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, for more warmth than the windbreaker. There's no hood on it, so for colder days we'd recommend wearing some headgear, like a baseball hat or knit fur cap.
This is a heavy duty, full body parka that provides maximum warmth, including a removable insulated hood for maximum heat retention. The two-way hand-warmer exterior pockets are conveniently placed for storage, and the exterior is made with iron-tough cordura nylon, which is puncture resistant and stain resistant. If you're looking for serious winter warmth, we recommend this jacket, and the winterproof parka jacket.
winterproof parka jacket
The Spiewak manufactured winterproof/weatherproof parka jacket zips over either the medium weight fleece or heavy weight fleece, or you can wear it by itself as a winter jacket. It's heavily insulated, windproof, and the bottom sweep drawcord allows for additional wind protection from the bottom. The multi layer versatility (with the fleece jackets) offers the most warmth of any jacket in the USPS uniform program.
Neese PR100 Jacket
This button up coat is a long, water resistant coat. It has a breathable underarm vent on either side, and also features a mesh-evented back for added moisture breathability. The single-ply polyurethane is water resistant, and, while it technically is not a rain coat, it's often water resistant enough to be worn for light rain.
Neese PR210 Jacket
This Neese manufactured PR210 jacket is a heavier duty jacket that features a zippered front closure, tuck away hood with drawstring, as well as the standard Neese mesh vented back and underarm vents. It's part of Neese's Deluxe 474 series that meet ASTM D6413 requirement for flame resistance. It's lightweight, yet strong and durable.
Like outerwear & jackets, there are a number of options when it comes to headwear & hats for letter carriers, city carrier assistants, motor vehicle service, etc. The wide range touches on everything from top exposed sun visors, to ultra warm fur knit caps, to even pull down face masks.
- sun visor
- mesh baseball hat
- baseball hat
- bucket hat
- mesh helmet
- plastic helmet
- knit fur hat
- pull down face mask
The sun visor is the lightest headwear option that the USPS offers to postal employees. It's great for sunny days, when you just don't want any heat retention at all - and the open top design is perfect for that.
mesh baseball hat
The mesh "trucker style" baseball hat offers a sun blocking visor, with added protection and warmth of a traditional baseball hat, BUT with the breathability included with the mesh backing. It comes in a S, M, L, and XL size - if you think you have a larger sized head, we'd recommend buying the XL and using the adjustable strap to get your sizing right.
This is the "fuller" version of the mesh baseball hat, and is pretty much exactly like a traditional baseball hat. It has an adjustable plastic strap in the back that snaps to size, a full brim for sun protection, and the official USPS vertical logo for type 1 postal employees. You'll often see letter carriers wearing this hat on their routes.
The bucket hat is a personal favorite of ours. It combines both water-resistance and sun protection and packages them in a highly fashionable piece.
mesh helmet & plastic helmet
The pith style helmets come in two different varieties, they both offer sun protection for letter carrier's heads and necks, but the difference is in the material construction themselves. The mesh offers additional breathability for humid days, and the full plastic version is 100% waterproof, for rainier days.
The warmest option in the USPS uniform program for headwear is definitely the knit fur hat. It features insulated lining and comes in multiple sizes, from S, M, L, to XL.
pull down face mask
For cold days, where the wind chill is just too much to handle, the USPS uniform program offers a pull down face mask option, that leaves only the eyes exposed. It covers the entire head, from the top down to the chin and it can be even worn with another piece on top, like a baseball hat or knit fur cap.