Hiding out in the woods might have been fun in the height of the summer, but in the cold and wet of winter it became more difficult, and far more dangerous. The maquis needed to be safe – bare trees and snow made the men more visible – and they needed to be warm . . . Guingouin equipped his men with a winter uniform – leather jacket, sheepskin gilet, green trousers, thick socks, white scarf and helmet. Like all the maquis leaders, Guingouin wanted his men to be disciplined – giving them a uniform not only strengthened their feelings of solidarity, it also reinforced the popular impression of the maquis as a serious military force.
What interests me here is the white scarf. This is a piece of kit most commonly associated with WWII aviators . . . dashingly worn by pilots looped around the neck, above a leather jacket. According to the wonderful men's vintage website The Fedora Lounge, the scarf was not just decorative but functional. Pilots were constantly swiveling their heads to scan for incoming foes. The scarf, typically silk, prevented chafing against the wool sweater and leather collar.
Given the incredible bravery of these pilots and rebel fighters, it's unlikely that the gallant white strips would have been used with any frequency to signify surrender. But if you choose to wear one, it might, under certain circumstances, be an interesting option . . .