What is the origin of the stripe down the trouser leg of military uniforms? Also, in the 1880s, soldiers wore dress helmets that resembled those worn in Germany. Why was that?
Early day trouser legs fit so tight that buttons were attached so the soldier could open them up to get his feet through. These buttons were covered with a stripe and that’s how the custom began. Soldiers wore kepi caps in the Civil War modeled after the French. After the Franco-Prussion War ended with a German victory, Americans, preferring to emulate the victor, changed the style to look more like those worn by Germans.