The Royal Navy Badges of Rank
Uniform regulations for naval officers were first introduced in 1748, differences in rank being show by the shape and cut of the lapels and cuffs. In 1825 jackets and trousers replaced frocked coats and breeches and in 1833 peaked caps with cap badges were introduced for use with working dress.
Further changes in the Victorian era led to the present day working uniform.
A 'square rig' for seamen was introduced in 1857, with badges worn on the left sleeve to denote differences between senior and junior ratings. Petty Officers moved into 'fore' and 'aft' rig of jacket, waistcoat, trousers and peaked caps in 1859.
Since 1997 all ratings, including both sexes, have worn the same ceremonial uniform.