What do you do when you get the wrong size? Try to trade with someone who has the deformities that best suit the clothes you’ve been given and trade. This probably could have alleviated some problems in Basic had we thought of it; I’m sure a few people traded. My first issue of uniforms fit sufficiently enough, perhaps a bit big. But over the course of years I sometimes got issued later uniforms that didn’t fit– PT (Physical Training) uniforms in particular seem to fall victim to bad fits and I once had to trade a field jacket for a better fit.
Does the Army get peeved when we trade the clothes they’ve given us? Sort of a “we issued you this but suddenly you’ve got that” kind of thing? Not really– uniforms, since they are worn on and touch soldiers’ bare skin, are yours to do with as you please, as long as you report in uniform and the uniform is clean and serviceable and has everything it is supposed to have (name tape, patches, etc. Meanwhile, helmets, equipment belts, etc, are turned in when the soldier leaves the Army. This puts canteens and sleeping bags in an odd position, but… yes, those are turned in as well and supposed to be thoroughly cleaned before re-issue.
It used to be that equipment belonged to the base you were assigned to– you transfer to a new duty station, they issue you new gear. When you leave to a new assignment, you turn it in then draw new equipment when you arrive and the next base. But now the Army has been assigning troops their gear when they process in, and you carry that gear with you everywhere, until you leave the Army.
But those uniforms are yours to keep.