The equipment of the Roman army was not as uniform as is often believed, a considerable amount of variation in both style and decoration being found in most items. It would have been necessary for the army to enforce some regulations on the basic equipment required to fight within a particular unit, but it seems unlikely that any restrictions would have been placed on surface ornamentation or the style of accoutrements, such as scabbard suspension loops or reinforcements, provided they did not impair the functional ability of the equipment. Furthermore, although certain items, such as helmets, underwent changes in style, it would be wrong to assume that any new design would be simultaneously adopted throughout the Empire. Regional variations were always present in such a cosmopolitan army, and at any one time there was probably a wide range of designs in existence.