Talk:Mess dress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.


Is Mess dress the equivalent of Black Tie or of White Tie.

Both and neither! It is a long subject. Various nationalities also have varying traditions.

It is often the most formal type of dress, and such is worn both to white tie and black tie events. Both black tie and white tie is by tradition evening wear; however, it is often worn in the afternoon for such things as weddings (in Sweden white tie is the traditional dress for wedding, at all timings). Here the military individual would be more appropriately dressed in a uniform, the more formal the better. Full formal uniforms are also worn in the evening at specific events.

Navies usually have two types of formal mess dress, mess dress and mess undress, where the type of vest worn may vary. Some still have the formal white tie version with tails, although as the article points out, the RN no longer has this type. The USPHS has a formal style of mess dress, with a white vest and white bow tie, but with a short jacket. I don't know about the US Navy. Glenlarson 15:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

In the Canadian Forces, there's generally 3 different designs of mess dress floating around: the dinner jacket and accoutrements (must-have for regular force officers, optional for everyone else); the "Mess CF" drss (the pre-DEU midnight-blue tri-force mess dress); and "Mess Service", which is Service Dress with white shirt/bowtie for men and the white rollneck blouse for women; altho' recently they started allowing members to wear the basic Service Dress with the normal shirt & tie, the concept being you can't order a member to wear a uniform that you didn't issue. So basically CF mess dress runs the gamut from evening dress to a business suit. And just to add more variety, the Navy has "Shipboard Dress": Service Dress pants, short-sleeve summer dress shirt, and cummerbund (!). Doesn't look bad with the Navy whites, but let me tell you: there ain't many coloured cummerbunds that don't look dorky with linden green shirt & rifle green pants. SigPig 06:33, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I edited a paragraph about the US Army White Mess Uniform. The paragraph basically stated that the White Mess Uniform is no longer allowed for wear. This is not true. The Army White Uniform has been done away with; however, the White Mess Uniform is still authorized for wear. -- A.G.Barker, SFC, USA


Can we please have a description/discussion of women's military formalwear added to the various sections? At present, formal wear has mess dress listed under "unisex"? Is that true? Men and women wear the exact same formalwear? Please put an internal link under Women's styles at formal wear, i.e. [[mess dres#female mess dress|women's mess dress or something of that sort.

Article would also benefit from a discussion of what retired personnel and personnel on leave or not in active service where to formal occasions, if there are such guidelines.

Just some thoughts Quill 01:09, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Contemporary British Army mess jackets[edit]

I have no intention of getting in a edit war with Plumtree100 over this issue. As far as I know there is no publicly accessible central record of how many individual regiments or corps currently retain the "infantry style" jacket or have changed to the "cavalry style" - since this is essentially a matter to be decided at unit level. The only consistently up-to-date sources of such information would be the websites of the various tailoring firms specialising in this type of uniform and these cannot be cited directly as references under the Wikipedia rules applying to commercial advertising. All that can be said is that prior to the regimental/corps amalgamations of 1958 to 2006 virtually all infantry, and most corps, had the simpler open fronted mess jackets and that now (with the exceptions cited and probably a few others) the position is reversed.If anyone knows better then please edit accordingly. Buistr (talk) 23:04, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Australian Army Perspective[edit]

In the Australian Army there is both 'summer mess kit' which is a white jacket and almost identical between different parts of the army, the second type is 'winter mess kit' which is made of a thicker material but has different coloured jacket designs depending on the wearers Corps. The winter mess dress also includes a waist coat. With both types the trousers are the same and vary slightly between Corps. As for women's attire in the Australian army the dresss is the same as mens except women wear a skirt instead of trousers. Both versions have a bow-tie and white shirt.--TinTin (talk) 06:12, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

British Merchant Navy and Coastguard?[edit]

Has anybody any information relating to the use of mess dress by the Merchant Navy or the Coastguard? --Thefrood (talk) 03:00, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


At the marriage ceremony of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling on June 19, 2010 both H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Prince Carl Philip appear to be wearing Swedish navy mess dress. Perhaps somebody with Swedish language skills could track down some more detailed info about the appearance and use of this mess dress.

Here are a couple of English language links

--Thefrood (talk) 01:51, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Just noticed that have an article on Swedish mess dress perhaps somebody could translate? --Thefrood (talk) 02:21, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Done, A big thank you to Mr.choppers for translating the Swedish article. --Thefrood (talk) 08:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Air force mess dress[edit]

Royal Wedding Stockholm 2010-Konserthuset-435.jpg

Is this the lesser or the greater mess dress? Greenshed (talk) 21:01, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Germany - Bundeswehr[edit]

The German wiki page about formal Bundeswehr uniforms has a description of both male & female mess dress. Unfortunately there a couple of words that the machine-translated version fails on - "Seidengalons" and "Torerobund".
--Thefrood (talk) 14:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

"Seidengalons" is a silk dress stripe along the trouser leg ([1]), while a Torerobund is a bullfighter-style waste sash (cf Kummerbund for cummerbund), called "fajín" in Spanish. I find Google image search in the respective languages an invaluable search tool.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 18:32, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I did do a text search on the words but that really was not much help - I'll have to remember image search for next time. --Thefrood (talk) 18:46, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Done what I can with the machine-translation, however if a German speaker does happen upon this I'm pretty sure it could benefit from a polish. --Thefrood (talk) 19:23, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
This is becoming a habbit, thanks once again to Mr.choppers for a top translation. --Thefrood (talk) 19:41, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks and cheers. This is kind of fun, actually.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 19:53, 7 May 2012 (UTC)


  • The article gives dress numbers in all the following forms: no. 1, No 1, No. 1.
  • There were 2 instances of epaulets and 6 of epaulettes; I converted to the latter throughout.
  • AFAICS the article is not tagged as British or American English. I converted the single instance of "pants" to "trousers", of which there were already 24 instances, so maybe you'll want to go for British. If so, you should change the "tuxedo" to "dinner jacket".
--Stfg (talk) 19:36, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I think "No. 1" is how I was taught to do it.
As the article has large sections devoted both to British/commonwealth and US usage of mess dress I imagine that settling on one flavour of English could be contentious but my vote would be to use British (Oxford) English as this uses "Z" in a similar manner to American English, so hopefully the US contributors to (and readers of) the page won't feel the language too strange. --Thefrood talk 19:52, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Fastening of US Marine & Navy Jackets[edit]

I know this is a relatively minor detail, but I have added a note on how the US naval & Coast Guard officer and Marine enlisted jackets are double-breasted, but cut so as not to overlap, and instead fasten in the center. This is unusual: most other civilian (and military) exemplars in double-breasted seem to be cutaway, made in such a way as to be worn unbuttoned without gathering under the arms. The US version seems to be in imitation of the frogged smoking jacket/tuxedo, but the fastener does not appear to be a frog: it looks like a hook-and-eye on the inside with brass buttons on the outside for a more military appearance. Can anyone confirm if this is indeed how it fastens on the inside? Jpbrenna (talk) 07:49, 29 September 2013 (UTC)