Ball Dress - For men?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Bladensburg, Jun 3, 2004.

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  1. Carting stuff around at a house clearance for beer money I came upon a Naval uniform catalogued as "RN Commanders Ball Dress circa 1935".
    It appeared to consist of a navy blue tailcoat and trousers combined with a white waistcoat and tie, the whole thing looking like navy blue "White Tie". I initially thought it was an old version of Mess Kit, there was also a Lot marked up as "RN commanders Mess Kit c1935" which had a short jacket with no tails and a black tie.

    Is there an Army equivalent of this "Ball Dress"? I've never seen one so I thought I'd ask, particularly as I read elsewhere on here that Mess Kit is equivalent to White Tie not Black Tie.
  2. RN has always had 2 evening uniforms: Mess Undress (black waistcoat or cummerbund, soft shirt, black tie, short jacket) and Mess Dress (what was Ball dress), which is now white waistcoat, now generally soft shirt but used to be stiff-front shirt & wing collar, and for Captain's RN and above the tailcoat & gold striped trousers. Captain's RN and above can wear short jacket & plain black trousers under Mess Undress. Don't know when Ball dress stopped - suspect that it would have been 1939!! The softy change in Mess Dress for optional soft shirts is about 7 years ago - too many problems with getting stiff-fronted shirts laundered when we left Hong Kong & all the Chogey dhobies disappeared from skimmers I think!!
  3. Thanks for the info I'd just never seen it before, I knew that Navy full-dress comprised a sort of tailcoat but not mess dress. I wonder if there was ever an Army equivalent?
  4. RAChD Mess Kit used to be a tail coat with breeches & stockings. A bit like Court Dress but with purple facings. I believe this was replaced with the current version in the 60s or 70s.