Mess Dress

  • Thread starter IntellectualThug
  • Start date



Can anybody recommend a London supplier of mess dress? I'm currently a Cav Trooper, but may soon become a rupert, hence don't wish to spend on a brand new outfit.

Would consider anybody's secondhand.
Don't worry, you'll get a grant which, unless you're commissioning into the Cavalry or Guards or wish to wear a kilt, will buy you all your kit and a tailored suit. You'll find out who to use when you're at RMAS.
Are there many regiments in which does the grant not cover the cost?
According to Goldings tailors (who apparently have a shop near RMAS and so must be pretty popular) Mess Kit can cost from around £950 for the RAMC to over £1800 for the QRL. Adding on Service Dress, shirts, spare trousers etc. boots and headgear it look's like a bill of between three or four grand before thinking about suits,No 1 Dress, swords and whatever.
So the question is how much of this is likely to be covered? I will probably be going to Sandhurst with an unpleasant amount of student debt (not as bad and many though, thank God) and while I realise the graduate RMAS salary isn't bad I'd like to get my overdraft down a bit before the bank starts charging interest on it.
Stop flapping. As I said, unless you're joing the Cavalry or the Guards (or various Scots Div Regiments, your tailor will take your grant and provide you with everything you need, including a suit. Very few regiments still require young officers to buy Blues, and as for swords - unless you are lucky enough to have your great-grandfather's - don't worry, as your QM will hold a stock. It is entirely possible to survive, even as a cavalry officer, on your graduate pay, even if you have a reasonable amount of student debt. Trust me - I know.


Go see your friendly RQMS, he will tell you how much your uniform grant is. It might just cover your capbadge if you are in the Cavalry!

It should cover your Service Dress, plus get on ebay or look in your Regimental Tailors, as people may sell their old kit to them.
Thanks for that, not really flapping just trying to get a handle on some of the things they don't tell you at interviews/visits or move swiftly on from if you ask.
On the subject of swords, I did see an infantry officers sword, complete with belt and bag make about £150 at a house clearance a few weeks ago. It was dated about 1935 but in apparently perfect condition. Is this sort of thing worth looking out for when the time comes?


War Hero
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Are you joining the infantry? I know it seems an obvious question but if you are, good bargain; if not, waste of time...
Perhaps I could buy one of each, infantry, artillery and cavalry and sell the two I don't need on. Might pay for itself that way...
Oh God I sound like an American don't I? :oops:

I do some overdraft-relieving donkey work for a local auctioneer and it's surprising how often military uniforms and the like come up in house clearances. They usually seem to be owned by spinsters for some reason.


War Hero
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If you come across a cheap Gunner sword feel free to PM me...


Mr Happy

ebay or southebys will sort you out with a cheap blade. A dodgy Navy chum picked up his swords there and then got G&H to re-upholster them.

Incidentally, G&H do provide credit so when you get your grant shoot down there and get your mess kit. As a shareholder I cannot recommend them enough.

Otherwise Kaskets in Hoxton Sq. (use 118118) or Vernon Rees (sp?) - should be able to help out.
I have yet to find a regiment where the Sandhurst grant covers the tailors costings.

I'm in the Jock Div and my grant came to $2,065 (excuse dollar sign, am using american keyboard). The final cost of everything came to $2,500. I am not guards, do not wear kilts, not cav.....plain old infantry. In fairness, the tartan for our trews did cost slightly more but the bill would still have come to more. That was with Glover & Riding of Aldershot. Had I gone to Meyer & Mortimor it would have cost $3,000 total. Goldings were asking for $3,200. Ss it was I almost wish I had gone to Meyer as the trews we got were quite literally pants. Continuously ripped along the seams. The jackets are awesome though.

When you are at RMAS and the tailors start coming in, your best bet is to find a small independent Tailors in London who have made military kit before but who do not go to RMAS to 'recruit'. Those who go to RMAS will rip you off massively. Since commissioning I have purchased a pair of Trews, brand new, for $80. The original tailors cost was $150 a pair. They hike it up hugely for ruperts.
Understand the sad news is that Vernon Rees is no more. Got a cracking suit from there and was quite reasonable - perhaps it was because they weren't charging enough that they went bust?

Swords-wise I understand Wilkinson is now German owned?!
Avoid Goldings if you can.

They are expensive, and will try to rack up the price with all those little 'extras' that you didn't expect (or want)....
Got my kit from Kasketts and I must say I was not happy with the finish.

Stephans Shirts in Fulham for your shirts and they are brilliant.

If you do got there, take the advice of those that have been there before and be demanding. If you are unhappy, refuse to accept the garment (s) , they're not goig to feck the HCMR around. Get some advice from the seniors in the regiment, they are likely to have more business savy than a YO.

Take advice. Kasketts sell 2nd hand mess wellies but if you are going to burn 'em down make sure you get a set that are at least a size too big.

Don't be afraid to buy second hand. The HCMR has a relatively highturnover of YOs. Let's face it, your Mess Kit is going to be trashed playing Mess Rugby anyway.

Bladensburg, if you ever see a Cav cross belt come up for auction.... please PM me.
I have Service Dress, Mess Kit, suits, dinner jacket and a rather fetching pair of scarlet cords from Vernon Rees, along with several excellent dinners - he's good company.

Not sure what happened with the business, but agree it's a shame that it's no more.

I recently tried Raj Mirpuri in Bond Street and had a very good bespoke shirt for £50.
IntellectualThug said:

Can anybody recommend a London supplier of mess dress? I'm currently a Cav Trooper, but may soon become a rupert, hence don't wish to spend on a brand new outfit.

Would consider anybody's secondhand.
Will you still describe yourself as a "Rupert" in the unlikley event that you actually become one? Self ridicule is not generally encouraged - don't worry though, I'm sure your soldiers will be kind enough to do it for you. :cry:
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