Mess Kit as White Tie

Discussion in 'Officers' started by grey_man_2, May 11, 2011.

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  1. I'm going to a (civillian) white tie ball this summer and would quite like to wear my mess kit. The unit dress regs state:

    Shirt: White Soft Collar & black Bow Tie (for White Tie events worn with a stiff high collar).

    Does anybody know if this means winged collar and white bow tie or winged collar and black bow tie?

    Also, if anybody knows of any reason I shouldn't wear the rig as a rule then of course let me know!
  2. I'm not an expert on such things but:

    1) Surely No 1s are a closer equivalent to white tie, mess kit is more black tie
    2) Are you actually there a a representative of your unit?
  3. Until better informed comment turns up, I'd suggest the clue is in the name? :)

    I can't imagine a change of collar is particularly transformative on its own.
  4. 1) I was under the impression that No. 1s are closest to morning suit, in that they are for extra-formal day wear, whereas black tie, white tie and mess kit were all evening wear. I have seen people wearing No. 1s to dinners before, however I assumed that was in place of expensive mess kit early in career/while at the factory. Either way, I won't have access to 1s at that point...
    2) No, I will not be, however I am judging that such a ball is the place to look your best rather than conform as in a formal dinner. Thoughts?
  5. So you want to wear uniform to a civilian function even though you're not actually representing the Army in any way?
  6. Fairly sure that this query also came up in the 'Dapper Clothing' forum. Can't recall the answer I'm sorry to add, however try there.
  7. Why the **** not? I wore my mess-dress to a few civvy functions, instead of a black-tie. The birds drip clunge juice all over themselves.
  8. I have read the numerous threads etc. to gauge opinion on this site. I know that some people support it for any number of reasons (KAPE, pride, right to wear it) and that some believe that even privately purchased mess uniform should be reserved for military events only. If you advise me not to, then fair enough. I am not going to go without running it past my CO and the event organiser however.
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  9. No 1s are equivalent to morning wear as you say.
    In Scottish formal wear for example some authorities say black tie is to be worn for white tie events never white.

    Royal Caledonian ball says Black tie for mess kit in formal dress Dress | Royal Caledonian Ball
  10. And that in itself is good enough reason to wear it.
  11. Wrong!

    Mess kit is the military equivalent of white tie.

    Not sure about the collar and tie question (mine doesn't include a bow tie). Logic would dictate that you would wear a wing collar, as you do with civilian white tie, although I am not the authority (for the aforementioned reason). See if your can find a particularly crusty retired guards officer, they are sure to know!

    As to whether or not to wear it, I would say that unless your chain of command object, you should definitely wear it. As a regular officer, you are on duty 24/7, so there 'should' be no question of entitlement and it is 'correct' according to etiquette. Being a white tie do, you can also pretty much guarantee that there won't be much of a personal security risk (anti war lunatics wanting to beat you up, etc.)

    Clearly, if in doubt check with your Adjutant/CoC, but there should be no reason for permission to be denied.
  12. So, I've just pinged off an email to the Adjt. seeing as there were more people saying yes than no. As for the seems that few enough people know anyway for me to get picked up on it! Thanks folks.
  13. I did start by saying I'm not an expert! As I'm clearly wrong, I shall humbly shut up and **** off.
  14. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    It means stiff fronted shirt with gold (not black) studs and winged collar. Bow Tie remains Black.

    In Naval terms it would be the equivalent of Mess Dress v Mess Undress.
  15. The late Queen Mother invited the Pipe Major of The Black Watch (She was Colonel-in-chief for many,many years) to dine with her at Balmoral.He arrived gleaming and resplendent in his mess kit with marcella shirt and soft collar.They were companionably passing the time when HM asked the PM;
    "Tell me Pipe-Major,I seem to recall the Black Watch wear a wing collar with their mess dress ?"
    He replied;
    "Aye,you're right Ma'am,but only on special occasions................."
    • Like Like x 2