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Encyclopedia > Mess dress
Three Canadian officers in shawl or rolled collar jacket and waistcoat style mess dress or mess kit. Miniature medals and other accoutrements are also worn.
Three Canadian officers in shawl or rolled collar jacket and waistcoat style mess dress or mess kit. Miniature medals and other accoutrements are also worn.

Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit. This style of military dress is largely restricted to the British, Commonwealth of Nations and United States armed forces; although the Imperial German and other navies adopted their own versions during the late nineteenth century, influenced by the Royal Navy. Mess dress Photo: G. Larson This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Mess dress Photo: G. Larson This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with Commonwealth Prime Ministers, in the 1950s. ... For other uses, see Mess (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial Navy was the German Navy created by Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1871 and 1919; it grew out of the Prussian Navy. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ...

Contents

United Kingdom

Royal Navy

Navy blue mess dress is generally worn as the naval equivalent of white tie or black tie. However, the Royal Navy and some other navies distinguish between mess dress, which is now the equivalent of civilian white tie, and mess undress, which is the equivalent of black tie. Before 1939, there were three forms of evening dress, with the most formal, ball dress, including a tailcoat and gold epaulettes. Mess dress included trousers with gold lace, today there is no ball dress and gold laced trousers are not routinely worn. Formal evening dress is more strictly regulated than other forms of dress, and properly consists of: Black tailcoat with silk (ribbed or satin) facings, sharply cut-away at the front Black trousers with a single stripe of satin or braid in the US or two stripes in Europe White stiff... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bandleader Vincent Lopez in white tie, early 1920s Evening dress (also known as full evening dress) or white tie is the most formal dress code that exists for civilians today. ... Epaulette pronunciation: ĕp-ǝ-lĕt, a French word meaning little shoulders (epaule, referring to shoulder), originally meant only one type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia or rank by military or other organizations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pants. ...


The mess undress uniform comprises high waisted blue trousers, a short blue jacket, a marcella fronted shirt with black bow tie and a blue waistcoat or cummerbund. Rank markings are worn on the jacket cuffs and either full miniature medals, or medal ribbons may be worn. A silk bow tie is recommended and a pre-tied bow tie will incur a fine for the wearer, or host if the wearer is a civilian guest in the mess.


In mess dress the waistcoat or cummerbund is replaced by a white waistcoat and the wearer may opt for a starched shirt with a detached wing collar. Miniature medals should be worn.


Officers of the rank of Captain and above still wear tailcoats with gold laced trousers, known as lightning conductors, for both mess dress and mess undress. Captain is a rank or title with various meanings. ...


Cummerbunds are frequently decorated with badges or colours appropriate to the ship, or establishment, which the officer serves in: eg HMS Glasgow - Black Watch Tartan, HMS Illustrious - Green with the ships logo in gold (three crossed trumpets), Royal Naval Engineering College - Engineers Purple with the RNEC lettering in gold.


In tropical climes a white jacket with shoulder boards to indicate rank is preferred.


British and Commonwealth Armies

Cut away or cavalry style of mess jacket with vest.
Cut away or cavalry style of mess jacket with vest.

Mess uniforms first appeared in the British Army in about 1845. The original purpose was to provide a relatively comfortable and inexpensive alternative to the stiff and elaborate full dress uniforms then worn by officers for evening social functions such as regimental dinners or balls. With the general disappearance of full dress uniforms after World War I, mess dress became the most colourful and traditional uniform to be retained by most officers in British and Commonwealth armies. Immediately after World War II the cheaper "blue patrols" were worn for several years as mess dress, but by 1956 the traditional uniforms had been readopted. Download high resolution version (601x700, 103 KB)cut away photto G Larson File links The following pages link to this file: Mess dress Categories: Public domain images ... Download high resolution version (601x700, 103 KB)cut away photto G Larson File links The following pages link to this file: Mess dress Categories: Public domain images ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


The formal designation of the most commonly worn mess uniform in the British Army is "No 10 (Temperate) Mess Dress". The form varies according to regiment, corps or service, but generally a short mess jacket is worn, which either fastens at the neck (being cut-away to show the waistcoat — this being traditionally the style worn by cavalry regiments), or is worn with a white shirt and black bow tie (traditionally the usual style for all other regiments, corps and services). Since the regimental amalgamations of recent years, the "cavalry style" jacket has been adopted by the majority of British Army regiments and corps, although the simpler "infantry style" uniform remains popular in Commonwealth armies. Officers of the Brigade of Guards, the regiments of which have escaped amalgamation, still wear the "infantry style" of jacket. British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... A corps (plural same as singular; a word that migrated from the French language, pronounced IPA: (cor), but originating in the Latin corpus, corporis meaning body) is either a large military unit or formation, an administrative grouping of troops within an army with a common function (such as artillery or... A traditional waistcoat, to be worn with a two-piece suit or separate jacket and trousers A waistcoat (sometimes called a vest in Canada and the US) is a sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt and necktie (if applicable) and below a coat as a part of... French Republican Guard - May 8, 2005 celebrations Cavalry (from French cavalerie) were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. ...


The colours of mess jackets and overalls almost inevitably reflect those of the traditional full dress uniforms of the regiments in question, as worn until at least 1914. Jackets are therefore usually scarlet, blue or rifle green, with collars, cuffs, waistcoats or lapels in the former facing colours of the regiments in question. In the case of those regiments which have undergone amalgamation features of the former uniforms are often combined. Thus the mess uniform of a modern regiment with several predecessors may have cuffs and lapels of differing colours. Waistcoats (vests) are often richly embroidered though with modern substitutes for the gold or silver braiding that made these items very expensive prior to World War II. Non-commissioned officers wear a mess dress that is usually simpler in design but in the same regimental colours as officers of the same regiment. Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Most British Army regiments' mess dress incorporates high-waisted, very tight trousers known as "overalls", the bottoms of which buckle under heeled boots (or "mess wellies"). Ornamental spurs are usually worn in cavalry regiments; some other regiments and corps prescribe spurs for "field officers" (majors and above), since in former times these officers would have been mounted. Scottish regiments wear kilts or tartan trews, and some wear tartan waistcoats as well. A pair of Wellington boots The Wellington boot, also known as a welly, a wellie, or a gumboot, is a type of boot based upon Hessian boots worn and popularised by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington and fashionable among the British aristocracy in the early 19th century. ... A spur is a metal instrument composed of a shank, neck, and prick, rowel (sharp-toothed wheel), or blunted end fastened to the heel of a horseman. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ...


In "No 11 Warm Weather Mess Dress" a white drill hip-length jacket is worn with either a waistcoat in the same material or a cummerbund of regimental pattern. Blue and various shades of red or green are the most common colours for the cummerbund. Trousers or overalls are the same as in No 10 Dress.


Female officers wear scarlet or blue "cavalry style" mess jackets resembling those of their male counterparts over dark coloured, ankle length, evening dresses. Black hand bags can be carried and black evening shoes are worn.


Royal Air Force

Mess dress in the Royal Air Force is similar to that in the Royal Navy, except that the jacket and trousers are in mid-blue. For the most formal occasions, such as court balls and royal evening receptions, a white bow tie is worn with a white waistcoat. However for all other evening events, a black bow tie with a mid-blue waistcoat or a slate grey cummerbund is worn. Cummerbunds of a particular squadron or unit design may also be worn. Among Scottish units, a kilt of grey Douglas tartan was initially authorised, but the recently approved official RAF tartan is now authorised [1]. The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Orange cummerbund A cummerbund is a broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with black tie. ... A tartan is type of pattern, originating in woven cloth, but now used in many materials. ...


Australian Police Forces

Members of the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police Force, Victoria Police & South Australia Police wear Mess Dress on formal dining in nights.


Generally there is consistency between the mess dress uniforms of the various Australian Police forces and designs are similar. The New South Wales Police Force Mess Jacket is Navy Blue with cobalt blue cuffs and lapels and silver accoutrements. Miniature medals are worn.


United States

The use of mess dress in the United States Armed Forces is a more recent trend, which started in the early 20th Century. The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ...

USAR Female Mess Dress
USAR Female Mess Dress

Image File history File links MessDressF.jpg File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links MessDressF.jpg File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

U.S. Army

In 1902, when the U.S. Army adopted its last standing collar blue uniform for full dress, a modified form of civilian "tail coat" was also introduced for evening dress, worn with a white tie and vest. This was known as the special uniform for evening wear. At the same time a mess uniform resembling the British pattern was authorised for less formal evening occasions. The mess jacket was either dark blue or white according to climate. After 1911 the blue jacket included lapels in branch colour (yellow for cavalry, red for artillery, light blue for infantry etc). The individual officer had the option of either wearing full dress or either of the evening dress alternatives for social functions. In view of the expense involved it was usually senior officers who appeared in mess or evening dress uniforms. While the blue full dress was worn during 1902-17 by all ranks for ceremonial parades within the continental USA, the two optional evening uniforms were authorised only for officers. The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ...


The various blue uniforms ceased to be worn after 1917. However the white mess uniform for commissioned and warrant officers was authorised again in 1921. In 1928 wearing of the full range of blue dress uniforms was authorised for all ranks but only when off duty and at the expense of the individual. In practice this meant that only the pre-1917 mess uniform and, to a lesser extent the special evening wear, reappeared in significant numbers.


After World War II, the evening dress and mess dress uniforms were reintroduced, with the "tail coat" having a single Austrian knot over the branch-of-service color (General Officers had stars over an oak-leaf braid), with the rank placed in the bottom opening of the knot, while the mess coat, for black-tie affairs, used an Austrian knot rank system, with the branch insignia at the bottom. The number of knots indicated the officer's rank: five for Colonel, four for Lt. Colonel, three for Captain, two for First Lieutenant, and none for Second Lieutenant. This complicated system was replaced with the evening coat style (which lost its "tails" in the late 1960's) in 1972, using a single knot and the rank placed above the branch-of-service color. A white mess coat, for summertime wear, was introduced in the 1950's. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... An Austrian Knot (or Tyrolean Knot) is an elaborate design of twisted cord or lace worn as part of a dress uniform, usually on the lower sleeve. ... Branch insignia of the United States Army refers to one of several military emblems that may be worn on the uniform of the United States Army to denote membership in a particular area of expertise. ...


The special evening dress or tailcoat finally disappeared in 1975, replaced by the Army Blue Mess uniform, which in its modern form closely resembles that of 1911.


U.S. Navy and Coast Guard

Officers and Chief Petty Officers of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard utilize the same mess uniform, referred to as "dinner dress". There are three styles of this uniform--Dinner Dress, Dinner Dress Jacket, and Tropical Dinner Dress. {{ USN redirects here. ... USCG HH-65 Dolphin USCG HH-60J JayHawk The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States armed forces and is involved in maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, search and rescue, and national defense. ... Recruiting poster for the United States Navy, featuring a woman wearing the most famous naval uniform, the crackerjack. ... Recruiting poster for the United States Navy, featuring a woman wearing the most famous naval uniform, the crackerjack. ...


Dinner Dress uniforms, Blue and White, are modifications of Service Dress Blue or Service Dress White uniforms, but service ribbons and breast insignia are replaced with miniature medals and miniature breast insignia. Additionally, officers and chief petty officers wear an evening shirt and black bow tie with Dinner Dress Blue.


Dinner Dress Blue Jacket and Dinner Dress White Jacket consist of a black waist-length jacket with gold buttons (officer) or silver buttons (petty officer first class and below). Bullion or imitation bullion rank stripes are worn on the sleeves of the officers' blue jacket, and rating badge and service stripes are worn by enlisted personnel. On the officers' dinner dress white jacket, hard shoulder boards are worn. A gold cummerbund is worn by officers and chief petty officers, a black one by petty officers first class and below. Shirt studs and cuff links are gold for officers and chiefs, silver for petty officers first class and below. Hat or cap is not required with dinner dress jacket uniforms.


Tropical Dinner Dress Blue incorporates Service Dress Blue trousers, Summer White (short sleeve) shirt, appropriate cummerbund, and miniature medals and breast insignia.


An additional uniform, Formal Dress (White Tie), is optional for all commissioned officers but may be prescribed for captains and above. This uniform is worn as an equivalent to civilian white tie dress. It is almost identical to Dinner Dress Blue Jacket except that a wing collar shirt, white waistcoat, and white tie are worn. For captains and above, a formal blue tailcoat may be worn where required by protocol.


Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary wear the same uniforms, but with a silver cummerbund and Coast Guard Auxiliary officer insignia in place of the gold insignia. Petty Officers and below may, at their option, wear this same uniform but with a black cummerbund and silver buttons.


U.S. Air Force

USAF Mess Dress Uniforms

The U.S. Air Force wears a similar pattern to the RAF, except that coat and trousers are dark blue. Dark blue bow ties and dark blue cummerbunds are used for black tie affairs, and white bow ties with white waistcoats for white tie affairs. Silver trimmed shoulder boards and silver sleeve braid are worn rather than rank braids (enlisted members wear sleeve rank insignia instead of shoulder boards), along with silver buttons. No cover (hat) is worn. General officers have solid silver shoulder boards and wider silver sleeve braid. Enlisted members also have the option to wear the Semi-Formal Uniform, essentially an issued service dress with a white shirt substituted for the blue shirt, but many non-commissioned officers elect to purchase a mess dress. Women's Mess Dress uniforms have a long skirt replacing the trousers and delete of the button chain clasp. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3008x1960, 2738 KB) Summary http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3008x1960, 2738 KB) Summary http://www. ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ...


U.S. Marine Corps

USMC Evening Dress
USMC Evening Dress

The U.S. Marine Corps, since the late 19th Century, has worn the most elaborate of the mess dress uniforms in the US Armed Forces. The uniform coat is fastened at the neck, similar to that of the Dress Blue uniform, but is left open, cavalry style, to expose the shirt and cummerbund, which is scarlet (General Officers have a scarlet vest with small gold buttons). Rank, in gold or silver wire, is embroidered directly on the shoulder epaulets, which is bordered with gold wire and scarlet piping (as is the collar), with the cuffs, also bordered in gold wire and scarlet, having a quatrefoil--the coiled rope-like decoration found on the officer's cover, for Warrant Officers and Company-Grade Officers (2d Lieutenant to Captain), a single row of oak leaves for Field Grade Officers (Major to Colonel), and a double row of oak leaves for Flag Officers (Generals). The uniform is complete with black trousers with gold & red stripes, and a "boatcloak," a black knee-length cape lined in scarlet silk. Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (Staff Sergeant to Sergeant Major/Master Gunnery Sergeant) wear a mess uniform similar to that of the Navy's officers, except with the traditional light blue trousers with "blood stripe," scarlet cummerbund, and black bowtie. A white vest, for all officer ranks, and the white bowtie and vest, for SNCOs, is worn for evening dress functions. A summer white mess dress, identical in design to the U.S. Navy/U.S. Coast Guard uniforms, but with shoulder epaulets instead of rank boards, was worn until the mid-1990's, when it was phased out. Image File history File links PlateV_Evening_Dress. ... Image File history File links PlateV_Evening_Dress. ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ... The word quatrefoil etymologically means four leaves, and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts. ...


Israel

In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), mess uniform is never actually worn inside Israel. It is only worn abroad, either by a Military attaché or by senior officers on official State visits. This rules also apply to IDF dress uniform. Because of the small number of uniforms required they are tailor made for the specific officer. Emblem of the IDF The Israel Defense Forces are part of the Israeli Security Forces. ... A military attaché is a military expert who is part of a diplomatic mission. ... State visits usually involve a military review. ... See military uniform and full dress for coverage of non-U.S./non-UK dress uniforms. ... A tailor attending to a customer in Hong Kong. ...


The mess uniforms have a summer version and a winter version.


The phrase mess kit may also refer to a compact kit of cooking and eating utensils for use by soldiers and campers, also known as mess tins and mess gear.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mess dress Information (1189 words)
Navy blue mess dress is generally worn as the naval equivalent of white tie or fl tie.
Today there is no ball dress, and the only difference between mess dress and mess undress in the Royal Navy is the colour of the waistcoat, which is white for mess dress and blue (or replaced with a cummerbund) for mess undress.
Mess dress in the Royal Air Force is similar to that in the Royal Navy, except that the jacket and trousers are in mid-blue.
Mess dress - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1775 words)
Navy blue mess dress is generally worn as the naval equivalent of white tie or fl tie.
In mess dress the waistcoat or cummerbund is replaced by a white waistcoat and the wearer may opt for a starched shirt with a detached wing collar.
Mess dress in the Royal Air Force is similar to that in the Royal Navy, except that the jacket and trousers are in mid-blue.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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