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I'm not sure what to wear to my husband's award banquet; it says semi formal but he's in mess dress and i thought that was considered black tie formal for military, so should i wear a cocktail dress or an evening dress? help.


Asked by Anonymous at 3:25 AM on Jan. 30, 2011 in Beauty & Style

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Mess dress IS formal, but your husband is getting an award, so that's appropriate for him. As the wife of the awardee, you can certainly wear a more formal dress, because you are going to accompany him on his special evening.
    If you still feel uncertain, ask your husband what his chain of command has put out. Most likely they have put out some guidance on what they expect non-military to wear. For instance, at our last Ball, we were told that women would be turned away if they wore dresses that showed too much back, or were too short, or otherwise were inappropriate.

    Answer by ladymomtraveler at 4:06 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Since it says semi formal on the invitation I would wear a cocktail dress.

    Answer by Syphon at 6:45 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • This


    Not something like this

    Again, not slamming them, just giving examples.  Btw - congrats to you and your dh on the award :-)




    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 7:06 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Cocktain dress is the safe bet.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 6:56 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • For an awards banquet, I wouldn't go formal in the sense of ball gown. But I would go with a more conservative styled cocktail dress. As the pp said, nothing that's really low cut in the front or the back, or that's really short. Basically, I wouldn't go much above the knee. I'm not saying these dresses, exactly, but something in this sort of style "range", so to speak...

    (links in next post) I'm not saying get one of the first two, or even ones like it, and I'm not slamming on the 3rd dress (it's really pretty), I'm just showing the sort of level of formal that you tend to find at these sorts of things. Also, keep in mind, it's also going to depend on your command, and nobody is going to expect you to break the bank getting a dress, either. Oh - and of course, there's always going to be someone way over or way under dressed. But for Navy, this is the sort of thing I would go with and it's worked for me.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 6:59 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Def go with a cocktail dress. I had the same confusion once before and I ended up being WAY over dressed and felt really awkward lol I'd go with something knee length, but still elegant (like sailor suggested). Congrats to your hubby and I hope yall have a great time =)

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 8:03 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • My dads a retired Colonel so I have had to opportunity to go to plenty of these events. You want to look for a nice formal cocktail dress. Dont buy anything you might wear to prom, but maybe something you would wear to homecoming if that makes sense.


    Answer by gemgem at 8:07 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Wear a dressy short cocktail dress or a tea length dress.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:36 AM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Either a more formal type cocktail dress, or a less formal evening gown. One that's not like a prom dress, but more like a long gown, a bit understated but elegant. That way, you can have your hair done up really nice, and wear more jewelry, and let that be what's more showy. I think if you went with a long black dress, with spaghetti straps, and wore your hair up (if it's long) like if you were going to a prom. And pretty jewelry. And a bit more make up then normal day time make up.

    Answer by Raine2001 at 8:34 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Thank you all so much for all your responses. I've been totally freaking out about this awards banquet; I just want to make my dh proud on his big night. I think I'm definitely going to go with a conservative cocktail dress and fancy it up with the hair and jewelry.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:39 AM on Jan. 31, 2011