What Not to Wear to a Military Ball

First rule: underwear is NOT clothing! Here's what to NOT wear to a military ball. http://wp.me/p1d7d0-59N

Over here aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the ever-helpful MCCS has decided to hold a Ball Etiquette Class.  As I was informed at our family readiness meeting yesterday, it’s all about “knowing where to put your napkin, what fork to use when, how to behave, all that ball stuff!”

I’m assuming our FRO has never watched Pretty Woman. Because if MCCS wants to hold a ball-related educational event, I’ll totally go to watch the scene where the hotel manager teaches Julia Roberts to work from the outside in.  They could even get smart and serve popcorn and champagne.

I’m also assuming he’s never paid much attention at a ball.  Because I’ve never been to one where they’ve given me any more silverware than I get at Applebee’s, where I’m also expected to navigate my way through two whole forks and a butter knife.  And they don’t even offer a class to show me how.  Plus, I’m pretty sure the likelihood we’ll ever need to use that tricky snail utensil at a military ball is slim to none.

If we are going to hold a ball-themed class, though, let’s make it actually worthwhile. We could have three main themes:

1. Lingerie still isn’t clothing.
2. This is a work event.
3. Lingerie really, really, really isn’t clothing.  Really.

At my first ball, I admit I was a bit awed. It wasn’t the Marines all fancy-schmancy in their dress blues, or the fairly awe-inspiring traditions that get me teary every time.

It was this: as someone who insists on watching the Miss America pageant yearly, I still had never seen so much skin popping out of a dress as I did at that ball.  I didn’t even know where you could buy a dress like that.  Obviously, I had yet to study the women’s section of the PX during ball season.

Now, the last time I suggested that lingerie isn’t clothing, I was met with much ado about being a stodgy walking advertisement for Amish clothiers and wife of what must clearly be a wandering-eyed Marine. I’d like to set the record straight: I, too, take great joy in finding something super hot and drool-worthy gorgeous to wear to the balls, and my husband’s eyes are just for me unless we’re looking at a picture of Scarlett Johansson, because even I can’t help ogling then.  I love a hot red dress, sexy LBD, and dangerously high heels, but I also know when to leave those in the closet.  And if MCCS’s recent advertisements for their annual ExtravaGOWNza* is any clue, they’re the ones who actually need a class on what not to wear to a military ball.

So, with no further ado, let’s start the fight again:

1. Lingerie is still not clothing.

Just say no.

2. Equally unfitting is the dress that says “I’m showing more skin than I’m covering.”  Because y’all, it’s not actually more sexy.  Nor is it flirtingly cute.  Also, it looks particularly chilly in all those super-air-conditioned venues that accommodate our decked-out spouses in their blues.  And the ones who are actually looking are the other dates.  Us.  And what we’re doing might be more adequately described as staring.

Love that love-handle breeze.  This dress even does double-duty.  It’s that “I really want to be upgraded to wife” white look *and* the “have you seen my hipbones?” dress.  The answer? Yes, we have.  We did at the beach all summer.  It’s not the summer anymore.

3. Equally confusing are the dresses that look like you finally bought the dress your mother wouldn’t allow you to wear to the prom and your father said “over my dead body.”  You know the one.

Sufficed to say, your parents were right.

4. Then there are the dresses that just make us – the other women there – confused.  I should elaborate that these dresses confuse men, too, and they frequently lean over and ask us what you’re wearing.  We shrug our shoulders because we honestly have no idea.

Is this a dress? Or is this a spider web? Do we even know?

5. Then there’s this one.  We’ve all seen it.

We’ve seen it in every color, every combination, and every possible smattering of rhinestone adornments.  It’s just never a good idea.

6. Nor is the dress that makes guys joke that the machine broke while making your dress and this happened.

Resembling pea-fowl is the kind of thing you should reserve for Halloween.  Honestly.

7. And – last but not least – is the dress that makes you wince because every time she moves, you see her thong.

It’s true: the rule that applies to jeans *also* applies to your ball gown.  We just didn’t know it needed to be said.

In other words: Lingerie? It still isn’t clothing.

Next week we’ll bring you ideas on what you SHOULD wear to a military ball. For now, feel free to share your other “don’t” tips.
* It’s amazing how many words they can make by sacrificing the word “extravaganza.”  ExtravaGOWNza in September.  EGGstravaganza in March.  I’m waiting for the next one. Maybe we ought to have a class where we teach them that there are, in fact, other words in the English language besides “extravaganza.” Just a thought?

 

 

About the Author

Raleigh Duttweiler
Raleigh Duttweiler is a writer and social media expert living just outside the gates of MacDill in sunny Saint Petersburg, Florida. A Marine Corps wife, she has navigated the stress of Active Duty moves, trainings, and deployments, and now that her family has transitioned to the Reserves, she's experiencing the "weekend warrior" side of military life. (NB: It's not quite as part-time as advertised.) When not writing about benefits and military families, Raleigh posts here about truly life-altering, important issues like What Not to Wear to a Military Ball (visible thongs), Military Halloween Costumes We Love to Hate (ones that generally resemble both military uniforms AND thongs), and how to pack awesome care packages. She is passionate about spouse employment, higher education, and helping families navigate the often-bumpy transition back into civilian life. Raleigh also manages the SpouseBUZZ and Military.com Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages, so be sure to say hi!

119 Comments on "What Not to Wear to a Military Ball"

  1. Just buy a dark navy/black dress that is knee length and has straps. That's it. And wear it over, and over and over again.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!! A ball is a work event it is not a club! I do not want to know for a fact you are not wearing a bra or underwear because it’s beyond obvious! Show everyone you think enough of yourself not to look like a hooker, I’m begging you!!!!!

  3. WOW! You comment on your own stories……

  4. jacey_eckhart | September 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    Raleigh you always make me laugh. Then again, if I had the bod for the dress that looks like a spider web you know I would be figuring out a way to wear it.

  5. I appreciate any attempt to help us know what to do at a military ball. A few weeks after we started dating my man transferred to a new unit & found out the ball was that night. They put big pressure on him to show up and get to know people. So he called me with 4 hours notice to pull something together. (Panicked scream heard around the world). Since I was visiting him, I had no closet to fall back on and ran to the mall in a panic needing everything from jewelry, undergarments, dress, shoes. It was stressful too having to spend so much money for things I had plenty of at home. I bought a simple short black dress thinking, that would get my by. When we got to the ball all the other women were in brightly colored, floor length full ball gowns. It was super stressful and I was totally a mess by that point. I just wished someone has told me floor length because I would've run to a rental shop instead and looked for the right kind of dress. It's great to have some help & guidance from spouses! I don't want anyone to go through what I went through!

  6. Household61974 | September 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

    Wait. Isn't half of the entertainment at a ball oggling over what some of the (ahhem) "ladies" have on, or who has had one too many drinks, or whose boob has made its way nearly out of her dress, or whose husband is sitting a bit too close, or . . . or . . . all of the above?

  7. Ugh yet another slut shaming article about what to wear to a ball. Seriously who cares what other chicks wear? You don’t see men coaching other men about what to wear. Why because men could give a crap. We actually extend to them the courtesy of thinking they know how to get dressed. But of course we as women need some asinine how-to complete with pictures about how to dress to the authors standards. Thanks for talking down to us.

  8. Men do not have a myriad of options on what to wear like women do. Men are not exposing key parts of their bodies in skin tight, barely there shirts, dresses or skirts. We as women have more options to bare it all than men do. That being said, men do care about appearance.

    I know that my husband takes great care of his appearance because it has been drilled into him since BT. You can also look at units such as the Silent Platoon, The Old Guard, and others that those men DO care about what they look like. I think the old adage of men not caring about what other men look like has died. They may not express it as much, but men do compete with other men in terms of how they dress, and they do notice if this or that guy isn’t wearing something that’s ‘flattering’.

    We as women DO size up the competition when it comes to looks. We judge based on appearance before we even get to know the person. This has been tested time and time again. Looks are not the most important thing, but they do matter.

    Like I said in another comment, this is just the opinion of the author. Take from it what you will. Neither you, nor anyone else can really condemn the author for voicing her opinion the same way you are voicing yours. Remember, these are not set rules of what to wear; just the authors OPINION on what NOT to wear.

  9. I certainly appreciate the advice and I am sincerely looking forward to the "What TO wear" version. I remember my first ball. It was with my boyfriend (it was his first ball too) and he basically told me that the command told us girls to dress like a nun! He insisted that I wear black, no rhinstones, it be at least to the knee (with solid black tights) and conservative makeup. So, I wore a black, fitted but conservative as far as clevage goes. I did get my hair/makeup done–wish I hadn't as it was waaayy over the top for the event. Anyways, all but a few of the other girlfriends were wearing an inch of make-up, rainbow colored dresses that glowed from all the sparkles. I'm not hating on their styles or what they felt comfortable in, I just think that what they wore wasn't appropriate for the event. As much as I wanted to wear a dress that was more "me", it wouldn't be appropriate at an event that is all about respect and being conservative. I'm glad I followed my fiance's advice, but next time I'll wear a slightly more exciting dress, but less makeup and hair. Thanks for the advice, and I hope mine helps!!

  10. I agree some gowns lack taste, but worry about what you are wearing, not what others are wearing. Honestly a lot of women can look good in those gowns, and if you can pull it off go for it!! Waer what you feel beautiful in and what makes you feel fabulous. And I would say the same goes for all the women who show up in black boring bridesmaid dresses, they are ugly and boring! And I rather see something interesting than another woman in an old boring unflattering dress.

  11. The following was included in the information put out for the upcoming Birthday Ball: 1.Formal Dress is required:
    -The uniform for male and female Marines is: Dress Blue Alphas. Refer to: MCO 10120.34 F.
    •Marines may wear the Evening Dress if they have them.
    •Covers and gloves are not required on the hotel grounds only.
    -Civilian women should wear a Formal Evening Gown.
    •A formal Evening gown is conservative in nature and should not be confused with a cocktail dress.
    -Civilian men should wear a dark colored Tuxedo.

    If there is a specified dress code, I consider it disrespectful not to adhere to it. The dress code is not a suggestion, it is a requirement if you want to participate in the event. Respect the tradition and those who are honored during a birthday celebration.

  12. As a woman I am offended by these dresses. What happened to modesty and dignity? I don't want to see anyone's "business" hanging out all over the place, man or woman alike. Think classy not trashy.

  13. I was shocked and kind of disgusted at the first formal event I went to with my hubby! There were wives dressed like *******, wives with ***** popping out, and wives looking like their dresses had been ripped off! I was completely overdressed next to them (I was secretly glad, since I didn’t want to look like any of them)!
    Personally, I ‘m glad my hubby warned me that I might see “prostitutes on parade!”

  14. WELL SAID!!!!!

  15. I dislike military women who come to a ball wearing a ball gown. If you want to be part of the profession, you lose the right to play "dress up". Sorry.

    The thing this article misses is the proliferation of ink on women these days. It's not just the cut of the dress, but the degree to which women display all manner of body tattooing. (Admittedly not my thing, but from a broader consideration, it does bear mentioning).

  16. When my husband retired and we moved to New Orleans, I attended my first Mardi Gras Ball within the first 2 weeks. I was informed then that none of my "conservative" military ball attire would do. I traded them all in for "fun" dresses. There is a time and a place for everything and even though we do not get a lot of opportunities to dress up the way we may want to as military spouses, it is always best to err on the side of conservative. Save your skin and cleavage showing for an appropriate outing. Military balls are not them.

    FYI the consignment store was happy to get all my conservative dresses:)

  17. As the wife of a CO believe me your husbands/boyfriends ARE being judged when they bring a date to the ball that is dressed like a hooker (ie: the dresses above). No, it will not reflect poorly on their promotions, re-enlistments, etc, but they are talked about by the senior leadership……and it is not positive. Yes, you do have the right to wear whatever you want, but please know that the attention you are seeking will resort in laughter and negative comments and franklly it makes you look very insecure. It is perfectly fine to be sexy for your man and there are plenty of dresses that can cover you and still be sexy, but the ball is not about you and how hot you look. It is about the time honored tradition of our fighting forces and those who have sacrificed their life so you can have the freedom to "do what you you want". Show some respect.
    One last thing before you start your rants. I am a cross fit instructor and could totally rock those dresses, but I save those kind of things for my husband's eyes only. It's called being secure in my relationship.

  18. Some dress this way as advertisement: when the husband is away, I'm available to play!

  19. As a retired mil wife,if you use common sense you won’t go wrong…I never knew this was such a serious issue….why don’t you know how to use cutlery? My kids know that!

  20. Sgt Rock Marine | September 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    Just wear a dress that is nice and keep all your spouse friends eyes in there head. This is not about you it is about the Marine Corps birthday.
    Yes we all like to see legs and ti!s but this is not your bed room. This is a ball with a lot of history. You spouse commanders are there you are to be there in there honor.
    So dress nice and enjoy dancing and the history of our beloved Marine Corps.

  21. You need to include the dress that is open from neck to crotcch–I mean, private area and held together by rhinestone encrusted chains. I was completely dumbounded when that's what my commander's wife showed up in to our ball following a deployment to Iraq in 2004.

  22. It has been my experience after almost 20 years of going to every Army and Now Navy function on the list is that no matter what you are wearing if you are the drunk, loud, nasty attitude, stripper dance moves spouse, then you will be a hot mess even in a conservative frock. Since I have worn dresses similar to #4 and #7 I know the value of taking it to a tailor so that I feel comfortable and appropriate in it. Just because you bought it that way does not mean it has to stay that way. If the back is too low raise it up if the slit is too high close it. You can still have the look you want and still keep things PG. I think it is funny that in a military environment that most of us commenting here are in that no one has done what I saw done when a real gem walked in with an inappropriate dress on. Her and her military spouse were asked to leave the function. Well within the right of the command to ask its servicemember and his spouse to leave with the option of returning with an appropriate dress on. They did not return but the message to everyone else was loud and clear. Those of you here in leadership positions complaining about what people wear are not powerless to stop it.

  23. I also wanted to add where is the blog about been seen out and about with the messy bun, sweat pants, flip flops your spouses PT shirt that either says Army, Navy, etc. sans a bra with your three screaming kids in tow one just in a diaper, crocs and a t-shirt? As the rounds are made at the commissary, Exchange, Hospital etc. Where is the outrage (and photos) for that? Or are we just worried about representing when there is a formal function to attend?

  24. You only live once…and it isn’t going to last forever ladies. Ball / Formal Event = gown should be full length – cocktails event = above the knee but no higher than mid thigh. Other than that go for it. If you and your significant other are comfortable wearing it, do it. Don’t let the stodgy, green with envy, and the bible thumpers ruin your night.

  25. Raleigh:
    While truly "formal: balls are disappearing (multiple forks, knives, glasses, plates, and the odd fingerbowl), they are not gone completely.
    Etiquette, as opposed to manners is important. The information is available online. The spouse events should include classes on what can be expected in clothing, eating, dancing, language, drinking, etc. at a ball or dining out. A spouse's meeting would be a good place for the C.O.'s spouse (maybe a man) could present some kind ot learning experience in a non-threatening and generic enviornment.
    I have never seen a military community where an expert in this behavior is not available. . . .

  26. I have been married to a Marine for almost 25yrs….going to the Marine Corps Ball for almost 23years… you will never stop girls from dressing sexy and having too much fun… it's all part of their one night to show off themselves to their man…. Be safe… have a Designated Driver and Have Fun !! Semper FI

  27. modern tueffelhunden | September 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    you speak for no one

  28. I'd wondered how long it would take before the comments devolved on this thing. I really thought it would be worse than this, which is completely ridiculous, because there is nothing wrong with this article.

    An expected dress code is no more or less than that: an expected dress code. Asking participants to show up in appropriate clothing isn't oppression. It's not hating on thin women. It's not jealousy. It's asking participants to show up in clothing that conforms to the spirit and level of decorum of the occasion. Sometimes this level of decorum is different–as with Greta, above, who mentioned moving and finding that the definition of appropriate had shifted in the new place. But showing up in inappropriate clothing when you know that the level of decorum calls for more conservative dress is immature and yeah, inappropriate, and it's silly to get huffy over being reminded of it. I've got a pretty rockin' bod, too, but it doesn't mean I go to the grocery store in my bikini. Time and place, people.

    On the flip side of that argument, a woman in a revealing dress is, guess what? A woman who happens to be wearing a revealing dress. That's all. Not a whore. Not any of the other words that get tossed around every time a woman shows a little skin. Not stupid, like one commenter insinuated. No one's IQ drops in proportion to how much of their skin is currently visible.

  29. [face in palm.] Why are we still talking about what to wear and what not to wear?! I thought surely after the homecoming posts our author would have learned that trying to change what military spouses wear to any given event is like repeatedly running into a brick wall. Newsflash – people are going to wear what they want to wear, period. Let's move on to more meaningful topics like deployment support, spouse employment, etc!

  30. [face in palm.] Why are we still talking about what to wear and what not to wear? I thought surely after the homecoming outfit article and the ensuing comments the author would have realized trying to change what military spouses wear to an event is like repeatedly running into a brick wall. Some things you just can't change – let's move on to more meaningful conversation!

  31. soldiermomof3 | September 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

    I'm not only the spouse of an active duty soldier , but I'm prior service as well. Ive attended several formal balls in uniform and ball gowns. Here is the rule of thumb I've held to and also passed on to the newer girls who've asked. 'Formal' means a step or three above Easter Sunday attire, more conservative than club wear, and be as comfortable as possible with what you choose. Floor length is considered formal, but shorter is also acceptable as long as it's no shorter than 6 inches above the knee. Any color is fine, any material is also fine. These aren't hard and fast rules, but it's fairly proper 'etiquette' for those who don't want to be embarrassed or appear clueless the first time they'll meet their spouses co-workers and entire chain of command. Everyone wants to make their spouse proud, and enjoy the evening.

  32. While a spouse OR girlfriend is welcomed at a military ball, ALWAYS remember that how you dress is a reflection of the servicemember you're with. The dress you wear MAY have an effect on THEIR career. Dress formally but appropriately. You are NOT going to a movie premier or some other Hollywood gala.

  33. Rule #8 (the most important one): Disregard this article entirely. If (and only if) you can pull off the dress, go for it!

    Rob Drury,
    Major, USAF (fmr)

  34. YellowRoseOTx | September 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    Semper Fi: Sounds like you both have insecurity issues. If you have to play dress up in public to advertise to everyone else how great you are and "that he could land you" … sounds like immaturity, insecurity and just plain bad taste.

    I don't care about your degrees, his rank, your work outs or your big fake DD's; but if you think his co-workers don't notice and his troops don't notice, you are OUT OF YOUR MIND. However, based on your comments getting noticed is what you two are all about.

    You two should try showing some respect for the military traditions and go get a hotel room AFTER instead.

  35. I couldn't help but to chuckle about what women should be wearing to a military ball. In the Army we also had monthly "Hail and Farewell-s" for our battalion officers and their wives (and sometimes, girlfriends). One battalion commander's wife (who was also a knock-out blond) was both the daughter of an Army general and the sister of a famous singer and movie star. She wore a pair of very tight leather pants to our "informal", monthly gathering. All of the junior officers greatly admired what they saw and a couple of them even offered to saddle-soap them for her provided she was wearing them when they did it. She knowingly smiled through all of this. Our wives were nonplussed over this if you can imagine! And, as for her husband, our battalion commander, her show was just another example her having fun and flirting as she was known to do. At our military balls, she and the other wives were always fashionably and tastefully dressed acknowledging the presence of our most senior officer and their wives. But, then again, I remember as the battalion adjutant getting my butt chewed by a three-star's aide as our battalion stood in the reception line and some of the officers had drinks in their hand!

    In the military we lived in a culture of respect and courtesy that was rarely violated. The wife of the commander who commissioned me held etiquette for both us and our wives. As time went along, I purchased a copy of "Military Etiquette" and referred to it on many occasions. Later in my career, as the protocol officer for a major overseas command, I couldn't find a publication explaining how to deal with foreign military and civilian guests much to my frustration. Yet, our wives were always able to smooth over any rough edges I had left exposed through their wonderful adaptability and willingness to shift to the cultural roles of our host country. They were often our best diplomats!

    What our women wear may be important. But, how they behave and insist that their husband's behave if often more important. Even the raciest gown never left the impression that our wives were ever improper. Or, that our wives former life was that as a hooker!

  36. Don’t judge…..I love seeing all the young wives dressed in fun dresses that I can’t pull off in my 40 year old body. They are young, let them be. Everyone should dress in what they are comfortable in. If you don’t think something is inappropriate for the ball, don’t wear it.
    My advice is to wear what you want, feel confident and do things intentionally. To **** what others think!

  37. Don’t judge…..I love seeing all the young wives dressed in fun dresses that I can’t pull off in my 40 year old body. They are young, let them be. Everyone should dress in what they are comfortable in. If you don’t think something is inappropriate for the ball, don’t wear it.
    My advice is to wear what you want, feel confident and do things intentionally.

  38. OMG! Did nobody else notice that the woman in the first pic flanked by soldiers is lopsided? REALLY? She's flaunting all that and she's about two sizes asymmetrical! HILARIOUS!

  39. just because you cant fit in one of these doesn't mean ppl cant wear them.

  40. this is why when i was a private, at Bragg, I took a stripper. She dressed like that, she looked good in it, all the other guys were jelious and there dates were pissed. Just a friend did not go anywhere but was fun,

  41. I am sorry but this is ridiculous. Why would someone else care what I wear other than my husband. I only wish I could pull some of these off but at 50 I would laugh at myself. Two of the dress shown are fabulous and I would have worn them in my younger years. Seriously isn’t this America, live and let live. Some people spend to much time worrying about everyone else while the skeletons are just spilling out of their closets.

  42. cause I wouldnt wear it does not give me the right to judge. And as for the comment about going to the px in sweatpants messy bun and screaming kids. some women dont have time to spend on themselves to go grocery shopping.i have 4 kids and work part time on top of doing everything at home. dont judge me if I ran out of milk and had to make a trip to the store without spending an hour on my makeup. you must not have kids 4

  43. I agree. However, you are preaching to a generation who thinks wearing pajama pants to the grocery store is acceptable.
    Julia Robert's street clothes (hooker clothes) in the movie Pretty Woman are more conservative than what I have witnessed girls wearing to church. If you look at what women wear on a daily basis and compare it to what hookers were wearing 15 years ago, there is no difference, except that today's modern girl adds sparkles, sequins, and rhinestones and calls it "Diva Wear."

  44. Wow! LOL. Well, I'm a new army wife and I have a ball coming up in November. I honestly can't wait to see all the different personalities and the way they dress. Just like in any place, you will always have the "I'm so insecure I will dress like street hooker, because the extra attention makes me feel better about myself" and then you have the ones that dress like a nun and the "Mightier than Thou". Either way, I don't care… observing all of them and the way they act has always been fun to watch at any party. I'm going to dress classy and sexy without showing any body parts and I will have fun doing study cases of all the catty women in the room. Yay!!!! can't wait LOL

  45. I went to the Birthday Ball last year and as I am not one to dress up, I consulted with and ultimately borrowed a wonderful, ankle length, black dress from a Marine Mom. I was comfortable and looked nice. I consider that to spell success!

  46. Wear what makes you feel pretty and don't worry about what others might think.

  47. When my husband and I first married, he had a ball coming up a month later. I ask him what to wear and he said something floor length and conservative. I went to david's bridal and picked out a strapless floor length gown in royal blue. It was beautiful and didn't show cleavage, wasn't tight, and was classy. You can buy an inexpensive dress and not look cheap. Some of these girls come to formals wearing the trashy prom dress they wore the year before. And for the woman who said that only the spouses sit there and judge… definitely not true, I've been at tables where the entire table joined in on the fun!

  48. And this isn't about who makes more money. Some people are just raised with more class than others… Wearing a dress with cut outs is just skanky looking! I agree with the woman who said they are just advertising who's available when their husbands are overseas! Be appropriate, this is a work event for your husband, by all means have fun, but be appropriate!

  49. Bella_Detta | October 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    I agree 100% with this post. However, I am not one for “following” per se. Getting insight from others yes. But it all comes down to havig and using common sense…I cannot agree that everyone in roles of leadership are worthy of looking up to and “following”. Be your person let your personality come through but keep it classy; it IS doable. I am attending my first Marine Corps ball this November and am confident in my dress…

  50. I’ll admit most of these dresses were tacky and a fashion don’t, but who are you to dictate that? I just went to my first semi-formal Army ball this year and the higher ranking wives were the ones in the crazier “prom dresses” while most of the privates dates were in cocktail dresses or a nice blouse and skirt. tall ladies such as myself can’t fit floor length dresses off the rack, and im not about to spend money getting a dress altered to wear once. It’s all just a ******* contest. Oh my husband makes more money than yours, so I must buy a crazy dress and snub everyone and then tell everyone online what they can and cannot wear to a ball!

  51. I was always told to not upstage my husband because it is his event, not my prom!
    Officer's wives especially should wear a tasteful floor lenth gown that does not expose your full back, chest or full legs. It should also be a classy or complimentary color to your spouses dress blues (black, navy blue, red, champagne, etc), no flourescent colors. I think to myself, would a young politicians wife wear this? If the answer is yes, then I'm good to go. I wouldn't want to embarass my husband at a work event.

  52. Wives and girlfriends, if you don't think your date's bosses judge them based on what you are wearing and your behavior at the ball, think again. I promise you that they do and if you are dressed like a slut and/or behave like a drunken mess, they will be spoken to and it will be remembered. And yes, the other wives will snark about you, but you should worry about affecting your SO's career more. If you don't care, then go ahead and be "that girl."

  53. Have a good Birthday Corps. 235!! I grew up an Aviator son and went to many B-day balls. In Calif., N.C., D.C., and Virginia. Even the Brats had their codes. In my teens , there where many other opposites a picking that weekend, and I partook in many late night teen events. One B-day Ball at Quantico, Commandant Shoup had a conference just for us kids. Nice go go talk, but what impressed me is when he stated, " WE (brats) were his responsibility and if we F^*#ed up we would have to report to him at Marine Barricks and face the consequences". I zipped up on the next few B-Balls. Never had to report. He did, when my Dad was buried at Arlington.

  54. respectful, classy and comfortable. Respectful – this is your spouse's formal get together. Deciding to dress in a manner designed to elicit giggles, goggles and "good griefs" from others, shows a sad lack of said respect. NO, we are not saying dress Amish. but try very hard not to look like you are standing on a street corner in Naples waiting for a pick-up! classy – lets make it simple – are you wearing this so everyone looks at you and wonders how the hell you got into that, where your spouse met you if not on said street corner, or what on earth is holding that up? If so – not classy. Comfortable – can you sit comfortably? can you dance without worrying that something is going to fall out and cause everyone terminal embarrassment? If your spouse is choosing your clothes to make you into his fantasy, fine – that's up to you. I have seen very fit women at a ball, looking entirely appropriate and drop dead gorgeous without wearing lingerie as their outerwear; so claiming that you must come in a cut to here, there and everywhere to show off your body – is just so much hogwash.

  55. This is exactly why I choose to not fraternize with other wives and have two friends after two years of being at Fort Hood. I couldn’t even finish reading this back and forth garbage. Worry about yourself, not about others. That’s their problem, not yours. If they want to be whores, let them be whores. If you want to wear a potato sack, wear a potato sack. If you want to blow hundreds of dollars on a Cinderella ball gown, go for it. But squawking about the girl who walked in with an elegant gown that has a little back showing is just the indicator of one thing: Jealousy. So just worry about yourselves, ladies. That’s advice anyone can take.

  56. This is exactly why I choose to not fraternize with other wives and have two friends after two years of being at Fort Hood. I couldn’t even finish reading this back and forth garbage. Worry about yourself, not about others. That’s their problem, not yours. If they want to be ******, let them be ******. If you want to wear a potato sack, wear a potato sack. If you want to blow hundreds of dollars on a Cinderella ball gown, go for it. But squawking about the girl who walked in with an elegant gown that has a little back showing is just the indicator of one thing: Jealousy. So just worry about yourselves, ladies. That’s advice anyone can take.

  57. This is exactly why I choose to not fraternize with other wives and have two friends after two years of being at Fort Hood. I couldn’t even finish reading this back and forth garbage. Worry about yourself, not about others. That’s their problem, not yours. If they want to be whores, let them be whores. If you want to wear a potato sack, wear a potato sack. If you want to blow hundreds of dollars on a Cinderella ball gown, go for it. But squawking about the girl who walked in with an elegant gown that has a little back showing is just the indicator of one thing: Jealousy. So just worry about yourselves, ladies. That’s advice anyone can take.

  58. I have been to several balls. Reality is you WILL be judge by what you wear. Your husband will be held accountable for your behavior and it could affect his career, AND his pay. This is an event for HIS work! Your are supposed to be the pride and joy on his arm, don’t cheapen it by your dress and attitude which both should has stayed in the closet. This is what I do for my husband because it is what he does for me. We are a team and support each other.

  59. After reading all these posts, it seems we are divided with one side stating they can wear what they want wherever they want and the other side stating that there are standards for apparel at certain events and those standards should be respected. We all have to conform to dress codes in our workplaces, our restaurants, our gas stations, our military bases, our churches, etc.. We also conform to expected standards for various events, ie. weddings and funerals. So why is a military ball so different that people don't find it necessary to conform, while they do conform for the above mentioned establishments and events. I personally do not care what someone wears, but I care when I see disrepect shown to the customs and traditions that are inherent in my spouse's branch of service. I have great respect for the Marine Corps, for what they stand for and for what they do for our country. If I have to get out of my jeans for one night and wear an uncomfortable long dress and uncomfortable shoes to give proper respect at the Birthday Ball, then that's what I will do.

  60. The ONLY reason I am posting to this is to stop getting the updates from this. I was not sure how else to do it, so I am commenting to unsubscribe. If there is another way to do that, please let me know! Thanks!

  61. This article has nothing to do with clothes. It has to do with integrity. Are you interested in gaining the attention of other men or not? If you are interested, your dress will reflect your intention. I never was one for social obligations and dress standards with military formals. People should were whatever they want to represent themselves. This goes for any organization. This is a societal issue, not a military one. Now, do you have integrity or is your motivation to gain negative attention of other people? Represent yourself and your loved ones well and with good intentions. Your character lasts much longer than your beauty.

  62. Pat in California | October 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

    Well, my husband retired in 1975 after 30years service. During his career I always looked to the General's wife to see what the proper wear should be. Never went wrong. Your Marine's career is sometimes reflected in what his spouse does and looks like in spite of rumors to the contrary. If she dreams of a career as a stripper she should not display those wares at a Military Ball. Old Marine Wife. .

  63. Why does this article not mention ink! OMG. if ink is inappropriate leaking from under the uniform is most definitely inappropriate at the most formal of military events.

  64. All that I can say is….sounds like we have a very insecure wife on our hands. I have been to MANY, many Marine Crops Ball events’ being my husband has been in for 18 years and I can tell you now, you can tell which wives are insecure with themselves and with their husbands being around all the pretty women that come to the ceremony. Not to mention the fact that their husbands are grabbing quick looks and talking none stop about these women the next day at work. You can keep telling yourself that your husband isn’t looking but I can tell you that you’re WRONG. He may ever make some sort of negative comments to you about the dress that cute blonde is wearing across the room, that way he can freely look at her (and I do mean get a GOOD look) all the while you’re thinking he is appalled by her appearance.

  65. Look Ladies don’t let this women dictate what you wear or don’t wear. If it looks good on you, and your comfortable wearing it, and of course if your husband doesn’t mind…..wear it. Its only you and him you have to please and I’m 100% positive if he thought it was inappropriate, he will let you know before you leave the house. I mean it is HIS career and I don’t know one serviceman that is going to let a wife, girlfriend or a date ruin his lively hood.

  66. Raleigh Duttweiler grow up….there is tradition involved here, however we do live in 2012 and things have changed (even if I don’t agree with it) in the Marine Corps….if they can change the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”….then us ladies can wear what the hell we want…..without some old ass (more than likely) FAT insecure wife telling us what SHE thinks!!!!!

  67. Just look comfortably good look classy. Not tat nasty!

  68. I think its disgusting how you posted a picture of people attending a real military ball and are probably justifying it because the faces are partially showing. All you had to do is post examples, that would have been enough. You should remove the photo on top immediately!!!

  69. Just thought I should point out that ball gowns (not dresses) should be full length (not knee length, which would be ideal for a cocktail event). If the man wear a tux (aka dress blues and bow-tie) the woman should absolutely wear a formal, full length gown.
    Remember, you are a reflection of your spouse/significant other. Make him look good!
    -Wife of a Naval Officer!

  70. Might sound lame to some, but check out what Claudia Joy, Jackie, and Denise wear to balls and such on Army Wives. They know how to dress to impress without looking like hookers. Besides, if you wear a dress that you are falling out of, are you really comfortable? I am not even in the service or married to a service man, but even I know you are helping your spouse to represent and show respect. Be a lady.

  71. gokumonster | October 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm |

    And this gossip is why we plan a vacation during the AF ball. Way more relaxing and fun. We went to Tokyo this year! New Zealand is next year!

  72. I think your article had good intentions but it is the presentation that I take issue with. Positive information is received much quicker than negative. Instead of a "What not to Wear" perhaps an article like "Seven Great Looks for a Military Ball" Remember to keep your comments positive throughout. People quickly pick up on the negative and focus on it. I have discovered that if people feel like they are being attacked on their choices they get defensive. However, when you present someone with ideas and let them choose for themselves, they feel empowered. Additionally, perhaps an article that describes what is expected when you receive an invitation that has things like "Coat and Tie/****tail Dress, Casual, Business Casual, Semi-Formal, Formal" would be quite useful for some people. I know many people "spouses and the military member" have no idea what these terms mean and I am not just talking about some of the newbies. Information is power.

  73. think like a lady, and let the street people walk the streets, the ball is not the place. Respect yourself your family and partner, trust me it will pay off later.

  74. JacqueSolomons | October 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

    If the spouses are not allowed to pick what they want to wear to the balls (BTW is this America, the country my husband, fights to defend, that has a constitution, and FREEDOM???) why don't they just issue a uniform to them? Because the wives are not in the military. Our ID cards say DEPENDENT…we should dress to make our spouses happy.

    This is ridiculous…if there is a dress code, they better print on the invite/ball ticket.

  75. proudmomandwife | October 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    The lack of taste in some dresses just ends up making the woman wearing them losing respect of others around them. There is definitely a dress code to military ball functions! Even as some etiquette customs have become more a suggestion than a rule, there is still a general rule of thumb. If your grandparents or great grandparents would be ashamed of what you are wearing, you probably shouldn't wear it to a military ball. This is a function that could very well directly affect the way your service member's COC views him or her, which in return can affect their career. If you are showing skin in the areas normally covered by undergarments, this is not the outfit for a ball. FORMAL dresses should be at least knee length to floor length (as directed) and classy in taste. Think old school Hollywood, not Paris Hilton at some party. Dear goodness women, have some respect for yourself, your husband's, and the military! You directly affect the general impression of the military in these functions! Are we as military wives to be respected and looked up to or are we going to be distasteful, trashy, and shame the military? And really, who wants to see you dressed that way? That is for you husband's eyes! At our military ball, there is literally a group assigned to a security detail, and part of their job is to escort out those who are improperly dressed as well as those posing danger or causing public nuisance for whatever reason.

  76. Col USAF Ret | October 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    Honestly who really cares what other people wear – be concerned with yourself and your spouse!!! Aside from some interesting reading this issue is going to continue. I have been to military balls since the 80's and its always the same there will be a small percentage of people that will have no idea what to wear as it's their first event and likewise a small group of young men that will find strippers to take just for the effect. Go to the ball enjoy the time with friends and let those people who want to make asses out themselves do just that.

  77. those dresses sure look good don't they

  78. Proud Marine Wife | October 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    This will be my 20th Marine Corps Ball. I am not fat and I am not skinny. I am not frumpy and I am not skanky and I am not some jealous wife. I will tell you what I am. I am respectful towards the Marine Corps and my husband. This night is for my husband and his fellow Marines. It's not for me to dress like I belong on Hollywood Blvd or get drunk to the point I have to be escorted out. Even if I had the body to wear those dresses I still would not wear them. Why because I know how to dress and act. I have seen it all. And if you get escorted out don't be crying for a refund. So if you want to be the monday morning joke go ahead and dress like that cuz trust me they do talk about you.

  79. @Mel, I agree for the most part about what you're saying. Following the rules is a requirement enforced by those in leadership, their decision may be to correct or make an exception. You need a shirt and shoes for the store and restaurants. I don't know about every church, but most churches tell you to come as you are for the purpose to draw everyone and transition them into a dress code. They might not have certain clothing or able to afford the standard, placing strict requirements can discourage them from coming. Anyway, It's leadership's call, not mine. Why don't we leave it up to them. Would anyone go up to someone in a store and tell them they can't receive service if they didn't work there?Probably not. Would you go tell the manager that they didn't have on the required attire to receive service so therefore they should leave? I would hope not. It's totally necessary to conform, but we must remember that they are adults like you and i. If they chose to ignore the directions, can't afford something better, or just don't know what to wear, who are we to judge?

  80. Wait to see your first round of gays at the balll….all bets are off

  81. I agree that certain things should not be worn. Floor length dresses are recommend for an event such as the Birthday Ball. Dresses numbered 4,6 and 7 but, especially "confused dress" are perfectly acceptable. if you have the body to wear a dress like that then do it, I feel like the bigger problem we have at Birthday Balls is women not dressing to their body type. The MCCS class is not just what fork to use it covers ball clothing as well and also other aspects of the ball, how to conduct yourself and etc. the poster herself has said that there are newbies who have no idea how to act. So with that being said I'm not sure why she is mocking the class. I myself have yet been to a ball that only has an "Applebees's" silverware set. In my experience the FRO has been to every single Birthday Ball, since they are special staff to the Commanding Officer, so the FRO bashing is not needed.

  82. As a reminder – whether you like it or not, what you wear, say and do reflects directly on your military spouse. And, yes, his/her commander is watching…..this is the military – find out what is expected of you and support your military spouse. He or she will appreciate your support!

    Mine does, and he tells me so all the time.

  83. and the reason this is such valuable info?
    We've all seen this, I'm sure: http://www.strangemilitary.com/images/content/848

  84. while I agree a lot of wives dress like tramps-and NOT just at the ball! Boson seems to have nailed it. I married when hubby already had 12 yrs under his belt. He was on I&I duty. When we moved to NC, he warned me about other wives. THEY are the Marine, NOT the spouse. Luckily we only did 3 yrs there. Extended RD to 4 yrs to retire from it. I only had to deal with base and bossy wives for 3 yrs.

  85. Rather than the dresses than some women chose to wear, I am more frustrated/embarressed about how incrediebly drunk these people get. The one true ball we went to while stationed in Germany our Regiment was told by the hosting hotel that they would NEVER host another military ball and we were not welcome back in their establishment because of the damages, disrespect, etc that was done. We have yet to go back to a ball because that is all it is, a "let's see how drunk we can get in front of the chain of command" night. No thanks! And yes, I am not a drinker, nor do I find the fun side of it watching everyone else get drunk.

  86. Or you could JUST STAY AWAY and enjoy the night your way with your "man" either on a formal date somewhere else, or at home. I never get wrapped up in these formal brown nosing sessions known as a "ball" I work with these folks all day everyday sometimes 7 days a week why the hell would I want to spend what little time I can with my wife dragging her to a "work" party????

  87. For the army ball for my husband's company, I wore a really beautiful satin floor length gown from Alfred Angelo in "Tealness":
    http://www.alfredangelo.com/collections/productdi

    I liked the color because it didn't clash with my husband's green dress uniform, and it's also one of my favorite colors.

    I had it altered so it wouldn't show cleavage. I also bought a pretty austrian crystal pin at another store to adorn the waist area where the fabric appears to gather, and I got a black satin short sleeve bolero jacket to cover my out-of-shape arms and keep me warm. (It was the dead of winter.) The whole look was really amazing when it was all put together.

    When shopping for a ball gown, think classy and elegant. Always go with a floor length gown. I did not see one person at the ball in a short gown.

  88. " Behind a great man, is a good woman. Behind a good woman is the beauty of a man "

  89. This awesome…… WE have hosted 3 Ball Etiquiette Classes. Our main stress was the Dress Code and that it is a Work thing….. do not be that Girl or Guy!!! So thank you!! :-)

  90. She is NOT talking down to other women, she is simply giving a guideline! not to mention guys have all of two choices to wear- Military Service uniform or a tux. The term Ball indicates floor length, CLASSY wear, but for all the balls I have gone to it is obvious some women can't look classy for the life of them and maybe it's because they don"t know what right is! Shesh get off her back. She is doing a service to the girlfriends, fiancee and wives of service members. I sure get red when I see a woman wearing a dress with a slit up to you know where and it's not because I really care, but she is giving women, and military women at that, the stereotypical name of tramp or trash!

  91. Former Military | December 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    You may not care what you wear, you may htink you can wear whatever you want. Your Marine will hear about it the next day and for many days, months, even years later. His command XO will come have a talk to him, they will explain that his choice of date reflects who he is. If he was hoping for a promotion around ball time well remember Military Life is 24-7-365. Things like this do have a lasting effect on your military career.

  92. As a cadre member of an Army ROTC unit, it is my responsibility to ensure that the female dates of our cadets represent themselves, their date, the unit and the University in a respectful and diginified manner. The dresses that you showed are the kinds of dresses that we specifically ask our guests, spouses and dates to NOT wear. I have told young women to go home before because their dress did not fit into our dress code and image that we would like to represent. Thanks for the images. I will be using them in my briefing this year.

  93. Upcoming lingerie trends see a return to romance, opulence and colour, with an undeniably feminine aesthetic, as GTC's Eryn Behan reports.

  94. Proud Army Wife | July 3, 2013 at 10:11 am |

    It amazes me how many women defend wearing a dress like the ones mentioned above. What happened to self respect, dignity and decorum?! I'm 29 years old so I definitely remember these types of dresses from my Prom. The thing is, you're supposed to grow up after that. Hell, even then I wouldn't have worn something so skimpy. Silly me, I was raised with this thing called CLASS. I know how to look good without looking like I should be dancing on a pole! My mother always told me that when I walked out of the house I was representing not only myself but my entire family as well. When I go to a ball, I represent not just myself but my husband as well. Therefore, dressing like a slut is not something I'm willing to do as I have more respect for myself and my husband than to embarrass him in that manner, especially in front of his superiors! Perhaps more women should remember that and try to dress like ladies. You can be a woman from now until next Sunday, but that doesn't make you a lady!

  95. I think spouses can be mean and judgmental– I think you should wear what you want–especially if you have a good body– who cares? Honestly when I went the first time I thought it was going to be this big fancy thing and it was more like a frat party– the ONLY way I wouldn't wear something is if my husband told me he did not like it. But honestly you can wear something decent and people will still have something to say–when you see the girl in the crazy outfit just be glad it isn't you! LOL

  96. To any of you that have spouted off the opinion that people should be able to wear whatever they want, I'd like to remind you that Military Balls are in fact work functions. Soldiers are not allowed to wear "whatever" they want, they're required to wear a specific uniform, within specific standards and even their behavior is governed by standards and etiquette. Military Balls, as with most other Military functions do in fact have specific customs and protocol and just because you're a spouse or date and NOT the service member, does not give you the right to disregard such customs and protocol. Risque dresses, drunken and otherwise unbecoming behavior is absolutely inappropriate and reflects poorly on not only you, but your service member as well. Have some respect and take some pride in not only yourself but your service member, their unit and and branch as well. Should those things not matter much to you by all means wear whatever you want, behave however you want but I assure you, it WILL reflect poorly on you and all of the above. Honor, Tradition, Respect and Pride mean so little to some, it's really disheartening. (For the record, the above dresses have their place and personally I have no problem with them when worn appropriately, I just strongly believe a Military ball is not an appropriate place).

  97. Who cares? Really? What gives this military spouse the right to pass judgment? Look if you like to look frumpy and like you are going to church, press on sister. Don't look at the hot women…don't worry, if your husband married you, chances are no hot lady would want him!!

  98. wow I saw nothing wrong with ANY of the dresses. If a woman wants to dress slutty then let her. NO ONE has the right to tell anyone what to wear! This is SUPPOSE to be a free country. well…obviously not. And NO this is not a working on the job event! Get over it. Have fun. Quit being those type of "Christians" who complain very un-christian like about what others are wearing or how they look. sheesh! What grade are you people in anyways???

  99. JellyBean620 | August 23, 2013 at 5:02 am |

    Honestly after reading all the comments on here with the spouses talking about how the author shouldn't have written the article (by trying to be helpful in advising them on proper attire for a MILITARY function that has been around for decades and possibly saving those that are new to military life some embarrassment), I say let them dress how they want and make fools out of themselves. Maybe they will end up being the next "picture" posted all over social media with all the funny captions attached, with over a million shares (see skanky barely there black dress stripper chick, you all know which one I'm talking about) If their husbands don't have a problem with how they are dressed or don't have the balls to tell their wives they look like ten dollar hookers, let them go to the ball decked out in what they consider their "finest".

  100. JellyBean620 | August 23, 2013 at 5:02 am |

    When their husbands start getting crap the next week from co-workers and leadership for the way their wives/girlfriends were dressed and comes home pissed off about it and complaining, maybe that will be the first clue. If that doesn't get through her silly head, maybe the first week said husband gets deployed, and single soldier XYZ calls her up for a date, and tells her he just assumed "she was like that", then maybe that will be her second clue. And maybe her third clue will be when said husband comes up for promotion, but promotion requires he be sent to Washington D.C. Promotion with PCS gets denied however due to the fact the board remembers his wife and her "dress" from the ball and that she may be a social embarrassment to the higher level leadership and officials at the Pentagon. Congratulations wife on ruining your husbands career because you wanted to look "Hot" because of some incessant need to recreate the experience of the Prom you never had…

  101. Out of our last 18 years we have only been stationed stateside for 9, enlisted for 5 and in school for 4.
    With that being said, there is a lot of difference in culture and how they dress "formally", and now being a "seasoned" spouse, I find that we can all learn from others without being judgmental of their choices. I find something that my husband would like and realize not everyone is going to like the same thing, that is what makes humanity great. I think If I picked out something that was going to embarrass him he would say something (not that I would agree), but I would take it into consideration. I also have to remember that some of these young wives and girlfriends could be my daughters. What they consider fashion and what is worn on the red carpet is much different than what we are used to back in the day.

  102. continued…. I have a 23 year old sister and I wouldn't be caught dead in what she wears (even when I was her age), or do I want my daughter indulging, but that doesn't make it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see anyone's boobs hanging out or their underwear, but they are just trying to be the best version of themselves for "their" Marine, we all come from different backgrounds, families and cultures, no judgments, let them enjoy their night…

  103. It's crazy to see the thought processes of military spouses. Now I see why my brother would never live on base housing.

  104. Really. As a Marine Corps Spouse of 23 years I find this absurd. Formal attire has evolved over the years. we can leave the lingerie at home, but neither does it need to look like we are in the deep south of the 18th century. Many of the dresses today are so lovely. As a 50 year old woman I would say I have no problem with a lovely young lady wearing the spider or the thong dress as long as they can carry it off and wear the appropriate undergarments to make sure nothing is exposed (and oh ya, those have evolved as well). Oh to be young again and to be able to pull it off. Dress to your figure and let your man enjoy the jewel on his arm. Most of the people at these balls come from middle class America, to put on airs as if they have been raised in high society and be so judgmental is amusing to say the least. Enjoy life! It is the Marine Corps Ball, it is a work event, but for many it also is the only time they get to be dressed up! If thats what makes them feel like a princess for the evening , so be it!

  105. I feel badly for the woman in the photo. Did she give you permission to use her photo? I understand your point but I don't think you needed to post an actual ball photo. It is a small Corps.

  106. THANK GOD someone had the balls to write this! I'm in nursing school and my boyfriend of many years is in the military. I've gone to the ball with him three years now and the first year I wore a bridesmaid simple dress, second year I wore a dress I wore to my senior prom (totally modest), and this year I bought a new gown but also modest that I love. Two girls in my class are coming, one married to a solider, one just going along for the hell of it. The one who's married, ugh, last year she wore one of those overly skin showing, neckline practically to the stomach, open back down to the crack, slit up to the crotch, plus cut out on the sides of the stomach dress. To top it off, it was hot pink. It was so overly tacky and slutty, I just felt it was so disrespectful to all of the military personnel. The night isn't about who can be the sluttiest and get all the attention for the wrong reason. I absolutely cringed when they both told me what dresses they are wearing this year, and also about how drunk they plan to get… It's just not ok.

  107. Amazing post thank you this needs to be hades to every service member and their dates/ spouses at the brief.

  108. Yes the military is deep in tradition. While it is a formal ball what you wear and how you carry yourself is a reflection of your husband. I was a young wife once and the first ball I went to I was 9 months pregnant so there really wasn't much out there I could wear (1985). The second I was 5 mo pregnant and wore the same dress, the third (finally NOT pregnant) I wore a nice fancy mid knee dress. It was black with ivory lace, because I cared about my husbands career I would never dress with excessive skin showing. I learned about those women that showed all the skin were about, true or not you still get the reputation of a skank when you dress like one. if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck it must be a duck!!! My hubby served his 20 yrs in the Navy but did all his sea time with USMC at LeJeune. . . . . .OOOOOOORAH!

  109. I think it is sick for her to show up in that manner. I'm a female and spent time on active duty! I can only imagine what the other soldiers were saying at the next PT formation. As a female I wouldn't wanted to hear it. This is exactly why so many spouses and military members have issue in their marriage or relationships. I seen it first hand when I was in the Army. The drama! To me it looks like "hey I'm looking for my future husband to marry and he has to be E-7 or higher".

  110. If Princess Dianna would not have worn it, or Princess Kate… Don't even think about it.

  111. femalemarineopinion | October 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm |

    I feel as if some women have forgotten, this is not your night. It is your husbands/spouse's night. It is the night to remember and give respect to what organization we have a part of. Although i dont agree nor disagree with all theses opinions on this random blog i came across, lets not forget what a ball is and what its actually for.

  112. Charles Batchelor | February 22, 2015 at 9:54 pm |

    Remember it's a work event, your military partner is the one who gets the fall out from your choice of wardrobe.

  113. What are these dresses sexy! and my guy will not let me wear this and gave me this red dress. It is a terrible http://aerlf.org/cocktail-dresses-for-women/

  114. Yes, say it over and over again! Please ladies, as a woman I don't want to sit across from you at the table and be forced to look at your boobs on display. It's truly not appetizing.

  115. retiredusnnavywife | October 27, 2015 at 8:07 am |

    Funny story – so when I went to the Navy ball with my husband we active duty women wore our uniforms then after the formal ceremonies and dinner concluded changed into our long dresses in the rest room. It was fun – reminded me of the girls locker room at a high school dance. A young sailor didn't want to attend the ceremony part; she showed up for the dance afterward in a super revealing dress and a fur coat. We even told her earlier it was an official event! She spent the night dancing in her coat.

  116. Hi ladies,
    I'm going to my first ball in a few weeks. I wanted to know if it would be appropriate to wear a classy jumpsuit. Give me opinions please.

  117. jordenjudes | December 1, 2015 at 2:38 am |

    Do you have a favorite Christmas fashion look.Nice t shirts. love the Christmas dresses they are so plain and easy to wear..Christmas Kids T Shirts

  118. No nips, no strips, no lasagna curtains

  119. byebrashope2 | January 25, 2016 at 6:58 am |

    This is the most popular dress in the picture. I saw this dress wearing by celebrities. They were looking so pretty. I also want to wear dress like this. Where I can got it. And thank you foe your post.

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