Female Mess Dress

Can somebody clarify please, when wearing civilian ball gown for a dining in night can I wear my miniature medals? Can somebody point me to where this is written down specifically for civi ball gown wear because I cant for the life of me find the answer in dress regs!!

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I don’t know of the formal reference, but at our Wing Ball last year, there were numerous examples of ladies wearing their miniatures with a ball gown - so it is certainly something that happens. Also, when I was in the RAF it happened at mess functions.

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I’d suggest the precedent is set by ongoing practice. Also, in civilian dress, uniform dress regulations do not apply. Think if you were wearing the equivalent male formal dress ie, black tie dinner suit. Nobody would bat an eyelid if miniature medals were worn. Why would it be different for a ball gown. You’ve earned your medals. Wear them with pride.


It’s more traditional to wear a bow mounted miniature with a ball gown, but usually just one medal (the highest in precedence)

Normal you should be able to as you would on a normal civilian dinner jacket.

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Short answer is yes, no real regulations as it’s civies so just convention & similar to males wearing them on their dinner jacket.

Wear on the left & crack on really. :slight_smile:


On the subject of female mess dress, what’s the advice for polishing/cleaning issued Van Dal court shoes? They’re a dark navy and look black in some lights and aren’t highly polished as the leather is soft but has some texture. If I use navy shoe cream, will that be sufficient?

I didn’t realise they were navy blue but I’d say what ever works for you. Are these the same court shoes for general wear or specifically for mess dress? I know the male No5 mess dress is patent leather shoes with no toe cap.