Many years ago my Dad was enlisted in the Navy. I remember him getting in those whites and looking nice! Growing up I was taught to dress for the event you were attending. My mom wasn’t hung up on her looks; however, she also wanted to raise me be a lady and learn how to properly dress for the occasion. For church, we had Sunday best and church attire. If I had a concert, my mom made sure that I wore something proper for a lady. Thankfully I paid attention.
My friend Kelly bought me this book when I first thought I would become a military wife:
The copy I have is several years older than this one listed on amazon.com . I read it from cover to cover and it did a great job explaining what to expect, what to do, how to act and how to dress. Believe it or not there are dress codes that military wives should abide by. Nowadays, wives try to make the balls about themselves; however, the military balls are for their Soldiers and they are there for support. Did you hear that? Yes ladies, they are not about us. So, while you’re picking out a dress, you should keep that in mind. At this year’s ball, I was speechless about some of the dresses I saw. I almost skipped taking pictures of us and decided on doing a “What Not to Wear to a Military Ball” post. I was embarrassed for some of those Soldiers. Instead, I decided to do a post and give some pointers for what I have learned along the way.
1. This is your husband’s duty station for the evening. Ladies, that should be something you keep in mind when your picking out your dress!
2. The GENERAL uniform for a military ball is their Dress uniform. Ladies, this means it is a formal affair, so please invest in a formal gown. Gowns are too expensive you say? If you are short on funds, there are many places you can get one cheap, including Goodwill. I am the queen of thrift shopping and, if you stay tuned, you will see a picture of my dress from this year. Believe it or not, I spent only $15 on the dress. So dressing classy, modest and formal is possible on a shoe-string budget.
3. The dress you wore for prom when you were 17 is probably not what you should wear for the ball. When I was in high school, my dresses were modest. I am writing this more for those who may have (or had) different standards then I have. Ladies, please do not show too much skin! Cover UP your boobs and do not show areas that shouldn’t be shown. Refer back to tip number 1 above – this is a WORK event for your spouse and remember, the ball is NOT about you. It is a reflection on him and how you dress and act does get talked about! The last thing you want is to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Other military members will make you the “locker room” talking subject.
4. Most military balls are after 6. Even if you get there earlier, the balls do not usually begin until after six. This means that dresses should never be shorter then knee length. Longer is better and floor length is preferred especially after 6. Please do not wear a short prom or homecoming dress to a military ball.
5. Think pretty and elegant. Leave hot and sexy for the activities after the ball, in the comforts of your home or hotel room. Avoid too much glitter and glitz with sequence and beads. SOME is okay, but more sedate is better. This isn’t a cocktail party, so again keep that in mind.
This year, as I prepared to get ready for the ball, it was bitter sweet. Over the years I have been blessed to attend many balls and I have enjoyed each one. I have always looked forward to getting my hair all fixed up and putting on a pretty gown. Most of all, I have looked forward to seeing my husband looking so dashing in his dress uniform. It was sad because this was the last one, but we have many years of memories to last us. I am also looking forward to a time when my husband retires and my husband “throws his boots over the wire”. This last ball was a step towards that, and as sad as it is to know this is it, I am excited about God’s plans for us too.
Here are some pictures of us from the ball:
What I wore:
Flexi Clip: Lilla Rose
Dress: I am not sure the brand but I got it at Macy’s on clearance for $15 dollars last year.
Sweater: Bought on sale at Macy’s “friends and family” day. I felt I needed more then just sleeveless for my arms.
Shoes: I am again not sure but I had them from last year and wore them again 🙂
Coat in the first couple pictures: This coat is very special to me. When I was 16 my Grandma bought me this beautiful coat. She wanted something timeless that would last many years. I am not sure she expected me to have it this long, but it is in perfect condition still…20 years later. When she bought this coat it was around $300. I know that is ALOT for a coat, but do the math after 20 years of wear:).