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american officer at UK charity function


I'm an American naval officer attending a charity function with my fiancee, a Brit, in July in the UK. The event is black tie. I plan to wear mess dress defined as Dinner Dress Blue Jacket for us without any medals. Am I making the right choice? We would normally wear a white jacket for a summer function, but I'm thinking that you guys typically don't wear whites in the UK. We would also wear the medals, but I'm thinking for a civilian function such would be a bit to much. Thanks for any advice.


There is no hard and fast rule. For RN events, they usually state if a white mess jacket is allowed (only usually for a summer ball in the UK), also at a ball you wear white waistcoat (mess dress 2As), for any other function black waistcoat or cummerbund (mess undress 2Bs) .
For a civillian event, stated black tie, I would wear a black jacket, bright cummerbund with medals. Surely for you shipmate, white or black jacket, as look as it looked smart. But I would think anyone else going in mess dress would wear a black jacket.


War Hero
Ditto all above.

However, bear in mind that your summer is probably about 15 Deg C above ours!

Is your mess kit tight, or can you fit arctic thermal under it?


War Hero
I'm sure someone currently in the know will come along and let you know the protocol if there is one, meanwhile have a scan through these and see if something catches your eye :dwarf:

White Uniforms

Blue Uniforms

There are guidance notes below each column.


Lantern Swinger
As you rightly say White Uniforms aren't worn in the UK, so I would say go in Blue Jacket, normally this would be worn with medals (miniatures) by RN Officers.


Full whites arent worn in this country, HOWEVER, as I stated earlier, a white mess jacket may be worn (in the UK) in summer at the descretion of the XO/The CDR or CO. Clearly there in the BR shipmate.


Lantern Swinger
Blood said:
Full whites arent worn in this country, HOWEVER, as I stated earlier, a white mess jacket may be worn (in the UK) in summer at the descretion of the XO/The CDR or CO. Clearly there in the BR shipmate.

Yes, so what I should have said whites aren't routinely worn, so in trying to advise our American friend I was making the statement that I think his Blue Jacket would be most appropriate. The BR does allow it, but it's not really relevant to the question of what to wear to a civilian function.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Hmm, THIS is definitely a good career move... :wink: :twisted:

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