Senior Rates Mess Undress question


I have been attending Senior Rates mess functions since '92 always in mess undress. At a rescent dinner a colleague of mine turned up in mess undress with a waistcoat!!!

Now I am no expert on the subject, but I'm sure some of you are. Is this a recognised rig for a senior rate at such a function? The only reason I ask is that it is the first time I have seen it done!

Your advice would be much appreciated.


Lantern Swinger
Not sure of the exact answer, but.........
"Mess Undress" (however 'official' that is for SRs and as it's not a slops item how official can it be?) once comprised your best suit, white shirt with wing collar, bowtie and waistcoat. Oh and a white silk scarf! You could actually get away with a No1 suit, ordinary white shirt and bowtie.
I think it's classed as Mess Dress when the waist-coat is worn. Tends to be done in Wardroom's a lot. A mate of mine paid about £50 to have one made up. I thought he was nuts.
Hi Guys,

The bum freezer jacket came into being for SR's in the late 70s.
Chiefs being the first were okay, because they only needed to have buttons on the cuffs, and Fleet Chiefs (as they were then) had the sleeve badge.
The only problem there wasn't really a badge for POs. One was proposed, gold wire approx 2 to 2 1/2 inches high, but no-one (not even Bernards !!) had any available.
I first wore one of these jackets without a rate badge, but then had two of the tie badges a la bootie style on the collar of mine before I called it a day.
I still have my undress somewhere in the house, and the cummerbund & bowtie, come across it now and again when I have the inclination to move things about.


Lantern Swinger

As an avid attendee at Mess Functions when on active service.

I always wore a doeskin waistcoat (complete with miniature medals) which I purchased in Wanchai way way back in the mid seventies.

I wish I still had it now - it was a work of art

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