Women's Etiquette for Formal Attire for a Military Ball

If you're not sure what to wear to a military ball, ask the base commander's wife about appropriate attire.
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Dancing the night away in a formal gown can make a woman feel like a princess and adding a military man in dress uniform extends the romance even more. It’s important to remember that, for your spouse or date, this is a business event, a fancy-dress office party, and that your behavior reflects on him, as well.

1 Whatever Shall You Wear?

A formal military ball is not the time to make a personal fashion statement. Choose a full-length or tea-length dress in a subdued color to make the best impression. A shorter dress is appropriate for a semi-formal affair, but a formal event calls for a hemline at or below your knees. Remember that you are an adult and leave your prom dress at home, because those frilly dresses make you appear much too young for the grown-up party.

2 How Much Skin Is Too Much?

Again, this is a business affair, so dress for the office staff, not the bar crowd. An easy formula for coverage success involved balance. Nothing should be extremely low- or high-cut, and side cut-outs are definitely military ball faux pas. If you dip a little lower to show your cleavage, do it with a longer dress and cover your back and legs. If your dress has that beautiful low drape in the back, choose a skirt with no slits and cover up your upper assets. Finally, if you simply must have that sexy slit up the side of your skirt, leave them guessing about your torso, both front and back.

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.