June, 15

US Army Dress Mess Uniform: A Guide to Looking Sharp and Professional

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The United States Army Dress Mess Uniform is an iconic part of the US military. This dress uniform is worn on formal occasions and represents the pride, honor, and traditions of the US Army. The uniform consists of a dark blue jacket with gold buttons, a white shirt, black bow tie or necktie, and matching blue trousers. The distinctive features of this dress are its ornate shoulder boards with gold fringe that signifies rank.

The history behind this military dress dates back to World War I when it was first introduced as an alternative to the full-dress uniform which was impractical in combat situations. The current design has been finalized in 1957 and has remained relatively unchanged ever since.

The US Army Dress Mess Uniform exudes professionalism and respect for tradition making it one of the most recognizable uniforms worldwide. In this article, we will explore everything there is to know about this iconic dress code including its history, significance within ranks and ceremonial events ensuring that you have all you need to understand why it remains so revered within American military culture today! Read on!

US Army Dress Mess Uniform: The Epitome of Military Elegance

The United States Army Dress Mess Uniform is one of the most iconic and elegant military uniforms in the world. It is steeped in history and tradition, dating back to the early days of our nation's founding. It has been worn by countless soldiers throughout history, from generals to privates. In this article, we will explore the origins and evolution of this uniform, its components and variations, as well as some tips on how to wear it properly.


The origins of the US Army Dress Mess Uniform can be traced back to 1775 when General George Washington designated blue as the color for his regimental coats. This was later adopted by other regiments as well. During World War I, a standard dress uniform was established for all branches of service which included a mess dress version.


The US Army Dress Mess Uniform consists mainly of five components:

  • The coat
  • Trousers or skirt
  • Shirt or blouse
  • Black bow tie or neck tab
  • Medals/ribbons


The coat is made from high-quality wool gabardine material with gold buttons down its front that are embossed with an eagle emblem holding arrows (for officers) or crossed muskets (for enlisted personnel). There are two main types:

  1. The Blue Evening Jacket – characterized by branch-specific epaulettes adorned with gold bullion fringe; it can be single-breasted (with satin lapels), double-breasted (with peak lapels), long-sleeved or sleeveless.
  2. The White Dinner Jacket – similar to its blue counterpart but made from white cotton material instead; usually worn during summer weddings/dinners.


Trousers/skirts come in matching fabric colors (blue/white) depending on your jacket choice.
For men, a pair of high-waisted blue or white dress trousers with gold stripes down the side are worn. For women, a blue or white skirt is acceptable as long as it falls below the knee.


A plain white formal shirt or blouse with French cuffs and black cufflinks should be worn under your jacket on top of which you can choose to wear a black vest (optional).

Bow Tie/Neck Tab

Traditionally, mess dress coats are worn with either a pre-tied black bow tie (for men) that sits at the collarbone level over your shirt collar OR neck tabs that button onto your coat lapels. The choice between these two options is determined by branch-specific regulations.


Most importantly, medals and ribbons should be arranged in order of precedence on the left chest area of your coat uniformly following Army Regulation 670-1


Depending on rank and occasion, there may be variations to this uniform.
For instance:

  • General officers can wear golden epaulettes
  • Enlisted personnel might substitute their formal waistcoat for cummerbunds
  • Women have an option to wear pants instead of skirts
    It’s important to check AR 670-1 for specifics pertaining to individual ranks.

How To Wear It Properly

The US Army Dress Mess Uniform is an elegant attire that requires proper fitting and wearing procedures. Here are some tips worth noting:

  1. Fit Matters: As with any suit/jacket style outfit one must ensure their Dress Mess Uniform fits properly but more so when it comes military uniforms; try not putting too much emphasis solely around comfortability.
  2. Shirts must remain tucked in
  3. Black oxford shoes/shiny pumps required
  4. Medals placed correctly per AR 670–1 guidelines
  5. Ensure accessories such as ties/bowties/necks tabs are properly fastened
  6. Ensure rank insignia is placed correctly and aligned with the lapel crease
  7. Do not attempt to mix components from different uniforms as this can result in discrepancies.


In conclusion, the US Army Dress Mess Uniform is a symbol of military pride, tradition, and elegance. It has stood the test of time since 1775 with only a few modifications throughout history; its iconic look remains entirely recognizable even in pop culture.
It’s important for those who wear it to remember that while they may feel like royalty this uniform was designed first for military purposes hence understanding how to wear it correctly goes beyond just looking good but rather respecting what it represents.


What is the US Army Dress Mess Uniform?

The US Army Dress Mess Uniform is a formal military uniform worn by officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the United States Army. It is typically worn at formal occasions such as military balls, weddings, and other social events where formal attire is expected. The dress mess uniform consists of several components including a jacket, trousers, shirt, tie or bowtie, and various accessories.

The design of the dress mess uniform has changed over time as fashion trends have evolved but it generally features a black coat with gold buttons and trimmings paired with matching black trousers. Other details include white gloves for enlisted personnel (or optional for officers), badges indicating rank or unit affiliation on both lapels as well as collar tabs showing branch insignia.

This iconic uniform has been an important part of American history dating back to its introduction in 1865 after the end of the Civil War. It remains an essential part of army culture today.

Who Is Required to Wear The US Army Dress Mess Uniform?

Officers and NCOs are required to wear their designated service uniforms when representing their units during official visits or ceremonies such as change-of-command ceremonies; promotion ceremonies; funerals; presentations from foreign officials; retirement ceremonies; visiting distinguished persons' quarters when invited by that person's commander/outstretched arm commanders/Chief Executive Officers/Commonwealth equivalent

However, wearing full dress uniforms like this can be expensive so not all soldiers obtain them unless they will be in situations where it’s needed frequently enough over one’s career that buying makes sense financially.

Where Can I Obtain A US Army Dress Mess Uniform?

There are many places you can obtain your own copy online or through local dealerships that specialize in selling these types-of-uniforms usually located near large army bases across America . You can also purchase standard issue clothing items directly from government supply agencies like Clothing Sales Stores (CSS).

It is important to note that some military regulations may require certain items of clothing or accessories to be purchased through a specific vendor or brand. Therefore, it’s recommended that you check with your unit beforehand if you are unsure about what is required.

What Are The Components Of The US Army Dress Mess Uniform?

The components of the dress mess uniform include a black coat, trousers, white shirt and black bow-tie for males and black neck-tab for females; rank insignia pins on each shoulder; gold buttons down the front with two in back panel centerline sewn-on belt loops waistband.

For men's jacket: Two sleeve braid stripes indicating officer rank (one stripe indicates Warrant Officer), an embroidered crest over the left breast pocket indicating regimental affiliation or branch of service if no regimental affiliation exists. For women's jacket: Same as men’s except sleeve ornamentation replaced by epaulets bearing same color as lapel facings rather than braid stripes.

How Should I Care For My US Army Dress Mess Uniform?

To ensure your dress mess uniform lasts its full lifespan it requires appropriate care.The material used in making this type-of-uniforms are often made from high-quality materials which require special attention when caring for them. Dry cleaning services are recommended since washing machines can damage fabrics due to their harsh nature. It is also advised not using bleach although ok on whites but this type-of-clothing usually has other colors like dark blues etc., avoid excessive sunlight exposure which could fade colors quickly.

It’s also important to store these uniforms properly by keeping them clean and free from any moisture buildup because dampness can cause mould growths leading too expensive repairs costs later down-the-line.It should always be stored flat in order not-to-put pressure on any creases caused by folding during storage which will eventually ruin otherwise best-dressed-mess-uniform available today!

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