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Help on dress-code for Navy ball

66 replies

EthelredOnAGoodDay · 21/06/2011 17:28

Hello. DH and I, who are civvies (I think that's the correct term Wink) are going along as guests of a friend of ours who is an officer in the RN, to the BRNC ball at Dartmouth in the summer. Just a quick question re: the dress code. For ladies, is it long dresses and covered shoulders? Does that just mean a pashmina, or actual sleeves?? are there any other rules i need to be aware of? Thanks in anticipation and sorry to be so clueless!! :o

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vintageteacups · 21/06/2011 17:48

Hi Ethel for a summer ball you don't have to cover shoulders I don't think.
Not sure about the navy but if it's a formal dinner then army wives should cover their shoulders when eating but tbh, I don't always do that. I'm sure the ball will be round tables and much less formal.

Pashmina/shawl/wrap/bolero/shrug all fine - no it doesn't mean long sleeves Wink.

Dresses should really be long.

Balls are a lot less formal than dinner nights and so the only rules will be that you observe general behaviour rules that are just like anywhere else.

What's your dress like?

Mine is a bit like <a class="break-all" href=",r:4,s:21&tx=90&ty=58&biw=1366&bih=641" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">this and I'm wearing a silver grey pashmina with it and have a gorgeous bright red evening bag.

kittywalker · 21/06/2011 17:55

Oooh Vintage lovely dress!

I can only talk from RAF experience. Dress should be long enough to cover your ankles. I think I always had a pashmina of some kind if my dress was sleeveless but quickly discarded it/lost it near the dodgems Grin Summer balls are usually the least formal event of the year (bar Oktoberfestl Grin) You'll have a lovely time, enjoy!

vintageteacups · 21/06/2011 18:01

thanks Kitty - it's slightly different but almost the same.

I bet there's a free bar - so pace yourself Ethel Grin

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:06

Ethel I too am going to the Dartmouth ball this year and you will get a description of dress code sent with your tickets.

I can tell you in advance if you like...

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:14

Judging by the other posts, I think I'd better tell you actually! Grin

Long dress, no long splits. Yes to wrap though if it's really warm, you will probably be given permission to remove it at the table (or not!), otherwise, it must be worn during dinner...

No free bar, table wine provided and any left in your bottles you can take through to the other hall...the 'bar' is a pay bar after dinner.

There is a photographer to capture the evening of you in your finery and sadly they are more expensive and not as good as the one that used to work the Ball for years, as he retired. Last time I went, it was £10 payable on the night.

It's a fabulous do. Will you wear a Pom Bear brooch so I can recognise you?! Grin

Do you need to know what your man (if you are taking one) should wear?

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:20

Oh and it's long tables vintage.

I haven't been for several years due to lack of funds and my Dad's ill health, but Mum is treating me to my ticket this year and I'm taking a female friend.

I once took a friend who ignored me when I told her long dress and the following year and subsequent years, there's a general warning about wearing the correct attire! Grin

vintageteacups · 21/06/2011 18:24

Blimey - it's a good job solo posted as my info was really off.

The navy ball sounds much more boring formal Grin.

kittywalker · 21/06/2011 18:27

Doesn't it? Very different to the RAF, summer ball much less formal. Rest of the years events as you describe.

vintageteacups · 21/06/2011 18:28

That sounds like an army Mess dinner rather than a ball.

Do you have fun things like laser clay pigeon shooting/dodgems/disco/hot air balloon rides etc?

MrsSnaplegs · 21/06/2011 18:30

Yep RN ball still formal although I can tell you a horror story from my time there but will have to be later as on phone whilst ds is splashing In the bath Grin

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:39

Oooh MrsSnaplegs! do come back and spill! Grin

No, no clay pigeon shooting or anything like that, but the last time I went, we had a caricature artist, fortune teller, surfboard simulator, magician type card player...was all very good!

This year we have a hypnotist, corps of drums (live band and disco which are usual, and very good!)

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:40

I actually think they are trying to keep the ticket costs down this year.

vintageteacups · 21/06/2011 18:40

hypnotist sounds great!

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:42

Grin only if it's Paul McKenna! Wink so I can top up on my weight loss!!! Ha! otherwise, they scare me a bit.

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:44

And I've got to drag out my hoard of ball gowns to see which one will still fit! or keep on losing weight Confused

kittywalker · 21/06/2011 18:45

No dodgems? Or inflatable Lazerquest? Shock

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:47 have to be really well behaved too! I know 3 people that behaved very badly and were never invited again...

kittywalker · 21/06/2011 18:49

What time is breakfast? I bet you have a great time! Smile

SoloIsAHotCougar · 21/06/2011 18:53

Think it's about 8.30, but I usually go into town to eat; there's a fabulous café...

Spagbolagain · 21/06/2011 19:00

Ooh I went to this a few years back, fantastic night. Lots of wine, young officers and beating the retreat as I recall......:o

I wore a long dress with a bolero jacket that I took off for dancing

MrsSnaplegs · 21/06/2011 19:21

Right - this was about 9- 10 years ago now so I apologise to the person in question if you are now a grown up lady and a MNer Grin

BRNC Ball - Easter time , weather fairly brisk to put it mildly.

At Ball with my then DP (now ExH), both of us just passed out - me as SUY him as Cadet. We were standing with friends from the college, one of whom had invited his parents, his DF was a V senior RN officer so all very well behaved etc.

We were stood looking down onto the quarterdeck (for you non naval types think large ballroom type place with a rasied balcony around the top -we are on the raised balcony) watching everyone come in.

V senior officer's wife and I looking at all the dresses etc and passing the odd comment until she literally gasped and said "Oh dear she really didn't want to wear that, did her young man not advise her correctly Shock" I looked down to see a young (maybe 19) girl in a white, short (just covering her bottom) see through, lace, very fitted tube dress - no tights and white stilettoes Shock Shock Shock
She did look very uncomfortable and within about 5 mins her host had removed his jacket and put it over her shoulders.
Didn't really see what happened to her after but if I remember correctly from my drunken haze my distant memory when I spoke to the Commodore's wife later (think young, slim, pretty) she said she had taken her over to the house and offered to lend her a dress.

That is why I would always rather be over dressed than underdressed especially when the dress looked like underwear

EthelredOnAGoodDay · 21/06/2011 21:35

Thanks all! My DH and I have been invited by my best friend and her fiance, who is in the RN and teaches at Dartmouth. Have no dress yet, am actually going to have a look tomorrow lunch time so all your info will be very useful! Not sure when the tickets will come through to us, as will probably just pic them up on the day when we meet my friend and set off down from Yorkshire.

Solo thanks especially for your specialist knowledge!! Any advice on dress for DH would be helpful. I will get working on the pom bear brooch!! Wink

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MrsSnaplegs · 21/06/2011 21:53

Ethelred DH outfit is easy dinner jacket, dress shirt and bow tieGrin

MrsSnaplegs · 21/06/2011 21:53

Oh and trousersWink

EthelredOnAGoodDay · 21/06/2011 22:18

Ha ha ha! Ah good, DH has dinner suit already. At least he is easy to sort (as long as i remember the trousers! Wink)

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