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White Mess Uniform Center

Appropriate occasions for wear

The Army White Mess is an optional and seasonal uniform authorized for all female personnel. It is for evening formal functions and Soldiers normally wear these uniforms between April and October.

There are two variations of this uniform discussed in this section: the White Mess Uniform and Evening White Mess Uniform. The occasions for wearing these uniforms are:

  • Social functions of a general or official nature, held after retreat.
  • All private, formal social functions held after retreat.

In practice, however, Soldiers wear Mess Uniforms during very formal afternoon events, such as weddings, especially when the event extends into the evening hours. From our experience, the etiquette for these uniforms is:

  • White Evening Mess Uniform - worn with the long black skirt, is the most formal uniform worn by Soldiers. Female Soldiers will wear this uniform for nearly all evening events except those that are truly "cocktail" events.
  • White Mess Uniform - worn with the short black skirt and only for "cocktail" functions held after retreat and ending before about 8 p.m. If the function extends beyond 8 p.m., the long skirt is appropriate.

Because most evening functions extend beyond 8 p.m., and because most Soldiers prefer the more formal look of the long skirt, Soldiers rarely purchase and wear the short black or white skirts.

No headgear is authorized for wear by female personnel with the Army White Mess or White Evening Mess uniforms.

Uniform regulations

UPDATED 19 June, 2017 The Army has just released an update to AR 670-1. For your convenience, Marlow White has included Army Regulation 670-1 on our web site. This is the most recent Army Regulation. We will be posting updates on this page shortly regarding any new information.

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