Military ball season is upon us! Hampton Roads is home to the world’s largest naval base and has the largest military concentration in the world! I am thoroughly enjoying living here and it’s nice to see men and women in uniform every day. I’m partnering with Rent the Runway to share what to wear to a military ball. To say thank you to all the men and women who are serving our country, RTR giving women who are renting gowns for military balls $25 off an order of $75 or more with code THANKYOU16.
Now, on to the dresses! For a military ball, you want to evoke elegance, class and sophistication. Civilian women will want to wear a full-length gown since your date will be in their formal uniform with ribbons and medals. Now, this doesn’t mean your gown has to be boring! Rent the Runway has lots of stunning options and you can get a second size for free to ensure the perfect fit. With this in mind, take advantage of the detailed reviews and customer photos to see how a gown could look on you before you even add it to your cart.
First let’s talk ball gowns. It’s not often you’ll get the chance to wear a gown, let alone a ball gown. This ML Monique Lhuillier gown is a great option. It features a full skirt, but isn’t too dramatic. The last thing you want is someone stepping on your gown or being worried about squeezing in between people. The skirt also has pockets, which is perfect for a military ball! You can keep your ID, phone and lipstick with you and not to have to worry about carrying a clutch. Plus, your date will probably be happy you aren’t filling his pockets with your items. This dress comes in sizes 0-14 in petite, regular and long. I’m wearing a Size 0 regular here, am 5’3 and with five-inch heels, this dress was the perfect length! This gown is extremely comfortable and easy to wear. I didn’t feel the need to “adjust” anything at all.
Second is a vibrant red gown that’s the epitome of timeless elegance. This silhouette is figure flattering, yet conservative. Don’t forget, military culture is traditional, so you don’t want to wear a gown that’s too revealing. This Badgley Mischka peplum gown will make you stand out in a good way. The waist is accentuated with a bow and the material is very forgiving while elongating your figure. I’m wearing a 0 Petite here with the same heels as the ML gown. However, you can see the dress is a dash long. However, this is no match for double-sided fashion tape, especially with a dress of this fabric. Take note of how much you need to “hem” and use the tape generously. It’ll stay put all night, promise.
Third, I’d like to talk classic black. If you don’t want to wear bright colors, this is the dress for you. This mermaid cut Elizabeth and James dress oozes modern sophistication. The high-neck halter is perfect for girls with a smaller chest. Plus, you won’t have to worry about pulling up your dress. I felt amazing in this gown. I can’t say enough about how flattering it really is. It fit like a glove but wasn’t too tight. Looking through the customer photos, this seems to be a good pick for military balls and I can see why. This really gives you an hourglass shape and feels ultra elegant. I’m wearing the 0 regular here and with five-inch heels had no problems. I would recommend taking the free second size dress in a size up. Some customers are saying this dress did run right.
Sequins have gotten a bad rep over the years for looking tacky, yet this Badgley Mischka gold sequined dress is everything but. This gown is glamorous and I think it’s perfectly appropriate for a military ball because of its conservative cut and silhouette. It screams red carpet almost and looks like something a famous actress would wear back in old Hollywood. When I attended the USO Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal Dinner in New York City last winter, I actually saw this exact gown a couple times. A lot of women chose sequined gowns and they looked stunning. I think as long as the dress is tasteful and not revealing, you’ll be great. I flipped through the customer photos and saw a couple women say they wore this to a military ball. I personally think it looks stunning next to a uniform.
To complete your military ball look, Rent the Runway has some great accessories, including clutches and jewelry. Here are my picks:
Finally, as a reminder, don’t forget military culture is all about respect. Dust off your sirs and ma’ams and be generous with them. Let your date lead on this one and follow them. Also, on your way there don’t be afraid to ask your date if there’s anything you should know or be familiar with. Of course, do not forget to have fun! It will be a fantastic evening!