That's Navy Life

SIX Practical Tips for Choosing a Navy Ball Gown

Here it is, folks. The post you’ve all been waiting for. Fashion advice from Jodi at Back on Land. I’m clearly a guru in this field …

SIX Practical Tips for Choosing a Navy Ball Gown

Or maybe not … But I do have almost two dozen Navy, Submarine, and Khaki Balls under my belt, and I have seen some pretty “special” outfits on display so I do have a few tips to share.

{TIP ONE} Bend, twist, sit, and jump. When trying on potential gowns, bend, twist, sit, and jump. If you bend over and anything falls out the top or peeks out from behind, this is not your dress. If you twist your body side to side and suddenly see parts more often covered by a bra, this is not your dress. If you sit down and the chair makes your bare butt cold, this is not your dress. If you jump around a bit and ANYTHING pops or peeks, this is not your dress.

{TIP TWO} Your “look” should not be defined by your boobs. If you try on a dress, and the first words that pop into your mind are “BOOBIES!” or “TATAS!” or “LOOK AT THOSE!!!”, this is not your dress. Think classy. Think appropriate. Leave a little to the imagination.

{TIP THREE} Don’t forget to shop for your unmentionables (that I am now mentioning). Pantylines, visible bra straps, and doing the strapless-dress-tuck-n-pull all night are all just gross and can ruin even the loveliest gown. Do yourself a favor, and try EVERYTHING on beforehand, not just the dress, and don’t be afraid to splurge a little on the RIGHT support for your look.

{TIP FOUR} You don’t have to break the bank. You CAN. It’s pretty easy, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars and you SHOULDN’T. Check the sales. Check stores like Ross or TJ Maxx. Checkout consignment shops! The Ombudsmen in my area even sponsor a dress exchange before the major events where if you donate a dress, you can take a new-to-you dress home for free! If there’s nothing like that in your area, consider hosting on of your own. Most people don’t wear their dresses more than a once or twice so an exchange is a wonderful way for everyone to get a great dress without spending a dime!

{TIP FIVE} Remember WHERE you’re going. Are you attending the Navy Ball or the Prom? If you answered Navy Ball, then keep in mind this will be an evening of tradition and class. Dress and behave accordingly. (If you answered “Prom,” you are clearly on the wrong blog. Press the little X at the top right immediately …) A simple rule of thumb is to “dress to the uniform.” If your sailor is wearing Service Dress Blues, you should dress formally. A sundress in not a formal gown, and nothing from Victoria Secret is a formal gown.

{TIP SIX} Enjoy the Ball! Military balls are a special tradition, something not everyone is fortunate enough to experience. Take it all in. The beautiful gowns, the handsome men in uniform, the ceremonies, the dinner, and the dancing. Take pictures! Take pictures! Take pictures! Choose your gown wisely so you’re not worried about a “wardrobe malfunction” and dance the night away!

I honestly believe that every military spouse should go to a Ball at least once. It’s a part of the milspouse experience! Just do it right. Attend with respect for the occasion. Dress appropriately, and have a great time!





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