Military Ball..

C. - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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So my husband and I were talking on Skype today and he informed me that in October, there will be a Military Ball. The first Military Ball we will be attending since he has been in the Army (the first they have had for everyone since he's been in). Now, I have never been to a Military Ball before, so I was wondering from all the women that HAVE gone, just how formal is it? I know my husband will be wearing his Class A's (Army Blues- I just think they should have stuck with the Greens, but that's just my opinion), so I know it will be pretty formal. But I was wondering just HOW formal do the women dress when they go to the Military Ball??? I'm talking from the hair down to the shoes.. I want to know everything that I need to know! Thanks in advance!!!!

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Julia - posted on 02/19/2010

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just remember its a ball! I have seen women wear dresses they bought at Frederick's of Hollywood...think of your senior prom. Long dress, nice shoes, hair done, nails done...etc etc. NO KIDS! (Someone posted that question before) my suggestion would be to get a babysitter for over night. Get a room in the hotel that it will be at (make the reservation early since a whole battalion will be trying to do the same thing) get to the hotel early and get ready there. Make it a night for just you and your husband. Drink as much as you want and sleep it off in the same hotel. Personally I always thought that people who would go out bar hopping in Hawaii after a ball in their dresses and uniforms were tacky. If you want to do that change. But most importantly HAVE FUN!

Mindy - posted on 02/22/2010

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The only one I went to was way formal. Regrettably my husband didnt know that so I didnt got formal :( In cases like these more is best If you are overdressed youll be the best looking woman there!

Andrea - posted on 02/22/2010

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I have been to two ranger balls ( same as military) they are extremely formal we are talking get your hair and nails done as well as get a formal gown for it .... So if i was you i would pull out all the stops i do every year and i still fill under dressed for it.................. if you would like to know anything else just me

Michelle - posted on 02/22/2010

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First of all you need to take this opportunity to pamper yourself and get all dolled up for your husband. However, I have been told that even though it is pretty formal you dont want to look like you are going to your high school prom. NO PUFFY DRESSES!!!! Just keep it simple and elegant. As far as your hair, shoes, make up......its all up to you and what you want. Your husband is going to be wearing his Blues? All the more reason for you to be one hot mama!!!!

I dont now how they do the Ball for he Army...but in the Marine Corps there is a ceremony. I would say it lasted about 30 to 45 minutes. There was dinner and dancing. It was really nice and I had a blast. Cant wait for next year. Girl.....no reason to hold back!!!!! You need to stop at nothing to make sure that the only thing your husband can think of after seeing you all dressed up.....is getting you home!!!!!

Kari - posted on 02/21/2010

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FIrst off I have to agree they should've tuck the with the greens but whatever. The balls are very formal. Personally I live for things like that. Make up, hair done, formal dress, high heels the whole things. Right before you go into the ball room you will shake hands with some real high ranking people(I don't remember what they're ranks are) then you sit down and there's a super long speech and then the meal is served and the lowest ranking soldier at your table will serve you drinks. ANd there's alchol that you can buy.Then after a ton of speecehes and talking the music finally starts. So if you and your husband really like dancing it's worth sitting through the speeches. At my husbands ball there were women there that were dressed very semi formal and they looked very tacky. I had fun at the one we went to and can't wait to go to another but like I said I absolutly LOVE to get dressed up formally.

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C. - posted on 02/22/2010

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Alright! Thank you all so much!!! It seems that everyone agrees to go all out, so that's what I shall do! Thank you all so much for taking the time to post!! I really do appreciate it so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

C. - posted on 02/22/2010

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That won't be a problem. I'm not a huge drinker. I may have one drink socially, but nothing more. And my husband quit his party phase while we were dating and when I got pregnant partying just b/c one of those immature things that he use to do. He has only had about 3 drinks in the last year and a half.

Debra - posted on 02/22/2010

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I am an AF wife of 24 years. I agree with what most people said about going all out. The only thing I would add is about the "partying". Be social, have a couple of drinks but do not over do it. A drunk or tipsy wife and /or couple is never a good scene. Alcohol is a major problem in all branches of the military. This is a place to relax and enjoy but not indulge.

C. - posted on 02/22/2010

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THANK YOU ALL!!!! You all have been so helpful and I can't thank you enough. I can't paint my finger nails very well b/c I have Erb's Palsy in my left arm, so my right hand always comes out looking a bit funky.. So that is definitely one thing I am going to have to splurge on. Thanks again, ladies!!! I really appreciate it!

Jess - posted on 02/22/2010

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Please take my advice! Dress up. Have your hair done and buy or rent a nice formal dress. I met a couple who did not take it seriously and they were pretty embarasses when she was the only one who showed up in flip flops and a cotton dress sun dress.

They left early because of it. So if you can afford it go all out..if not there are always ways around it. Paint you nails, put on some make up, make sure your hair is nice, and borrow a dress if you cannot afford to pay for those things. Go to the spa if you can !:0)

Michelle - posted on 02/21/2010

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(I totally agree with you! they should have stuck with the Greens. I think the Blues is very tacky with the yellow stripe) Anyways, the balls are Very formal. Black tie event in civilian term. But I got to tell you that it will be long and boring. =P

Felicia - posted on 02/21/2010

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I'm going to have to keep tabs on this one. I'm going to my first one in March.

Heather - posted on 02/21/2010

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I was actually just at my first AF Ball friday night. The only one yearly here! I ordered my dress and I'm VERY glad I did I saw 5 other women wearing the one I thought of buying locally. It is an ALL OUT event like the others have been saying, you basically have to compliment and look fantastic next to His uniform and EVERY other wife there tends to analyze, especially the ones who's spouses know your husband regardless of whether you know them or not. I would be more then happy to send you a picture, I'm not sure if I can attach one here. My dress wasn't "poofy" as most prom dresses but very classy. I had the guidance of my mom and grandmother who were both military wives (army & Marines).



Oh! I saw some risque ones there too, and ofcourse heard all the wives talking about those few risque ones! So it does happen (and the airforce ball had very very very few people under an e-5 there but thats just how it worked here)

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If the guys will be wearing dress blues, you should wear a long gown. According to etiquette, if it's a sleeveless gown or has straps thinner than an inch, you should have a wrap or something with you. And make sure all tattoos are covered. :-)

I've only been to one ball so far, but I wore a bridesmaid dress (long, A-line, black, strapless, with a red sweater wrap) and it worked out perfectly.

Serena - posted on 02/21/2010

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I have loved going each year because I love finally having reason to get dressed up. As mothers, we don't usually have a reason to get all dolled up, but I spent this last one pregnant, so it wasn't as much fun finding a maternity dress and watching everyone drink.I like the idea of renting a hotel room for after make a night of it, think of it as everything you probably did at senior prom but not getting in trouble for it LOL.
And if you plan on heading out on the town after bring an extra set of clothes, you don't want some drunk spilling the $3 drink special on your $200 dress.
Have fun!

Heather - posted on 02/21/2010

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I just wentto a "winter Formal" last night. it was AF, and the men were mostly in Mess Dress (a tux looking jacket with bowtie and tux shirt) most of the women were in Long formal dresses. I think i saw three in Shorter dresses but they were still very elegent looking. The hair was not as formal as i expected, styled well butmany women looked just like I see them at other social events(from the neck up.) I went all out, hair up, long dress, runway eyeshadow, nails done ect.. and i did not feel out of place. I was greatful to not be underdressed as I was seated back to back with the guest speaker (a 3 star General) and his wife.

Angie - posted on 02/21/2010

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Hi Christina, I am not sure how much help I can be as my husband is in the British Armed Forces but I know that we can wear ballerina length gowns at our balls. Hair depends on the length and how comfortable you are with wearing it it down or up. I usually go for a french roll, which is comfortable and looks good, shoes well you cannot go wrong with strappy heals, but make sure that they are comfortable as there is a lot of standing around talking to other couples and dancing the night away. But go and enjoy yourself and once the first one is over with you will feel like an old hand at it. I was pretty scared at my first one over 20 years ago. Good Luck xx

Frances - posted on 02/20/2010

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Shelby I am right up there with you! What we do is usually swap nights with another couple we know that are close friends...See if any of your friends are supposed to go to the ball the same night as you and if not, if you trust them then watch their little ones when they go :)

Shelby - posted on 02/20/2010

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At most of our balls, they had childcare arranged. Usually at the hotel the ball was held. You just have to sign up for it. I personally never utilized it, as I'm very picky about leaving my kids with anyone, I'm an extremely overly protective mom...I always had family come for visits during the ball. LOL

Julia - posted on 02/20/2010

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Oh sometimes if you have a good FRG they should set up day care for the kids for during the ball. Another thing you could look for is maybe an older military family that has teenage kids that would be willing to sit for you during the ball.

C. - posted on 02/20/2010

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Thanks everyone!!!

@Heather.. There are only a couple of women that my husband works with. One is supposed to be carrying out a sentencing (long story) and the other two are, how shall I say, very well known. But if someone new comes along and they don't want to go, I'll definitely ask them! Thank you!

Heather - posted on 02/19/2010

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AS far as daycare goes, see if your hubby has a single female co-worker to watch you kid(s). Most of the women (even some married ones) in my husbands squadron don't want to go cause they also have to wear Blues.

Sarah - posted on 02/19/2010

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you gotta go all the way because like others have said before people will be watching you!! it's a ball i loved the ones i have gone!!! my husband gave me his card and sent me out with a bunch of other wives and we spent the whole day getting ready! we were in the marines so yeah it a big deal and with the fact that we were in DC with the who's who you had too look good!!! but dont worry its one the best things ive done!! it was so much fun!!

Shelby - posted on 02/19/2010

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Absolutely do it all the way up!!! We are also marine corps, but same goes for all branches I'm sure. It is a very formal event. A celebration of pomp, and then a party!!! Just definitely forgo the tacky look!!! I've seen so many single marines show up with girls with their but cracks hanging out the backs, half their boobs out, slits all the way up, and their stripper shoes on (platform stilettos) I actually felt bad for them. No one associated with them all night. But have a blast!!!

Monica - posted on 02/19/2010

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We are marine corps but I will tell you our balls, we go all out, it's kind of like a red carpet event for the stars..I always find a great dress that looks way more expensive than it is, I usually spend 120 or so on a dress get the hair nails and all that done, but I'm also very girlie, I guess it depends on what look you are going for and how much you want to spend. Keep in mind you will be sitting at a table full of other wives and it's a chance for you to meet people, make friends and you will be making an impression to the higher up guys in charge of him, unless if he is in charge, then you want to look good so the wives know to look up to you and count on you if they need anything. I work out a lot but work out extra before the balls. It's also a great photo op. Have fun, we always do! It's like prom but for military in a way is the best way to describe it if you have never been...

C. - posted on 02/19/2010

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Awesome! Thank you so much! I'll try to find someone to babysit, but I still really don't know anyone out there.. And the person I DO know.. She's not going back to Hawaii (she was visiting family in Dec. and was supposed to go back this month and decided not to). But I will definitely try to find somebody. Thanks again!!!

Anna - posted on 02/19/2010

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its always better to be over dressed than under dressed. so like faith said... pull out all the stops...

C. - posted on 02/18/2010

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Thanks so much, Faith! I thought it would be that formal, but I didn't want to go over the top. Thanks again!

Faith - posted on 02/18/2010

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Pull out all the stops momma, you need to do everything!! Not to be snotty about it but depending on rank is also a guage on how VERY formal THEY expect you to be done up. Its a military ball anyway, go and get yourself pampered, glitzed and have fun. Its fun for some, but I've never been much for the insanity involved. Remember that you want something formal, classy and as comfortable as you can get. You will have to sit through some pomp and stuff and than expected to be socializing all while either sitting in your dress or standing in your shoes...its worth it to get realllly comfy shoes. A dress that fits perfectly...no slidding straps, bitting straps and tasteful when you are sitting...you don't want to be the talk after the ball "wow did you see?..." Hair, nails, you name it and its done.

Best of Luck and hope you enjoy :)

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