Oh it’s that time again ladies…..our superbowl, our Golden Globe Awards, Our CMA’s…let the hairspray and spanx hold on tight here we GO!
First of all did you know on base there is a civilian dress code? I KNOW scandalous! I would’ve never thought in this day and age grown adults would need to know how to dress appropriately while walking into the grocery store aka commissary but I’ll roll with it. Did you know? Your Marine is responsible for your actions, attire and lack of attire at events whether you are on or off base & whether you’re married or ‘just friends’. We’ll go with the rule of thumb: If it’s written in here it’s because it’s been done before & to what extent the backlash of the attire categories varies from command to command & will never truly be known but can range from simple razzing and stares all night to being asked to leave an event with a formal follow-up meeting afterwards. This is simply to inform those who are not aware not condemn but I never said it wasn’t entertaining. 😛
Hopefully you like going to events. Hopefully you’re a semi-modest, rule follower. Since there are plenty of events & rules to go along with those events in this Marine Corps lifestyle. There will be events for you and your husband, just your husband or just you are invited to for many reasons it could be for the entire unit, battalion, a base function, a personal or private ceremony or an organization event. Whether it is announced through email, a flyer or in a formal mailed invitation make sure you look at the desired clothing attire on the invitation. If it is not written specifically call the hostess, event organizer, FRA (Family Readiness Assistant) or FRO for more detailed information. The Marines will know what to wear because their command will tell them more than once. There are a few options for the women though. Here we go:
Formal Attire aka Marine Corps Ball: ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WITHOUT EQUIVICATION FORMAL MEANS Tea, Ankle or Floor length Formal Evening Gowns ONLY! Don’t be ‘THAT GIRL’. If you are you are forewarned you may be asked to leave and at the bare minimum will be made fun of & always thought of like that by your peers, your husbands co-workers and bosses. There is always at least one at every formal event. This isn’t Amish life so steer clear from making anything yourself. This also isn’t the Victorian era, flapper era, or your wedding. As cool as they are it’s probably not a good idea: mini-skirts, nip slip dresses, combo-red, white and blue dresses, too tight dresses, high slits, dresses that require pasties, only have strips of fabric covering your ta-ta’s or would require baby powder before you ‘slip it on’. Combat boots are optional. No seriously, leave those at home. You’re not going to a biker bar or to the field. We all want to be comfortable but theres a line between sliding off your heels under the table and being disrespectful of the occasion.
Please rememer we are a part of the few, the proud, the Marines not in a costume contest or a group member of the Pussycat Dolls, Jersey Shore, Toddler’s & Tiaras, Kardashians, the Real Housewives or an extra on Magic Mike or Striptease think about not only yourself but your husband when choosing attire for a formal function.
Change of Command/Retirement Ceremonies:Attire for Ladies: Dress although I’ve seen more Business Casual
California Casual: Consists of Skirt, Khakis, Shorts or Nice Jeans (no ripped, torn or faded items)
Conservative Casual/Business Casual Attire for Ladies: Crisp Pants, Skirt and Modest Blouse
Depending on where you’re stationed will dictate the above information and can vary from time zone to time zone. Unless it is 120* do not wear a mini-skirt to a formal event; not only is it against the rules and inappropriate but some senior Marines and wives may call your date/husband out in front of everyone or off to the side and get in trouble because of something that could have been avoided by following the rules.
Other expectations include:
Make sure that you “repondez s’il vous plait” or RSVP meaning, “please respond” so that the hostess will know how many to account for regarding seating and food. You wouldn’t want to throw a party at your house and invite 40 and only 10 RSVP so you cook for 10 but 50 ends up at your house. So out of good manners and respect for the hostess and command please RSVP!
Another big thing at Marine Corps functions is to show up on time. Generally this means 15 minutes before the actual start time to get situated in the room, say your hello’s and find your seat. If you’re late to a Mess Night or something similar you may not be allowed in until a break & then have to pay a fine of some sort.
Expect to socialize in one way or another. Do NOT have your cell phone on and if it has to be on for emergencies please put it on vibrate. They typically remind you before any ceremony to turn it off out of respect for others. You do not want to be the one whose phone rings an inappropriate or loud ringtone during colors or other sacred ceremony. You’re husband/date will NOT be very happy with you.
Also, when the flag is passing, the National Anthem or Marine Corps Hymn is playing or the Pledge of Allegiance is being said as the spouse or parent of a Marine, it is customary to stand as well and place your hand over your heart.
Most importantly just have fun & take pictures! 🙂