Army Events Dress Code-Decoded: Part 1
Health/Beauty Military Martha

Army Events Dress Code-Decoded: Part 1

Photo by: Amanda Cherry
Photo by: Amanda Cherry

Granny always said, “If ya ain’t got nothin’ nice to say, come sit next to me.” Well pull up a chair ya’ll cause I got some not nice things to say about how spouses dress. In the 17 years I’ve been married to SGM Martha I’ve been to countless military functions, and the one thing that always bothers me is the way some people dress. Now don’t get yer knickers in a twist, I know we all got our own individual style, but when it comes to military functions I gotta wonder, don’t these folks understand there is a uniform for civilians too? Don’t they know how they can decode the dress code so easy by looking at their spouse’s uniform?

Uniforms, traditions and events vary by service, I’ll be talkin’ about the Army cause it’s what I know, but a lot of these rules can be adapted to any service. I’m fixin’ to tell ya’ll, there are three things to remember when dressin’ for an Army function- I call ‘em the three R’s- Respect, Reserved, and Read.

Respect- This one seems like common sense, but I tell ya’ll it’s lackin’ in some people. When I say Respect I mean respect three things; yourself, your spouse and the military event you’re attending. How you dress for a military event is a reflection of your respect for all three things. Most Army functions follow a specific protocol, ceremony and traditions as old as dirt, it ain’t a time or place to be an individual.

A lot of new wives wanna make an impression and tend to dress like they’re heading to the club on a Saturday night. You ain’t goin’ to the club ladies. Dressing conservatively just means you’re showing respect to the traditions, ceremony and people your husband works with. There is a time and a place for you to be YOU- but an Army event isn’t that time or place. Save your hoochie momma clothes for a different night!

Reserved- The rule of thumb should be that more fabric is always better. I hear a lot of arguments from new Army spouses about how they don’t want to lose their identity by dressin’ conservatively when they’re not. But those same wives come cry in’ when they’re the focus of gossip and derision from other wives. If ya’ll dress like a hooker, folks are gonna treat you like one, sorry to say.

Dressing in a reserved manner doesn’t mean you’re gonna lose yourself, it’s one event and anyone can get through one event. An Army event isn’t designed to be like a nightclub, so cover your hohas and your yayas out of respect for the event. If not for the event or yourself, then for your spouse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard soldiers trash talkin’ another soldier because his wife dressed like a lady of ill repute. Don’t be the one they talk badly about, be the one they’re sayin’ is too good for him!

Read- If all else fails read the invitation to find out what’s appropriate to wear for the event. Most invites will clearly state the appropriate dress for the event, either the uniform or the level of formality. The easiest thing to do is when you RSVP, ask the hostess what you should wear. If there ain’t no invite, then read your spouse’s uniform. You can always tell what you should wear by what uniform your husband is required to wear to the event.

In my next article I’m gonna give ya’ll examples of what you should wear based on what uniform your husband is wearing. All of the outfits can be purchased at or your local Macy’s department store.

Macy’s is a great store for purchasing anything you might need for a military event. From dresses to makeup, from handbags to jewelry, from intimate apparel to shoes, Macy’s is your one stop shop. Macy’s is also a great supporter of the military through their Got Your Six program. Each store does special events where part of the proceeds from your purchase go directly to help military charities like; USO, Blue Star Families and the Bob Woodruff Foundation to name a few. Go check out and stay tuned for examples of what to wear to each event.


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