July 30th, 2012
Style Inspiration, What to Wear
Style Inspiration: What to Wear to a Military Ball
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

Tara writes, “Hello Fashion Bomb! Your What To Wear posts are among my favorites on the site and have given me many an awesome outfit idea, but my husband and I will be attending our 1st military ball in December (yes, I’m starting early :) ), and I am stumped!… I want to impress without looking like I’m going to the club, prom or a bridesmaid! I’m petite – 5’2″, size 4 – and I do need to wear a gown. I’m so proud of my husband and want to look awesome among his colleagues and superiors, please help!!”

Hey, Tara! The early bird catches the worm, so I feel you on wanting to prepare months in advance. I took some cues from Army Wives Lives on how to properly dress for the occasion. The key is to be elegant without being too flashy.

First up, I went with a beautiful red one shoulder gown. Since the ball takes place in December, this particular color proves to be fun and festive.


You can round out your look with a pair of Manolo Blahnik sandals, and a Safira clutch. I would recommend keeping the earrings simple with these studs, and the lips a luminous pink.


Next, I went classic with a Notte by Marchesa black and white gown.

Emerald drop earrings look gorgeous when coupled with black and white garments, with this being no exception. Keep the footwear simple with a pair of black pumps. You can achieve some soft makeup with a light shade of lipstick and this eyeshadow duo.

For the final look, I went with a draped chiffon gown complete with a sweetheart neckline (this silhouette has never failed me).

You might want to try your hand at statement jewelry, and if so, this Rodrigo Otazu “Brilliant” Crystal and Cabochon Necklace complements the dress. Go gold on your feet with a pair like these Giuseppe Zanotti Metallic Double Platform pumps. Finish the look with a clutch and Essie manicure.

I hope this was of some service to you, Tara! I’d personally recommend buying your gown from a boutique versus online, that way you have a precise idea of how the dress fits and are immediately aware of the alterations that need to be made. To help keep the look from skewing more prom/bridesmaid, be mindful of how you style your hair. Go for sleek ‘dos, or looser hanging curls and waves.

Have fun!



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12 Responses to “Style Inspiration: What to Wear to a Military Ball”

  1. Jinx Moneypenny says:

    #2 is my fave! Looooove that dress.

  2. mrsconcretejungle says:

    Beautiful choices!! #2 especially is so different from what I was thinking but it’s so pretty! Thanks so much for your help Fashion Bomb!!! :-D

  3. mrsconcretejungle says:

    and thanks for the link to that blog post as well!

  4. binks says:

    Great selections number 2 and 3 are my fave!

  5. Yevette says:

    This post has me wishing I was going to a military ball! lol I love them all but #3 is just gorgeous!

  6. Taj says:

    Number 3 is my favorite

  7. itsjustme says:

    #2! if you don’t want to make a major investment, also try rent the runway for some nice options.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oooh this is right on time! I was invited to a military ball this September.

  9. Jessica says:

    I have been to many Military ball since I am military and I think #3 is perfect however, I like all three of the options. You cant go wrong.

  10. Sticky-n-Sweet says:

    I’m jealous. I have to go to the Marine Corps Ball in December too, but I have to wear dress blues…#2 was so J.Lo, I love it!

  11. mrsconcretejungle says:

    @itsjustme thanks for the reminder, totally forgot about rent the runway and I’m seeing some gorgeous dresses right now!

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