|"Oh, for he's a jolly good fellow!"|
Extravagant and varied formal evening wear for JNCOs and above. Loved by Lance Corporals and 2nd Lieutenants, who can't wait to strutt their stuff at the next Ball - hated by everyone else who finds it too hot, uncomfortable and is probably too fat for it, and certainly too tight to get a new one made. Many an Mess Meeting has been dominated by the Mess Dress v Black Tie debate, usually won by the old and bold who've no desire to spend a night in extreme discomfort, just so the JNCOs / subalterns have an increased chance of getting laid.
Worst Officer's Mess Dress award is held jointly by the Army Air Corps and the Intelligence Corps, who both wear a form of wetsuit. Best is almost certainly held by a Cavalry Regiment, but no-one is quite sure as they all change the design every few years in an attempt to stay ahead in the Gold Braid and Swirls league.
Oddly enough, the one reason that the old and bold do like to wear mess kit is because they can then wear their Medals.
Sometimes known as "Drinking Pyjamas" or "Hangover Covees."